VS Dimmer Switch Use

Folks -
Okay, question about lekturcity here... Could I use a standard incin.. incandces... encand.... oh hell... light bulb dimmer switch as a variable speed switch for a router. If the router draws less than the switch is rated for, will I run into a problem? I don't care about the switch, I just don't want to damage the router.
I built the router table in FWW from several months ago and I have it set up so I can mount three routers on the beast... unfortunately, none of these are VS, and I will need to cut the speed down so I can use a panel raiser in one of them.... I have a cheap HF plunge router that I set up for the horizontal routing, a Melwilke.... Malwalkie.... Milwaulck... dammit.... Red "body grip" router for table use, and my DeWalt Plunge router for the overhead routing.
My only VS router, the Bosch 1617, is my favorite, so I am saving that for hand-work and I don't want to put that one in the table.
Please let me know if y'all think this'd work, or if I'm asking for trouble. As for not buying a VS router control, or yet another router, I don't need help with that... I already know that I'm cheap!
John Moorhead
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John Moorhead wrote:

loads - motors are inductive. So, even if the 'watts' label matched it is not a safe setup.
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I have an old 3HP ryobi (Not soft or electronic start) in my router bench and use a 4 speed ceiling fan switch which to date hasn't started any fires. I do find I only use 2 speeds though medium and high. After 20 minutes of routing dadoes nothing is hot to the touch.
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On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 05:13:15 GMT, "John Moorhead"

This is a common enough approach, but it's more useful for drills than for routers. Many routers now use up to 2000W, which is considerably more than a light dimmer can handle. The biggest low-cost light dimmers I know of are about 500W max.
Routers with built-in speed controls usually have soft-start and may have feedback control of speed, both of which are an advantage worth having.
So for a small router, and a big light dimmer, then I _might_ go for it, if it as my only option. But it's not something I'd particularly recommend.
As to the inductive load business, then I wouldn't worry additionally. It won't stop it working, just de-rate the maximum capacity -- and you're already having to worry about that.
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 14:48:22 +0000, Andy Dingley

Ok, Andy.. but that leads me to another question: I've heard that some motors, mostly ones in appliances, will be damaged by low power... but I don't know if they're talking voltage, amperage or watts.... Can the router be damaged by the reduction from the dimmer switch?
mac
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On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 07:55:10 -0800, mac davis

How many possible variations of dimmer and router are you concerned about ? 8-(
There's a problem in running any motor at low speeds, in that the heat dumped into the motor for a given torque will rise. If you throttle the motor back, and a high load slows it even further, then you have a risk of overheating.
There's also the waveform issue. Simple dimmers work by phase control. Their output wavefom becomes "spiky", which means there's an added high-frequency component. Electric motor windings don't care for this, and again there's more heating going on.
So you can run a motor with a dimmer, but you need to de-rate it for useful power and to watch the temperature of the windings.
With a drill, the use of a speed control might be for low-power low-speed uses like a polishing mop. It works well enough.
For a router though, such an additional speed control is typically used with an underpowered high-speed router swinging a large speed-limited cutter. This still needs a fair amount of torque and thus power, and the power may already be marginal for a small router. This is less successful.
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 16:56:19 +0000, Andy Dingley

Thanks, Andy... I don't have a need to change speeds, but now I know that I wouldn't try a dimmer switch if I did want to..
What made me ask the question was something that came up recently in an RV forum, about checking the voltage and amperage at RV parks/hookups... Someone said that appliances, especially refrigerators, could be damaged by "power drops" more than power spikes..
mac
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On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 22:27:21 -0800, mac davis

I don't know much about US practice for fridges in RVs, but the UK practice is to use a different type of fridge mechanism anyway. Although there's a well-known problem with some domestic fridges and under-voltage, this shouldn't affect the RV type.
--
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I think you would do better with one of these..
http://www.pricecutter.com/ and search on "speed control"
or go to http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM 1-539
John Moorhead wrote:

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Unless your router is a DC motor, a dimmer can burn out your motor. Purchase a router with built-in speeds if that's what you need. My PC router is variable speed but I use 22,000 rpm most of the time.
On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 05:13:15 GMT, "John Moorhead"

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And how many routers are there that don't use this type of motor ?
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On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 02:09:32 +0000, Andy Dingley

Cisco?
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