Author Topic: FWW #237 review of router tables and lifts  (Read 11209 times)

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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3673
FWW #237 review of router tables and lifts
« on: November 23, 2013, 09:10 AM »
Fine Woodworking seems to have laid yet another review egg.  In issue #237, the Tools & Shops Annual Issue, p. 40, Roland Johnson reviewed several router tables, including the CMS-GE.  The same author also reviewed several router lifts starting on p. 46.  I don't know why I should be, but I'm appalled at the lack of range of tables and lifts considered, and the absence of a solid review of router table fences.  The review of router tables left out several regulars like the one from Woodpeckers and Kreg while including multiple versions from General and Jessem.  The author didn't even mention the superb fences from Woodpeckers and Incra and barely addressed the CMS in the text.  No doubt the Excalibur 40-200C is a top-notch table with excellent dust collection due to the router box.  The thing that left me wondering if the author had even read the manual was his review rating of the CMS' dust collection as only  "Fair".  For an open router table, nothing that I've ever seen exceeds the dust collection capabilities of the CMS.  Really, Roland?  What were you smoking? 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

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Offline Slappy

  • Posts: 567
Re: FWW #237 review of router tables and lifts
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2013, 10:23 AM »
FWW not even comparing the Incra fence mean the whole fence review was flawed from the get go !

Just shows that who pays the PayOlla gets the review & they wonder why near nobody buys these mags any more .
 [mad]
Mike

Offline MahalaHomecraft

  • Posts: 146
Re: FWW #237 review of router tables and lifts
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 11:22 AM »
I feel like if you're looking for a review if a small compressor or a nail gun FWW is fine.  Outside of that, forget it.  It's unfortunate that it's really hard to find unbiased comparative reviews.
Makita track saw, C12, ro 90, ets 125, lr32, of1010, sortainer, surfix, European installer set, Trion ps300, 125 and 90 abrasive systainers, systoolbox, cleaning kit, CT midi, lr32 1400 rail, 2 regular 1400 rails

Offline copcarcollector

  • Posts: 1437
Re: FWW #237 review of router tables and lifts
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2013, 02:07 PM »
This was also in the 2014 "Tool Guide" issue (nothing like getting twice the mileage out of a single article)... I too noticed the lack of even a mention of Kreg and Incra, two huge names in the woodworking world and makers of great quality tools. What's the deal with that? I had considered writing them a letter, but really why bother?

When I first got into woodworking about a year ago, I bought their "2012 Tool Guide" issue. I thought it would be a nice reference and help me make some decisions. The "2013 Tool Guide" arrived a year later, with many of the same articles and reviews... word for word, picture for picture. Same goes for the 2014 issue, a few of the same "reviews" from two years past--- geeze, are there not enough new or interesting tools that come out over a years time to write all new content for a yearly guide?

I recently purchased my own CMS (Thanks Tool Nut!), so I guess I have to write my own review soon.

Offline leer

  • Posts: 255
Re: FWW #237 review of router tables and lifts
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2013, 02:08 PM »
Seems like they should consider renaming their magazine Fair Woodworking ...
Lee

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3673
Re: FWW #237 review of router tables and lifts
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2013, 03:54 PM »
I had considered writing them a letter, but really why bother?

I did write them.  Let's see how they defend themselves this time. 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3673
Re: FWW #237 review of router tables and lifts
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2013, 11:33 AM »
Just got a response from one of the editors at Fine Woodworking to the email I sent them regarding the article on router tables.  Let's see what, if anything, Rollie comes back with. 

Quote
Willy,

Thanks for the note. I’ll forward it to Rollie Johnson, so that he can address your concerns about the Festool router table. As for the Incra fences, those were not included because we were testing complete router table packages that included a solid phenolic, cast iron, or aluminum top. As was stated in the article, we excluded MDF core tables, because past testing has shown they are more prone to sagging that tables made from these other materials. All of Incra’s router table packages include tables with a MDF core, so they were eliminated from the test. Of course, if we do a test of router fences in the future, the Incra fences would be included. As for the Woodpecker table and fence, I admit that it was on oversight on my part when requesting tables for review. They do have two table packages with solid phenolic tables that should have been included in the article. That’s not Rollie’s fault, but mine.

When it came time to evaluate the fences, we examined them from the perspective of a furniture maker and the ability to joint is placed lower on the list of important features than adjustability and the like. I should also explain that because of the limited space available in a printed article, we must prioritize the features we use to evaluate a tool. We believe that when it comes to a router table that table flatness, fence straightness and adjustments, and dust collection are the most important criteria for evaluating them. As a result, those features were given the greatest attention in the printed article.

Rollie might email you directly, but might send me his response to pass along. I suspect that we won’t hear back from until after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanks for reading, and good luck in the shop.

Matt

---------------
Matt Kenney
Senior Editor
Fine Woodworking
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toll-free 800-926-8776 x3263
phone 203-304-3263
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mkenney@taunton.com
www.finewoodworking.com
www.taunton.com

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young