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I've gotten lost in numerous searches on this forum and found Rockler but it seems they run between $300 and $600, depending upon what I want. I'm not sure how much I should look to spend as a beginner and more importantly, I wonder if my router works in a table at all. My hope is that it does because I was told a fixed base router was necessary if I wanted to use it in a table.

I figured out that the times I am using my router, a table would make life much easier. Right now I'm clamping my pieces to a board and then moving the clamps from one side to another when I run out of room.

Discussions on dust collection are welcome too. It's all kind of overwhelming.
 

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I'm a beginner as well. I have the PC 690 mounted in a Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor Benchtop router table. I'm very happy with the arrangement. I'm a beginner too. The table is $250 on Amazon. That's a bit pricey for a benchtop but I love it. Extremely well built and very easy to use. Check out the reviews on Amazon.

But here's the thing. You sort of have to know how to use tables to get the most out of them, but they don't come with instructions. If you think on it, instructions are a tall order for a router table because they are so versital.

In lieu of instructions I bought this book: Bill Hylton's Ultimate Guide to the Router Table (Popular Woodworking): Bill Hylton: 9781558707962: Amazon.com: Books

After reading it you can understand why table manuals are pretty much limited to assembly instructions. There's just too much to cover. But I have to say, the book is poorly written. Everything you need to know is there, it's just that the writing style is odd to me. Lots of double negatives, and the phrases of sentences are in reverse order. And sentence order is odd. It isn't grammatically incorrect. Just hard to read. But well worth the struggle.
 

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The PC 890 series are good.

I use one on each of my RTs. The Rockler plate that is compatible with the 890s allows height adjustment from above.
 

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John
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I've gotten lost in numerous searches on this forum and found Rockler but it seems they run between $300 and $600, depending upon what I want. I'm not sure how much I should look to spend as a beginner and more importantly, I wonder if my router works in a table at all. My hope is that it does because I was told a fixed base router was necessary if I wanted to use it in a table.

I figured out that the times I am using my router, a table would make life much easier. Right now I'm clamping my pieces to a board and then moving the clamps from one side to another when I run out of room.

Discussions on dust collection are welcome too. It's all kind of overwhelming.
Router tables can be as simple or as complex as one desires. A really minimalist version could be a piece of plywood with a hole in it for the bit, a router screwed to the bottom, balanced on a garbage can with a 2x4 clamped on for a fence.
That said, I think $300- 600 is a bit excessive for what you essentially need, a beginner table. One of the best deals on router tables today is this one:
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Router-Table-with-Stand/T10432
Has everything you need to get started; good sized top, router plate, fence, stand and dust collection. You just need to drill the plate to match the bolt pattern on your router. That's a fairly easy task, just remove the plastic base plate from your router and use it for a template to drill the screw holes.
You may desire to upgrade sometime later but once you are familiar with what you like and dislike about this one, you will be in a much better position to shop. Everyone works differently, I went through two benchtop tables before I settled on my freestanding table.
Good Luck:smile:

Mark - was surprised about your critique about Bill Hyltons' book. I have that book and Woodworking with the Router and found them easy to read and follow. It could be that my own writing isn't all that polished either though. I have found his books to be a wealth of insight about how all the pieces play together and he usually includes a section on useful jigs and tools.
 

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jschaben said:
Mark - was surprised about your critique about Bill Hyltons' book. I have that book and Woodworking with the Router and found them easy to read and follow. It could be that my own writing isn't all that polished either though. I have found his books to be a wealth of insight about how all the pieces play together and he usually includes a section on useful jigs and tools.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to have the book. It just seems like he too often backs into the points he wants to make. Hypothetical example. "It would be good to make your first XYZ-style cut this way. It will turn out so badly that you'll never make that mistake again." That's not a quote, but you get the idea. I prefer direct language, like,"Do it like this. Never do it like that." The reviews on Amazon are generally good, but at least one reviewer agreed with me.
 

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Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to have the book. It just seems like he too often backs into the points he wants to make. Hypothetical example. "It would be good to make your first XYZ-style cut this way. It will turn out so badly that you'll never make that mistake again." That's not a quote, but you get the idea. I prefer direct language, like,"Do it like this. Never do it like that." The reviews on Amazon are generally good, but at least one reviewer agreed with me.
Hi Mark - I'm not disagreeing with you, I just never noticed until you mentioned it.:laughing:
 

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I've gotten lost in numerous searches on this forum and found Rockler but it seems they run between $300 and $600, depending upon what I want. I'm not sure how much I should look to spend as a beginner and more importantly, I wonder if my router works in a table at all. My hope is that it does because I was told a fixed base router was necessary if I wanted to use it in a table.

I figured out that the times I am using my router, a table would make life much easier. Right now I'm clamping my pieces to a board and then moving the clamps from one side to another when I run out of room.

Discussions on dust collection are welcome too. It's all kind of overwhelming.

Where are you living at I might be able to help you
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm a beginner as well. I have the PC 690 mounted in a Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor Benchtop router table. I'm very happy with the arrangement. I'm a beginner too. The table is $250 on Amazon. That's a bit pricey for a benchtop but I love it. Extremely well built and very easy to use. Check out the reviews on Amazon.

But here's the thing. You sort of have to know how to use tables to get the most out of them, but they don't come with instructions. If you think on it, instructions are a tall order for a router table because they are so versital.

In lieu of instructions I bought this book: Bill Hylton's Ultimate Guide to the Router Table (Popular Woodworking): Bill Hylton: 9781558707962: Amazon.com: Books

After reading it you can understand why table manuals are pretty much limited to assembly instructions. There's just too much to cover. But I have to say, the book is poorly written. Everything you need to know is there, it's just that the writing style is odd to me. Lots of double negatives, and the phrases of sentences are in reverse order. And sentence order is odd. It isn't grammatically incorrect. Just hard to read. But well worth the struggle.
Thank you. I really like that Bench Dog bench top table It looks sturdy and slick. I think that book will be my next purchase for sure though.

Bench top tables sound good to me due to space. I figured if I went bench top then I can still make room for a table saw when I get to that. I think the table saw will likely come first but the router tables really threw me for some reason. I do tend to over search myself into confusion. :)
I do like the price of the Grizzly though so now I just have to read and see. Thank you all.
The PC 890 series are good.

I use one on each of my RTs. The Rockler plate that is compatible with the 890s allows height adjustment from above.
Am I to understand all tables are compatible with all fixed base routers?

Where are you living at I might be able to help you
I live in North Carolina.
 

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:-) said:
Am I to understand all tables are compatible with all fixed base routers?
The router and router plate need to be compatible and the plate needs to be compatable with the table top.

Since your buying a table make sure that the plate that comes with it is compatible with your router.

If you buy the Rockler table they will ship the correct router plate with the table.

You need to specify the plate you need based on this chart.

http://www.rockler.com/m/product.cfm?page=31820

Other suppliers will most likely provide you with the correct plate when you buy their tables if you specify the router that you have.

Unless you plan to install a router lift I highly recommend that the plate you use will allow you to use the above the table height adjustment feature on your 890
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ah okay. So really the table can even be built by hand as long as I have a plate drilled for my router, I suppose. I do see that jschaben mentioned drilling holes myself. I'm not afraid to do this either. I should probably be more mousey about things, now that I think of it.
 

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John
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Ah okay. So really the table can even be built by hand as long as I have a plate drilled for my router, I suppose. I do see that jschaben mentioned drilling holes myself. I'm not afraid to do this either. I should probably be more mousey about things, now that I think of it.
If you are buying the plate and table separately, the important thing is make sure they match. The issue will be the size of the hole. I think the Grizzly table has a plate measuring 9" x 12" and the Rockler plate is 8¼ x 11¾". The Grizzly plate is one of those "universal" jobs that fit "all" routers - translation is you drill it to fit your own. Most lifts and high end (INCRA, Woodpecker, Woodhaven) plates and all lifts I know of are 9¼ x 11¾". MLCS got a little weird in the last year or so, their plates are now 9-1/32" x 12-3/32". Rockler has owned Bench Dog for the last few years so their plates and tables are interchangeable. One other thing to watch for when buying a table and plate is that the corner radius match. The plate can be the correct size but if the radius of the opening corners is different, you still have an issue.
Hope this helps and doesn't just add to the confusion.:blink:
 
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