Recommendations for plunge router and heavy duty corded drill?

Greetings all!
My wife and I are building some decks on my house using ipe wood for the deck boards and railings. Those who are familiar with ipe know that it is VERY heavy and dense; one must pre-drill for every screw and bolt. Our 18-volt cordless (Ryobi) drill has been great for drilling little holes for the #10 screws in the deckboards and in the railings, but it is nowhere nearly up to the task of drilling 1/2 inch holes through ipe 4X4's for the lag bolts on the railing posts.
My 18-volt cordless is great for almost every job I have to do, and thus I don't have tons of other uses for a heavy duty, monster-sized corded drill. I'd like to get something that is powerful enough to be able to get this deck job done, but I am not eager to drift into the spectacularly expensive realm of the professional-caliber, gargantuan mega-tools. Any recommendations?
Also, my wife and I could use a router, but have almost no experience in this area. We do not have a specific project in mind, but I think we would benefit from a router that has maximum versatility. I don't think that we'd need a particularly powerful, ultra-heavy duty router. What are the advantages of a plunge router versus a fixed table router? I suppose something under $120 US dollars would be nice, but we would be willing to spend more if necessary. Are there models which are dual purpose -- perhaps they are a hand-held plunge router which can be attached to a table to do fixed table routing? Thanks in advance for any advice!
Chuck
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Rent one if you can get the job done in a day. Milwaulkee is ne of the best, but DeWalt and a few others in th at catagory will work.

Avoid Ryobi as they are one of the worst routers ever made. For maximum versatility look at one of the models with changeable bases. Porter Cable, DeWalt, Bosch, Milwaukee, Hitachi are all good. Read up a little at www.partwarner.com Pat is probably the best router guy in the world and has some reviews and comments on his web page.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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I recommend a Hitachi M12V - check eBay out for some deals. Expect to pay between $115 and $250 for this router. It's variable speed, plunge and may be put into a router table. I have one. I also have two Porter Cable routers and a Delta shaper. It's a slippery slope...
HOWEVER - be very aware that ANY router that you buy is only a down payment.
You have to buy tooling (bits) for the router as well. After you've bought several sets of bits, you may discover that they've cost more than the tool they go into! Avoid HSS (high speed steel) and go with carbide. Whiteside, CMT, Jesada are all good brands. Avoid Sears.
If possible, buy the SPECIFIC bit that you need rather than a set that includes it. You'll pay less this way.
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Don't believe you'll be able to find a router bit long enough to get through a 4X4. As Edwin suggests rent the proper tool.
On 21 Dec 2004 23:30:06 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

A plunge router can "plunge" which is to say, penetrate into the middle of the work, without starting at an edge. Useful for things like mortices.
Personally, I found it less used than a fixed base unit.

Porter cable makes a good (great) router, which has plunge, standard, and D-handle bases. You can buy a kit with all three, or get the bases later as you need them.
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Hello again!
Thanks for all the very helpful responses I have received thus far. I just want to clarify something: My original post asks about (1) a drill that can put a 1/2 inch hole in 4X4 ipe, and (2) general advice on a router, but I did not mean to imply that I was thinking of using a router to go through the 4X4. When I said we "could use a router," I meant that we generally seem to be working on projects where a router might be useful.
Chuck
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I picked up an inexpensive drill at Harbor Freight for some drilling into concrete I had to do.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberE338
It certainly isn't the highest quality, but for me it did everything I asked it to do. I also used it with a 5/8" wood boring bit to run wires through 2x4 studs and it handled that with ease. It had more than enough power.
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