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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will preface this by saying I am certain this will be a controversial question, but I am looking for opinions. Furthermore, I know the answers will probably vary based upon intended use so I'll add that it will be used for a very wide range of woodworking tasks and projects.

So...
If you could have any router table you wanted, what would you buy/build?

I have a Milwaukee 5625 router I want to permanently mount in a router table. I'm open to all suggestions and opinions. Would you buy a table? Which one?

If you think building a table is the way to do, are there plans I can obtain or pictures you can post showing me what you recommend?

I plan to permanently mount this router in the table so how easy it is to take in and out of the table is not an issue. I'm open to having a lift or no lift and would love to hear pros and cons from folks. I will say that while I don't want to waste money on nothing, I do have the funds to get whatever I want. Safety is a big concern for me, so if there are table(s) with more or less safety features I would be interested in hearing about them.

I realize this is a broad question, but any help, comments, and opinions you can offer are greatly appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As a starting point, I've been looking at the Woodpecker PRL V2 router lift and the Kreg router table. Pros and cons on those?

Thanks!
 

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For my needs I have a combination of buy and build.

I purchased a router table top from Woodpeckers, Incra router fence and built the table.

Works for me. I have excellent dust collection.

If I started over I would make the table a bit wider. I do not need it wider often, but it would be nice.

I would also have made a deeper overhang between the top and the frame. In my constrained shop I end up using the router table for some glue-ups or assembly and I do not have as deep an overhang as desired for the clamps.

I also have the Woodpeckers PRL-V2 lift. The main "con" is the price.

I like the wheel to adjust the height. It only has a range of 3/4in so you need to get the initial height close using the spring.

I have the tools on the front. I added pegs to hold different widths of masking tape I use.


Wood Table Furniture Room Plywood

I originally intended to make drawers for the right, but never got around to this. I just added some scrap offcuts of steel shelving for storage of my circular saw and braces. This shows the dust cover removed. Attached by magnets, so easy on or off. This was taken a long time ago before I added the pegs for storing masking tape.

Machine Wood Furniture

I also added a clamp rack for my small clamps on the left of the stand. Not enough wall space, so I have to use what is available.

Machine woodworking Electrical wiring Tool Wood

Incra and Jessem make fences which have racks and a quick clamp. Racks have teeth at 1/32in so easy to set, or repeat a fence position.

Machine Wood Electronics Machine tool Furniture

I added sacrificial front to the Incra fence. This has been very useful. You can see from the jagged edge on the right side that now and again the fence did make contact with the bit. No problem for the bit, this is just MDF.

Product Machine Tool accessory Electronics Tool

The stand was built to suit my desired working height. The dimensions were the size of the top minus whatever overhang I decided upon. If I recall I put the 3/4in divider in the middle.

Very simple design. I used mortise and tenon joints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dave-That is impressive and a great option for me! Kind of the best of all worlds!

What are the main competitors with the Woodpecker's PRL V2 lift? Is that pretty widely considered the "cadillac" of lifts?

If I did opt to purchase a table as well, is that lift pretty standard so it fits most tables?

Thanks for sharing such a great table--that was full of good ideas for me!

I know just about everyone on here has a router table--what do you have? Why did you buy it? Pros? Cons? If you had to start over, what would you buy/build?
 

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What are the main competitors with the Woodpecker's PRL V2 lift? Is that pretty widely considered the "cadillac" of lifts?

If I did opt to purchase a table as well, is that lift pretty standard so it fits most tables?
Happy if my pictures give you some ideas.

Other router lifts are made by Jessem, Kreg, MLSC

I cannot say which, if any is deemed the "cadillac". I can say I have been happy with my PRL-V2.

For a long time I think it was only Woodpeckers and Jessem.

The consideration is the mounting plate. I expect some differences in either dimension, size of radius on the corners, etc.

If you do not have a router, some routers are now built with adjustment capability from the bottom plate when mounted in a table.
 

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I chose to build one and used the NYW plan (more or less). It's extremely functional but was expensive to build. I was on the fence about a lift until I bought one. Now I would hate to be without. It's amazing how much easier it makes set-up. I have the Incra Mast-R-Lift II, which is a JessEm with a few extra features.

 

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Those are some fine examples. I wish I hadn't read through this thread now. My table is just that, a table. I don't have room for a mobile station. I made my table a year or so ago. I have clamped it to a work bench (with a support) and used it with no problem.. Also, clamped it to a Workmate. Currently it is attached to the end of my miter saw station and that has worked pretty well.

It is fairly simple - just two pieces of 3/4 inch MDF glued together (about 20x32). I covered it with white Formica, added a Rockler router insert plate and a miter track/tee track combo. The miter track is working great for attaching feather boards. My fence is just two pieces of plywood cut so the sides are adjustable. I probably could have done a better job of that.

With all that said, the table worked great when I built the drawer fronts, and doors for our recently finished Buffet (5 base cabinets total).

I would suggest that you check out Steve Ramsey on You Tube. He has a couple of videos published on building a router table and fence. It looks nice and not too complicated.

Here is mine.
Hope this helps.
Mike
 

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John
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My woodworking group built a modified Norm Abrams design I'd love to make for myself. I think they made the drawers bigger, the router box a little smaller and routed the dust collection in a series, the upper port connected to the router box and the main duct at the bottom of the box for a more efficient sweep. There's more intake holes in the Plexiglas door to the box to help sweep the dust up. The builder said in use it leaves next to no dust in the box.
 

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I bought a kreg table with a micro adjust, special fence and a kreg lift probably around $800.00 total pricey but I love it worth ever penny
 

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About the only thing Kreg has that impresses me is their pocket hole stuff. Anything I've purchased from them that has deviated from that line of products has been a total waste.
Their router stuff seems to fall short somewhere; the router plate uses a proprietary locking system and only has 3 sizes of rings available, the table fence always tries to lock down parallel to the miter slot for no good reason and I see little use for a micro adjustment on the fence. Not to mention, IMHO, they are also seriously overpriced.
 

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My thoughts:

Mounting plate: go with metal. I have the Rockler plate, but if I re-did the purchase, I would prefer one with a wider variety of hole sizes in the inserts.

Top: I was going to build my own top, but ended up buying their mdf top due to time and cost. If I had the time and money, I would have gotten a cast iron table, or I considered having a custom granite table made. The mdf has the disadvantage that it swells and shrinks with humidity changes, so I have to adjust the plate height to avoid the workpiece snagging on an edge. (I think most plates have this adjustability. But, if you will end up with a table that is susceptible to humidity, make sure your plate is adjustable.

Table: my original plan was to build a custom table. But, it is fairly convenient to just clamp re top to a workbench, so I'm not sure if I will build a table or not. I will at least make a new storage cart for bits and accessories. I re-purposed the one I had when I upgraded my table top.

Lift: I don't have a lift, but I can definitely see the advantage. As was mentioned, some routers come with built-in lifts. The main advantage I see is that adjusting the router from below the table is a pain.
 

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Wow seriously! The pocket hole stuff is amazing I love it and I agree some of the other stuff has just been so so but the router stuff I have found to be really great
 
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