Choosing A Router Table
For years I’ve been using a Craftsmen table top router table when I needed mill rabbits, dados and other routing projects. More recently I’ve begun doing more complex work which requires a more versatile and accurate setup. This new need led me to start searching for a better router table. One of the most important features for me is space because my new workshop has limited space. I also wanted a high quality product with accuracy and durability.
After doing some research one particular router table caught my eye, the ProMax Router Table Extension for Table Saws by Bench Dog. The ProMax router table extension is a new and improved version which offers some great new features. So I contacted the folks at Bench Dog Tools and asked them if I could demo their ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Extension for Table Saws and share my experience with the readers of this site.
Bench Dog ProMax Review
The ProMAX extension wing is a high quality cast iron router table that bolts onto a standard “contractor” style table saw instead of the standard wing. Most any standard router attaches to the table thus creating a professional grade router table. If you truly appreciate quality, durable tools then I think you’re going to be very pleased with this one!
ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Specifications
- Solid Cast Iron Industrial Grade Router Table Top (replaces existing table saw extension wing)
- Fits all contractor-grade table saws and all right-tilt cabinet-grade table saws that have 27-Inch deep by 1-1/2-Inch thick cast iron tables.
- Includes Bench Dog 28-Inch ProFence
- Standard Miter Gauge Slot
- 1/4-Inch Standard T-Slot for Mounting Accessories
- Four different standard router plates available to mount most popular routers, blanks are available to accommodate non-standard mounting holes.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
ProMax Router Table Installation
Anytime you order a product from one manufacturer that’s supposed to fit another manufacturer’s product you take the risk of complications. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the ProMax extension table fit my Delta Contractor Table Saw. I was also quite impressed with the quality and accuracy of the installation instructions. The instructions come with very easy to understand directions along with great photos and illustrations.
The only problem I had was trying to install the ProMax by myself. The directions specifically say to have another person help you and I ignored that and almost paid a price for it. Please take their advice and have another person help you install the heavy cast iron table top. It’s extremely difficult to hold it in place and try to install the connection bolts by yourself. Trust me when I say you’re likely to hurt yourself if you try to do it alone.
Trying to buy quality tools can be a bit of a challenge these days. This tools is certainly an exception and one that is clearly well built and detailed. The cast iron table caught my eye and it’s very impressive once it’s attached to the table saw. The ground cast iron creates an unbeatable work surface that will last for years to come. There are lots of MDF and plastic router tables on the market that just won’t last like this cast iron table. The ProFence is also a high quality fence with several great features.
Versatility and Options
The versatility and options of this router table are what make this a great choice for small workshops like mine. I don’t have the luxury of a huge shop where I can have a dedicated router table and cabinet. My table saw is the main piece of equipment so I wanted a router table that could be included in the table saw.
The ProFence can be easily removed and stored below the router table. This makes it very easy to switch from the table saw to the router table without spending lots of time on setup. I really like the split MDF sub-fences that come with the ProFence. These are great when you use large router bits so you can adjust the fence and keep it close to the bit and your work.
The miter gauge slot and 1/4-inch T-slot on the router table are extremely versatile. You can easily mount the Bench Dog Feather-Loc featherboards and other accessories which improve productivity and safety. The slots also help improve the versatility of the table saw by adding a second miter slot which works great for a cross-cut sled.
The router table also comes with dual slots for mounting the ProFence. This allows you to cut on either side of the router which gives you the option to cut on the right side with a much larger table surface.
Working safely in a workshop is extremely important to me. I really like the adjustable bit guard on the ProFence. You can easily adjust the height so the guard is positioned just above the bit and/or work piece. This combined with the dust port allows for a clear view of the work area without danger of materials flying out towards you.
I’m very impressed and pleased with the ProMax Router Table Extension. This router table offers a great value combined with versatility and quality construction. I definitely recommend this router table for anyone looking to save shop space while having a professional grade router table. Extreme hobbiest will likely tell you to build your own router table, but it’s hard for me to see how you can build one as good as this for such a great price. At just $350 this is one industrial grade router table that just can’t be beat.
It’s also worth mentioning that Bench Dog Tools also offers a wide range of router tables to choose from. You can also buy the new ProMaxRT Cast Iron Free Standing Router Table with over 5 sq. ft. of surface area for applications that require a large working surface. If you’re interested in seeing more of these products then check out their latest catalog.