Woodworking routers are one of the most popular tools because of their unique versatility. Although using a router free-hand is useful for rounding over corner edges or even cutting dados, the real value of a router is when it is in a router table. Someone told me many years ago that 90 percent of things you can do with a router - require a router table. That comment has stuck with me for many years and I still agree with it.
The new Freud Router Table is not much different than their original version of a few years ago, with the biggest change being in the capabilities of the fence. In the older "Ultimate Router Table" in order to remove the router from the router table it was necessary to completely remove the 2 large hold-down/fence-adjustment bolts. Even more annoying was the fact that if you were making raised panel doors for example, after you made the rails and styles and wanted to move on with the the actual raised panel portion of the door, again you had to completely remove the 2 hold-down/fence-adjustment bolts. Now this isn't huge deal, but if you made a lot of raised panel doors like I do, this was very annoying to have to re-set up the fence each time.
The new Deluxe Router Table solves this problem by having not 2 but 4 hold-down/fence-adjustment bolts, and they, along with the whole new fence design, are all on slides now. This means the whole fence can slide back and forth the full distance of it's adjustment without having to remove any of the hold-down/fence-adjustment bolts. This also means that if you want to take the router out of the table, again, you can simply slide the whole fence back far enough with all the hold-down/fence-adjustment bolts in place, and still remove the router and base plate.
The other nice feature of the new router table is the micro fence adjustments on BOTH the left and the right have been re-instated .. and more, click Read More for more information on the Deluxe Freud Router Table
In more recent years, in order to keep pricing competitive, Freud had changed the micro adjustment on the fence so that only the left hand side had the micro adjustment. Having this feature means that it is possible to actually "joint" wood on this router table. The Deluxe table means that this feature is just a little bit easier to use, plus if you are doing some specialty cuts and need the micro adjustment on either side, now it is available.
This router table is often available as a package with the Freud FT2200 router, which is a 2.5 horsepower plunge router, and an excellent router. The only disadvantage with this router is that when it is used in a router table the height adjustment is by means of the height adjustment knob which is under the table when this router is mounted on a table.
I opted to upgrade to the newer FT3000 which is also a 2.5 horepower router, but the big difference is that this router has a height adjustment socket in the base of the router. This means what when the FT3000 is mounted in a router table you can adjust the height of the router from on top the table, just like the expensive router lifts that are available. Of course either the FT2200 or the FT3000 can still be used free hand if needed.
The advantage of having the height adjustment on the top of the table means it is much easier to make the height adjustments rather than reaching down underneath the router when it is mounted in the table, AND of course this also means that changing bits is now at table top level and not by trying to reach underneath the router or removing it altogether from the router table.
All in all the new Deluxe Freud Router Table is a great value and a very userful tool for the workshop.
Copyright: Colin Knecht