Gazette Archive 4/22/00
Tool Review: Rockler 1/4" Machined
Aluminum Router Table Plate
Most router plates I have seen in catalogs and magazines are made up of primarily 3/8" phenolic, acrylic, or polycarbonate. The Rockler plate is made of 1/4 machined aluminum and anodized in a sky blue color. It measured 7 15/16" x 11".
|Rockler offers predrilled mounting for Porter Cable models 7529/690/693/7518/7539. Dewalt Plunge 2HP router, and Bosch models 1617 and 1618.I ordered the plate for my Porter Cable 7518. This saves me a lot of time trying to center my router onto the plate. The fit was perfect.|
|I used a straightedge and checked for flatness. The result was a true flat piece of metal.|
plate came with 2 HDPE inserts with mounting screws and 4 leveling
screws. The inserts had openings of 1 1/4" and 2 3/4".
inserts installed, it measured 3 1/2".
The inserts are attached using 3 machine screws. I thought this was a nice feature because I have used a router plate where the inserts snapped in and found it very difficult to pry open and snap in the rings.
|If you do a lot of template routing, the 1 1/4" insert accepts guide bushings.The one thing this plate should have come with was a starting pin. I called Rockler and spoke to Steve Krohmer, who sent me the plate, and he said a newer version of the plate is coming out and will include the starting pin.|
The only instructions that came with the unit was a piece of paper explaining where to drill for the leveling screws (pic 6). I had to come up with a template in order to mount the plate properly. However, speaking to Steve again he said a template would be available in the fall.
The leveling screws are a nice feature, however, I would have preferred each corner of the plate be drilled and tapped for a set screw. I think it would be easier to level the plate.
Overall, I think the people at Rockler have developed a very fine product. I was very pleased with it and wouldn't hesitate recommending it to others. I would wait for the newer version with the starting pin and get the template for it when available.