Author Topic: Router table recommendations?  (Read 1959 times)

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Offline Jimxavier

  • Posts: 40
Router table recommendations?
« on: November 20, 2019, 10:53 PM »
I’ve decided to get a router table for Christmas.

Any recommendations? Still doing some due diligence on the Festool router table. I do have a OF1400 so in addition to the size of the table, the fact that I wouldn’t need to buy another tool is nice, but does the Of1400 have enough power for table top applications?


Open to anything, send some ideas. Nothing too large, probably not a cast iron top though.

What’s something good to start with?

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Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 41
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2019, 11:42 PM »
I've had a few tables, but my current one is by far my favourite - home made top, on an Incra table frame. The table frame is closed off with panels and has a couple of drawers built in. It starts costing a bit of $ after this though - Incra positioner/Wonderfence, router lift and dust box, Jessem stock guides, etc.
I used to have my 1400 in a table, but it's a bit of a waste. If you can, get a dedicated router motor for the table - you'll get tired of removing and re-installing the router REAL quick.
Having said all that, the 1400 is powerful enough for table use, within reason.
The Festool table is great for mobile use, but a bit too small/light-duty for a permanent set up, in my opinion.

Offline RNEMTP

  • Posts: 60
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2019, 02:01 AM »
I have the CMS-VL with the CS OF module and absolutely love it. I got mine with the sliding table which is terrific. I have the OF 1400 in it and it has plenty of power. It also has the capacity to run all but the largest panel raising bits. That you are limited by the opening in the table. If you're thinking about the Festool router table, you better hurry, they've been discontinued. I primarily got this because I needed the mobility and the small footprint. Dust collection is awesome paired with my ct 36ac.

Offline Dusty.Tools

  • Posts: 171
    • Dusty.Tools
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2019, 02:05 AM »
+1 on the homemade tables.

Here’s mine:



I went with a Kreg Router lift and Woodpecker fence. I’m really really happy with how it turned out, it’s a pleasure to use.

I wrote up my build here:

https://toolguyd.com/diy-router-table-with-drawers-dust-collection-project/


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
@dusty.tools

Offline simonh

  • Posts: 85
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2019, 03:21 AM »
Here's my hybrid build. A Festool CMS-VL extension table (with longer rails same as the MFT sides) and then a Jessem table and lift, Incra LS positioner, Jessem stock hold downs, Incra CleanSweep under the table. I can also use the Festool slider or any other accessories on the rails suchas the extension table.  Only thing I'd change is maybe try a JessEm fence system as I think the Incra is abit finicky to fiddle with and I don't use half the features such as the joinery.

Must say if I didn't want it as part of my system then I'd have probably looked at the Jessem Excel complete setup. I saw one at a woodworking show and it was simply amazingly slick and smooth. They make beautifully engineered stuff, lots of CNC work and precision components. Incra seem to make most things from pieces of specially manufactured aluminium profile and I can't help but feel it could be even better if they used CNC and more engineering.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 01:50 PM by simonh »
-Simon

Offline Peter Parfitt

  • Magazine/Blog Author
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  • Posts: 4201
    • New Brit Workshop on YouTube
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2019, 03:38 AM »
Hi Jim

I have had the CMS-OF for quite a while. Initially I put my OF2200 in it and had no problems at all. I know that that is theoretically not an option in the US.

That left me with the OF1400 (a Christmas present from all the family) and the dear little OF1010. I use the OF1010 for almost all of my hand held routing and most of the heavy duty stuff is done on the CMS-OF. The dust collection on the OF1010 is brilliant as it is on the OF2200 but the OF1400 is not so good as the ergonomics and the attachment of the dust hose let it down.

So, about 18 months ago I switched the OF2200 from the CMS unit and put the OF1400 in its place. This is, in my view, the very best place for the OF1400 and it also leaves me with the two delightful routers for hand held work.

The only odd thing to get used to is that when bit changing in the CMS unit the OF1400 switch has to be in the off position which means that after changing a bit you have to remember to put in it on again. This is a good safety feature.

Apart from the history above, I have made and used about 3 or 4 router tables and have also had a non Festool one as well. In all of those non Festool cases the two things which were always an issue were dust collection and the difficulty of access to the router collet for bit changes. The latter forced me to use collect extensions which are not a good idea as they increase vibration and can be less than perfect with very large bits. The CMS-OF will give you very easy access to the collect.

The down side of the CMS-OF is that the fence is over engineered and not a precision component. There are two positions for the fence fixing screws and I always seem to have to switch from one to the other during jobs. In all other respects the CMS-OF is absolutely brilliant and the best router table that I have owned or used.

Peter

Online TXFIVEO

  • Posts: 327
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2019, 06:59 AM »
I’m using the Rockler Pro Phenolic table with the Rockler Pro Router Lift and the powerful Porter Cable router (the big boy!).   A pair of Jessum router fence roller guides and it’s a great setup. 

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 557
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2019, 07:22 AM »
The CMS-OF has been discontinued in the EU. Is it still available in other parts of the world? (Just asking because I am invested in the CMS-system and may want to buy the belt sander plate…)
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

TS55 · TS55R · OF1010 · DF500 Mk2 · MFT/3 + TSB1-MW 1000 + VL + CMS TS55 + CMS PS300 + LA-CS 70/CMS · CTL Midi · RTS400 EQ · 2 x CXS Li 1,5 · T15+3 Li 4,2 · TI15 Impact Li 4,2 · Centrotec Sets 2008 + 2015 · PSB300 · LR32-SYS · RO150 · Kapex KS120 · 2 x MFK700 · RO90 · OFK700 · BS75 · OFK500 · OF2200 · CMS-GE … | Mirka 1230L P&C | Hammer A3 31 Silent Power · Hammer N4400 · Hammer HS950 

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 561
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2019, 08:58 AM »

The down side of the CMS-OF is that the fence is over engineered and not a precision component. There are two positions for the fence fixing screws and I always seem to have to switch from one to the other during jobs. In all other respects the CMS-OF is absolutely brilliant and the best router table that I have owned or used.

Peter

@Peter Parfitt

May I suggest you swap the knobs for the fence lock down? I have a host of M6 knobs 3D printed or store bought in a storage bin that I played around with along with some extra long M6 bolts from the store. What I've ended up with is a left knob that isn't nearly as tedious to thread in and out as the threads aren't so long. The right knob is equally easy to spin by the hand. These two changes alone will drastically change the CMS router table for the better. It just so happens that mine are green for "Festool adjustable"

Matt



« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 09:06 AM by DynaGlide »
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline Jimxavier

  • Posts: 40
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2019, 09:57 AM »
Hi Jim

I have had the CMS-OF for quite a while. Initially I put my OF2200 in it and had no problems at all. I know that that is theoretically not an option in the US.

That left me with the OF1400 (a Christmas present from all the family) and the dear little OF1010. I use the OF1010 for almost all of my hand held routing and most of the heavy duty stuff is done on the CMS-OF. The dust collection on the OF1010 is brilliant as it is on the OF2200 but the OF1400 is not so good as the ergonomics and the attachment of the dust hose let it down.

So, about 18 months ago I switched the OF2200 from the CMS unit and put the OF1400 in its place. This is, in my view, the very best place for the OF1400 and it also leaves me with the two delightful routers for hand held work.

The only odd thing to get used to is that when bit changing in the CMS unit the OF1400 switch has to be in the off position which means that after changing a bit you have to remember to put in it on again. This is a good safety feature.

Apart from the history above, I have made and used about 3 or 4 router tables and have also had a non Festool one as well. In all of those non Festool cases the two things which were always an issue were dust collection and the difficulty of access to the router collet for bit changes. The latter forced me to use collect extensions which are not a good idea as they increase vibration and can be less than perfect with very large bits. The CMS-OF will give you very easy access to the collect.

The down side of the CMS-OF is that the fence is over engineered and not a precision component. There are two positions for the fence fixing screws and I always seem to have to switch from one to the other during jobs. In all other respects the CMS-OF is absolutely brilliant and the best router table that I have owned or used.

Peter


Peter, thank you. A couple questions: if I wanted, could I put an OF2200 in the table in the US, or is there something preventing me from doing so?

You mention that the fence isn’t a prediction tool, is it accurate, does it have micro adjustability? Or are the adjustments made by trial and error? How repeatable is it? And is it easy to accurately dial in 2 pass dados for example?

Thanks

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 561
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2019, 10:47 AM »
@Jimxavier

The CMS-OF (either GE or VL) comes with everything required to mount the OF-2200 as sold in the US. There will be disclaimers throughout the manual and from Festool USA that the CMS is only compatible with the OF 1010 and OF 1400 in the US. This is due to the design of the switch accompanying the CMS and how the power grid of the US differs from the rest of the world. Someone somewhere looked up the ratings on the switch and it isn't designed for 20A operation. The OF 2200 is capable of drawing much higher amperage on the US grid (i.e. 2200 watts at 110V in the US ~20Amps; 2200 watts at 240V in the UK ~9.2Amps). That being said. .there are users of this forum that have plugged the OF 2200 into the CMS in the US without issue. It would only draw full amperage under full load which under typical use shouldn't happen. Some will unplug the OF 2200 from the CMS and plug it directly into a 20A outlet as needed or full time.

Fence: Look elsewhere for micro adjustability. It doesn't have it unless you plan on using it for jointing, where it does have it (one half is micro adjustable in relation to the other). You can get the CMS-VL/MFT-3 and mount it to an MFT/3 table and go aftermarket to incorporate the Incra LS fence. Do a search, plenty of threads. The CMS-GE does not have a way to do this out of the box, it doesn't mount to an MFT/3 table. If you're after precise fence adjustment and set on the CMS router table that'd be something to consider.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline Roseland

  • Posts: 624
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2019, 11:53 AM »
The OF1400 is a great handheld router, but I think it's not really suited for use in a table.

I recommend you look at the Triton routers; they're a fraction of the cost of Festool, and are designed for use in tables.  As a result they have through-the-table height adjustment, and when you lift the router to change cutters the spindle locks automatically, so you only need one spanner.

Andrew
TS55, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, CT26, RS100, ETS125, CXS, MFS400, DF-500, Zobos.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5926
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2019, 11:59 AM »
@Jimxavier

Just about everyone I know in the US thats has both a CMS and 2200 use the the 2200 in te CMS including my self with no issues

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1929
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2019, 01:06 PM »
I bought the Incra table, Incra lift, and the PC7518 motor a few years ago. Setup for a wide variety of cuts is easy, accurate, and precise. Plus you can do half-blind and through dovetails for a variety of sizes and spacing easily. My results with the Incra table are always great and satisfying. Also, box joints are easy to do accurately.

I thought about the Festool table when I was upgrading my old table, but decided against it after using it in 3 different classes I took at Festool in Indianapolis. If you are going to use it in a mobile setting on job-sites, I think the table excels in that setting. However, given my use is strictly in  my own shop, the Incra table made more sense and, I felt, was easier and more accurate for setup of cuts and joints. Dust collection is probably better with the Festool table but not that much better.

I should add I don't build wood furniture, cabinets, or do remodeling/building for a living so my opinions are from the point of view of getting high quality results for myself and family. I still feel the Incra table has a much higher degree of accuracy for most jobs.

I would also say that I think, for a router table, you want a dedicated router mounted in the table and I feel it would be a shame to mount the OF1400 in a table and not use its versatility and accuracy as a handheld router.
Randy

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1232
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2019, 01:37 PM »
All metal! Thats how I roll! This setup has been nothing short of amazing!
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline jpmeunier

  • Posts: 84
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2019, 02:14 PM »
I have the sawstop cast iron, with an incra/jessem master lift and the Jessem router. I'm very happy with it all.

Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 84
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2019, 03:06 PM »
One more vote for the Incra table and various accouterments (I got "The Works" edition with Incra lift and a dedicated PC7518 motor).  I got mine just a couple of months ago so haven't been able to do much with it yet.  While assembling it, I did add the plywood sides so I can later add in some proper drawers and storage.  So far very happy with it.  Big step up from the setup I had before and look forward to using it for some nice dovetail-related projects.
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3, TS75, Domino XL

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1232
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2019, 04:25 PM »
Oh yea and thats a definite on the PC7518 motor. IMO there is absolutely ZERO reason to spend Festool router money on a router dedicated to a table.  You can get the PC7518 motor and a top of the line lift for less money! ESPECIALLY if you consider the OF 2200!
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 477
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2019, 04:34 PM »
The CMS was recently discontinued. Might not be the best time to jump in.

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 447
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2019, 06:01 PM »
I absolutely love my Jessem Mast-R-Lift Excel Router Table. I have their big router and their variable speed control. It is expensive but I can do pretty much anything a router table is known to be capable of on this setup. I probably had four router tables over 25 years before I got this and now I feel like I am probably done. I can’t think of anything it can’t do or accessories that it can’t accommodate.

You would have to check with Jessem to see if their lift can accommodate the 1400.

Online Trevin

  • Posts: 93
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2019, 11:04 PM »
Homemade with Incra parts.

Trevin
Festool: MFT3 (x2), OF1010, OF1400, LR32, Domino DF500, Domino XL DF700, Kapex KS120, TS-75, Carvex 420, CXS, C-18, Vecturo OS 400, DTS 400, Pro 5, Rotex 125, VAC-PMP, VAC-SYS-1, VAC-SYS-2, CT-26 (x2), CT-SYS, SYS Light DUO, SYS-ROCK
Other: Minmax FS41, Sawstop PCS (3HP, 52"), Laguna BX14, Jet 17" Drill Press, Rikon 70-220VSR Lathe, Incra LS Router Station, Laguna P/Flux 3 Dust Collector

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5926
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2019, 11:35 AM »
Though I own the CMS, well 2 CMS's If I were to buy a commercial made Router ATable I would look hard at the saw stops table

https://www.sawstop.com/saw-options/router-tables/

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2277
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2019, 12:48 PM »
Bench Dog has been in the router table business for far longer than any of the others.  My self made table with the cast iron lift is at  least thirty years old.  The lift is built more like an industrial stationary tool because it was originally marketed to small manufacturers that needed multiple stations that did not require a shaper.  I bought it from Tool Crib of the North which was bought by
Amazon as one it's first tool supply companies in 1999.  When the non compete clause of the acquisition expired, the original Tool Crib folks restarted as Acme Tool.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 12:55 PM by rst »

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 409
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2019, 01:12 PM »
I will add my vote to the build it camp.  I will try and post some pictures of mine.  The basic layout is like Norm Abrahams of the New Yankee Workshop.  It has a built in lift adapted from plans in an old American Woodworker article.  A piece of all thread moves the carriage with the router motor in it up and down and one turn is 1/16 of an inch.  The carriage rides on machined rods purchased from McMaster Carr riding in oilite bushings.  The rods are supported by the back of the table so the top hinges up for bit changes - very handy.  My fence is secured by really short bar clamps.  The top is a sink cut out edged with maple and backed by a piece of 3/4 plywood. 

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1232
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2019, 01:46 PM »
Bench Dog has been in the router table business for far longer than any of the others.  My self made table with the cast iron lift is at  least thirty years old.  The lift is built more like an industrial stationary tool because it was originally marketed to small manufacturers that needed multiple stations that did not require a shaper.  I bought it from Tool Crib of the North which was bought by
Amazon as one it's first tool supply companies in 1999.  When the non compete clause of the acquisition expired, the original Tool Crib folks restarted as Acme Tool.
Nice! Cool bit of history there I did not know about!
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6132
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana

Offline Ray.DuBose

  • Posts: 12
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2019, 02:20 PM »
Running Woodpecker Table and a PC7518 Motor. 

https://www.woodpeck.com/routing/router-tables/woodpeckers-premium-router-package-prp-2.html

Like the top and the lift, don't care for legs and casters on it but it works.. will probably move the top to a homemade cabinet at some point.


Offline gunnyr

  • Posts: 182
    • Compass Custom Creations
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2019, 08:43 AM »
Anyone have any experience with the Jet router table?  My local Festool Dealer carries Jet and with the annual Black Friday 15% off from Jet coming up I was thinking that might be a good option.
Semper Fi,
Jeff

TS 55 REQ|HKC 55|PSB 420|DF 500|ETS EC 125/3 EQ|ETS 150/3|DTSC 400|RO 90|RO 150|OF 1400|MFK 700|LR 32|MFS 400/700|CXS (2)|PDC 18|DWC 18-4500|CT MIDI|CT 26|CT 48|MFT/3 (2)|VAC SYS-SET|DUO-SET|SYSLITE KAL II
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Offline aufinger

  • Posts: 11
Re: Router table recommendations?
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2019, 08:33 PM »
I really like my Incra package w/ JessEm made lift. The fence is great to work with. Always square to the bit and you can really dial it in, plus easy to do repeatable operations.