Plunge router on a router table (novice question)

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WOW ....
this was an incredibly helpful post (and inspiring at that)
Thank you sooooo much.
Cheers
John

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Missing notes on your issue:
http://patwarner.com/plunge_or_fixed.html ? **************************************************************
wrote:

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Not the best setup all the way around. Plunge routers really aren't well suited for router table use unless it is the type with a removable body that can be used in router as plunge or fixed. In that case the fixed configuration can usually work well (depending on the router.). One of the things I have fought with router table setups is the router wanting to change depth during use, which screws up your cuts. Plunge machines just add a little more variable where you don't need it.
Does the squeeze trigger have an on-lock button?" If so, just use it in the locked configuration. Otherwise you will have to come up with a way to keep the trigger squeezed (clamp, rubber band, etc.- none of which is very safe).
RonB
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Thanks for your swift reply,
I think you have confirmed my worries and suspicions. Although I am on a limited budget, being a novice I suspect I will be better served if I can save my pennies and get hold of a router of the type you have suggested (I have seen videos of them in use but not yet investigated them). Limited budget or not, if what I have isnt the right tool for the job then I should try to get the right tool. Particularly in the light of what you have said about the switch (no it dosent have a lock on switch).
Thanks again.
John

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I worked with an old Bosh plunge router that hung upside down for about 20 years and it was at best a PIA
However you can do a couple of things to make adjustments easier. 1. Remove the plunge springs that assist you raise the router when it is in its normal position but as you have found out they make it pretty stiff when worked upside down. 2. Mount an inexpensive scissor jack under the router for adjustments.
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Thanks for the suggestion - I am going to try the spring removal. Same with the scissor jack (Have to fix the table down for this but like the idea)
Cheers
John

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John Picton wrote:

What router do you have?
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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It is a "Performance Power NLH1020R" link to some basic info - http://www.trend-uk.com/en/US/trend/content/content_detail.php?record_type=Compatibility&id 683 This is an own brand for a chain here in the UK called B&Q
It only cost me 20UKP (henc why I said it was cheap enough to warrent some adaptations)
Cheers
John

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I've got one of these: http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Heavy-Duty-EVS-2-14-Peak-HP-Router - Combo/EN/index.htm
I've never needed to use it in a table (there's large area of cross over between mobile routers and their table-mounted counterparts), but it has a T-handle to allow for adjustments from above.
Mine's handled everything I've wanted to throw at it, including installing collars on the fixed base for pattern routing. Around here, we have a saying: "You only cry once when you purchase a good tool."
Puckdropper
--
"The potential difference between the top and bottom of a tree is the
reason why all trees have to be grounded..." -- Bored Borg on
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http://www.trend-uk.com/en/US/trend/content/content_detail.php?record_type=Compatibility&id 683
I have difficulty imagining a router being useful without a fine depth adjustment. It's hard to say without more information, but the knob at the top left in the photo could be that. It could also be a motor speed adjustment. You would know better than I...
I used a Bosch 1613 plunge router in the table for many years, but the wife never got the knack for adjusting it, so I replaced it. I didn't find it difficult to raise or lower at all. Squatting in front of it so I could see the bit, I held the lock handle with the right hand, cupped the bottom (top) of the router with my left hand, and braced the elbow on my bent knee. Flexing the calf raises the router easily without any strain. When it looked close, I just locked it and twiddled the fine adjustment knob until it was exactly right.
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http://www.trend-uk.com/en/US/trend/content/content_detail.php?record_type=Compatibility&id 683
Picture looks like it has an adjustable stop for the plunge. Use it. Problem solved.
--
Geoff
The Sea Hawk at Wow Way d0t Com
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For a plunge router in a router table typically you remove the spring which makes it easier. When the router is upside-down you're fighting the spring and the weight of the motor. This is easier on some routers than others. You would use the depth stop to adjust the height.

Never had a router with a momentary switch. I would get an auxiliary switch like this:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 401
And find a way to keep the switch on the router pressed in all the time.
-Kevin
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Thanks for the reply - I am going to try the spring removal - The table that I got does have an auxilary switch.
The router was cheap enough that I might find a way to permantly activate the switch and just use the auxilary. Thanks again.
John
wrote:

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On Mon, 20 Apr 2009 12:44:42 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@YAHOO.COM wrote:

Momentary switches are required by law in the EU and in addition they now (I think) require an interlock button to be pressed first - I should know as I was using a router only a couple of week ago that was less than a year old but my memory is numb with age.
Sometimes it seems a PITA and indeed it will be for a router table but it's much safer than having a locked on switch and an out of control freehand router :)
From the way the switch on my Makita compound mitre saw is arranged with a bolt on complex linkage I suspect that in some jurisdictions they too can use a lock on switch, in the UK we have to release an interlock with the reverse of a knuckle before we can squeeze the trigger and lower the saw. Easy to do in an instant but you still have to remember to get your other hand out of the way of the blade!
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On Mon, 20 Apr 2009 20:17:43 +0100, Giganews wrote:

Unlike many who will respond, I like a plunge router in a table. But mine has a knob so I don't have to push it up. Makes fine adjustments a lot easier. Yours may have that as an option. If not, it's not a good fit for a table.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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On Mon, 20 Apr 2009 20:17:43 +0100, "Giganews"

You might, depending on the design be able to use one of the Trend fine height adjusters.
http://www.trend-uk.com/en/UK/productlist/3/200/fine_height_adjusters.html
Comparability table here
http://www.trend-uk.com/en/UK/trend/content/content_handler.php?record_type=Compatibility
Someone at news:uk.d-i-y will probably have more experience of your specific router.
As for keeping the button pressed - use a cable tie - but fit a decent no volt release switch to it first, these often come with cheap router tables.
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On Tue, 21 Apr 2009 16:08:59 +0100, Mike wrote

Before I got my Trend routers, I picked up one of the Trend FHA for my Power Devil router. This transformed it from a royal pita to something quite usable. Check ebay. You may get a better deal (or worse, depending,,,) OR phone Dave Evans at toolsave 0121 525 0222
I just had a look at the pic of your router on the Trend site.
The FHA fits instead of the shiny rod running vertically behind the red knob on the left of the picure. Basicaslly it is just a tube, threaded at the bottom to fit over one of the depth--stop screws on the turret, bottom left of pic. There's a "tap" handle on top of the rod. When you turn it "down" the threads pull down on to the turret screw and pulls the body of the router down to meet it.
The plunge springs will fight you for possession of the router body. I f you can figure out how to remove one or both, it will make adjustment far easier
IME, taking the springs out makes a huge difference. I have a router JUST for table use with ONE of the two springs taken out. MUCH easier.
HOWEVER>>>>> configured thus, it's not really safe for "right way up" mode.
Your best bet is to follow the old saying: "You can never have too many routers"
It might be worth hunting for a used _second_ router for one use or the other, bearing in mind the FHA will cost umm,, thirteen quid or thereabouts it might make economic sense to get another cheapie with a built-in FHA and keep the one you have for freehand use.
I presume you have something like a Powercraft (Aldi) type table, which comes with a no-volt switch?
If so, centering the router base under the table is a bit Heath Robinson, with waggly clamps. You'll never get the router out and back in in exactly the same place. It won't take most half-inch routers' bases. The fence isn't straight enough to 'joint" with. It's not heavy enough to allow you to push a router up against its springs without a screw-up FHA. Other than that, it's a stunning little table that is really ideal for leaving a router in and doing all those little jobs that such a configuration eats up. Great for through dovetails with a stottman jig
What it is REALLY good for is teaching you how simple it would be to make your own router table that overcomes all of the shortcomings it has. Seriously, if I hadn't started with a similar model I would have missed so much... and it is always handy for keeping that car-boot bargain router (that you'll pick up eventually) in with a round-over bit for.. well, everything, really.
A big spring clamp worked as a switch holder on the Power Devil. I'm not sure what'd be best for yours. Cable ties are also useful. I use Duct tape on the Trend. As has been said, all new European routers have, by law, to have switches that make them impossible to operate safely in a router table. Older designs such as the Elu and DeWalt clones of the Elu casing/casting arrangement are exempt. If you think this is a pain, just wait till you want to use a dado head on a saw table...
Oh.. a 5mm threaded rod witll probably fit the turret, and if you locknut it in place (on the turret, instead of one of the existing screws) , you can then jam/epoxy a 5mm nut in the end of a piece of pipe and wind THAT down onto a big washer over the rod and above the body casting. You'll need to make some sort of handwheel or tap handle arrangement for it, but if you want cheap, that might be the way to go.
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Bored Borg wrote:

Sorry for the delay in replying - there was so much info in there I need to take it in before a considered reply. At first glance the idea of the trend FHA that you mention sounds interesting. Did you mean that Dave at toolsave would be able to provide this, or perhaps a router or advice?
I will have to investigate if the kit is compatible.
I have also been thinking of a second router (and yes you are absolutly correct my table is an ALDI powercraft one).
I am off to read the rest of your message - will report back soon.
Thanks so much for the detail in your response.
Kind regards
John
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On Tue, 21 Apr 2009 20:42:50 +0100, John Picton wrote

Toolsave is really a discount warehouse with a bit of showroom "display" material rather than a "test drive" type shop, but I've found them cheaper than anywhere else - by about the cost of the VAT - or, put another way, it's tantamount to free postage. Get the product codes off the Trend site. If they haven't got it in stock, it's normally next working day. They also do most U,K, available brands - DeWalt, Festool, Fein, Milwaukee etc.
I think the best thing to do would be to rig up what you've got so it's usable - i.e. add a FHA - and then use it for a while and see what YOU think the shortcomings are. If you have a similar experience to me you'll probably find that you want the Oomph, adjustability and stability of a 1/2"" router (which won't fit your table) I went for the Trend T9, now obsolete but identical to the Fein 1800 (?) and the Metabo something-or-other is also identical but has a dial gauge built in (wow!!) I'll certainly buy Trend again but the Triton offers a lot of bang for the buck, assuming you want to move up past the DIY B&Q types. The bigger better models don't scream anyhing like as nastily as the smaller, cheaper 'uns.
Meanwhile, FFA Concept Zinced Steel Threaded Rod (L)1000mm x (Dia)5mm EAN: 3232630218358 Only 1.66
from B&Q.
I'm not 100% certain you turret screws are 5mm, but the Trend FHA that fits the Trend T5, Power Devil etc. _is_ 5mm. Assuming that yours is, then all you need is a 5inch-ish bit off tube to go over the rod, a few nut....
One thing you need to be aware of that probably hasn't been obvious... Historically, routers developed on both sides of the pond at the same time but where as the rebel colonials developed and near-perfected the fixed-base configuration, in Europe - and Britain - the effort largely went into the plunger type. This _may_ explain the partisan championing of one type or the other. Exceptions prove the rule, of course. Bosch do a swappable base thing. I'm sure there are home-grown USA plunger routers, but we tend not to see 'em over here because of the weird rebel colonial voltage they insist on using. It's a shame 'cos stuff like the Porter-Cable are fabulous pieces of kit.. anyway, my take on it is that plunger types are no worse than fixed for router table work but if you are going to buy a router lift, then you're duplicating the mechanism if you use a plunger, so in that case a fixed-base motor has less scope for Fuquarps.
Buy a Trend depth gauge - the horseshoe shaped thing with the scale that slides up the middle. About 7 quid. I promise you'll not regret it.
Read everything you can on router table construction
Use sunscreen... sorry, ear protectors. Really.
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