When I was first setting up my workshop (slowly, over time), I got to the point of deciding between a router table (something I’d never experienced, or knew what it was really for), or a drill press (sounded a bit boring). I was relying on Triton Orange products to know what to get, not knowing better and the first few purchases were exemplary (particularly the original 2400W Triton Saw). Triton had a couple of jigs for their router table – a biscuit joiner and a finger jointer (which was technically a box joint rather than a finger joint) and so I had the impression that a router table might be quite useful if they were the sort of things you can do with it.
Once getting the router table, I discovered just how much control, safety and capability having the router mounted provided. Over time I have outgrown that table (and some subsequent ones, well documented on this website if you do a quick search), and some jobs I have done since have needed me to develop some hand-held routing skills. But I’ve always returned to the router table whenever I could for that overall control. But what if I could have both?
One of the things that drew me to the Triton range was that it was an Australian company, and it was local manufacturing, something that I think is definitely worth supporting, and encouraging.
Once I went away from a commercial solution (not finding something that satisfied all my requirements) I started combining quality components to make a Frankenstein router table to beat all router tables. But as much as I am happy with how the top is progressing, the base was always far behind. I’ve always liked Norm Abrams router table design too fwiw.
Having a solid base has been something I’ve wanted to add to the whole package, but just what that would be has been in question for years.
So I had a bit of a brainwave on the way to work the other day: as you might have gathered from my recent road-trip, (and some upcoming videos) (and by reading Lazy Larry’s blog post), I have decided to add a Torque Workcentre to my workshop, and gain all its significantly impressive capabilities. My thought was – why not combine the two? It would save me significant space in the workshop, having both tools occupy a single footprint, and allow the features of one to add to the other when it was applicable. There is a small problem area, where the router under the table can impact on the support arm for the overhead router, but if I need to use the whole top for a large slab, the in-table router can simply be lifted out.
With a 2.4 meter top, I will have 2m of working range for the overhead router, so with all that bench space my main fight will be keeping it clear of detritus that seems to build up on any and every flat surface in my workshop!
The Torque Workcentre is significantly solid as a platform, it is an Australian invention, and is manufactured here, so ticks all those boxes as well. There is an added benefit to that which I first was exposed to when I was heavily endowed with Triton machines with the factory in Melbourne – spares are easy to come by, and you can have an influence on the product design, and when need be, talk with the real experts – the manufacturers, designers and engineers. Those in the US/OS don’t miss out – these workbenches can be purchased worldwide, exported from Australia, and as demand dictates it may be that manufacturing is also exported under license (there being a worldwide patent on the design). Lazy Larry Woodworks (and the first ever owner of a Torque Workcentre) is listed as the international distributor. (There is a definite benefit of going through Larry – he’s an owner as well, so understands actually using the machine, and isn’t just trying to sell it to you! This approach worked very well for Triton in the past as well – real owners out demonstrating the product, allowing the product to sell itself (as good products will)).
My Torque workcentre is currently being built, and should be shipped down from Brisbane either the end of next week, or the start of the week after at the latest (at this stage!) As much as I got to try out Larry’s one last Wednesday, it is a completely different experience when it is just you and the machine in your own space. It’s going to be awesome!
I haven’t decided yet whether I am going to dedicate a 2400W Triton to the cause, or get a router specifically for the Torque Workcentre. All these things are yet to be determined, and can only really be done when the machine arrives. I’ve already had a number of ideas, how to incorporate a Wixey height gauge into the Torque design, the incorporation of a down-draught table, and of course having a table-mounted router mounted into the tabletop of workcentre.
So the path to the Ultimate Router Table has taken an interesting turn, and with this latest development, it is looking to be the most unique, and capable router table out there! Eat your heart out Norm 😉