There are a lot of woodworking operations a router table can handle.Moreover, the types of router bits are also very various strictly designed for a router table. As plentiful options for a router table, finding the best router table for your project, therefore, depends much on your skill level, budget and woodworking style.Take a deeper understanding about them and make a right choice before executing any wood projects.
The router table is not complicated equipment. It has the surface of a normal table.However, there is a woodworking router mounted beneath vertically oriented spinning at speeds typically between 3000 and 24,000 rpm. The mounted router typically used for router table is stationary or fixed base router. The router protrudes upwards through a hole of the table.The most visible feature of a router table is that a good fence is typically equipped with it so that user can push a board right across the bit. This is the advantage of a router table over the handheld router as you can use it to put the workpiece into the cutting edge. Your hands are also free from controlling the hand held router to get more control over the wood, especially small parts. Router table also often has a miter track to use a miter gauge. There may be many features in some routers adjusted to make it become more useful. For example, there are some router tables with designed ability to adjust the height of the bit but the routers are not removed from the tables. Just simply loose the lock to expose the bit more or less at your need. It is very convenient to see it as it is above the table and you can adjust it from below. When it is the right height, you fix the router back to the table and operate the routing. Router table also with a slot in it, then you can take advantage out of it to make cross cut jigs.
There are some features you should consider before deciding to purchase a router table.
Flat and solid top
The top of a router table should be completely flat because it is extremely important in terms of precision in many operations such as cutting joinery or treating edge. Uneven surface adds more problems for woodworkers. Moreover, the surface also needs to be rigid to support the router and plate or router lift weight and produce accurate operations as there is always a hard pressure in feeding wood. If it is not rigid enough, it can ruin the edge or molding.
Flat and rigid plate
The plate of the base must be solid and substantial as it supports router weight and sit level with the surface of the table. Therefore, being flat and leveled up is two important factor of the base plate of a router table. The produced quality from the function of the table is greatly impacted by the base plate. Normally, people opt to choose solid phenolic and machined aluminum.
Miter and T-Slots
Facing tasks relating to miter gauge like cutting across a narrow wood piece, it is necessary to have a miter slot fixed on a router table. It also helps to secure featherboards and other accessories.
In some router tables, manufacturers often fix T-slots in different locations also to secure featherboards, stops and other common attachments. The location is the front surface of the fence. Or other locations also may be included. When it is needed, a slot will let attachment of a flip stop or a couple of hold-down easy clamp.
Accurate and Easy-to-Position Fence
There is a variety of fences ranging differently in terms of quality and functionality. The fence of a router table is just a strange lumber piece clamped to the table surface. Good fences depend on these features: straight, square and rigid. They also need to be easy to position and will not shift when it is locked down. You can see the two common fences types in the market: one-piece fence and two-piece or split fence.
A Sturdy and Stable Base
It is dangerous to work on an unsteady base. The router spins at a fast speed, so it is important to keep the wood piece stable with the cutter and the table should not wobble or shift during the process. If not, there can be a lot of damage and the cuts cannot be clean and crisp. A router table base needs attaching securely and supported properly so the shifting and vibration are reduced to a minimum. Some manufacturers opt to choose steel to make stands which is more portable due to its light weight and much more stable.