by Glen D. Huey
The Excalibur Deluxe Router Table Kit (#40-200) from General International is a complete shop setup that was introduced in late 2012. In adding the kit to our shop, we were reminded of its outstanding features.
The major components are a 32″ x 24″ tabletop that stands 36-1⁄2″ tall (choose from cast iron, MDF or phenolic), and a router lift that takes stability and smooth operation to a new level. Also included is a steel enclosure that houses your router and a fence with an integral 2-1⁄4″ dust port to provide optimal dust collection. A tubular-steel frame supports the top and lift. And yes, it’s mobile to make it far more convenient around your shop.
Unlike the traditional two-post design of most lifts (where a single lift screw carries the router up and down), on the Excalibur unit, lift screws are positioned at all four corners. A chain drives the lifts to raise and lower the router. It’s a smooth operation.
Bit changes above the table, which this setup easily allows, have become the standard. It’s quick and easy. Height adjustments are made using a crank handle that slips through the lift’s heavy-duty, aluminum top plate. The only drawback is that it’s possible to cover the crank location if you’re using an oversized jig.
Almost any size router motor can be used with this lift, however, it’s designed for today’s largest motors. To install other motors you need to use one of two available reducer collars; these are optional accessories.
Another top-shelf feature is the 3-3⁄4″-diameter insert rings and how they fit to the lift’s top plate. Excalibur uses rings that twist-lock to the plate – there are no small set screws to lose. A 1-1⁄2″-diameter opening is included with the lift; other opening sizes are optional. (A ring that fits well around your router bit increases dust-collection effectiveness and safety.)
Excellent Dust Collection
If you’re a regular router user, you know shavings and wood dust can quickly pile up as you profile mouldings or plow grooves. Dust collection is important and is often overlooked, or it’s a secondary thought during the design phase. Not with this setup.
The fence system has sliding faces that fit tight to your router bit; that’s for minimal air access to improve dust collection. Once set, the faces are easily locked into position.
The fence’s dust port is ducted into a 4″ port located on the back of the steel enclosure. Through one side of the enclosure you squeeze your power cord; on the other there is an adjustable air vent. With the vent properly dialed in, there is no place for dust to go other than into your collector.
The adjustable vent allows you to coordinate extraction and maximize efficiencies based on the power of your dust collector – the smaller your collector, the more wide open the vent.
After making many feet of moulding, I found only a trace amount of dust left in the enclosure.
I did quickly discover, however, that there is no on-board bit storage as there is in our other router cabinet. Even so, I think this router table would be a great addition to any woodworker’s shop.
From the November 2013 issue,#207