Routers / Lifts

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Well, I've read about routers until my head should explode, and still have no practical experience on which to base a decision.
I am looking for a new router - primarily for router table use, although it will also be used handheld with the second base which is included with many/most kits. Variable speed would be a nice addition. It would be preferable if at least one of the router base designs would eliminate the need for a table lift mechanism.
The PC 890 kit looks interesting, and seems to allow one to dismiss the need for a router lift. This would be a savings of $200-$300 on the cost of purchasing a Rockwell or Jessem Mast-R-Lift. Or am I in error on this? I can't look at one personally, as the local distributors apparently won't have this until after Christmas. Then there is the 'new model' syndrome, where the customer provides beta testing for new tools...
I looked briefly at the Milwaukee 5615-21, but it didn't seem as versatile or well made. Do they hold up? How do they perform in a router table?
Any other brands/models I am unaware of that might meet this criteria?
Any input is appreciated.
Thanks, Greg
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I've seen and played with the 890. It is the ONE you want! John
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I am also looking at buying a new router for a router table.
I am considering the Milwaukee 5616-20 It has more power (2.25 hp, 13 amp) than the 5615-21 and it is not that much more expensive.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) ?v=glance
<Greg G.> wrote in message

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I have a 16 TPI PRL with a PC7518. Can't find anything to complain about. As a matter of fact, the only person I can recall who has a bad word to say about the PRL anywhere in the western world is Keeter; ignore him. :) I use a cordless drill to raise/lower the router. for fine adjustments, of course, I break out the supplied hand crank.
dave
Greg wrote:

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I have a 32 TPI PRL, and haven't yet been so impatient as to consider using a drill to adjust it. OTOH, I have had occasion to take advantage of the full accuracy of the 32 TPI adjustment.
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:) I'm a impatient kinda guy, which is why they made the 16 TPI version. I too, take full advantage of the accuracy of the PRL, which is a gnat's ass. I don't need it any more accurate than it is. With ZERO backlash in the chain drive, I can easily set it within .001. Didn't we go over this months ago?? :)
dave
DJ Delorie wrote:

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Probably ;-)
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Thanks Guys, but...
I am aware that the PRL is the 'cat's meow', but I am trying to avoid the purchase of such things. As mentioned in the OP, I am attempting to find a router that will function in a table *without* the use of such $300 niceties. That is why the interest in the PC890 and the Milwaukee routers - they 'theoretically' allow router table use with built in above the table height adjustments. Mfg web sites are not much use, however, as they give little practical information. How much range of adjustment? How difficult to change bits above the table? What kind of accuracy? etc...
This is a hobby, more than a business - and that $300 would be better spent on a better table saw, for instance... Heck, I'm still trying to save up enough $$$ to buy a decent bandsaw...
Greg
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On Thu, 11 Dec 2003 17:15:49 -0500, Greg G. wrote:

ALL routers will work just fine in a table without any add-ons. pick a router in your budget with features you like for above and below the table and start making chips. router lifts are nice, gadgety things that make life a bit easier if you do a hell of a lot of router table work. you don't need one. I use a 10 year old freud 4HP plunge router in my table. it works just fine. I made a crank handle that pops on and off of the depth knob- makes adjusting the bit depth easier. cost was nothing. if you'd like I'll send you a picture.

get the PC or the milwaukee or another one. go to a real tool store (not the borg) and look at a bunch of them side by side. spend the $300 on something other than a router lift. if you find yourself doing a lot of router table work you'll probably want a bigger router under the table and that PC will still be very nice above the table.     Bridger
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snipped-for-privacy@cox.net writes:

For example, my previous router table, used with a PC690 plunge router:
http://www.delorie.com/wood/projects/router/oldtable.jpg
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I recommend a table like that as a first router table. use it for a while and figure out what features you want, what size top, what height, etc.... then build that and repeat the process. in no time you'll have a router table that actually suits how you work.     Bridger
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^^ I hope that is a joke...
That is what I get for changing nyms... Everyone assumes the newbie is a moron. :-|
I can tell this is getting COMPLETELY out of hand, and off topic. Perhaps I should have been more specific and precise in my query.
I currently HAVE a homemade router table made with 1/4" steel plate, and a crappy plunge router - albeit one with excessive play in the mechanism and a bit underpowered. It works, but is somewhat inaccurate. I built a height adjuster out of threaded rod and steel tubing, and put a handle on it. It works O.K., but the slop in the plunge mechanism makes accurate adjustment a bit iffy. Differing feed pressure can produce different results, etc.
What I am trying to do is increase accuracy and repeatability by buying a NEW router, and gain the ability to precisely adjust the bit height from above the table, change bits above the table, and have minimal slop in the mechanism - without 'plunging' another $300 for a Mast-R-Lift. I don't want to have to reach under the table into the dust collection box to adjust height, or pull the router motor for bit changes.
With this in mind... Several router MFGs are touting their routers as being able to perform these tasks. i.e.- Porter Cable 890 series, Milwaukee, etc.
Has anyone actually USED one of these routers, and if so, how do they perform as a top adjusting, table mounted router? How much adjustment depth (range)? How easy are the bit changes?
Thanks, (I think...) Greg (Dr. Know)
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I just got an 890 and love it. Here is a router that has taken the best features of several others and put them in one machine.
All you will need is to drill your holes to mount the router and a hole for the adjustment tool.
Variable speed, soft start, above the table bit change, more horse power, not that it makes any differance in your situatuion but if you had a 690 all your accessaries would fit.
It it good.
Bob making sawdust in salem or.
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On 12 Dec 2003 08:40:51 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (RPRESHONG) wrote:

Thanks for the hands-on info! I hate to ask more stupid questions, but since I cannot find one of these locally (yet), I have no choice.
Since you HAVE one, can you tell me what kind of range you get on the height adjustment. In other words, the difference between the maximum up (before collet lock) and maximum down settings?
Does the table mounted arrangement use the plunge base or the standard base? (Assuming the 890 Kit with two bases)
How does the collet lock work, I hear it is 'automatic' - One wrench. (i.e.- raise the router to max height, and the lock engages.)
How is the motor locked once adjustment is made? Or is it even necessary to lock the motor to the base? Can it be done from the top as well? If so, how is it accomplished?
Is the top adjustment a standard size, like a 3/8" hex bolt or an allen head screw?
And finally, how thick a table surface do you estimate could be used before the bit change becomes a PITA?
Thanks for any information, Greg
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<Greg G.> wrote in message (RPRESHONG) wrote:

I just got the PC 895PK router and so far I am very impressed with it. There is some good information on it at the following link. http://www.woodshopdemos.com/nprod-11.htm
This may answer some of your questions. I bought it with the intention of using it in a table and the fixed base looks perfect for this. Both the motor unlock and the height adjustment is done from above. The plunge base would not work as well as the fixed in a table because there is no way to unlock the motor for height adjustment from above the table. The collect lock works very well on the fixed base but does not seem to work as well on the plunge. Amazon has the router in stock and I got it for only $200 with free shipping.
Neal
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Thanks for the link! I found it very informative and it covered most of my questions. Unfortunately, the PC 895PK is now $229.00 at Amazon, still with free shipping - but still apparently a bargain.
I am now attempting to force my fingers away from the ORDER button...
I have some accessories (i.e.- template & edge guides) for the 690 series that I adapted for use to my current router - good to know I could still use them as well.
I just hope the WoodShopDemos site doesn't turn out to be a disguised mouthpiece for PC public relations...
Oh, hell - I wasn't watching, and my finger pressed the button. It has been ordered. ;-)
Greg
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Greg G. wrote:

That's happened to me too, with $50.88 worth of clamps from Harbor Freight (so the shipping cost was zero.)
<g>
-- Mark
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2003 03:50:43 GMT, "Mark Jerde"

Yea, I've gotta watch that miscreant finger - I found it browsing the pages of 14" bandsaws just a moment ago... Fortunately, I caught it in time to avoid intense personal rejection from SWMBO. <bfg>
Greg
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when do I get my royalty check? :)
dave
Greg wrote: snip

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Well, Dave - I think you know the answer to that... <g>
Greg
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