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Thread: Router table recommendations

  1. #1

    Router table recommendations

    I have a Rockler Router Table with Incra insert and a DeWalt router. After running some dadoís I realized that my fence had been slipping each cut. I double checked my adjustments and sure enough, no matter how hard I lock it down, that fence is going to move. Iím sure people are having good experiences with it, but Iím not.

    So, time to get a good router table. Looking around I see there is the Jessem, is that the best for hobbyists? I see they go up to $1700, which is on the high end of what Iím willing to spend. I know, I said hobbyist and high end, but thatís me. I was hoping there was something with an iron table so I could use MagSafe feather boards.

    What I want is something I can easily adjust and it stays adjusted. The Rockler is neither.

    Thanks for any advise

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Michigan
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    Woodpeckers has a nice package. I have one of their router lifts (and may other of their tools) and love it. Their packages do not have iron tables, but their tables come in both phenolic and MDF. Their most expensive setup is around $1,450 (stand, table, router lift, and fence). Although I do not have this set up, I have seen them at shows that they look great.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
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    481
    Michael,

    Take a look at the Incra tables and especially their fences. The LS 17 gives you precision and repeatability. Combine that with a Jessem Mast-R-Lift and you have a combination that lets you anything including dovetails and box joints. I recently upgraded my router table with an LS 17, Incra table, top, Jessem Mast-R-Lift and a 3 1/4 hp router. Last upgrade I'll ever need.

    Cliff
    Mudhead: "Doesn't Louise count?" Porgy: "Only to 10, Mudhead."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Cache Valley, Utah
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    1,673
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Polubinsky View Post
    Michael,

    Take a look at the Incra tables and especially their fences. The LS 17 gives you precision and repeatability. Combine that with a Jessem Mast-R-Lift and you have a combination that lets you anything including dovetails and box joints. I recently upgraded my router table with an LS 17, Incra table, top, Jessem Mast-R-Lift and a 3 1/4 hp router. Last upgrade I'll ever need.

    Cliff
    I have pretty much this setup, installed in a Sawstop cast iron table. The Incra jig base bolts to the table saw top via two threaded holes drilled and tapped in the cast iron saw top. I agree with Cliff; it's about as good as it's going to get.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
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    4,943
    OK, I get that you want a new table, but I am curious. Why is the fence slipping? Pictures?

    I have had a dozen router tables, including rudimentary home made ones, but never had a fence that slips.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    OK, I get that you want a new table, but I am curious. Why is the fence slipping? Pictures?

    I have had a dozen router tables, including rudimentary home made ones, but never had a fence that slips.
    It isnít tight enough even all the way torqued down. The bolt will spin before it gets tight enough.

    it is likely fixable but I do woodworking to relax and that table is not relaxing. I rarely use it because itís been stressful and Iíd like my router to be a first choice,

  7. #7
    Why an incra table with the Jessum lift? I have the incra lift already, though the small one for a Rockler table.

    just curious why you suggest two brands as they both make tables and lifts

  8. #8
    This Incra combo seems like a pretty good deal. Fence, Table, Stand, etc. Just add your lift.

    https://www.incrementaltools.com/Rou.../rtcombo-3.htm

    $839. Maybe add dust box, but still, far cheaper than $1700
    Last edited by derek labian; 09-19-2021 at 10:23 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Between No Where & No Place ,WA
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    Would small C-clamps work?

    If you really want cast iron:

    https://www.grizzly.com/products/reb...er-table/w2000

    https://www.grizzly.com/products/gri...th-lift/t28780
    (Looking at the manual, it appears that the t28780 table is cast iron. It also weighs something like 125 pounds assembled. )
    Last edited by Ray Newman; 09-19-2021 at 10:48 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
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    1,374
    I bought the Woodpeckers table, lift and stand about 6 years ago, .

    My package came with the micro adjust fence and everything locks down solid.

    I went with the smaller router top and haven't had issues with any size limitations yet.

    Very happy with it, but I scrapped the metal stand and built a simple cabinet that would aid in dust/chip collection and provide storage for tools and router bits.

    Woodpeckers metal stand that I scrapped (well stored away in my attic somewhere).





  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
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    481
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Rutman View Post
    Why an incra table with the Jessum lift? I have the incra lift already, though the small one for a Rockler table.

    just curious why you suggest two brands as they both make tables and lifts
    Primarily because my previous lift was a Jessem and I was very impressed with it. Also the Jessem has magnetic rings available which I find nicer than the standard screw in type.

    If you could use the Incra in the new table I wouldn't switch. But your lift is the smaller Rockler/Benchdog size and you won't find a standard table top with the smaller size opening. If you make the top that's not a problem.

    Cliff
    Mudhead: "Doesn't Louise count?" Porgy: "Only to 10, Mudhead."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
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    2,950
    If I was going to spend the kind of money you need to for a full blown router/iron table/stand/fence/lift setup, I'd take a good hard look at getting a small shaper for somewhere in the neighborhood of same amount. There's lots that a shaper will do more/better than a router table.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Between No Where & No Place ,WA
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    1,207
    Frank Pratt is onto to something about a small shaper. On a whim, I looked on the Grizzly we and found several 1.5-3.0 horsepower shapers within the poster's price range.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
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    While you wait for new one, I suggest you check the bolts that tighten the current fence. It sounds like you might have carriage bolts rather than T bolts (toilet bolts) in there, which might rotate, and not tighten properly.

    If so, that might make it useable until the new one comes.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  15. #15
    First thank you to everyone helping me. I've been reading up on the advice and really appreciate it.

    At first I was thinking the Jessem fence because of the clear cut guides, but I now see Jessem offers an Incra conversion kit.

    I have an Incra miter gauge and Incra sled for my table saw and I absolutely love them, in the 2 years I've had them I've done exactly one cut that wasn't at a standard angle and it was a nice surprise how easy that cut was.

    My concern is the Incra fence goes on so the work piece slides along the short width of the table. Is that an issue? I wouldn't think so but asking to make sure.

    The Jessem lift has the side wheel instead of that hex screw on top and is a little cheaper (not significantly). Any other differences? Amusingly enough, both Incra and Jessem make lifts in the smaller rockler size, but nobody makes a rockler compatible table that is offset to handle the Incra Fence.

    So my last choice is a new stand or not. I'm thinking yes because the rockler wheels are difficult to lock as the wheels like to spin to be under the stand and unreachable.

    And thanks for telling me about woodpecker, they look nice, but the Incra fence is just looking so like what I am looking for.

    I double checked and I don't think a shaper would be that useful to me. Not that it wouldn't be useful, but shop space limits that option.

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