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Thread: Router Table Replacement Options

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Rockingham, Virginia
    Posts
    315

    Router Table Replacement Options

    After many years of acceptable service my Rockler laminate router table top has become unreliable. Specifically, the clamping mechanism for depth to the center of the router bit - consisting of two knobs (right and left) have gouged out their channels and it does not hold evenly or well. Kind of a bummer because I have excellent dust collection with it using the Rockler metal box (connected to my Oneida) and the lift works well.

    I thought all I would have to do was buy a new top, but SURPRISE! The replacement tops have a different opening size (significant) than the aluminum plate that holds the Jess Em lift. So, that is a non-starter.

    So, I am resigned to replacing the whole shooting match. I notice that new Rockler Tables have really good fences now with fine adjustments, but with everything I would need (plate, fence, lift, dust collection, stand, etc.) the price point easily exceeds 1200. So, what I am looking for is any experiences any of you have had with the new Rockler stuff or other Router Tables by other manufacturers and recommendations. What is important to me is that the fence stays in place and can be adjusted with some precision, dust gets collected, and I can attach my wonderfully reliable Bosch 1617 motor. I use the table a lot - for everything from cutting grooves, rabbeting, profiles, small dados, you name it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    1,108
    Jessem and a couple of other companies make router tops compatible with the Jessem lifts. It seems like that would be a better way to go.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Location
    Southwest WI
    Posts
    244
    You can buy phenolic resin sheets that you could use to replace you current top since you seem to be happy with it other then the worn top. Corian also makes a great work surface and can be cut with you standard wood working blades and bits. You can get a corian remante from a countertop company localy for cheap. If you buy new I really like my jessem set up with a handle crank on the side to raise and lower the bit similar to a shaper.
    Last edited by Mitch schiffer; 01-14-2022 at 4:13 PM.

  4. #4
    I would like to get a cast iron top with a Jessem lift. I have an aluminum fence with adjustable plastic faces and then various inserts that are cut to profile whatever type of bit I have installed. I have an old Hitachi 12V 3hp in an adjustable router lift.

    As far as fence adjustment, I think Incra stuff is overkill. I use a 12" straight edge to line up the bit to the face or roller bearing and then clamp it down to the table with a couple of Tradesman clamps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    N. Idaho
    Posts
    1,368
    Bummer. Can you route in new channel and mod your fence? I'm not quite able to picture the issue you're having.

    I agree that Incra is overkill (though it is pretty nice!).
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Charles View Post
    Bummer. Can you route in new channel and mod your fence? I'm not quite able to picture the issue you're having.
    .
    Why not route out the channel where the bolt heads ride, a little wider (3/4" as an example?) Then inlay a strip of hardwood (glued in place.) Route a new slot for bolts to pass thru, and new surface for the bolt heads. Spend a couple hours and renew your existing top, then spend your money on something else.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    N.E, Ohio
    Posts
    2,979
    If you want to go the full deal Woodpecker has an awesome phenolic top and a great fence. I have the full boat fence and phenolic top including the micro adjuster and offset fence. I added a Rockler dust bucket for the lower dust collection. Very Happy with my choice.

    Infinity also has a nice looking top and fence but I have not seen one in person.
    George

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  8. #8
    Bruce's idea sounds reasonable. I never found a kit I liked so I pieced one together. Peachtree metal cabinet, Rockler cast iron top, Incra lift and Jessum fence. Took some use of a drill and tap. Rockler is a pain with different size plate hole. Incra & Jessum lifts are made in the standard size and the rockler size but that don't help you fix the current problem.

  9. #9
    Started down this rabbit hole some months back and spiraled out of control into this...

    tools05.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Central New Jersey
    Posts
    647
    I had the same exact problem with my Rockler laminate table. I started using quick clamps to hold the fence in place. When I finally came down to a replacement, I looked at Rockler again for about 30 seconds. There are much better options out there, and Jessem and Woodpecker were the two I narrowed it down to. The Jessem was first pick, based on free shipping and no sales tax, so that helped with the price. However, it was backordered for ever. I also saw the woodpecker in person year after year at woodworking shows and wanted it for many years. In the end, I got the Woodpecker and am very happy with it. I also added the router they sell and it's pretty a bmw of router tables.

    It sounds like you have a Jessem lift? If this is the case, you should contact Jessem and see if your older lift will fit into their new tables.
    Distraction could lead to dismemberment!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    798
    What size is the plate on the current lift? Any table top with a smaller opening can be routed out for a larger plate.

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