I was only dimly aware of D-handle routers until I found one in my Dad's
garage a couple of months ago. It's an old Rockwell 150B and it came
with an accessory base that has a roller on it; presumably to do
bearing-guided routing with bits that do not have their own bearings. I
haven't tried that feature yet. The bearing might be too old to operate
The motor cap was missing; I bought a replacement from a guy named Dick
Jarmon. The cap had only two of the required three semicircular
recesses, which was as he said it would be. The original part is no
longer made, but a PC cap almost fits. A cutting disc and then an
abrasive drum on an electric die grinder made the third recess quickly
I decided to try it out on a couple of operations I had to do on my
project. I have to say that the D-Handle was very comfortable to work
with. The ability to start and stop the router without letting go of it
is a *very* nice feature. And I feel like I have a good stable grip on
it too. On top of all that, it's one solid all-metal tool. I figure to
use it regularly.
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Greg, the more you use that router the more you will probably wonder how yo
u did without it. For me, it is really hard to beat as an edging tool. I
bought this one about 15 years ago when trimming out a fine old ranch style
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
They had removed every piece of trim in the house, and I replaced every pie
ce with nicer moldings and custom combinations. To do the window stools, t
hey wanted a nice round over that didn't look like factory, but more like i
t was made for the window itself. The client found what I wanted, which wa
s 3/4"X6" fine grained MDF in 14' lengths. I eased over an edge with a 1/2
" bead bit raised high enough to not cut the bottom indenture. The custom l
ook came when I returned the half bead to the wall.
I had a few hundred feet of this to do, and that D handle configuration mad
e it a snap. No need to stand right in front of the material as you do wit
h a "mickey mouse ears" router as you can easily hold it in a more controll
able grip from a more natural angle.
Since then I have literally edged a few thousand feet of trim with that rou
ter and reach for it over my others when I feel it is the best choice. It
doesn't do formica edging as well as a small trim router, doesn't plunge li
ke a plunger (in fact, doesn't truly plunge at all!). It is more awkward t
o use if you need to get down in front of it to see exactly what you are cu
tting as in cutting a hinge mortise. Then the Mickey Mouse ears work best
as you can get right in front of the work.
For everything else, this is my go to guy. I have made window stool, custom
base moldings for "one off" rooms, and door and window trims. When MLCS w
as just getting going strong, they had a router bit combo on sale that was
cheap enough to buy to try out making my own patterns for fun. Turns out t
he MLCS bits they are a helluva bang for the buck, and made me some good mo
ney mimicking some of the patterns folks saw.
You will like that router!
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