The New Router Table … Top!

May 10, 2018Woodworking

So things to do…

  1. Check to see if I can fit the Kreg Fences to the table top.
  2. Create a Cabinet that will be mobile, and plenty of storage for cutters and accessories.
  3. Fit Router Table to cabinet in a way that it can be removed for transportation for when I need to move it to the new workshop.
  4. Work out what options I will need to purchase.

There was nothing really wrong with my old Router Table except that the top was made from 25mm Medite MDF, that said it has served me well, and as it was home made I made it quite large, (1.2m x 820cm) certainly a lot larger than you could have bought a commercially manufactured one, so I suppose that I didn’t really need to purchase a new top and certainly not the Cast Iron Professional Router Table top from Axminster Tools Limited.

Here is my thought process….

I wanted to have a new router table because the old table top was just MDF, it was not exactly brilliant for gliding wood over it, but it was better in some ways, I had installed 2 Kreg tracks to the table top which allowed me to rout much larger projects, this came in handy for making skirting boards for the house.

What made up my mind about purchasing this top was that I was going to re-design a new cabinet anyway that would allow me to store all the cutters, jigs, routers, and accessories, all of which I could have done with the old larger table top, but my thoughts here was if I was going to make a good cabinet, I might as well try and make something that I could call ‘Professional’, and again although my old top was very good, it would need replacing every few years due to wear and tear, so if I was going to create a new top I may as well just purchase something that would last forever.

So I bit the bullet and purchased the new Cast Iron Professional Router Table top from Axminster and 3 lays later a rather knackered looking delivery turned up at the door with a large flat cardboard box that was obviously giving the guy some serious grief.

Once inside the house it was quickly unboxed and checked over for damage.

My first thoughts about the base is that is looks a lot smaller than I thought it would be, I knew the size when I ordered it, but seeing it in its physical form made it just look a tad smaller than I had expected.

Turning the table over you get to see all the ribs in the back, for mounting it to the trolley that Axminster sell, as well as the holes for the mounting brackets for the fence and the out-feed support which I may invest in soon.

Item 1.

Will the Kreg Fence Fit? – No….  I have two different Kreg Router Fences, The original version, which I think is slightly better which is made from a square box section, stronger than the newer version, the only annoying feature is that the dust collection port is off-set to the center and thus does not work that well. The second one that I have is the newer version made from an ‘L’ shaped extrusion, both of these have a similar way of mounting to a router table, which involves screwing them either into the base of the table from the bottom or the side. This would be OK if the UKJ Cast Iron top was say the same thickness as an MDF or Laminated version, and also if screw holes matched, which they do not. So I was a bit pissed at this stage, I really hoped that I could have used either of the two fences that I have, but because the holes do not align up or the fact that the new versions bracket will just not fit at all without a lot of work and cost, I therefore now have to buy the Professional fence system from Axminster to match the table top….  Bummer.

 

Item 2.

Create a Cabinet…  Now that I have the Table Top in front of me, it should be a simple thing to create a cabinet for this, I need to take into account a few things though. There will need to be a gap underneath the router table so that I can still install the ‘Extension Table‘ Add-on. I also need to put the cabinet on casters so that it can be moved around a workshop. It needs to have good dust extraction, drawers for cutters, collets, spanners, jigs, guides and other routers that I have. I could of course purchase the UJK LKeg Table Stand, but this just would not offer me anything that I need. More on this later.

 

Item 3.

Make it so it can be dismantled…  This should be relatively easy, that said I still need a bit of thought to make sure that I do not cock this up…

So I have gone from saving some money using the Kreg Fences to now costing a small fortune to get up and running with a new router table…

The Build

So enough waffle! Now on to the build itself….

First thing is first, Measure the table!

I have uploaded a photo here to show all the measurements that I have made of the underside of the UJK Professional Router Table, as the table is pretty symmetrical I have omitted any duplicate measurements to keep the image as clean as possible.

Now that I know the dimensions of the Table Top I just need to find out the clearance required for the Extended Table Top Option, for this I need to get hold of the item so another order is required.

Pro's

Con's

  • Cast Iron – So it’s Solid, Milled to be as flat as possible and being Cast Iron it’s not going to warp.
  • No Need to cut out the hole for the router plate/lift.
  • The Cost! well not really, yes it does cost £332 plus a big wack for delivery, but its kind of worth it.
  • It’s going to last forever as long as I keep it maintained.
  • Its a quality item.
  • Even though this is the ‘Professional’ version, it is rather on the small side, but I suppose that most people would be very happy with the size.
  • As I have now found out, Kreg fences will not work with this table top unless you are willing to do substantial modification to the mounting plates.
  • The Cost! Its not just the table top, but all of the things that you need to purchase to make this work for you.