NewWoodworker.com is a
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted – 9-18-2014
Note: It is important to note that Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit will be available for a limited time only. Rockler says they have substantial stock on this item (9-12-2014) but waiting to get yours could lead to disappointment.
The router table has always been a focal point in any woodworking shop. Another frequent condition of today’s shops is the lack of floor space or sharing a space with other household needs. Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit (#59133) brings the important capabilities of the router table to your shop while saving precious floor space and budget. The Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit also makes a great second or dedicated router station that can remain set up for a frequently needed task.
The Rockler Complete Basic Router Table Kit includes a quality router table top, pre-drilled group A router plate, router table fence, starting pin and a solid router table stand/base.
This is a full-size router table with nearly five square feet of working surface. The table is 31-5/8'' x 23-3/4'' x 1'' thick MDF covered with tough, low-friction melamine veneer that makes moving the material through the bit easy and predictable. The overall table height is 36”. The table has a standard 3/4'' x 3/8'' aluminum miter track set in.
This outfit comes with an 8-1/4'' x 11-3/4'' x 3/8'' thick phenolic router plate that rests on four leveling screws. It has a 4'' O.D. center opening and a 1-1/2'' I.D. insert ring. The plate is pre-drilled to fit Group A routers. (See sidebar for the Group A router list) Alternate router plates are available separately.
The 32”-long fence is backed by a tough aluminum extrusion with MDF sub-fences that can be positioned as needed around the bit. You also get an adjustable bit guard. Setting the fence and sub-fences are tool-free for fast, simple operation.
The black steel stand is powder-coated for enhanced durability. The stand is relatively lightweight but surprisingly sturdy and solid. When designing this stand Rockler decided to go for rigidity rather than making this a fold up unit. Making something like a router table into a fold-up unit could present a safety issue.
Included plate is pre-drilled to fit Group A routers:
The heavy gauge steel components are easy to assemble and Rockler supplies quality hardware to insure that it remains solid. Don’t let the open structure fool you. The designers take full advantage of the strength and rigidity of triangles to produce a very strong support for this router table. The individual points of contact with the floor are intentional and are a ploy used by furniture makers as long as there have been things standing on floors. Those individual points of contact bridge the irregularities found in virtually any flat surface that would produce rocking if the table had a flat bottom.
The fence system is very tough, rigid and easy to operate. Accuracy and ease of function appear to have been at the top of the criteria list for this system. The tough aluminum backbone supports the easily adjusted face halves. The guard plate is also very simple, easy to operate but effective. With everything finger operated you don’t have to stop and find a wrench to make an adjustment. Rockler has always had a penchant for good hardware and the Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit is no exception. Everything is solid and the finger knobs are easy to work.
The router plate fits the opening well and is easy to adjust to be flush with the table surface. The router attachment holes support the standard bases for a large number of the most popular routers in use. I know there will be people who look at their routers baseplate and not see the same pattern as in the plate. However many routers have extra holes in the base beneath the baseplate to accommodate the near universal Bosch pattern and other popular models.
The Rockler Complete Basic Router Table Kit is fully functional as it comes but adding the Basic Router Table 4-Piece Accessory Kit (#57236, sold separately) makes this unit more accurate by stabilizing the material and evacuating more of the debris while adding another level of safety for the operator.
The Accessory Kit for this Rockler Router Table includes 1 table-based feather board, 2 fence-mount feather boards and a dust port. All of the components are compatible with the Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit and are tool-free to make it easier and faster to set up for use.
The table based featherboard uses a pair of expanding bars that lock into the ¾” miter track. The fence-mounted featherboards are secured in the t-slot accessory tracks on both of the subfence faces. The dust port mounts to the rear of the aluminum fence backer with tool-free knobs. The dust port incorporates a 2-1/2'' outside diameter port for connecting your shop vacuum or dust collection system. This piece fits over the rear of the fence and attaches to the inner sub face knobs. Unlike many dust ports Rockler made this one exceptionally wide so it actually draws the dust well even when the fence halves are separated for large bits. All of the pieces are made from tough ABS plastic for durability.
Using the Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit is no different than any free standing router table I have owned. The table surface is generous and the melamine surface lets the wood slide freely and predictably, both important safety considerations. The stand supporting the top is strong, stable and adapts to uneven floors well. I was always able to turn the table slightly in my shop and to get rid of any rocking induced by the floor.
I like the tool-free fence system as that is one of the big time savers on a router table. Being able to tweak the fence setup so easily makes it easier to be accurate and safe. Having this whole system at a comfortable 36” above the floor lets most users be comfortable doing jobs that keep you at the router table for long periods of time.
The Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit is generously sized to make working with larger pieces of wood easier. When the work pieces get very large using free standing work supports is a good idea on this and any other router table.
The Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit is a solid, fully capable package with a budget friendly price. The Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit lists for $249.99 but at this writing (9-12-2014) Rockler has it priced at just $199.99.
Adding the Basic Router Table 4-Piece Accessory Kit makes this outfit even easier to use. Featherboards not only helps you work safer; they produce more consistent cuts which make our projects a little better. This set lists for $39.99 but Rockler is selling it for $19.99 (9-12-2014) which makes adding it to your outfit a no-brainer.
If you are looking to add a router table to your shop check out the Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit. This is a fully capable, solid table that gives you all the capabilities of a free-standing router table at a benchtop price. There are many routing jobs that are better and more safely done on a router table and the Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit does all that and saves money and shop space to boot.
To visit the Rockler’s Complete Basic Router Table Kit product page – Click Here
Basic Router Table 4-Piece Accessory Kit product page – Click Here
Have a comment on this review? –Email Me!