router size question

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I'm relatively new to woodworking - have built a few cabinets so far and am finding new projects. I currently have a table saw and jointer. I also have a Porter Cable 1 3/4 HP (693) router with interchangeable plunge and fixed bases. I have the opportunity of getting a Milwaukee 3 1/2 HP fixed base (5625-20) router for a very good price and am wondering if it offers enough of an advantage that having both would make sense. Thanks!
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Build a router table and stick the big one in it. BTW, that router is less than 2 1/2 horsepower, despite the claims.

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What makes you believe that? The thing is a beast from my experience. But in fairness I would have no way of knowing if it was less than 3.5

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Because it is not posible to get that much power from a 15 amp circuit at 120 volts. Can't get more out than you put in.

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Sure makes sense to me. Do you have a router table? That is where I'd put the big router and use the smaller, lighter one for hand work. Many of us have two routers, one hand and one table mounted, for versatility.
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It depends on usage and the depth or size of work! But two is always better then one! I grabbed the 5615-21 and it works great for me....What I've learned though is the importance of the Router Table. I bought a rather higher end Craftsman piece of crap AND it was good to learn "What I didn't want in a Router Table." I used it twice and immediantly purchased the Grizzly Sliding Table. You'll soon discover that the table will help you out more, just keep the one you prefer in your hand and table the other.

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Tall Oak wrote:

I agree - right now I have a 2 1/4 HP Dewalt with plunge and fixed bases. It's never bogged down on me, but if I had the opportunity to pick up one for a good price that was the same or larger to leave in the table, I definitely would. If you don't have a table, I'd recommend making one - plenty of ideas online. Mine is a 2x4 frame with a piece of formica countertop for the table and a MDF fence. Dust collection is one advantage to the table, in addition to control (and therefore safety), convenience, and accuracy. Stay safe, Andy
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Bigger isn't always better. I think overall you also have to considers what feels good. The Mil works like an extension of my arm. Some tools are perfect to use and some are just bears. So regardless of power the quality of use is utmost. Tools you enjoy using vs ones you need to get the job done. The Router table is handy but a half gap measure. If I was going to do it all over again on static pieces I would always use the hand held, but for detailed pieces (from this point on) I think I'd go with a dedicated shaper over a Router Table. It's more of a engineering and design aspect then cost over performance. The problem is the Best table and the Best Router may not equal the Best solution. Some routers are better designed to work with some but not all tables and some tables are not designed to work with all routers, at best your forced to make trade-offs.
Now we are discussing Best and not most cost effective.... Tables and even buying (Ryobi) one would easily win in cost effectiveness.
As for making a table, I thought that might be the "best way", but not in a lot of cases and really only under special needs. To make a "good" table takes a lot of money, and you have to be rather good at design and it takes a lot of time, and then your looking at a fence and design thereof only complicates the situation. So in many cases, your best choices is using aftermarket pieces like a fence or a lift and then miters and the like and your making your design work around these goodies.I wanted a cast-iron top and I couldn't pour it myself so I had to buy one.
So overall I would advise someone to buy a Router that works like an exstension of his arm, it feels good and can work for longer periods of time in comfort and with accuracy... Any thing else consider the shaper over a Router/Table.

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On Sat, 23 Sep 2006 20:40:30 GMT, "Tall Oak"

Tables designed for routers? <G>
How about building a table to fit the router you have or want to use?
Router tables really aren't very hard to make. Build a top, including fence(s) to fit the router, the rest is just a box (woodworkingese cabinet) with details to suit the builder.
The first fence can be as simple as a jointed board clamped to the top. The first cabinet can be a MDF box. Both can be upgraded later, if necessary, but will quickly make the tool usable.
Building stuff like a router table teaches important skills that can be used in furniture and cabinetry construction. You can easily build a really *nice* router table in two weekend days, if you plan ahead.
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Your at the same issue as for building a table for your router.... If you've never built anything before, I'd certainly recommend it. As long as your aware beforehand that what you have may not be what you want or thought. Building a table then using it for a period of time, if you built another table it certainly would be different then the first. It kind of draws out the learning curve. Freud has a nice small router/table system. As for my Grizzly it's not all perfect either. I'm redoing the router clamps (more Vertitas) Style and I did add pnuematic lifts for the top and I will also add aluminum supports for the table top so I can run it past the ends and still be right on!
You know it all depends on what you feel comfortable working with and to the degree of accuracy. With a home built table your most likely going to live with 16th's or 32nd's tolerances. Remember if you had Tom, Dick & Harry making a table all three would easily be different. So as easy as it is to say make one, but some people simply can't. The other issues is when you start working with expensive or exotic woods, then the failures or weaknesses of your home built table will become self evident.
Anyone can rub two sticks together to make fire, but in most cases a lighter always works best.
wrote:

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On Sat, 23 Sep 2006 21:28:28 GMT, "Tall Oak"

That's a joke, right? Maybe you forgot the smiley? <G> Do you know how many shop-made tools exist in a typical very fine furniture or cabinet maker's possession? My local woodworking school has shop-made and store bought tables side by side. Inaccurate, hammer and axe woodworkers, such as Garrett Hack, Mario Rodriguez, and many others you've probably heard of, use _student built_ router tables on a regular basis. Some even have shop-made threaded rod lifts.

As should be expected.

But this same person can build fine furniture or cabinetry?

Or the lack of experience gained from buying everything pre-made. <G>
My first table was a sink cutout hung between the rails of a Jet contractor saw, routed for a Rousseau plate.
Table #2, which was whacked together over a weekend because I needed a bigger surface (32x24) in a hurry (22 cabinet doors by the end of the week!), is (2) thicknesses of 3/4" MDF, laminated between Formica sheets, edged with scrap white ash, and routed for the same Rousseau plate. This table top sits on a simple MDF box with two overlay doors for access to the router, and a 4" dust port on the back.
5 years later, I still use the "temporary" table almost daily, and love it to death, obtaining measurable results to the 2-3 thousands (invisible) range. I'll sand or scrape off more wood than my "inaccuracy" during finishing! <G> This simple table has been used to make 100's of parts, ranging from fluted bookcase trim to precise large-scale model airplane parts to musical instrument replacement parts.
I'm not trying to bust 'deem off on you or yank your chain, and I'm totally for buying good tools, but I really think you've been watching too many woodworking show demos if you can't believe that something like this is that difficult to achieve. <G>
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You've gotten confused. The original poster as best determined Never stated he could build fine furniture or cabinetry? In fact "I'm relatively new to woodworking" Making a table of good or better quality takes time and money.There isn't a lot to a table so learning isn't really applicable. Now listen to yourself... For every shop made super router table, there easily more failures then successes. I can also show you more shops that use "manufactured" equipment over shop/home made. If you think you can build a table that rivals my grizz or a Veritas steel. then so be it.
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"Tall Oak" wrote in message

stated
Now
You're wrong ... turn off the TV and get some more shop time.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 8/29/06
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Tall Oak wrote:

Failure often teaches more than success.
I'll agree to disagree.
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Constant failure often teaches the person they can't do it, so they quit.

I'm disagreeing to agree. ;-)
Puckdropper
--
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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Puckdropper wrote:

Agreed!
No, you're not! We agree!
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How about slamming a new an decent and solid setup together for nearly every job you need to do, and not taking all day to do it? That's what happens in a real shop. Don't drool over every friggin toy you see, it is the surest way to become a no-talent jerk.
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Been trolling and lurking here for years and finally seen something that made some damn sense, posted by BARRY. Thanks, brother, for not being another tool snob (sissy) and scaring off another good man. BTW- I am a professional in a HUGE shop with many large and old machines and we cannot and do not buy every doggone gizmo out there. We trust our men to originate and create, not imitate.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in

The first router I bought was a big plunger. Scared me silly, and ruined a good piece of cabinet ply on that first project. The second project was a router table.
I have, now, a 693 kit like you mention, the big plunger in the table, and three trim routers. The big router never leaves the table. For anything.
What I'm saying is that, if you need a router in a table, then the big Milwaukee might be worth what's being asked, for you. But if you need, or want, a second router, then maybe smaller is better. It is for me, for my projects.
Unless you're turning large bits, for doors, mouldings, rabbets, etc., you may find that your 693 has plenty of power. Mine does. I wouldn't mind having a second one.
Patriarch
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I've got four routers ;-) A Dewalt,Ryobi and two B&D's. DeWalt in the table,Ryobi for heavy work,black&deckers for light work.
I'm a lazy bugger when it comes to changing bits.
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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