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Thread: router table options

  1. #1

    router table options

    Buying my first table saw next week.

    Also trying to decide whether or not I should get a router table for the shop. Also a first.
    If so, do y'all recommend adding a router table extension as part of the table saw? Or should the router table be a separate, stand-alone unit?

    Hoping to start building furniture and trying to acquire the shop tools needed to do so.

    Thanks to all that respond.
    Last edited by jeremy romoser; 10-11-2018 at 8:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Crown Point, Indiana
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    My 2 cents....

    I break down all my sheet goods with a track saw so I got the 36" model. If you have room and do not move it much go with the bigger one.

    Build a separate router table.

  3. #3
    Thank you for the response Larry.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    SE Michigan
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    I tend to use more hand tools than power, but either way, you will need to think about how you will prepare stock. Even wood planed and finished from Woodcraft or Rockler, or the like, will need to be jointed and flattened...itís rare to find wood square and true off the rack. A well set up table saw can joint the edge pretty well. But you need to consider how you will remove twist, cupping, etc. My method is to hand plane one side true, and then run it through a lunch box thickness planer.

    With that in mind, I think you would want to skip the router for now, and focus on what equipment/tools you need to flatten/thickness stock.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    8,933
    I'm with Phil, 40 years into this and I still don't use a router, I do have a shaper however.

    Once you can saw material, you'll need material to saw. If you want to just use sheet goods, a table saw is fine, however once you want to use solid wood you'll need a jointer and planer, that's what I would buy before a router table..........Regards, Rod.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Central Missouri, U.S.
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    It seems that people who put a router table on their table saws are trying to save space in the shop. I'd pass on that, at least for the time being. It's something you can always add to the saw later, if necessary. My guess is that you will end up with a router table of some kind, and having a separate one leaves you with more options about how to go about it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    New York City
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    Good Luck with the new hobby. As with many things, you learn by experience what works best for you. I started out with a Kreg benchtop Router Table. Eventually I built a stand for it. It was a little small and not very accurate. A few years later I got intrigued by Incra, and picked up the LS positioner system, itís basically the most expensive router table around. Never used any of the features and it was taking up way too much space. Recently, I sold it and got a cast iron router extension in my table saw, works perfectly for my needs. I donít need ultimate accuracy and versatility of the Incra and Iím glad to save some shop space.

    This is just my experience, perhaps some of it is relevant.

    I have the Sawstop Table Saw and Router Table if you have any specific questions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kansas City
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    Shop space is at a premium for me, so I have a router table on my table saw. I absolutely love it.

    With that said, I would personally get a jointer, planer, and bandsaw first.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camas, Wa
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    3,522
    I am a fan of separate machines. I vote for stand alone router table if you have the room

  10. I had the same question - and am preparing for purchase of a good cabinet saw. To cut to the chase, I ended up purchasing a stand-alone router table because I have the space in my shop (or will have once I move the tractor out to it's own covered area). Like others have said, and in keeping with the advice I got, incorporating the router into the table saw extension is a great option if you will be struggling for space. The table I got had nice, robust casters on it so I can roll it off to the side. I ended up going with the JessEm offering. The Incra system looks awesome, but look at the forum posts on that system and be prepared for the extra space it takes if you go with the LS system.

    Good luck in your search and have fum outfitting and using your shop!

    Dean

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    When space is available, a standalone router table solution has advantages since it doesn't interfere with using the table saw and vice versa at the same time. But there's nothing wrong with a solution that uses the table saw as a platform, either. I use the cast iron Bench Dog setup bolted onto my sliding table saw...a poor man's "shaper" solution...because of space. I originally did have a separate router table setup (two generations of them, as a matter of fact) but as time went on an my work flow, tools and shop evolved, I made the change that made sense for my own situation. I get around any work flow interference in the same way I accommodate using a Jointer/Planer combo...planning.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
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    I have a standalone Woodpeckers router table and a 36" SawStop table saw.

    I just changed my fence system saw on the table and decided to add the router table onto the saw.

    My standalone Woodpeckers router table is the smaller of the two table sizes they offer and I've found it a little small in width capacity if I need to route using the fence.

    Adding the router table to the table saw gives me a larger capacity.

    I don't think you'll go wrong adding it to the table saw, but depending upon the convenience of the tool operation changer over, going from router to table saw, you might find a standalone router a better choice.

    I'm more or a power tool than hand tool hobby woodworker, so I use my router table a lot.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
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    I'm in a similar situation as Jim. I've had standalone routers tables in various shops and they're convenient. As my methods and processes have become more streamlined I've opted to put the router table on the right end of my 36" SS PCS. Most of my sheet breakdown is done with a track saw.

    Mine is a hobby shop, but dedicated to woodworking. I've found that shops shrink over time, regardless of the square footage. Time for a second bandsaw? Yep. Bigger compressor? Larger assembly table? Yep... It's very, very rare that I have to change a setup as a result of having the saw/router table combo. More often than not, it's more convenient for me, as I can use the back side of the saw fence as my router guide for operations like a quick dado where the bit doesn't contact the fence. The additional mass of it being one unit is also a plus.
    Semi-retired, teaching CNC for Fine Woodworking at the local community college. FineLine Automation Saturn 2, EnRoute Pro, Aspire, Mach3.

  14. #14
    Don't forget about dust collection. You'll be surprised how fast the sawdust can pile up.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    If there is room, separate, stand alone router table every time IMO! They are usually larger than ones built into the end of a table saw and can offer better dust collection depending on the setup.
    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

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