Plunge or non-plunge router better under table?

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Which is better under a router table, plunge or non-plunge? I've watched the Router Workshop on TV with the older guy and his son and they swear by the plunge router with the springs removed. Is there a real advantage to that or is it just individual preferences?
Gerry < so many questions, so little knowledge >
P.S. Yet another question, is there a proper name for "non-plunge"?
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On Sat, 26 Jun 2004 11:59:37 -0400, "G.E.R.R.Y."

Religious war. Those who prefer either will defend to the death their choice.
Just for the record, I am a proponent of plunge, specifically the one that the Rosendahls (the guys you're talking about) used mostly (they've used Dewallies and P-Cs, as well); the Hitachi M12V (and when all the sponsorship left, they continued to use the Hitachis painted a putrid purple).

Fixed base works.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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When they're under, can't tell what it is. For ease of adjustment when above the table, I prefer a plunge like the router guys use. Better clearances for access to the collet, no twist and torque.

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Never use the plunge in a table. If you are using a router lift, the fixed base is the way to go. Triton plunge and maybe a couple of others are now more "table friendly" for adjusting.
I have a Benchdog lift and it is simple and accurate to adjust. Others will do the same thing. Ed
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I, too, prefer a fixed non-plunge for under the table. Look at the 3HP offerings by either Milwaukee (my preference for a router table router) or Porter Cable. The Milwaukee I have can even be adjusted from above the table.
Brian.
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The big Milwaukee was my first choice but I am ending up with the Triton. You can adjust height from above the table with the Milwaukee. Is that an advantage? Don't you have to reach under the table anyway to unlock the base? I find that I have to stoop down anyway to look across the table at the bit height.
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The Triton is certainly a worthy and less expensive competitor.
Brian.
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Oops, double checked the price. I guess it is no less expensive.
Brian.
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Good question and I just ordered a new under table router to replace my Bosch 1611, 15 amp plunge router. My 1611 is similar to the current 1619, a big router. My 1611 is 16 years old and has no modern features other that it is electric. Anyway, what you want is a router that you can fine tune the height adjustment with some sort of adjustment knob after making your quick coarse height adjustment. Note my mentioning "after" making your Quick coarse adjustment. You do not want one of those after market threaded tubes with a knob on it. Those take forever to run up and down from one end of adjustment to the other end. Something to look at for example is the adjustment setup on the newest Milwaukee routers the Bosch 1613 or 1619 or the Triton router. All of these routers and I am sure a slew of others will work nicely under the table. Some are fixed base, some are plunge base. Your main concern is to be able to make coarse height adjustments quickly and then be able to fine tune that adjustment. I also have a Bosch 1617evs router that would work great in my router table but it is kinda small for some of the bits that I spin on my router table. If you are turning common horizontal raised panel bits I strongly suggest one of the 15 amp "aka" 3+ hp routers with VARIABLE speed. You need to slow those big bits down to the 10,000 rpm range.
So today I went down to buy my 6th router and had narrowed the choices down to the fixed base 5625-20 Milwaukee or the plunge base Triton. I had considered the Bosch 1619 evs but because of the location of the fine tune adjustment knob it would be behind the router when turned up side down or on the left side of the router. Neither of those locations appealed to me. The Milwaukee is a beast and well made. Simple. Variable speed, fast coarse adjustment, good fine tune height adjustment knob and the ability to make fine tune height adjustments "above" the table. It is also a 2 wrench router which I GREATLY prefer over the single wrench models. BUT, I found that when the Milwaukee is upside down and you push the coarse adjustment knob to make an adjustment, you better have a both hands on the router to keep it from falling out of the fixed base. While the above table height adjustment is a cool idea I can see the hole in the table top filling with saw dust and clogging the mechanism even though there is a plastic cover that opens when you push an adjustment tool through it.
So now I turn to the plunge base Triton, Seems to be designed from the ground up to be hung under the table or used free hand. While I have read many mixed reviews about 3 or 4 specific problems, these apparently have all been addressed and the new production Tritons have been fitted with the fixes. I ordered the Triton from the Woodcraft store. They were sold out. The big pluses I see here is that bits can be changed from above the table top. While this is a 1 wrench router like my current Bosch 1611 the router will remain in the base during a bit change. While 1 wrench routers sound simpler to use, you still have to use your other hand to hold the router and or the router shaft lock. So what have you gained by only using 1 wrench? With 2 wrench routers, you can loosen or tighten the collet with 1 hand. 2 hands are still needed to make coarse adjustments to the collet. The Triton having a self locking shaft and not requiring removal of the router from the table may be somewhere in between the 2 wrench and 1 wrench style as far as ease is concerned. I suspect one hand will be on the wrench and the other holding the router cabinet to keep it from moving when loosening or tightening the collet. The Triton will not fall out of its base when making coarse adjustments under the table.
Other nice touches that the Triton has over other plunge based routers are, the adjustable depth turret is second to none and simple to use requiring no screw driver or wrench for multiple height adjustments. This may or may not be useful in a router table. The Triton comes with an edge guide for free hand use.
Routers are generally plunge base or "non-plunge" fixed base.
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Good comments Leon, thanks. I'll wait a bit to see what your 'in-use' comments are like. From what I've seen though, I'd be surprised if you aren't very pleased with it.
--
Greg

"ANY response to a troll is a win for the troll."
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Since you will be lookin fer it, I will report on it ASAP. ;~)

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"Leon" wrote in message ...

G'day Leon,
Smiley noted ;-)
I like to read comments after the 'honeymoon' period is over, since the two versions tend to differ. For example, a few guys got the expensive Twin Linear router fence and gave great reviews. Over a period of time, I saw some negative comments (scattered in the NG) about the accuracy of the wedges used to offset the fence faces. It's hard to admit to an expensive toy not meeting expectations but, given time, people seem more likely to give the story - warts and all. I'd still like to get the full story on the Twin Linear - if there is one.
cheers,
Greg
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two
You know Greg, I have been buying tools for a long time and generelly buy with confidence. Still I am like you as I know that a lot of hype in the beginning does not always tell the true tale. If you saw my 2 posts about precieion miter gauges earlier this week, I am sure you will agree that buying from a local and reputable dealer is good for him and you. I spent about $140 for a precieion miter gauge that was no better than the gauge that came with my saw. Immediately the next day I returned it and upgraded to a $180 precieion miter gage. Worse than the first and both of these are from reputable manufacutrers. That dealer knows what I expect from a tool and if he sees me coming back, he knows that there is a "tool" preoblem and takes care of it to my liking and without my asking. Today I bought from Woodcraft and paid more than buying on the internet. If I find that the Triton does not fill the bill as advertised, reliably, I have 1 year to return it for exchange, credit, or refund. If I have to return the Triton, I'll upgrade to the big Milwaukee.
Leon
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to
wrench
found
True, but who cares? With fixed base routers, at one time or another you'll be handling the motor to adjust the height. In the case of the Porter Cable 7518 (really the 2nd best option for a table IMO), you've got to spin and spin and spin it to get it to height. Far less convenient than the Milwaukee mechanism.
Speaking of convenience, plunging a router upside down seems to me to be less than optimal. And having to adjust the depth stop constantly would annoy me, although if the Triton has a toolless adjustment that might be better. Does the Triton have a plunge spring defeat mechanism? That would be desireable for use in a table. Though, I guess I just far prefer the ability to quickly coarse adjust the motor to roughly where I want and then fine tune from there than deal with a plunger under table. And the 5625-20 is ideal for that. By far the nicest table router I've used, but of course, not cheap.

Perhaps. But as you noted in another post, the above table adjust isn't terribly advantageous. I've never used it.
Brian.
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Hi Brian, The Triton's plunge spring can be removed in about 10 seconds and reinstalled in about 15 seconds. Cheers, JG
Brian wrote:

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you'll
My point here was that with the large Milwaukee if you depress the coarse adjustment knob, the router motor completely falls out of the base if mounted under the table and you do not guard against this. The Bosch 1617 router is fixed base with coarse and fine tune adjustment and one of the first with this style adjustment but the motor will not drop out of the base when mounted upside down. The motor raises and lowers straight up and down like the Milwaukee with out having to spin the motor round and round to make height adjustments but to remove it from the base you have to turn the motor in the base about 1/8 turn to remove it. Milwaukee should have had some type of similar safety to prevent the motor from dropping out.

Agreed, and a very expensive setup as this router needs to be mounted with a lift to be able to make coarse and fine adjustments quickly.

Exactly, except the Triton has eliminated this trait. The router basically converts to a fixed base like router with the twist of a lock knob. In the hanging under a table position, you turn a lock in one of the handles and then the router will no longer plunge. You then engage a release on the handle and then turn the handle to raise or lower the motor. Let go of the release on the knob and the motor locks in at that position and then you can fine tune that position with another fine tune knob. No lifting at all on your part.
And having to adjust the depth stop constantly would

The Triton only needs a wrench to tighten or loosen the collet.
> Does the Triton have a plunge spring defeat mechanism?
Sorta, it is designed so that you can easily remove the spring.

Yes. I had to learn that 16 years ago with my 1611Bosch.

the motor to roughly where I want and then fine tune from there than deal with a plunger under table. And the 5625-20 is ideal for that.
I wqas not going to buy a router that would not do exactly "that". The Triton works exactly that way when in that "mode". Lock the adjustment handle and the Triton converts back to the plunge style set up. Basically Triton has come up with a router that works like a fixed base and plunge base router.

I agree with you. I was actually going to buy the Milwaukee. I had copies of competitors adds to bargain with, showing the price at $299. But then I compared the Triton to it, both were side by side, and I felt the Triton was better thought out. I have 1 year to see if the Triton lives up to the hype. If it is not up to my expectations with actual use I will probably exchange it for the big Milwaukee.

with
That's they way I see it.
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base
down
make
motor
I understood your "point" the first time, but I still can't understand the need for for any safety mechanism. I have no problems with the Milwaukee motor falling out of the base under my table (and nor should anybody else), because I support it with my hand when making coarse adjustments. It is that simple. I mean, you have to push it up and down to make the coarse adjustment anyhow! Just make sure your hand is there before you press the release.
Brian.
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else),
I am not faulting the Milwaukee. I was just doing a comparison of the two routers in this respect. I discovered this when I held the Milwaukee upside down in the store by the housing and almost dumped the motor on the floor when I depressed the coarse adjustment button. If the router is down or extended to the end of the "adjustment screw" and you reach under to lower the bit a bit more by the fine tune adjustment knob, you may not be holding the bottom of the router and you may run out of threads to hold the motor in the base. Not likely but it could happen. It would be something that you should be aware of when making any kind of an adjustment. This simply cannot happen with the Triton and or the current Bosch fixed base routers. I see your point that it is unlikely that it would drop during actual working conditions and 99.9 % of all adjustments under a table.
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And those with plunge routers who adjust up top like the router guys also have no problem with fine adjust.
All in how you work, I guess.

else),
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Their method is so simple, so clear, so obviously superior, I've never understood all the hoorah and market intrest in router raising gadgets costing oodles of dollars. That goes for the expensive fences, too.
As I say on my webpage, Tage Frid had it right viz a vis fences. He had an article on a Fine Woodworking some 20 years ago about it. Piece of wood, and a clamp (he had the other end attached to the table with a bolt, if memory serves; still, it's the same idea as the router guys and their two clamps), that's pretty much it. Nowadays, with UHMW, it's even better.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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