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Hello everyone, I'm building a router table and was wondering what would be the best table top/router/router lift combo would be for that? I'm going to be using it for raised panels, trim, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Cast iron top and Jessem Lifts

I use Pro Max cast iron table tops, actually side extensions for a table saw and Jessem Mast-R-Lift router lifts with the cam lock for the bit height.


https://www.amazon.com/JessEm-Mast-...46569623&sr=8-4&keywords=jessem+router+lift+2

https://www.amazon.com/Bench-Dog-To...-spell&keywords=pro+max+router+tableextension

Ok, a bit expensive, but bullet proof. I use a Porter Cable 7518 3 1/4 HP router in them.

You can buy just the motor itself:
https://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE...6&sr=8-2&keywords=Porter+cable+3.25+HP+router


All totaled, about $930.00 for all 3 pieces, but no stand. :surprise2:

If you attach it to the table saw, you don't need a stand. I have one like that and 2 others in stands.
 

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The Woodsmith Shop is a television show (and more). Season 11 aired in 2017, and it included a large, very interesting router table. It features a rotating top that lets you use it as a vertical or horizontal router table, and includes a mortising feature and more. It is big, heavy, and time consuming to build. Season 11 is still showing in re-runs, so the plans are still available online for free download. Sometime in the future, they will cost money to buy, once Season 11 is no longer "current."

Here are the plans. Get them now, while you still can:
http://media.woodsmith.com/videoedition/plans/combination-router-table.pdf

Here is a preview of the episode that introduces the router table:
http://www.woodsmithshop.com/episodes/season11/1105/

Here is an important preview that shows how they clamped the top together with a lot of screws. I don’t remember seeing it mentioned in the plans, only on TV:
http://www.woodsmithshop.com/episodes/season11/1107/

I would like to build one of those router tables someday.
 

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Be sure to check out the Incra https://incra.com/ website. They sell the master lift II with magnetic inserts instead of screw-in inserts. They also sell a router table fence that allows you do do joinery and precision routing that no other normal router table fence is capable of doing.

I also use the Porter Cable 3 1/4 hp motor in my lift.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
 

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Shaper?

I have made router tables before - plain and simple tables with grooves that my table saw miter slide will fit into and expanded onto them as time went on. Also made them where the router was mounted horizontally. My go to for normal 'shaping' was my shaper, not my router table. Especially with the versatility of the shaper accepting 1/4" and 1/2" router bits in addition to shaper bits , except for the HF model - it didn't accept shaper bits.

But if I were building one from scratch with the lifts and all, I personally would be better off with a shaper. A Harbor Freight shaper for around $250 or a much better shaper from Grizzly doe around $375. These shapers will also take 1/4" and 1/2 " router bits. A shaper is heavier and more stable. Changing blades is fast. As for adjustments and settings, the shaper is far more easier than a router. There is a long handle lever to raise and lower easier and more efficiently and a single knob to lock in the height.
My personal opinion is that a shaper is far superior to a router table.

I made just about anything I needed on the shaper except for dovetails and finger joints. Dovetail jigs can be had for under $200

Just something to think about.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Superior, no but different.

For production work and larger profiles, nothing can beat a shaper.
For home shops and profiling edges, even raising some panels, a router table is way more flexible. Because there is a nut on top of the shaper spindle, you are limited to edge profiles only. A router can do "stopped" cuts, finger joints, dados, rabbets, and all sorts of profiles.


I have 3 router tables and an old 1 HP 1/2" spindle Craftsman shaper which I never use. Using router bits in a spindle that only spins at 10,000 max, as in the shaper, is not going to give the best cuts. Smaller diamter bits need higher RPMs to be efficient, just like smaller twist drill can be run at higher RPMs than larger ones.
 

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Hello everyone, I'm building a router table and was wondering what would be the best table top/router/router lift combo would be for that? I'm going to be using it for raised panels, trim, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Do you have a budget?
 

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Table:
All three router tables I've had are all home made. I double laminate 2 layers of ply or MDF. If I were buying a premade top, I would go with cast iron. The mass produced melamine tops are no better than a home made and 5x the cost. Magnetic featherboards and the stability would be the selling points on cast iron. You may be limited on the type of fence system, so it would be better to buy a cast iron top/fence combo.

Lift:
I have a Jessem MastRLift II. I am very satisifed with it. For that type work I would go with a 3HP router. I got the Jessem PowerTek motor and remote speed control, but my understanding is they no longer make it. My suggestion is decide on which motor you want, then see if it is available. Last I heard the PC 3HP motor is hard to get.

FYI, it is the same lift as INCRA with one exception: the insert plate.

Had to do over I would buy an INCRA b/c the magnetic insert plates for are far superior than the plastic twist ones on the Jessem.

You'll hear about Triton, BTDT the height adjustment backlash issue caused me to get a router lift. Maybe they have fixed it. If so, Triton is a beast and a very good router. Something to consider.

Fence:
For many years I had home made fences. I purchased the fence Infinity carries and like it alot.
 

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Mike
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My table is two 3/4" pieces of mdf sandwiched together, laminated on both sides and edge banded with oak.
PC 7518 in a Rousseau insert. No lift but I sure would like one.
I put in a miter slot and t track on the front and the fence ride in two t tracks,
20+ years and going strong.
 

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Termite
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I think this is another case of budget vs best. By the time you have the best you might as well look into shapers and have better..

I talked to a buddy last night who says they are swamped in remodels and deck builds. Cabinet shops are over loaded which means shapers would be hard to get., but if it slows down.?
 

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I think this is another case of budget vs best. By the time you have the best you might as well look into shapers and have better..

I talked to a buddy last night who says they are swamped in remodels and deck builds. Cabinet shops are over loaded which means shapers would be hard to get., but if it slows down.?
True, you can easily have >$1000 tied up in a router table! I debated getting a small shaper but the issue is the cost of cutterheads. You're not going to buy a one off bit on Amazon for 15 bucks, that's for sure.

Shapers are not for the majority of hobbyists, unless they have a need for making mouldings, we are using 1/4" & 1/2" shank bits, most being less than $50.

That said, I've seen some used you can pick up pretty reasonable, sometimes with an assortment of cutterheads (you probably will never use).......

Also, shapers and power feeders go hand in hand. And BTW if you're doing a big project like kitchen doors, a small power feeder is a good investment even for a router table.
 

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We used molding machines back in the 80's

#1... best means nothing without a buget.
#2....trim, doors, etc means nothing if he's only making s few...

Too much of a broad question. "Best"
He/she needs to reveal a budget to give everyone something realistic to work with.
 

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scarlettpenelope (post #9) - this is a 2 year old discussion thread about router tables. It would be best to start a new discussion regarding your question about the spring removal.
 

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where's my table saw?
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I am putting together a router table for my Ryobi 1800w plunge router. Any suggestions on the easiest way to remove the springs so I don't have to fight them every time I want to make a depth adjustment.
Yes, plunge routers are not meant for under the table mounting because if this very issue. Get a different router with both a fixed and a plunge base in a kit OR just but a fixed base unit. Router tables perform BEST when the router is mounted in a lift which can be easily adjusted for depth from te top of the table.
OK, I know I'm suggesting you get another router, but I know from experience that you will always have more than one. I have over 10 routers right now, in all sizes and base types.
There are routers now that have a built in adjustment feature allowing the height to be adjusted from the top of the table, BUT those adjustments are not as precise as with a lift, or so I am told. A table mounted router should have at least 2 HP, preferably more. Mine are all 3 1/4 HP. Variable speed is a must because the diameter of the bits vary from 1/4" up to 3" for raised panels.

 

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Mine are all precise without lifts.....

Knowing your router, before you use it helps.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Mine are all precise without lifts.....
Is that because they are screw type adjustable bases, NOT top mounted adjustments types, like Triton?
 

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best... would be cheapest. mine is made from scraps

Automotive tire Tread Wood Synthetic rubber Gas


and yes it has a lift, i drop a nut driver in the hole

Automotive tire Purple Motor vehicle Bumper Gas
 
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