Precision | Horizontal | Bench Top | Table Top & Fence | Extension Router Table Tops | Phenolic Table
Rock Solid "Heavyweight" Router Table & Fence
"Heavyweight" Router Table
- Assembly Video
This "Rock Solid" Tilt-Up Top Table tips the scales at 120 lbs. but the SHIPPING IS FREE! This Heavy Duty Cast Iron and Steel Table has all of the added features for safety, ease, and convenience built-in.
This accessory set includes two Roller Spring Hold-Downs. Use only with the Heavyweight and Precision router tables.
all customer reviews and ratings
Average Customer Rating: (18 reviews)
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By Norman Evarts (Princton KS US)
By Trevor Thiessen (Wichita KS US)
I debated giving this a 2 star, but figured it's more good than bad. I purchased this router table in exchange for the table saw extension router table MLCS offers, due to the cast iron not being flat. This one is nice because it does not have the insert plate, and the cast iron table top is very flat. However, the fence system leaves something to be desired. There is only one clamp on either side to hold the fence in place, and the fence is not parallel with each other from right to left, which is just as bad as having a table that's not flat. The fence on the TS extension router table was a good fence, wish they would have used the same fence on this one. Also, the height of the fence is too short, if you ever need to route something on end. Also, the metal feather boards aren't quite as nice as the traditional kerfed ones, mainly because I couldn't get mine to give hardly any holding pressure without it having a tendency to gouge the wood with the somewhat sharp corners. If they had used the same fence as on the TS extension table, it would be tall enough to mount traditional featherboards to the fence, which I prefer.
As far as the instructions, they are very vague, but I did see that they offer a step by step video if you can't figure it out. I went mostly by the front pic and the exploded view of the table to assemble mine, didn't have too many problems. Overall it's not too bad a design, but missed the mark on the fence system.
By Philip E Burgess (Columbia TN US)
This table's unique design eliminates the need for a router lift. Height adjustments are done from a standing position with the table tilted. Just select a router with a friendly height adjustment and you are good to go.
Access for bit changes is good due to the large top removable plate.
The heavy cast iron top eliminates the "buzz" you get on most tables anywhere near this price. Solid stand and up front switch make this a great solution for my second router station. Nicely replaces my "C"man table buzz top.
Works great and a whole lot less expensive than the other tables.
By Nic H. (Central Minnesota US)
I just completed assembly of this table. Took two afternoons to complete due to the TOTALLY USELESS instruction manual. Pictures in the manual were worthless due to being too fuzzy to provide any help. Either a total rewrite with usable and more pictures or a CD should be included with this product. Though the finish is fair the rough edges need to be polished. The dust port could use some finish work also. I had to literally scrub the paper it was wrapped in off due to it sticking to the dust port.
After I finally completed the assembly process it is a sturdy table that exhibits no vibration problems. Table surface is clean, smooth and well done.
As stated by another reviewer you need to change the fence adjustment lockdowns to T-handles as they are placed to close to the dust port to conviently lock and unlock, somethin I will be doing myself.
Would have given a higher rating except for the above noted deficiencies.
By Bob Pearce (Paonia CO US)
Definitely a good deal but there is work to do. Instructions were poor but coupled with web photo you'll get it together. Does anyone deburr anything anymore?? I spent a good 1/2 hour or more deburring the razor sharp edges left on table perimeter and T slot. The clamping for the hold downs is rather sloppy and rickety. I bought the optional roller hold downs and was disappointed. Again no deburring. Straight from chop saw to paint. Ripped myself good on the chop saw tag that was left. Awkward and difficult router mounting but it does work. A centering jig would be helpful.
By Brad Terpstra (Pella Io US)
I bought this router table about 6 months ago. There is none to compare. This is an excellent table for the money. Only two things I would change: the black handles that tighten down the fence to the table need to be longer. They are hard to tighten down because of the 4" duct collection port is so close. If they could be about two inches taller with a T-handle would be great. The second is how the router mounts to the table. I had to add a 1/2" thick piece of solid surface material to the bottom so I could use my router bit extension.
Installing the router did take the longest to do, but I did drill through the top so I had an access hole for my Milwaukee router wrench.
I also mounted a power feeder to the table. Bolted it direct to the back left corner.
MLCS has an awesome table. No plates vibrating is awesome. I will soon have more of these tables in my shop.
By Daniel Shakesby (McKinney TX US)
I just finished assembling the table over the past weekend.
As stated by others, the instructions are a "mess". I relied on the exploded diagram view and the cover picture on the manual.
I must say that it is an awesome table and solid. I do have a question regarding how to actually mount the router. I have a Bosch 1617 and am having an issue with clamps and how the angle height seems to be too high and not touch the base of the actual router. I look forward to using but could use some help with mounting correctly.
By David Pederson (Ashippun Wi US)
Overall, this is an excellent table. The universal clamping system is excellent, it handled my 3.25 HP router without any fuss. However, I will echo other reviewers regarding their frustrations with the instructions. The assembly instructions were probably the worst I've ever seen, and I finally ended up using a trial-and-error approach to get the table together.
MLCS NOTE: Another revision to the Manual for this item is forthcoming. Each version is reviewed for clarity by multiple members of our woodworking and office staff prior to publishing. We also welcome SPECIFIC comments from customers on how the current instructions are lacking and we take those suggestions into account for future updates.
By Anonymous ( )
This table is extremely well made. I just finished putting it together but have not used it yet. I consider myself to be mechanically inclined but the assembly instructions made me question myself. I had to look at the picture from the web page in order to figure out what went where. I hope the table works as well as I think it will and that the pathetic instructions don't reflect on the quality or performance of the table.
By Michael L. Sweet (University Place WA US)
I've had this table for about 3 years now. I love it. I gave it 4 stars because the dust collection does not work very well. I also can't adjust my Milwaukee router from the top since there are no holes above for doing that. If there was it would still be difficult to re-align the router to that spot. I use the extended collet to align the router. I am hesitant to drill through the cast iron so that I can fit my wrench into the router from above.
I like the fact that this is heavy duty and the slide table is awesome. I am glad that I purchased it along with a full set of Katana cabinet bits. The company is a delight to deal with and I plan on purchasing additional items in the future.
By Matt Holwick (Olathe Ka US)
I have had my table now for almost 1 year. I've made a lot of raised panel doors with it. It's well built and easy to use. Mine does not have the lift handles or the new gas lift spring and those would have been the only additional things I would have liked to have seen on this table as sometimes trying to lift the table top and hold the table up while locking the arms into place is a challenge. Especially with the big Porter Cable production router mounted in it. Assembly and final adjustment is a little bit of a pain. Directions could be better. The dust collection port doesn't work as well as I would like but it's better than nothing. The fence can be a little awkward to adjust but with a little practice it gets easier. The only other complaint that I have is having to use an extension for some bits depending on the depth of cut you are trying to get. Word of advise, do not use a collet extension with a large panel raising bit. Way to much vibration and you may find that the vibration loosens the hold downs that are securing the router. This happened to me twice and cost me a $100 panel raising bit when the router fell out of the table. I no longer use an extension for big bits and have had no other issues with the router staying secure. Over all I think it is a great product and have no regrets. It has held up very well. I would purchase again if I needed another router table.
By Matthew DeRosby (Hampden ME US)
Web site: A+
Ordering process: A+
Customer Service: A+
Product delivery: A+
Product design/features: A+
Assembly instructions: F-
This is a beautiful router table. Could and should be 5 stars. I had to give it 4 because of the instructions - the worst instructions in the history of instructions.
It would be SO easy to create a video of an MLCS guy putting this thing together - MLCS could include this in the package as a DVD and/or post it as an online tutorial.
I know that I'm going to love my router table - it's the kind of high-quality tool that will need to be handed down to my kids. I'll never be able to wear this out or "outgrow" it. I only wish that I could get back the frustrating hours that I spent putting this thing together - especially the top assembly.
By Bob Bacon (Plymouth MA US)
I have used the older version for a couple of years. The most demanding thing I've done with it is make raised panel doors and drawers for 3 kitchens. It's been a terrific help, but it's not perfect: 1. It's next to impossible to keep both sides of the split fence parallel to the table top. I installed a 4 foot one-piece maple fence, which works well for most jobs. 2. As others have said, the dust collection not very good. On mine, I can plug the dust collector and the router into the switch box on the table leg, so one switch turns them both on. Good feature. 3. Mounting and centering the router is tedious. See the manual. There are four clamps that hold the router base to the table and it's hard to get them all positioned so that the router shaft is centered. 4. The most frustrating thing was that none of my 3 routers (Dewalt, Mikita, and Rigid) had a long enough shaft to reach the table. I ended up buying a router bit extension collet, which solved the problem. Apparently the new package comes with an extension, so that may no longer be an issue. I would prefer not to have to use an extension when I'm using a big raised panel bit, though. Although the cuts are accurate, the vibration is a bit unnerving. 5.Mine doesn't have the gas filed lifting spring or the handles, so raising the bed to change bits and adjust the height of the router is not realistic. The bit extension I bought requires an allen wrench to change bits. With a little patience and a contortion, I can do it from the top of the table. 6. Adjusting the height of the router is awkward. I have the table against a wall and can't leave it pulled out while I use it, so I reach under the table and around the router from the front. 7. I use the hold-down system for raised panels but prefer a coping sled for the stile and rail end cuts. 8. Finally, I would change a couple of minor things like replacing the switch with a paddle switch and adding some adjustment screws so the height and alignment of the sliding table could be fine-tuned.
I don't have any experience with other designs or brands, so I can't judge how this stacks up. This one might well be better than most. It is stable and flat, and the sliding table and hold down are helpful when you're routing large pieces. I use this table a lot and am satisfied with it,for the most part. I do a lot of things I couldn't do without a router table, and using a table is a lot safer and more accurate than doing them without one.
By Eric Kolda (Yankton SD US)
I have been woodworking since I was 12, now 38. I did a lot of research before purchasing this table. When I got the table it only took me about 1.5 hours to assemble including mounting the router. I cant say enough about this table, its solid, flat and worth more than what you pay. I would advise anyone looking for a router table to purchase this one you wont be disappointed.
By DUANE KOLDA (YANKTON SD US)
I HAVE BEEN WOODWORKING AS A HOBBY FOR 30 YRS AND HAVE USED MANY DIFFENT ROUTER TABLES THROUGHOUT THAT TIME. RECENTLY MY SON BOUGHT THE HEAVYWEIGHT FROM MLCS, I USED IT LAST WEEKEND. THIS IS THE BEST TABLE I HAVE EVER USED AND I HAVE USED MANY INCLUDING THOSE COSTING MUCH MORE AND RATED TO BE THE LATEST AND GREATEST BY PRESS. I HAVE ALWAYS SAID THAT THE ROUTER SHOULD BE PART OF THE TABLE NOT PART OF A PLATE THAT IS PART OF THE TABLE (JUST ANOTHER PLACE TO VIBRATE) I HOPE TO PLACE A ORDER FOR ONE OF THESE AS SOON AS I SELL THE ONE I HAVE NOW. THANK YOU FOR A GREAT MACHINE.
By Roger Winters (Lynch Station VA US)
This is a great table, especially like the tilt capability. Changing bits is easy once you remove the tables outter and inner rings around the bit. I look through the dust exhaust port (after removing the vacuum hose) and can see the bit clearly and can adjust the height of the bit from under the tilted table while watching the exact positioning of the bit against the object or measuring device. One draw back is the table top scratches easily and cedar wood dust will stain it if not cleaned immediately.
By Camee :o) (Green Bay Wi US)
Great table!!! A bit confusing when it came to mounting the router. The instructions kinda suck in general but for this part they were totally useless-for me. Other than that it truly is a great table for a great price.
By Richard Shrader (Scottsboro Al US)
I recently purchased the "Heavyweight" router table. They are not kidding when they tell you the weight. Suggest you get a friend to help with the lifting. Once assembled, the actual mounting of the router is somewhat challenging. This is the most difficult part of the whole assembly. I am using a Porter Cable fixed base router. It worked, but took a little persuading and a couple of off-color words. Once this is accomplished, the rest is easy. I suggest opting for the roller hold-downs. The fence could use a mechanism to offset the outfeed from the infeed for non-piloted cuts. However, this is the same on most of the available tables out there. A shim works just fine. The good part is the table is absolutely stable. No shake or vibration even when the router starts/stops. The dust collection chute works well and the table is absolutely FLAT. Assembly of the entire thing took about 2.5 hours. I did not need the extension with the Porter Cable router, but if doubt, it is a handy thing to have. I also suggest a mobile base. I used one from Woodcraft, but any heavy duty base will work. Overall, about a 4 out of possible 5. The only reason for the 4 is the instructions for mounting the router could be a little more clear, especially for new woodworkers. If you're a fan of the rock solid and foolproof table as I am, I would recommend it with confidence.