Which type of router to use in a table?

This may be a stupid question but what kind of router base is the best for a router table? A fixed-base or a plunge-base? I see advantages and disadvantages to both.
Being an every-other-weekend-or-so-warrior, I am going to be using the table much less often than most folks here, and I don't know if that makes a difference or not.
I only have a cheapie router table where I need to screw the router underneath and it's a pain to change the bits. I was thinking of purchasing a wrench that is bent to change them but am also in the market for a new router as my old, fixed-base thing is starting to make some interesting noises recently.
That was when I thought, maybe,a plunge router would enable me to possibly to raise the collet enough to change bits above the hole in the table instead of twisting every which way underneath or taking the motor out.
I know there are oodles of neat gadgets for the router table to make my life easier but I don't use it enough to justify the cost--at least until the disease takes complete hold of me!
Thanks.
busbus
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"Best" is a pretty subjective term. I can only tell you that I use a fixed base under my table. I have a DeWalt 618B which came with 3 bases - standard ears, D-handle and plunge. I took off the ears and mounted the standard base under my insert. It's an extremely simply process to unsnap the motor from the base and pull the entire motor out of the insert if I need to use it freehand. I just throw it in one of the other bases, and off I go. Works for me. The 618B (B designates the kit with the 3 bases) came from Amazon and if I remember correctly, I paid $245.00 for it with shipping.
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My two cents worth. The main advantages you can gain from a router table are safety, particularly with small parts, and accuracy. I think that accuracy is the main thing that makes most folks buy or build a table.
With that said, I think the best way to achieve accuracy is to reduce the number of 'movable things' between the motor and the router base (and tabletop). You won't achieve this by mounting a plunge router under the table - the plunge mechanism adds mechanical slop between these two key elements. My vote is for a good fixed-base router with a reliable depth-lock mechanism.
BTW - there are some pretty good machines available that can provide some of both worlds. These are the sets that combine a conventional router/base with an interchangable plunge-base. This might be a good approach if you are just getting started. You get:
1) Plunge Router 2) Fixed Base Router and 3) Router Table Router......
all in one case. Bosch, PC and others offer 2 to 2-1/2 HP machines that will do a good job for all purposes. When the disease consumes you, you will upgrade to a monster router for the table anyway.
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Why? It's where the bit meets the wood that counts.

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Here's a review of a router that seems to be very innovative. It allows the collect to extend past the base for bit changes, so in a table you can raise it up above the table and greatly ease the chore of changing bits. It's also very powerful, which is a big plus if you ever want to use panel raising bits, etc. on the router table.
http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com/reviews/tritonrouter.htm
Personally, I have a PC 7518 in my router, using a Woodpeckers Precision Router Lift. I absolutely love it, but all told i spent something like $550 for the combination. If I were in the market today, I'd seriously consider the triton instead and save myself over $200.
Mike

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You asked about a router, but it seems to me that you're going to have ongoing pain with either type, if you don't fix or replace that table. A base plate for mounting the router is an absolute minimum to working with it in a table. You could buy a piece of lexan or phenolic and make the plate, then plop it into plywood, MDF or other stiff flat surface and be miles ahead of what you've got. To change bits, you lift the router (with baseplate attached) out of the table. The assembly sits in the table and is held in place by the weight of the router. There are all kinds of fancy, costly raisers that support above the table bit changes, if you want to spend the money.
Bob
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On 3 Dec 2004 06:30:21 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@currydsl.com (busbus) wrote:

I have two regular Router tables...one on a free standing and another mounted in the woutfeed table of my tablesaw...plus I have a horizontal table and a Pin Router (overhead arm).... EVERY one of these tables has its own dedicated REGULAR router always mounted..
In 3 of them I have older DeWalt 610's I think... 1 Hp units anyway! mounted...in the overhead table (seldom used) I have a very old Crapsman ...
I also have a DeWalt and PC plunge routers that I use for hand held work...
Personally I just drop the enite motor down and out of the table when I change the bits....very simple, very fast...and definately not very hard...
I may add that I hate the table I have mounted on my tablesaw because it is just way too low... Using it for any lenght of time gives be a major back ache... That is the reason I installed the stand along table (Bench dog) unit...
Just my opinions....
Bob Griffiths
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Me too. I suspect a plunge might be "best" - but since I was router-impaired (only one PC 693VSPK) - I put the fixed base under the table. The "logic" was that the plunge could do the work of a fixed and a plunge, and thus should be accessible. The fixed could never plunge so under the table it went.
When I boogered up the 693 plunge base, I took advantage of Amazon's Bosch 1617EVSPK for $190. Now I'll prolly leave the 690 fixed in the table, pitch the 690 plunge.
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On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 22:57:34 GMT, "patrick conroy"

I'll take it...
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Right after I figure out what the $%^& I did to booger it up. I have no idea how it got jammed in there.
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The more powerful, the better. My router is fixed base and 3.25 HP. It unscrews easily from the mounted base, then I can change bits without any hassle. Unless you have a strong-thick throat plate, a heavy router may warp it over time. I remove my router after use.
On 3 Dec 2004 06:30:21 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@currydsl.com (busbus) wrote:

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Sounds like you follow Tim Allens approach.... lol
My 4 routers that sit in my router tables are all 1 Hp..one may even be 3/4 Hp ...never really needed anything more powerful...or I should say I never even wished for any more HP...big difference ! . they all stay in the tables all the time...
Bob Griffiths
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I use a Milwaukee 2 hp, both in my router table and freehand. It's done everything I've asked it to very well. I especially like the rubber grap on the body of the router.
-Peter
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Hitachi M12V.

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Bob wrote:

I've used an ancient 1 HP B&D, replaced it with a PC-690, and later replaced that with a variable speed DeWalt when I needed to spin some large bits for making paneled garage doors. The "liberated" PC-690 has been convenient for freehand routing.
On my CNC router table I use a variable speed (0 - 24000 RPM in 0.1 RPM steps) 5 HP Colombo. One of the things I like about it is that there are collets available for a wide range of bit shank sizes.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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