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Router Table #2: The Motor's In - Triton 3.25hp TRC001 1/2" Precision Router

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 12-15-2009 05:39 PM 11046 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Design ideas, need some feedback Part 2 of Router Table series Part 3: Simplifying and Completing the Design »

It really started a while back, I got hooked on the idea of a router lift for the table after seeing the Incra Router lift with the magnetic inserts. after that the obsession was fed by finding Woodpeckers’ router lifts with the quick release mechanism which allows for quick lift of the router to rough positioning, and for pulling it all the way up for over the table bit change.

then came the Woodpeckers PRL-V2 (also rebranded by Incra with their magnetic inserts, and recently also rebranded by Kreg tools.) which blew me away. I’ll admit it – I’m very mechanical and electronic and I love those devices.

my barrier was the $300 price. which for my ‘serious’ hobby, I cannot justify at the moment – same goes with the Incra LS-TS fence which I would really like, and this router table is designed for – yet, just cannot justify the expense.

Then came the Rockler sale for their (Jessem) router lift. it was (still is) affordable, yet does not have the quick lift feature for rough positioning and over the table bit change. so, no go for me.

Then came the Woodcraft sale for the Triton 3.25hp router, which caught my eye, but wasn’t enough to make me consider it too seriously. Thanks to Daniel (LJ craftsman-on-the-lake) who brought it back to mind as he started a discussion about it here. reading through reviews, it seemed like a good unit, at a great price. it can be used in a router table, and has built in lift mechanism, has both rough positioning and fine tune positioning possibilities, and has above table bit change feature using only 1 wrench (auto collet lock). this will also be a more powerful motor for use under the table (as opposed to my 2.25hp bosch) and will also free up my bosch for free hand work.

however, I figured there must be a reason why they updated that router model (hence the old model was on sale).

further researching showed that the new model also comes with above table crank handle. for some this is no biggy, but since I plan on enclosing the router in the table, I figured this might come in handy. also the router received some upgraded design and parts, such as sealed power switch (If it’s enclosed in the table, I’d rather have it sealed from dust), the lift plastic gear has been replaced with a metal gear, the lift bushing has been updated for smoother travel, and the collet reducer (for 1/4” bits) have been changed for better use.

I figured the extra is worth my peace of mind, and made the plunge (pun intended) and ordered it from woodcraft.com. we’re in the holiday season and they have free shipping on everything which was a nice bonus. (woodcraft don’t carry this router locally here).

The router arrived one day earlier than expected. I have yet to use it, but my first impression is a positive one- it feels comfortable in my hand, heavier than my 2.25 Bosch, but not overly heavy that it would feel uncomfortable. all the mechanisms work pretty nicely.

Triton unboxed

All in all, it’s an expense that I wasn’t really planning to make, but am very happy with it as this will allow me to continue with the router table project, and get something that will work as I wanted it, with the lift capabilities I was hoping for, a bigger motor than I would have had until now, at a low(er) cost than other options would have cost me.

Triton seems to be controversial as they went under last year, and were resurrected, they have minimal online resources, and seems like there are still some things floating around. hopefully I can add a bit more content online regarding this unit.

I’ll review this router as I get to use it for making the router table (I will use this one freehand as opposed to using my lighter bosch just so that I can get a feel for how this one performs while I can still do something about it).

This router table project feels stuck, I have so many ideas for it. maybe too many that I’m overloaded, and can’t find a combination of them all that I would like. uughhh…

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.



14 comments so far

View RetiredCoastie's profile

RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1926 days


#1 posted 12-15-2009 05:52 PM

Looks great, Glad to hear the lift gear is metal. Keep us posted on the evaluation. I’ll probably buy one after my shop gets put back together. Thanks for the update.

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Cory's profile

Cory

724 posts in 2163 days


#2 posted 12-15-2009 06:05 PM

Good info. I’m looking forward to the review of the router.

As for being stuck in a plan, I know exactly how you feel. My only advice would be to make a decision and start building. If you’re like me, there will be modifications as you go through the build process. After using your table for a while, you’ll figure out what you did right and wrong and be able to use that information for the next table. There’s really no way to build a “perfect” project in the future without screwing a few things up along the way on your current one.

Good luck!

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2765 days


#3 posted 12-15-2009 06:21 PM

I thinks you are really going to like that new router.
I have the older model and it is may favourite of 7.

the other thing that I have enjoyed in my shop for some time is the lee Valley router table top.
It is really under rated in the adverts and magazines.
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=41793&cat=1,43053,43885

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2392 days


#4 posted 12-15-2009 06:37 PM

Thanks guys,

RetiredCoastie – review should come around xmas time where I will get some time off from work to do some wwing – hopefully it won’t snow too much , but it probably will be freezing temp. brrrr

Cory – what do you mean no way to build a ‘perfect’ project?!?... oh dear… lol. but seriously – I’m still not sure on the design of the table which I can then screwup… one step at a time right? I just need to finalize the general construction to which I Can then add and modify.

Bob – I love everything Lee Valley, they have excellent products, and excellent service. WW related – bar none. however after all the trouble I went through to get the material for the top of this table, I HAVE to use it. :) I’m glad to hear you like the router so much, your comments made it easier for me to go ahead with this route. thanks again!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2418 posts in 2181 days


#5 posted 12-15-2009 07:25 PM

I built my router table and top awhile back. Very satisfied with it. I purchased an aluminum router plate. It’s great but if I had to do it again I’d be careful and get one that has a hole large enough to take a 3 1/2 inch raised panel bit. this one has a slightly smaller opening so I must raise the bit above the table and put a 1/8” spacer sheet on the router table. Someday I’ll change the plate but I payed for this one and it works for everything else otherwise. My top is on hinges with a chain to stop it at about 95 degrees open. The top is so solid and stiff that a flip up top works nicely.

A couple of other things to watch out for from experience. My dust collection is too small and has been changed from the picture below. You need a wide box behind the fence like seen in commercial fences. Wood often comes off in longer splinters and can’t turn to go up the tube. Also, half the shavings end up in the router table so dual dust collection is important or you’ll end up scooping out a foot of shavings from inside the table.I have a port on the lower back side.

Also, I made a top by stripping down some selectly picked out fir 2×8’s and jointing/planing them to make a sort of butcherblock top. My first one was with braced mdf and it eventually sagged ever so slightly but is really noticable when routing something. The edges will route deeper than the center. The new top works out well and cost a couple of dollars. The t-track holds my roller featherboard and a handmade sled that has an oak slider.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15303 posts in 1932 days


#6 posted 12-15-2009 07:28 PM

Sommerfelds Tools swear by this router. I just recommended to a buddy to buy this one on sale at wood craft for his father’s X-mas present! I have 3 routers and I’m trying to figure out in my head how to justify a 4th. I know I will win this argument with myself LOL … Nice review!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2392 days


#7 posted 12-15-2009 07:34 PM

Thanks Daniel, thats a nice table! I have a 1-3/8” thick phenolic panel (36”x28”) for the top, I might mount the router directly to that, or I have another plate of 5/8” thick phenolic that I can make into a router plate for easier removal of the router from the table – still undecided which route to go (ha, this thread is full of those).

dust collection will be dual path, I have a Jet 1100 that will be the sucker, and will have 1 hose going into the cabinet, and another one that will mount into the fence similar to Incra’s Wonder-Fence DC feature.

my indecision has less to do with the top, and more to do with the construction of the cabinet itself (devisions, drawers/doors/ access to router, wheels, etc).

I am definitely copying your roller featherboard though :) I found some old rollerblades, and will use their wheels for the rollers. :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2532 posts in 2701 days


#8 posted 12-15-2009 08:52 PM

Purp…congrats on the purchase! Since I got my unisaw I have been thinking about dropping a router into the extension table so I can take advantage of that Biesmeyer fence for routing. I have read a ton of reviews and this router keeps floating to the surface as one of the best routers…..under the table and freehand. Thanks for clearing a few things up for me..I was wondering why the older one was so cheap…but from the reviews I have read they basically fixed everything that was wrong with the older router in the new one. I love the fact that you can remove the plunge springs without tools….and the above the table bit change /collet lock is so convinient..and it also locks out the power switch so you don’t have to unplug the router to do bit changes. I am going to use the Lee Valley 12” round router table insert plate. The magnetic levelers are very cool and the quick release router clamps allow you to leave the router base on, and you can remove and install the router in seconds. From what I have read as far as dust collection goes, the Triton comes with some covers, that when put in place almost eliminates the need for an enclosed dust collection shroud around the router. Good luck and I will be looking forward to seeing what you build around it!

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2392 days


#9 posted 12-15-2009 09:04 PM

Thanks David, as I said – LV products are spot on. but currently I’m limited by budget, even this router was kinda over the top, but with the holidays, and a loving wife that got it as a present for me I have it. the router is pretty much fully enclosed for DC, but we’ll see how it behaves when I use it freehand first – maybe I wont need cabinet DC after all, either way that would be pretty easy to add on later if needed.

for what it’s worth – I don’t think the older model was bad – I actually think it’s an amazing Bang for the Buck. just knowing myself, I preferred to go with the one that had some of the things worked out. more for convenience, and not having to play around with it in the future I guess.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View degoose's profile

degoose

7051 posts in 2098 days


#10 posted 12-15-2009 09:43 PM

Good choice there Sharon.

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2078 days


#11 posted 12-15-2009 10:51 PM

Hey Purp. Great choice. I would love to have a Triton router. I am currently using a cheap 2-1/2 hp Chinese one. It isn’t great but it works and I can do bit changes on the top of my router table. That said, the lifting, fine adjustment and quality components of the Triton all make it worth the price. I hope you get a lot of enjoyment from it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2698 posts in 2030 days


#12 posted 12-16-2009 12:53 AM

Congratulations on the router Sharon. I can’t wait to see the finished table. Let us know how the Triton works out. We’re looking at bringing them in to the store, so any information is valuable. If you need a router table plan don’t ask me, I just started building mine and made it up as I went. I did look at a lot on LJs beforehand though, so I guess I knew where I was headed. Lot’s of good ideas here, huh? (Maybe too many)

Good luck
Kent

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 2096 days


#13 posted 12-18-2009 09:34 AM

Well I see it arrived, congrats. Looking forward to seeing it in the table. :)

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2246 posts in 2290 days


#14 posted 12-28-2009 08:22 PM

Very nice, I am wishin Santa brought me one of those things. Need it or not it would still have been fun to play with.

Have fun with your new toy!

Jerry

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

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