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How to Tell If You Need a Dedicated Router Table or Just a Shop-Made Alternative
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The fact of the matter is, a router table is stone simple. It’s really just a tabletop with a mounting for the router, a fence to guide the work and some sort of stand to support the tabletop while you work.

Router table clamped onto a workbench If you don't want a dedicated router table, there are a few options for home-made solutions, such as this router table that clamps onto your existing workbench.

Router tables turn the portable router into a precision stationary machine. Hanging under a table, they’re on standby for work, just the way your other tools are. Install a bit, adjust the fence, and they’re ready to cut.

Too, immobilizing the router in a worktable somehow makes it less intimidating, so you’ll use it more. And if it’s housed in a cabinet, its noise is muffled. Capturing dust is also easier and more efficient.

Tilt-Top Router table A tilt-top router table, like this one, adds even more versatility than a standard stationary table and lets you change the angle of the cut.

With that said, router tables can be expensive. It’s easy to drop more than a grand into a router table with an expansive top, a powerful router and lift, a sophisticated fence with micrometer adjusters and lots of attachments — plus a cabinet replete with bit and accessory storage, dust collection and its own electrical system.

posted on December 1, 2009 by Bill Hylton
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