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Kreg Precision Router Table
Solid, precise and feature-laden
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted - 12-7-2008
The Kreg Precision Router Table (Model PRS1040) is a well-made, well-engineered router table system that packs a surprisingly large set of useful features in one package. With overall dimensions of 41"-tall (height adjustable) by 32-1/4"-wide and 24"-deep, you have plenty of work area to support the big jobs without wasting precious shop space. The liberal use of heavy-duty materials explains the Kreg Precision Router Table overall weight of 85 lbs.
The Kreg Precision Router Table uses all high-end hardware for assembly, including square-drive screws. Kreg even includes a square drive bit that fits all popular 1/4" snap-release chucks. Good hardware may seem like a small point but I have fought with cost-saving junk hardware enough to appreciate the good stuff. Throughout assembly I found the correct number of fasteners and all of them installed easily without modifying anything along the way.
The stand parts are fabricated from 1/8"-thick steel that is cleanly formed, accurately punched and then given a quality finished. All that means that the Kreg Precision Router Table stand is as tough and as it is stable. Each joint uses a pair of square-shoulder bolts and large diameter serrated nuts. The combination of precision manufacturing and the high clamping force of these fasteners make this an exceptionally strong stand.
The legs have extensions at the bottom that bolt to an array of holes that provide approximately 5" of vertical adjustment. The heavy-duty rubber-soled feet (included) also have several inches of vertical adjustment. If you can't get the Kreg Precision Router Table at a comfortable working height, you aren't trying. Kreg also offers a set of high-quality casters as an accessory if mobility is desirable in your shop.
The frame parts have additional holes punched along their edges that make adding your own shelves or panels easy. The strength of this stand will easily support a set of shop-made drawers or other storage solutions to keep your routing needs in one place.
Spacious Table, Solid Plate
Built from super stable 1"-thick MDF (medium density fiberboard) is plenty strong to support even the big horsepower routers. To further insure rigidity of the table, Kreg added a pair of structural steel struts that flank the plate opening.
The top surface is covered with Kreg's Impact Resistant Easy-Slide(tm) Micro-Dot Skin that helps keep it clean and easy to use. They also added permanently applied edge banding all around. The table is pre-drilled for all of the fasteners used to secure the components. It even has the holes pre-drilled for the screws that attach the table to the stand. You really have to try and mess up this assembly.
The table features a full-width, extruded aluminum miter slot. It has the standard 3/4"-wide by 3/8"-deep slot that accepts common miter gauges and sleds. It also has a second slot that accepts T-bolts for attaching your shop-made jigs, fixtures of featherboards.
The table is pre-cut to accept the included (9-1/4" x 11-3/4" x 3/8") Phenolic Router Plate. This opening also accepts many of the popular router lift plates made my other manufacturers. I installed the Woodpecker PRL-V2 in the Kreg Precision Router Table and it dropped right in.
The plate is leveled with the surrounding table surface with two screw adjusters at each corner. A special fixture is installed under each corner of the table opening during assembly. This fixture locates the plate height adjusters as well as providing the threaded bushing for the screws that secure the plate once it is adjusted. This leveling/retaining system makes for a very secure router plate that is capable of producing exceptionally fine cuts. The plate also is drilled for the included brass starting pin.
The center hole in the Kreg plate is 3-5/8"-diameter without a reducer ring. That should handle virtually any panel raising bit that can be powered by a router motor. The Kreg Precision Router Table includes reducer rings with 2" and 1-13/64" center openings, the latter of which is stepped to accommodate the popular Porter-Cable Guide Bushings.
Each of the reducer rings is retained by three screws. Each ring also has three leveling screws that allow adjusting it flush with the insert plates surface. Though seldom seen in reducer rings, this nifty feature lets the operator be certain the entire work surface is flat and ridge free so the wood can slide freely without catching.
The Kreg plate comes un-drilled but provides detailed instructions for installing your router base. Kreg includes a very handy, clear "bullseye" alignment template with a ringed grid printed on it that makes aligning your router base to the plate opening a virtual no-brainer.
The very trick fence system is based on a 36"-wide, aircraft grade aluminum extrusion. Formed into that extrusion are several slots that extend the fence systems functionality. Near the center (rear) of the fence
extrusion is a dust port with a 2-1/2" inside diameter that makes it compatible with most shop-vac hoses. The ends of the extrusion are capped with plates to focus the air draw through the large center opening to enhance dust collection at the bit. A repositionable safety guard is also standard equipment on the Kreg Precision Router Table. This simple guard helps to keep your fingers away from the bit as well as stopping much of the debris that could be launched upwards toward the operator.
The fence moves forward and back on a specially designed mount that keeps the fence parallel to the miter slot. A simple flip lever locks and unlocks the fence in place. A finger-operated knob on the (operators) left side locks that end of the fence to the table to insure stability. Kreg offers a Micro-Adjuster as an accessory that makes fence adjustments as small as 0.05" simple.
The Kreg Precision Router Table fence has scales on the sliding mount and along the top of the fence extrusion. The mount scale can be repositioned as needed and has a correctable magnified cursor. The scale along the top of the extrusion begins at zero in the center above the bit and counts out from there to both sides.
At the front of the fence are a pair of laminate-covered MDF faces, each 2-1/2"-tall and 18"-long. Each of the faces is independently adjustable side-to-side. Along the top of the extrusion, directly above the faces is a full-width, slot that makes installing featherboards or shop-made jigs easy. An identical slot further back on the top of the aluminum extrusion adds to the jig/fixture mounting flexibility. These 3/8"-wide slots are designed to accept common T-bolts and regular 1/4" X 20 bolt heads.
The outfeed side of the fence can be adjusted outwards (towards the operator) for jointing-type operations. A pair of rods (stored in a groove along the rear of the fence extrusion) are slipped into one of two sets of round grooves behind the outfeed fence face. The forward set of slots
spaces the fence forward 1/8" while inserting the rods in the other pair of slots spaces the outfeed face out 1/16". This two point contact keeps the fence face square and makes jointing accurate.
In the Shop
Building the Kreg Precision Router Table was a no-brainer. The parts fit perfectly, the fasteners hold securely and the instruction sheets walk you through the process easily. I especially like the adjustable legs because they have the range to let me raise the table surface to where it is comfortable for me and my questionable back to work on.
Initially I was a little concerned about having to drill the insert plate to fit my router. However, that proved to be unfounded because the instructions and the very handy "bullseye" sheet made aligning my router baseplate on the insert plate a snap. I suspect that using this method rather than making the Kreg Precision Router Table in a bunch of configurations to fit the ever-changing list of routers keeps the price down considerably. This also makes it far easier for retailers to stock the Kreg Precision Router Table so it is available when you want it!
The fence assembly is a well made and well thought out system that works great. It's thoughtful design means that it accepts your shop-made jigs and fixtures easily thanks to the standardized slots that accept real world (in your drawer) bolts. The adjustments are easy to make and hold fast when locked. And, the dust collection port works as well as any I have tested.
The jointing feature of the Kreg Precision Router Table fence is a real standout and shows that complexity is not a mandatory component of function. The idea of using the rods to fully support the face makes this an easy to use and very accurate system. I also like the idea of the rods being stored right on the fence. If you lose them, it is totally your fault.
The Kreg Impact Resistant Easy-Slide(tm) Micro-Dot Skin on the table surface keeps the wood sliding easily. That is as much for safety as it is for functionality. Having consistent control over the wood is always safer and it lets the operator focus on handling the wood correctly to get the best cut.
The leveling systems built into the insert plate and reducer rings also makes the Kreg Precision Router Table easy to use. Being able to manually make these components flush with the surrounding table surface insures a totally flat support surface from end to end. That means cleaner cuts.
The table has plenty of surface area for even the larger work pieces encountered by the average woodworker. Despite the large capacity, the Kreg Precision Router Table has a relatively small footprint so it can be stored easily when not in use.
The Kreg Precision Router Table is a high quality, very capable router table system that will serve the most industrious woodworkers well. It is well designed, its parts are well made and the street price of $499.00 (12-1-2008) the bang for the buck is far above the norm. It would be easy to spend this much money on a similarly capable fence alone, if you could find one!
If you want to buy a good, long-lasting router table, take a look at the Kreg Precision Router Table. There isn't a more capable value that I know of.
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