Sometimes, less really is more. Take router tables for instance. It's not at all difficult to ring up a big tab for a manufactured router table, complete with a new router, loaded with convenience, durability, adjustability and precision. But to me, the compelling thing about a router table is that it converts a portable power tool into a stationary power tool and thus expands its utility and versatility.
A router table can be simple and quite inexpensive to make without sacrificing functionality. A basic table can be just as versatile, accurate and easy to use as one of those grandees but cost far less.
I just finished making a $100 router table (excluding the router). I bought most of the materials and hardware at a local home center. There's no router mounting plate to buy; the router attaches directly to the hinged top.
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