As the folks who really kicked off the trend of “above the table” adjustment of routers, Ontario, Canada’s JessEm Tool Company is no stranger to innovation. Starting in November, JessEm will begin shipping a router table top, fence and miter gauge combination that again will set a very high bar. Their Mast-R-Top” (featuring their Mast-R-Lift” router adjustment) and Mast-R-Fence ” joined to the Mite-R-Slide”, which they debuted at the IWF in Atlanta this summer, are at the premier strata of router accessories.
The table, as stated earlier, has lift technology built into its solid phenolic top. Then they added a separate micro adjust dial. This dial is integrated with, but rotates separately from, the lift mechanism & thus allowing you to zero out the dial after you make your coarse adjustments. (Thereafter, the lifts’ 1/64″ registration to a quarter turn of the lift handle makes ultra accurate adjustments simple.) In addition, the Mast-R-Lift housing on this unit has dust collection built into it for effective dust extraction.
The combination of JessEm’s Mast-R-Fence and the new Mite-R-Slide is another step to super accurate routing. The miter gauge slides on a polished steel rod that affixes to the back of the fence. This is so strong and so smooth that you really need to try it out to fully appreciate it. At the Atlanta show I put my full body weight on the slide (I weigh just a bit over 200 pounds & if you count by tens), and my buddy was able to push the gauge, with me leaning on it, easy as pie. The positive detents at 5° are a great setup aid. When you consider all these features working together, it is easy to see the new offering as a complete routing “system.”
With that said, quality always comes with a price attached. (Although, as my father taught me: “If you buy the best, you only cry once” & as opposed to every time you try do fine adjustments with a lesser quality tool.) This combination of JessEm’s router table accessories will be sold for about $674.00. If you think of this as a simple router table top and fence, that price would be startling. (After all, you still need to buy a router!) But if you think of it as a dovetail jig, box joint jig, shaper, molding maker and ultra accurate machining station & now you are in the ballpark. It fits into the stationary tool market.