Porter Cable Router Table

Sourwould

Taylor
User
Hey y'all.

I've been using my temporary router table way too long. Was thinking of picking up one of the Porter Cable portable router tables. Looking for mini reviews if any of you have owned one of these.
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I really need a portable table as much as I'd love a big cast iron shaper.

I've also had my eye on an old cast iron Rockwell table, but it's really small (like 9x14).
1214-A.jpg
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
I had the delta router/shaper that had an integrated router that looked a lot like the porter cable table you posted. I wasn’t a fan of the single speed router and sold it.

C6319AD9-39D4-45D7-BD6C-6F4B1D01C75B.jpeg

The fence system was a little annoying as it’s two parts and the table grooves seemed to catch what I was routing. The fence also lacked a great deal of adjustability. It also helps to bolt or clamp the whole thing down otherwise the whole unit may slide with the piece you’re routing.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Do a little searching for table top router tables, and then build yourself one. I'm not a fan of the grooves in any table top, router, band saw, or table saw.
 

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
The first router table I had back in the 70's was the Craftsmen version similar to that PC. Used it with a quarter inch Craftsman router. When every project involved carrying all my tools from the spare bedroom to the patio and back inside that evening small was the order of the day. If you bolt or clamp them down for stability you can do light jobs fairly easily. Flash forward to 2012 and finally building an actual shop. One of my first projects was a full size router table with a lift and 1/2 inch collet router. Everything was so much easier, convenient, safer and accurate that I wondered why I ever thought the Craftsman setup was at all reasonable. You do what you can with what you got, but if you have the room go with a full size setup for a router table.
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
I used to have one like it, I wasn't a fan. The table is too small for anything bigger than a cheeseboard, and the fence, dust collection, miter gauge, inserts etc. were poor at best. Both Rockler and MLCS make decent "kits" (table, fence, plate) that you can buy and then install on top of your own cabinet or in your table saw (if it's a standard size). That's a decent compromise between building and buying.

If you do want to go the full build route, there are lots of plans available for a "New Yankee" style cabinet, such as this one. Keep in mind that building it yourself isn't always cheaper. MDF, laminate, glue, hardware, etc. it all adds up.

The smaller router table like you showed frequently comes up on Craigslist, typically around $20-$40. That's hard to beat if you need something now that's better.
 

Sourwould

Taylor
User
The first router table I had back in the 70's was the Craftsmen version similar to that PC. Used it with a quarter inch Craftsman router. When every project involved carrying all my tools from the spare bedroom to the patio and back inside that evening small was the order of the day. If you bolt or clamp them down for stability you can do light jobs fairly easily. Flash forward to 2012 and finally building an actual shop. One of my first projects was a full size router table with a lift and 1/2 inch collet router. Everything was so much easier, convenient, safer and accurate that I wondered why I ever thought the Craftsman setup was at all reasonable. You do what you can with what you got, but if you have the room go with a full size setup for a router table.
This is basically what I'm doing. If it's really loud or makes a lot of dust, I do it outside.

I really wish there was a company producing high quality small footprint tools.
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
This is basically what I'm doing. If it's really loud or makes a lot of dust, I do it outside.

I really wish there was a company producing high quality small footprint tools.
MLCS, Bosch and bench dog make a small router table. Another option would be to build a simple plywood box and use an insert or mount the router directly to the box.

I had planned to build a full size table with cabinet for my router but have found my bench top solution of an old laminate counter scrap with oversized legs works well for me. It stores easily and I can move it wherever I want to.
 

Sourwould

Taylor
User
MLCS, Bosch and bench dog make a small router table. Another option would be to build a simple plywood box and use an insert or mount the router directly to the box.

I had planned to build a full size table with cabinet for my router but have found my bench top solution of an old laminate counter scrap with oversized legs works well for me. It stores easily and I can move it wherever I want to.
I will probably end up doing this. Mdf gets heavy fast tho.
 

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