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Face Frame Assembly Tables5/22
Okay, we have decided to go ahead and place a FF assembly table. Regardless of whether or not we purchase the Hoffman system, I can see the value in this. I really can find only three contenders - Kreg, Castle, and Ritter. I have to say I am a bit intrigued with the Castle as the open top would allow for extra large frame work but I would worry about flex or slop possibly created by this as well. Please weigh in on your experience with any one of these!
Unique Machine in Arizona makes a nice one. I was looking for a used Ritter, but ended up with the Unique. I'm glad I did, the table is a little more upright and I think the gantry and clamps are a little nicer.
Ritter is nice though.
I haven't used a new Castle table, but I wasn't impressed with the older ones I've used. Not heavy duty enough for my taste.
Look for a used table on the online auctions. I bought a Ritter at a local auction for $450 and picked up another for a friend on IRS auctions for $500. Not a huge market for these since most small shops don't have the room and the larger shops already have one. Used tables don't look as nice as new ones, but my FF joints couldn't be any tighter.
We have a 5x12 castle that we bought new over 20 years ago. The old ones do not have the open top which would be really nice to have. We also have a 4x8 keg table. Everyone in the shop likes the castle table better. It seems a lot better built, but I think that it cost more also. We castle pocket whole machine is also a lot better than kreg. We have the air powered Kreg and from the simple design it is probably more reliable since there are no routers to go bad. Having to replace the routers in the castle is well worth it just because ny having 2 routers the hole angle is better than the Kreg since it is only using the one drill bit.
We've got a big Ritter R-300 6'x12' table and clamps that we could get rid of. If you're interested, PM me.