2-1/4 or 3 HP router for floating tenons and dovetail jig?

I'm looking to purchase a new router to accomplish 2 things -- occasional floating tenons (which I have never tried before) and occasional dovetail cutting. I currently have a 2-1/4HP Makita router dedicated in a router table, and I am tired of taking it out whenever I need to use a hand held router. (Also, the plunge on the Makita is not so great IMHO.)
I've never cut floating tenons beofre (only integral ones using my mortiser anda chisel), but David Marks makes it look easy so I thought I'd try it on my next project. I notice that every time I see a him cut a floating tenon, however, he does it with one of his 3HP routers -- never with a 2-1/4 HP.
As I understand the tradeoffs, the 3HP weighs much more, but packs more power and probably has a longer-lasting motor. The weight is a negative for me unless you think it will be easier to avoid router tip when cutting dovetails on a cheap dovetail jig. The motor longevity is not really an issue given I will only use the router a few dozen times a year. So then the issue is power. If I get a 2-1/4HP router, will this mean that instead of cutting 1/2" depth on each pass, for example, that I cut a 3/8" depth? If so, that hardly seems worth the extra weight given the number of cuts I will make per year.
I'm leaning toward buying the Bosch 2-1/4HP router package (which includes dust collection and other extras) at amazon.com before the sale ends (possibly today). The alternative is to buy either the Dewalt or Hitachi 3HP, but I've done less research on 3HP plunge routers so I am not as tied to these choices.
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Most of the work in creating tenon stock is done on the jointer or planer. The edging is the only real thing done on the router table. A 1.5hp router would be fine for that. For strickly table work, bigger is better, but I don't see how anybody can live with less than 5-6 routers.
When you set your dovetail bit on your router, you will be loathe to EVER change that setting. I would have a dedicated router for just that function. I will buy a PC 690 at a moments notice.
Lars Stole wrote:

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Are you only cutting Blind dovetails? IIRC the DT bit setting is not all that critical on "Through" DT's when using a Leigh Jig. But when cutting Blind DT's you are absolutely correct. The setting is exactly the same for any thickness of wood and each bit regardless of brand has its own sweet spot that must be achieved for a good fit on a Blind DT.
I would have a dedicated

That is why I bought a Bosch 1617evs. It is very easy to get the exact depth setting for the DT bit.
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OK, unless I am missing something here, you are not cutting tenons with you mortiser and chisel. You are cutting mortises. David Marks is planing stock down to the thickness of the mortise and rips to about the width of the "mortise" that he often cuts with a multirouter and uses a beading bit on a router table to round the edges. The rounding of the edges on the router table can be done with most any router. The mortises can also be made with a hand held router and a jig. Again most any router can accomplish this. That said, if you intend to cut raised panels with your router, sort of a floating tenon, you will need the larger router providing you are using a horizontal raised panel bit.
I notice that every time I see a him

For a dove tail jig I prefer to use my Bosch 1617evs. This is a medium duty router and is easier to adjust and control on a DT jig.
The motor longevity is

I agree and yes, simply make shallower passes.

That would be a good choice. 1617 EVS kit I assume.
The alternative is to buy either the

May I also recommend the Triton router if you are considering a larger router. It is loaded with features. You can use it like a fixed base or a plunge router with out changing bases. It is great under the router table and has both coarse and fine height adjustments. Read that as not having to spend $100's later on a router lift of some sort when you decide you want better control over height adjustment when hanging in a router table. Router bits can be changed above the table when mounted in a router table with out the hassle of removing the router from the table. For hand use it also comes with an edge guide and of course it has variable speed.
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Oops. I meant cutting the MORTISES for mortise-and-tenon joints. I should have drank some coffee before posting.

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LOL... If it makes you feel better I have a problem with which is the rail and which is the stile.
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Rail vs stile- think of a rail fence. Jim

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Duh....
Believe it or not,
I used "STYLE" for the stile. The vertical piece that only has "one" "STYLE" router bit used on it. The Rail uses 2 "STYLE" router bits to form the coped end and the edge.
You gotta do what you gotta do .. LOL
I like your suggestion much better. Sometimes the rails are on the ends of the stiles and that totally voids my way of determining which was which.
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Neither of the tasks you speak of requires a great deal of power. I do both with a PC 690. More horsepower will not really let you take a deeper cut in a plow situation as in cutting mortises. To deep, no matter the horsepower and the bit will load, burn and break. As for loose tennons, look at a Beadlock. Won't work in every situation but most of the time it will. It is also much faster to set up than a router.
said:

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Me too. He seems committed to them, I'm going to put some time behind them and see if they work out for me too.

Prolly cuz' he owns a 3HP? :)

I grabbed that one a few weeks ago - the 1617EVSPK with the goodies. It is *very* nice. I tried a few mortises and am very pleased with the softstart, the plunge and the edge guide.
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The extra weight of a router for hand operations is a big deal. Consider a "D" handle with the ON/OFF switch in the handle.
On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 08:59:25 -0600, Lars Stole

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