Ever wonder why different companies make different size router plates? Although it can be somewhat aggravating, it does make sense if you look at it from a business level.
Aluminum Router Plate
- First of all, if a company makes a plate that only fits their table.
- A customer comes along and buys that plate to use to build their own table.
- Their table comes out great and they are happy.
- Their table does not come out great so they buy a table from the same place since they already have the plate.
Here is another
- Company makes a plate that only fits their table. Company also makes a lift that is the same dimensions as the insert plate.
- The customer comes along and wants to buy a more inexpensive router table and put the better lift into it, they find out it does not fit and then proceed to decide which they want more, the cool lift or the cheaper table.
RTD Universal Insert Plate
The Last Scenario
- Company C buys an insert from a previous made design that is available for purchase. They design and build their line of tables around that insert. This saves company C a lot of time developing and paying for a new plastics mold for a custom design.
- A customer comes along and sees a router plate from company C that looks the same as Company B, and wonders what the difference is.
- There is not difference if you look at the specifications that the vendor lists on their site.
- Noteworthy: A plate that measure 12” x 9” may actually be 12 1/16” x 9 1/8” some vendors take the short cut and say 12” x 9”
Bench Dog Router Table Insert
Router plate sizes tend to be proprietary since the insert cutouts only fit certain tables. Manufacturers are trying to get people devoted to one particular brand, theirs. The funny thing is it is not true in other aspects of the table. Lets look at miter track or t-track for example. Most miter track is “industry standard”, which means it accepts most third party ¾” accessories. The idea is to be able to sell the accessories as well as the table. Everyone carries accessories and there are some really neat ones out there. Here is the kicker, the “industry standard’ scenario is only as good as the factories specifications that made them. If they are just a hair off, the accessory may have a sloppy fit or may be even too big. I hear all the time that a miter gauge that came with someones table saw should fit this miter track. Actually it should but sometimes tolerances are not always right on the money. This can be from the tooling getting dull that the factory uses to cut or build these accessory parts.
Kreg Router Table Insert
Whether it is a router table insert or a router table accessory, look at the size and determine where you want to be in the future. Chances are pretty good that if you stay with the same vendor, website, company or brand, that you will be in good shape. Just know that there are differences out there and they come mostly from an economic standpoint.
Rousseau Router Plate
Bill on April 11, 2012:
I have a Bosch RA 1180 router table and the insert is 9x11.5 and nobody makes one to fit. The bushing kit I have will not work with the red inserts that come with it and Bosch don't make one.
Ken Schulte (author) on July 04, 2009:
Killer idea, you could even use that to make some individual jigs for special projects, I like it!
coonster from Rochester NH. on July 01, 2009:
Good info. another thing I've done with mine (chepo Ryobi table) is once it's mounted, take a sheet of hardboard (you could use Plexiglas, or similar material) and drill/cut it out for the router hole and fence slots, and lay the whole sheet over the table top. It’s a quick fix for small imperfections in the fit of the insert on the table, and makes for nice even cuts, especially important in joininery.
Ken Schulte (author) on June 07, 2009:
Your welcome, I will continue to add more information.
archturn on June 07, 2009:
Thanks for your article on router plate inserts.