Rockler’s Ultimate Router Table

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Rockler ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Top, Pro Lift, 32” ProFence and Stand

Rockler ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Top I Pro Lift I BenchDog 32'' ProFence I Rockler Stand

5/5
Manufacturer: Rockler
Model number: Rockler Router Table
Weight: 100
We recently had the chance to test out The Rockler ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Top, Pro Lift, 32” ProFence, and Stand. The reason for the long title is because this is a premium shop setup that Rockler offers. Many, if not all of these items can be purchased as separate items, or in scaled-down kits.

Rockler ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Top, Pro Lift, 32'' ProFence and Stand

A router table is one of those tools that seem too simple to be essential. After all, it’s nothing more than a flat work surface, an adjustable fence, and an opening in the tabletop through which a router bit protrudes. On the job site we can often rig up make-shift router tables with plywood to perform basic routing tasks like cutting dados, grooves, and rabbets or profiles like round-overs and chamfers.

While the setup of a router table can be distilled into a few fundamental components, it is naive to think that all router tables are the same. A good router table provides a high degree of control, accuracy, and safety, especially with big bits. It also enables the use of adjustable fences, hold-downs, stops blocks, and dust-collection ports.

The Rockler ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Top with Pro Lift setup includes:

● Rockler Benchdog ProMax cast iron router table top
● Steel router table leg assembly
● 32” Bench Dog ProFence
● Rockler Pro Lift, 3/8” thick machined aluminum plate
● 1-1/2” aluminum insert ring
● Bit guard
● Dust port
● Jointing shims

Rockler BenchDog ProMax Cast Iron Router Table

The Rockler ProMax Cast Iron Router Table is a 1-1/2” thick solid cast iron table machined flat. It weighs around 100 pounds to provide router bit vibration dampening. The table measures 32” x 24” and trust me when I say, this tabletop will never sag. It’s built to last. In fact, one of my first impressions was that this is a “life-time” router table set-up!


Under the table is a 10-point plate leveling system with pre-tapped holes that allow you to install the router plate flush and lock it down.

The table has a Dual Track with Universal T-track and a miter slot machined directly into the table’s surface.

Rockler BenchDog ProFence Router Table Fence

The ProFence is a one-piece aluminum fence that is fully machined and rigid. The machining is beautiful and dead flat. Two MDF sub-fences slide in a T-track and provide for zero-clearance setup. The front of the fence has an adjustable bit guard and the rear has a 2-1/2” dust port.

The ProFence also features EZ-Load Universal T-tracks that accepts 1/4” and 5/16” T-bolts as well as 1/4” hex bolts for feather boards and other accessories. We mounted feather boards to both the cast table and ProFence T-tracks with ease. The placement of both allowed us to achieve safer milling.

 

Rockler Pro Lift Router Lift

The Rockler Pro Lift was made for this tabletop. It accepts router motors with a 4.2” diameter.
It has a Quick-Gear rapid height adjustment and tool-free Snap-Lock insert ring that releases with the push of a button. The insert ring has a 1-1/2” opening; additional inserts and zero clearance inserts are sold separately.

The Pro Lift has two motor raising options; ”Quick-Gear” and “Fine-Adjustment’ Dial. The Quick-gear has a 4-to-1 gearbox ratio. It moves the router lift’s brass bushings up or down fast for bit changes or large adjustments and the fine-adjustment dial is used to get precise final heights to within 0.001”.

There is an Anti-backlash mechanism to keep the router from creeping downward which I had to adjust after about 6 months of regular use. A simple quarter turn was all that was needed to make this adjustment. A column locking knob provides further insurance when running large milling jobs.

The precision-milled aluminum plate measures 8-¼’’ x 11-¾” x ⅜”. It fits openings on Rockler and Bench Dog router tables.

Of all the components on this router table, the Pro Lift is the best and our favorite feature!

Rockler Steel Router Table Assembly

The steel router table leg assembly consists of 16 pieces and results in a sturdy leg assembly with adjustable leveler feet. Once assembled we were able to quickly and easily level the stand using a ¾” wrench. The ProMax cast-iron tabletop was then installed onto the leg assembly with 4 screws.

Note – the lower cross-sections of the leg stand are a perfect height to mount a shelf or build in a small router bit storage box.

There are pre-drilled holes in the vertical legs on the front of the stand for mounting Rockler’s 15 Amp On/Off switch with a “Stop Paddle” to quickly shut off the power.

Using the Rockler ProMax Cast Iron Router Table

I needed to mill up a bunch of window sill stock and felt that this would be a great way to break in the new router table.

The fence quickly and accurately adjusts but the secret sauce is the Pro Lift, man is this thing sweet. It’s fast, smooth, and precise. I think back to my earlier days of crouching down to reach under the table to adjust my router while simultaneously looking on top for the router bit adjustment, damn I hated doing that – no more!

Dust Collection

I connected the 2-1/2” ProFence dust port to my Jet dust collector and had virtually zero airborne dust or sawdust on top of the table while routing. There was significant sawdust on the floor below and I’m sure dust collection efficiency could be improved with a dust box or an under-mount dust collector.

Cost – A lifetime investment

The Rockler ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Top with Pro Lift sells as a complete kit for $999.00. This is Rockler’s “Mercedes grade” offering. Amortized over 10 years, this table will cost you $8.00 a month, but I’m pretty sure this setup will last you a lifetime. Your kids and grandkids will be using it.

This setup is a beautifully designed and impressively engineered router table for both the hobbyist woodworker and professional carpenter.

As simple as a router table may be, it has an endless amount of woodworking applications. However, like many other woodworking tools, it is only as good as the way it is built.

 

Overall Impression

A router is one of the most versatile power tools ever created, but mounted in a table it provides a high degree of control, accuracy, and safety, and let’s not forget the ability to collect sawdust. The Rockler ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Top with Pro Lift set up is an investment that will increase your accuracy and improve your functionality in the shop.

We highly recommend it.

Rockler’s Ultimate Router Table Video Review

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/@https://twitter.com/robertrobillardRob Robillard

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