* I have an ancient B&D (1/4", fixed base) and a sheet-metal router
"table" from HF.
* I build things like carts, wall and floor cabinets, built-ins, interior
trim, bookcases, perhaps eventually some simple furniture like desks,
tables, window seats with storage, etc.
My plan is to build a cart with a Melamine top to serve as a assembly/glue-
up table, and drop a router insert into one end of it. I'd embed some T-
track into the surface for clamps and for the router fence.
Anybody have opinions as to best router, etc?
Maybe you need a 2.25HP, a 3.5HP router, and a trim router? If you
think you might also like a plunge router, I would buy the Dewalt combo
(2.25 HP or so), which was well below $200 last time I looked (I only
noticed because I paid more than $200). If you require "ease of
adjustment" through the top of the table, then I think you'll start
The B&D is rated at 5 amps, so I think it's on the order of 1 HP. I've
not had any problem with it as far as power goes. But then I've really
not used it that much
sure about best uses, etc. I'm hoping to find something that will work
for pretty much everything. I don't need heavy duty, but I do want
something of quality, accuracy and easy-to-use/setup -- and I'm willing
to pay a *bit* more for it.
Alternatively, perhaps I should look at 2-3 special purpose units?
You've already got a "small" router. I would think you would want one
different than the one you already have. I'm sure the smaller one is a
little easier to control, but that's the main advantage I can think of.
I don't know whether that is relevant to you or not. Buying based upon
your "actual current needs" is not a bad approach.
On Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 7:17:39 PM UTC-7, Baxter wrote:
Once you have a 'router insert' it's beneficial to have two or more
routers, and swap insert+router instead of changing bits in midproject.
Multiple similar routers is the easy way to go (i.e. maybe get more
ancient B&D routers...).
There is no one "best" router. Is this going to be used exclusively in
the table? What works best there is not the best handheld.
You may want to start here
Routers are like clamps, you can never have too many.
The fact that you're considering making a table tells me that sooner
later you are going to want to swing some big bits for profiles.
To do that you need a BIG router. My suggestion would be the
You mount it in the table and forget it. Sooner or later you will want
upgrade to something like a Bench Dog Lift, but that is for another
You're going to need a plunge router so why not make it a kit
consisting of a fixed base, plunge base and a shared motor.
I had a Porter Cable but today there are several other choices.
Finally you will want a baby trim router.
Swing has been using one he liked.
Might want to check with him.
Now, I've just spent a $1,000.00 of your money to do the above,
probably spread out over a couple of years, but still some serious
You will still have that B&D in your router stable.
On 5/6/2015 1:51 AM, Baxter wrote:
>> You will still have that B&D in your router stable.
> What would I use it for if I bought a newer unit?
In a word: Convenience.
If I had two trim routers, I'd keep a flush trim bit in one and a small
radius roundover in the other. It would be great to just grab one and go
whenever I needed to do either of those tasks.
I have one router that has a fatal flaw: Something in the motor itself
allows the "depth" to vary by a very small amount. This renders it
useless for any task in which the depth of cut is important; which is to
say, most every router task. I've been thinking about (someday, when I
have the time) making a rectangular base for it and keeping a straight
bit in it all the time. I'd use it with a straightedge to trim down an
edge a little bit. A poor man's edge jointer, sitting on the shelf,
ready to go.
I will probably eventually have two router tables. The one I have now is
small and under-powered, but it works OK for most tasks. I'm sure I'll
think of a use for it - maybe dedicating it and one bit to a certain
task - after I build a better one.
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There are lots of times when it is easier/better to use a hand held router
than a table. For example, it is easy to run an edge profile on a wide
and/or long piece that has a bit of bend to it with a hand held router, can
be impossible on a table.
I have an ancient (circa 1970) B&D, 1/4", 7/8HP. I use it a lot. It is
small, has a nice balance to it, especially so after I took of the original
black baseplate and put on a larger clear one.
I have a DW610. It is identical to the B&D but with 1/2" collet and 1.5HP.
I use it a lot too, need to change the baseplate on it to larger & clear.
I have a Porter Cable plunge unit (no motor) which takes either motor unit
from the above.
I have a 3HP Bosch (1611? 1613?) plunge router in my router table. It too
works well by hand but rather than dismount it I generally use one of the
As to "best" router, IMO you won't go wrong with Milwaukee or Bosch.
<snip examples of different uses for different routers>
Yes, that's a good point as well. I just bought a Bosch 1617 which is
now by any standard my "best" router. But when I unexpectedly (lots of
"unexpected" stuff happens when you're at my level) needed to recess a
miter bar into the bottom of a sled I was making, I grabbed an ancient
Rockwell router that was my Dad's. I love the D-handle, for one thing. I
get a good firm grip and the trigger never requires me to let go with
one hand. The more I use that one, the more I wonder how "Mickey Mouse
ears" became the standard. And although it's all steel, it's lighter,
smaller and easier to handle than the Bosch.
That said, it's only 1 HP, and it doesn't plunge. So there will be times
when the Bosch will be the better choice. On the other end, there are
times when the palm router is a better fit for the job.
So don't throw out your old router.
1) space to keep it. My toolboxes are stuffed. I just got a precision
straightedge and no place to mount it.
2) age - I'm getting old, remembering where I put something is getting
harder all the time.
In general, I'd rather have 6 tools that I use frequently and get the job
done, that 60 few of which I ever use even though they might do the job
applies. At my age, despite pretty tight quarters, I love things that
make the job easier. Hell, I'd love to have as many routers as I have
OK. An exaggeration, of course. But should I ever decide to get myself a
dovetail jig, I think I might just devote a router to that task only. I
hear those things are a bear to get tweaked just right. Once I got it,
I'd be tempted to epoxy the whole works so it could never move. :)
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