I'm getting closer to committing myself to building my next project
using mortise and tenon joinery, something I've not done before. I'll
need to buy a plunge router and I'm wondering what I should know in
terms of getting one that will accept common guide bushings and work
well with them.
I believe I've already read (here) that guide bushings likely to be
off-center with respect to the bit, so one needs to keep a single
reference edge. And I saw something that suggests that there are two
kinds of bushings; one for Bosch and one for everything else. Beyond
that, I know nothing.
I have a Porter Cable, and the guide bushing indeed was off-center to
the bit and for cutting round recesses it was noticeable. I fixed it
by removing the sole plate, making a flat recess for the screws and
enlarging the screw hole a little. I put the plate back on loosely and
put a cone in the router (I had one made by a machinist) and centered
the guide on the cone, then tightened the screws. The cone is
inverted with a 1/4" shaft sticking out where the tip of the cone
should be. When the plunge is retracted it pulls the cone into the
guide bushing and centers it automatically.
Most good routers have a base plate that is attached with a pan head
style screw that fits in an over sized hole. This enables you to move
the base plate until it is perfectly centered over the bit.
This attaches in the router collet to aid with centering the guide
bushing base assembly.
This shows a Rockler bushing set and centering tool
The Bosch 1617 router comes in a kit with fixed base and plunge base for
about $200. I paid that amount for just the fixed base version in 1998.
And now for my Festool pitch. Since you appear to be taking wood
working seriously and if you think you are to continue your interest you
are going to find that mortise and tenon joinery is hard to beat in
terms of strength. The Festool Domino is damn expensive but makes
cutting mortises accurately and quickly for use with floating tenons as
easy as using a biscuit cutter/plate joiner. And it can be used for
many other uses.
A plunge router is a great tool to have in the shop but the Domino is
better suited for cutting specific sized mortises. I seldom use a
plunge router, and have 3.
Home Depot often has it at that price. I have the 1613, which
was the predecessor to the 1617, and have been very happy with
it (I only have a plunge base for it).
One thing to consider is if you expect to ever do a lot of
router table work, like raising panels. The 1617 will be
underpowered for big bits like panel raisers. But at 2.25
horses, it's big for a plunge router, and a bit unweildy.
A combination of a smaller plunge router, and a big 3hp
fixed-base router dedicated to table use, could be a more
OTOH, if you think you're good with just one router, the
Bosch 1617 combo would be hard to beat.
BTW, a great first project with a router is to build a
Buy the 1617 combo and mount the fixed base in a table you build
without sub base plate.
Mount Pat Warner's sub base in the plunge unit.
If you need a fixed base unit for free hand (template) work, add
another Pat Warner sub base to an existing fixed base router.
For now I have ordered the Bosch, as several people have recommended,
along with a set of guide bushings. I plan to do some experimenting and
jig making before I start my project in earnest. Thanks to all.
+1 on what Leon wrote. I got my Domino off a CL ad for considerably less than new as I couldn't justify the investment on a new unit. It is magic!
On Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 8:35:31 AM UTC-5, Greg Guarino wrote:
I have a couple of bosch 1617evs I don't have special bosch guides.
Instead I bought the bosch to pc adapter $7 years ago I think.
Get a good combo router, that has fixed and pluge bases.
I like the 1617 ...
Some of the others are very good too. As far as off center, I have a
centering tool and it works.
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