Hawk Woodworking Tools - Router Table 940-0050 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Router Table 940-0050

Hawk Woodworking Tools - Router Table 940-0050

The Hawk Routershop features a tilting tabletop that, in essence, turns your router into a small tilt-arbor shaper.

$900 (As of 3/1/2006)

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Editor's Review: Router Tables

by Roland Johnson

review date: March 1, 2006

The author evaluated 13 router tables for the sturdiness of their tables and fences, for dust collection, and for ease of operation and setup. A good router table is flat and has a stout base and a fence able to support jigs and hold-downs.

The only router table in the test with a tilt top, the Hawk Routershop, in essence, turns your router into a small tilt-arbor shaper. With the router tilted, common bits can cut a wide variety of shapes. Set it at 90° to the steel table, and you’ve got a mortiser. A threaded rod-and-crank handle moves the router up and down when the table is tilted, or front to back when the table is flat. The stationary fence mounts to the front of the table with T-handled screws. A T-track located at the top of the fairly short fence sections allows use of jigs or hold-downs. A sturdy steel base supports the whole assembly—an interesting concept, but expensive for an open-base router table. For a woodworker who wants to increase the variety of molding profiles he can produce, or wants the basis for a horizontal mortiser, this table might be worth the money.

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Editor Test Results:

Flatness Test N/A
Fence/Guide Quality N/A

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Hawk Woodworking Tools
Manufacturer's Web Site http://www.rbiwoodtools.com
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-487-2623
Components N/A
Compatibility N/A
Table Size N/A
Materials Top: 1/4-in. steel; Fence: Two-piece aluminum

Dear friends,I am a Swiss woodworker and luthier.I own a routershop router table.I have purchased this unit through the factory's direct sale.As you can see I rated this table as poor.I would like to share my experience with my American and international friends. Maybe it will help for the right choice.In my opinion ,a router table must have a few obligatory (minimum) qualities:it must be deadflat, precise, and stable over time.It must have a good price/quality ratio. It must have a good after-sale service.1)My table is not flat: It is concave with a maximum 2mm deep at its center!2)The table is not precise.It is build with the lightest possible,cheapest material. 3)it is not stable overtime: the table top has a tendency to twist and warp: this is due to the design of the table (the fixed part).The after sale department is just there to sell not to help.I asked the company for help...So now you know what the RBI Hawks'5 year guarantee is worth!Conclusion: the price/quality ratio of this tool is poor.You are buying at your own risk.Nevertheless, I'd say that buying the routershop has taught me two things: 1) Never buy if you cannot see and touch the product 2) After a tremendously fastidious brainstorming cession I have found I can use the table as a flower pot stand!... Best regards to my American and international friends from Switzerland.

I purchased the RouterShop at a Woodworking show 3-years ago. Since that time it has become my only router table. I should also say that I got it for ~$650 instead of the $900 street price. Pros: The RouterShop comes with a substantial steel stand on rollers. I really like how with only a few standard bits (e.g. straight, combo, etc.) you can make so many different types of moulding. I also like the repeatability of cuts due to its threaded rod based indexing system. Another plus is that with only a straight bit you can cut mortises, tenons, spline groves, rabbits, raise panels, produce step mouldings, and joint small stock (the fence has an offset feature). Cons: The router sits low in, or actually below, the table top so a few bits are too short to use with the table. Also, because the router moves in the Y-axis (looking at the table from the front) you have to adjust the bit height from below the table instead of from up top as so many tables have allowed you to recently. Also, the table takes specially shaped solid plastic table inserts(they are very well made though),so if you rip one up too much (from moving the router on the Y-axis) you have to buy a replacement from RBI - but they do keep them in stock. In the end, I do miss a simpler, standard router table from time-to-time, but I'm very happy with the RouterShop and what it does. I was torn between rating it a 4 (good) and 5 (excellent), but I went with a 5, since the table does everything that it claims to do, as well as adding a new dimension to what you can accomplish in your shop.

I have had my table for two years. I use it for light home projects. The concept of the router table is fantastic. I feel that the table is under constructed,,,,table top should be made out of heavier material, the fence which comes with the table tends to move and the platform which the router mounts to is a bit light in construction. I have had problems with warpage with my table top. The company has been very good at replacing the top two times. I am using a 3.5 hp Milwaukee router in my table. Talking to the company they are telling me that this router is too heavy for the table even thought there is no recommended hp limit for the table. I have gotten to the point that I won't store the router in the table. When I am finished for the day I take the router out of the table because long term this causes warpage. I have reinforced the underside of the table so it wouldn't warp any more. Would I buy another Hawk router, If they beefed it up,,,made some changes, yes I would.

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