Bench Dog Router Station - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

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Bench Dog Router Station



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Bench Dog has done a great job at bringing a very functional router table and lift to the woodworker who has limited space in their shop. The ProMax cast iron table bolts to most standard table saw tables, replacing the left-hand wing. The beauty of this is that you don’t need a separate router cabinet to take up valuable floor space in the space-challenged shop. At 100 lbs, make sure that you have a helper around when you bolt the ProMax to your table saw. The table comes equipped with two tracks to allow the use of feather boards, mitre gaug­es and any shop-made router jigs you can dream up.

Sitting in the middle of the ProMax table is the ProLift. The ProLift uses 12 levelling screws inserted in the bottom of the ProMax table to ensure that the ProLift is completely level and flush. Now, as you can imagine, levelling a dozen separate levelling screws takes some time, but once you get it done you won’t have to worry about it again. The only component on the ProLift that I wasn’t sold on was the round inserts used to close up the gap in the center. These inserts have six small Phillips-head screws that take far too much time to remove every time you need to change a bit or change the size of the insert.

The best part of the ProLift is the actual router lift hanging from the bottom. When I first took this component from the box, I was immediate­ly impressed with its mass and weight. The ProLift is the most robust lift I have ever used. Its most notable feature is the ACME direct drive screw that raises and lowers the router. With no belts or gears to slip or strip, it seems that derailing this lift would be practically impossible. There is no perceivable backlash, which ensures positive adjustment every time. The index disk at the end of the custom-designed chrome-plated speed wrench allows you to dial-in adjustments .001" at a time.

The ProFence 32 is a full-service fence that is a cinch to use. It comes equipped with adjustable MDF sub-fences that are easily reproduced to allow you to bury a bit and not worry about ruining the sub-fences. The fence also comes with a built-in T-track to attach feather boards and a 2 ½" dust extraction port to keep the dust to a minimum. When not in use, the fence stores under the table on two hooks to keep it out of the way and safe from knocks and drops.

Together, all of these components create a pretty impressive router station that will do anything you want it to. Not only is it fully function­al, but it takes up no more room in your shop. In my 170 sq ft shop, that is the best feature of them all.