Time to re-evaluate router-table routers?

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There was a Craftsman overhead router attachment that would do that quite nicely. Presently, Lee valley has their Bit Jack. Has to be used with a plunge router but you control the plunge with a foot pedal.

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On 29 Dec 2006 16:21:14 -0800, "Never Enough Money"

I have the little triton in my table and have to say that I never ever adjust the bit height from above the table. You've got to go under the table to release and relock the plunge lock lever (I did forget and leave it unlocked once with nothing bad happening, but wouldn't trust it) so it really doesn't make sense to release the lever, then get your wrench, get the wrench to engage, adjust, relock the lever and put the wrench away when there's a knob right next to the lever that does the same thing. You're probably bending down to get at eye level with the bit regardless too.
However, being able to change bits with one wrench (and no button holding either) above the table is the cat's meow and worth every penny.

Perhaps with a lift you don't need to lock anything so you don't have to go under and therefore above the table adjustments would make more sense. I don't feel there's any lack of precision in my setup.
-Leuf
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Well, claimed to be progress. Different anyway. On Saturdays I watch the woodworking shows on PBS, including The Router Workshop, where bits, heights, fences and jigs are changed regularly and easily, and "microadjusting" comes from a hammer. Talk about your minimal outlay!
Oh yes, before someone jumps in, I've never used an above the table height adjustment on the router. Or my shaper, tablesaw, jointer ....
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I have the larger Triton and it has worked well for over three years. From casual observation I think it is still the best bang for the buck today. However, if I won the lottery I would probably replace it with the set up shown on the site below. It uses a special Milwaukee in a Jessem table with a Jessem lift and fence. Cheers, JG
http://www.jessem.com/main_page.htm

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I'm happy with the Freud FT1700VCE. It adjusts, raises and locks for above the table bit changes. I used to hate bit changing and height adjustmentwith my Dewalt plunge router. I haven't lifted the Freud out of the table since I dropped it in there 6 months ago. Its easy to use with everything above the table.
My only complaints: a. The paper template for the mounting holes was not accurate. b. The plastic base plate was riveted to the metal base and partially blocked one of the threaded table mounting holes. c. When unlocked for height adjustment the router is a bit wobbly.
Jim (happy with Freud)
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I think there is still a market for all three. For the first timer, or rare user, screw the router base under the table and be done with it. For the occasional-to-moderate user, a router with built-in above table height adjustment is more economical than a lift, but provides faster adjustment than a fixed-base router. For the heavy user, a dedicated router lift is typically sturdier and has better precision.
Many of the routers with built-in above table adjustment aren't really built to withstand daily use. I used a Freud 1700 for less than a year before it died. It's replacement (under warranty) only lasted a couple of weeks before the spindle lock broke. Typically, the lift mechanisms have a lot of backlash, and use plastic parts that distort or break with heavy use.
I recently got the Milwaukee 5625 and the Woodpecker router plate specifically because there is an upgrade path if a failure occurs. It is far superior to the Freud, in terms of rigidity. We'll see how well it holds up. If the lift mechanism in the router breaks, I'll upgrade to the Woodpecker router lift made for the 5625 body. So at least I won't have to re-do my router table again.
Regards, John.
Never Enough Money wrote:

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