Woodworking projects have taken a whole new step in the right direction in the past couple of years. What was once seen as a not-so-profitable venture is now a major income stream to a new generation of do-it-yourself entrepreneurs and the likes. Woodworking has evolved from what it once was, as it’s no longer the basic hustle that it used to be back in the day. This is likely due to the plethora of new power tools that have brought life to the industry, the brilliance of the people using them, and the people producing them’s industrial savvy. Now woodworking has taken a whole different direction, and people are now investing time, effort, and money into being the best woodworkers they can be. One of the tools contributing to such a major growth in the industry is the router table, which has shaped up the game in more ways than none.
Here, we will be shining a light on the best router tables that money can buy, discussing why power tools, and especially router tables are essential for successful woodworking projects, explaining what a tabletop CNC router is, why it is the best option for home improvement projects, discussing a few key elements to look for when looking for a tabletop CNC router. We’ll be concluding by discussing different tabletop types and their uses. So without further ado, let’s get to cheffing the finest projects woodwork can offer!
Why Are Power Tools Essential For A Successful Woodworking Project?
Power tools are indispensable in the woodworking industry, and their influence on the noble craft has only kept on growing over the years. They come in different shapes and sizes, uses and specifications, types and features, and are amongst the finest inventions known to the woodworking industry. Here are some of the best of the bunch. You can use them to make your woodworking masterpiece come to fruition.
The corded power drill is one of those tools that you don’t know how special they are till you get your copy. It ticks many boxes, and its versatility has contributed in no small part to making some of the finest woodworks that don your houses and offices. Corded power drills are more useful when compared to cordless ones, as they can perform more functions, and they’re relatively cheaper. Ensure that you check all the specifications before you make the purchase!
Random Orbit Sander
You might be wondering how something so “random” managed to find a spot on our illustrious list, but the only thing random about the random orbit sander is its name. This power tool is one of the most useful, thanks to not leaving patterned scratches in the workpiece. It is perfect for woodwork finishing, working from scratch, and adding that special something to an already stacked project. Also, ensure that you have a ready supply of grits available, as the key to proper sanding is to use progressively finer grits!
There was no way we’d create a list of the top power tools for you to purchase without including the legendary table saw on the list. This power tool needs no introduction, as it’s simply put the one of the most essential any woodworker, handyman, or do-it-yourself entrepreneur must have in his or her arsenal. The table saw has been described as the “heart and soul of every woodworking shop—the centerpiece around which all of the other tools are used and organized.” Table saws come in different shapes and sizes. Just make sure you purchase one that’ll fit the bill and improve your productivity. You’re sure to get value for money!
The Router And Router Tables
Possible the most important power tool a woodworker can have, and a personal favorite for us in the team. A router is an indispensable tool that makes work easier, more efficient, tidier, and simply more professional than when it isn’t utilized. They are “are used to shape decorative contours on workpieces, and they are excellent at cutting rabbets and dados.” There are many routers and router tables available today, and it’s merely a matter of preference when talking about the one to utilize. You could go for a more pocket-friendly option if woodworking is a mere hobby, but you should purchase a high-grade version if you’re into this on a commercial scale. All of the above-listed power tools are essential for a successful woodworking project. You’ll know exactly what we mean once you start using them!
The CNC Router
The pick of the bunch, and the king of the jungle, the computer numerical controlled router has made some of the most complex woodworking projects a piece of cake, and it has made a mockery of some of the tedious practices that we made a commonplace in the not so further past. This machine takes the tasks of “measuring, wood carving, planning, drilling, cutting mortises and tenons” out of the hands of the woodworker, and it puts it in the hands of a well-optimized computer, so what more can we ask for.
CNC routers were previously only used in big-time woodworking companies, but times have changed, and do it yourself entrepreneurs have seen the light. Now the companies that produce such routers have noticed, and they are producing pocket-friendly routers that are super useful for the less financially buoyant. Moreover, it’s a small price to pay for a machine that is renowned for fetching woodworkers a remarkable amount of money, a spectacular amount of precision, and more often than not, a wonderful finish that’ll bring all debates to a standstill. Tabletop CNC routers are the best options for home improvement projects because they are more affordable when compared to commercial routers, they are perfect for the intermediary tasks they out to perform, and they give the handyman more room to busy himself on another project. At the same time, the computer does the bulk of the work.
Things To Look Out For In Tabletop CNC Router
There are a couple of things to look out for in a proper tabletop router. These are the essential components that your router must possess, and anything short of that would be a disservice to you and your craft. Here they are.
A Flat, Solid Top
You must pick out a tabletop CNC Router with a flat and solid top, as that’s the only way you can get a smooth and superb finish. It’s no news that “even minor irregularities in the surface can lead to skewed joints, uneven edge profiles, and other problems,” so it’ll do you a world of good to get that in order.
A Flat, Rigid Base Plate
Asides from the flat and solid top, your router table needs a flat and solid base plate. The reason being that “the quality and layout of the base plate can have a considerable impact on the functioning of the table.” So it’ll do you a world of good to get that sorted out before you even think of making the purchase. Also, it’s essential that your base plate is compatible with your router, hence why we always advise woodworkers and handymen to purchase the full package in one location.
An Accurate, Easy-to-Position Fence
While many rookies do it yourself, entrepreneurs sleep on this; the more seasoned veterans know that there’s no avoiding this essential component of a proper tabletop CNC Router. This component is super important, as it is key to putting your wood in one place and finely chopping it to your specification. There are two basic types of fences: a one-piece fence and a two-piece or split fence, and what would determine your purchase ought to be the level of your woodworking nous. However, to stay on the safe side, it would be a smart choice to purchase the “sturdy one-piece fence frame outfitted with split sub-fences or fence faces.” That should do the trick!
A Sturdy, Stable Base
The last but surely not the least component you need to look out for in a proper tabletop CNC Router, we are talking about the Sturdy and Stable Base. Put, “If you want clean, crisp cuts, you need to keep the workpiece in consistent contact with the cutter and advance it at a smooth, fluid rate.” It’s hardly possible achieving this without a sturdy, stable base, so the choice is yours. It’s pretty hard to accomplish your woodworking goals when the base is wobbly and imbalanced. That’s why this component is simply non-negotiable.
Different Table Top Types and their Uses
Here are the different tabletop types and their uses. Ensure that you go through this with all tact and precision because you’ll certainly learn a thing or two.
T-Slot Table Top
T-Slot Table Tops are the favorite choice of small-time woodworkers that are simply jumping on the trend for the first time. They come with some merits, such as ease of use, economical energy consumption, and the relatively inexpensive nature. However, when purchasing a T-Slot Table Top, you should know that there is a slew of limitations that you’d be forced to live with till you possibly level up. Oh well, at least we’re starting from somewhere.
Vacuum Table Top
The Vacuum Table Top has an ingenious way of keeping the material securely in place by applying a vacuum from underneath. This tabletop can be gotten from retailers all over the United States of America, and they are perfect for replacing clamps. The biggest pro of this tabletop is that they’re significantly faster than the clamps, while the biggest drawback is that it requires constant maintenance, uses a significant amount of electricity. It isn’t particularly economical compared to the other entries on this list.
Perforated Table Top
If you thought that the T-Slot Table Tops were a bargain, then you’ve certainly not come across the Perforated Table Top, the epitome of cost efficiency in the business, maybe because they require the least amount of material to produce. They are properly equipped with different perforation types, and all that you have to do is ensure that you don’t perform dust removal until the end of the day.
Disposable Table Top
The last tabletop but surely not the least on our list, the Disposable Table Top stays true to its tag as it is composed of layers of high-density MDF boards, is ideal for first-time CNC router operators. This tabletop is super versatile, and it can be added to tables that already have non-disposable tops. Like most of the tabletops on this list, it is used mainly by handymen on the rise.
Finding the best router table takes a significant amount of work, time, patience, and occasionally bargaining acumen. It is something that’ll go a long way in making your woodworking career more productive, more enjoyable, and, if you play your cards right, more profitable. So the least you can do is devote some time and effort to getting the most useful tabletop CNC Router on the market.
A tabletop CNC Router is possibly the best power tool that there is, and it’ll be a great service to your craft if you purchase it and master it. It’s only going to be an upward curve from therein. Don’t forget to ensure that all the key elements are properly fitted, as you enjoy a new addition to your side gig or main profession!