Although introduced at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta in 2012, there has been relatively few published articles or blog posts written about the Excalibur Deluxe Router Table Kit from General International since its release. I, however, think this kit is well worth a close look. Why? It has many of the features I feel make a better router table setup.
The number one feature is the availability of a cast iron top. To my mind, this is perfect. It’s the choice on other important machines in the shop, such as the table saw top and band saw table, and it’s what is used for jointer and planer beds. And if you’ve had an MDF router table top for more than a few years, check the table flatness. Be careful because you may not be happy about what you find.
A second powerful feature for me is the router lift. By itself, a lift is the heart of your router table setup. The Excalibur lift is way cool. In the right-hand photo, take a look at the posts used to raise and lower the router. Count them out loud. One, two, three, four. That’s right – there are four corner lift screws instead of the two posts (and single lift screw) found on many other lifts. And those posts are driven by a chain; movement has to be smooth and easy.
Another great feature with the Deluxe Router Table Kit is dust collection. It begins with a workable fence system. I write “workable” because many of the fences I’ve used on router tables are clunky and difficult to properly adjust. This fence is simple. It has a built-in 2 1/2″ dust port that feeds into a standard 4″ diameter port that is attached to the rear of a steel box that wraps around the router motor. That box – and the adjustable vent which is dialed-in to work in conjunction with your dust collector’s size and abilities – also adds to the collection efficiency. All in all, if you properly set up this router table for dust collection, little dust is left in the box and even less shows up on the tabletop.
One last feature, and this is without a doubt why router lifts have become so popular, is the ease in changing router bits. The Excalibur lift allows above-the-table bit changes. This makes switching bits for compound profiles too easy to pass up. Check out the short video below.