Bench Dog - Router Table(3) - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Router Table(3)

Bench Dog - Router Table(3)

A free-standing router table with fence accessories.

$415 (As of 10/25/2005)

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Editor's Review: A Survey of Router Tables

by John White

review date: October 25, 2005

For the small shop, a table-mounted router can do all that a shaper can and maybe more. Raised panels, box joints, dovetails, mortises, tenons, and moldings are but some of the operations possible with a router.

It’s not too difficult to cobble together a workable shopmade router table. But it may lack some features available from a commercially made table. There are many tables to choose from, everything from basic units costing about $50 to setups costing $500 or more, depending on the options. I looked at 15 tables for this article.

All router tables operate on the same basic concept. A router is mounted upside down, usually on a removable baseplate, although a few mount directly to the tabletop. For many operations, the router table is used in conjunction with a fence.

Most router tables are mounted to a stand, either a short one for benchtop use or a table-height one for freestanding units. Some router tables can be attached directly to the extension wing of a tablesaw. A benchtop model is good for its portability and small footprint. But the best of the freestanding units have larger tabletops and provide a more stable work surface.

The Bench Dog is a rugged, well-designed system. The fence is especially well made and easy to adjust.

Additional items required:
Model No. RT 400 table
Model No. AF 400 fence
Model No. CB 400 Base

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Editor Test Results:

Flatness Test Excellent
Fence/Guide Quality Excellent

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Bench Dog
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-786-8902
Components N/A
Compatibility Base plate: Acyrlic blank (predrilled plates available)
Size 24 in. by 32 in.
Materials Table: laminted MDF


I have owned this table for 5 years. At the time I bought it it was state of the art in router tables. This table is still very good, but could be better with a couple of improvements.First, the table is excellent for its solid feel and the accuracy available from the fence and miter gauge slot. The weight is sufficient to keep it from scooting across the floor when making heavy cuts or sliding heavy boards across the top. The doors are a nice touch. The top has never sagged and I have a Porter Cable 7518 mounted in it in a ProLift router lift (which weighs about 22 pounds, not including the router).Areas for improvement:First: The Cab-Loc wheel kit is interesting in its design, but does not work very well. If your floor is absolutely flat they are ok! I originally had a garage with uneven asphalt floors, approximately one inch different in places, and they would not roll. I now have a designated workshop with flat concrete floors and they are ok to roll across the floor.The are a pain to attach and a pain to use. They lock the table in place by lowering individual rubber coated studs, which require turning each wheel's stud knob until the table is lifted off the roller. Regular roller wheels with their foot levers work much much better and faster. I also think they are too expensive!Second: Dust collection from the fence is very good, but why doesn't Bench Dog design a lower dust collection port as part of the table. I had to rig up a system and cut a hole in the cabinet similar to the dust collection set up in Norm Abraham's router table. Otherwise, the sawdust collected very quickly and suffocated the router.Third:I purchased a Rousseau switch kit. I did this for two reasons; 1. I hate having to reach under the table to turn on and off the router, 2. The Rousseau has a large crash bar that you can turn off with your knee or whatever in the case of an emergency. The Bench Dog switch, while a nice switch, has a much smaller contact area to turn it off.I applaud Bench Dog for some very good products, but they should make some improvements.

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