There is no limit to what a router can do. That’s why just about every woodworker has one. But if you are using your router only as a handheld tool, you’re not taking full advantage of its versatility. Mounted in a table, the router becomes a super-accurate joinery machine that can spin out perfect sliding dovetails, and tenons that fit their mortises straight from the table. And you can also rout more consistent edge profiles because the router won’t tip. But if you want get the most out of your router table you have to know what to look for because a quality router table can be a serious investment.
When setting up your router table for the first time you need to make sure you get the basics right in order to work safely and get the most out of it. Time spent on setup will pay dividends in comfort and accuracy for years to come. The most important things you need to consider are making sure the height is right, ensuring the mounting plate is flat and level and checking that the fence is flat, straight, and square to the work surface. Once it’s setup properly you need to make sure you know how to feed the stock properly for maximum safety and efficiency.