Benchtop Router Table
Issue: Issue 3.02
Posted Date: 1/28/2002
This tool is aimed at anyone who has ever said, "When I get a bigger shop, I'm getting a router table". At 14-1/2" high, 16" deep and 21" wide, the Benchtop Router Table from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware fits into even the dinkiest of shop spaces, and at 20 pounds, moving it around won't break your back.
Constructed of MDF with a melamine laminate, the tabletop sits on a set of hardwood legs which clamp to your workbench -- it comes ready for assembly, with all the screws and T-bolts you'll need.
The heart of the benchtop table, like the full-size one in Rockler's line, is a 20-3/4" fence. The 1/4" anodized aluminum angle is machined straight to within .010 inches, in order to create an accurate 90 angle.
The table also promises to minimize the gap around bits with two 10-3/8" laminated MDF fence faces that slide in a T-slot. Like the larger Rockler table, the benchtop uses an accessory kit that includes both fence and table featherboards, a stop block and a dust port.
According to Steve Krohmer, who oversaw development of the table for Rockler, the plate leveling system on the unit is a real innovation. "Turning threaded inserts allows you to raise and lower the insert plate in order to align it with the tabletop," he explained. "Then, when you're ready, you secure the plate with screws that fit into the same threaded inserts."
An aluminum miter gauge track, 1/4" MDF insert with 1-1/2" center hole, and safety bit guard round out the features of the router table. It's pre-drilled for the Porter-Cable 690 Series routers, with custom adapter plates available for the DeWalt DW621, Bosch 1617 and 1618, and Sears Craftsman 1-1/2 HP or less routers. You can also purchase blank plates and drill to fit other routers.
Whatever router you put in it, this Benchtop unit is a good first fit for the small shop -- and, at $119.99, an affordable second table for larger shops. Look for more information at www.rockler.com.