Today is payday and I have put off new tool purchases over the holidays so that there was room in the budget for a decent Christmas for the kids and so dad is going to pick up a router, one he probably should have picked up in the first place :)
Two years ago, a friend takes me to Harbor Freight and I see a 1 3/4 HP plunge router ON SALE (took me a bit to realize that these things are ALWAYS on sale) for about 40 dollars. Impulse buy later and I am playing around with the router down the basement. It works ok, jerks on start up but I eventually learn to know what to expect from it. The thing is, I want to do inlay and the inlay kits require PC style bushings and this thing doesn’t have the plate needed for the bushings. The router is a little stiff and difficult for gentile work anyway so I let the idea slip from my head.
Then Christmas comes, about 6 months later, and Santa gave me a Craftsman router table with a router mounted underneath. All joy until I realize that the router only uses 1/4 inch bits and most of the bits in my collection are 1/2 inch. I make do for a few months then I buy a router to mount underneath. I pick up a 2 horse Craftsman with slow start. It holds 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch bits so I am back in business. Then I get the idea that I would like to do raised panels, only I discover that RPM rates have to be reduced for the larger bits and this thing has no speed dial. Not a problem, I could just pick up a speed control for the router, only this has soft start :) and speed dials don’t work with soft start routers :)
Today I am picking up a Ridgid multibase kit and I am here to tell you that I definitely did my homework. I know it has the horsepower, I know it has multispeed, I know it has a PC style bushing baseplate. I will put the fixed base under the table and use the current router as a spare for routing dovetails and things outside the table. The plunge router base will be nice, I can finally look into an inlay kit. I will have two extras that I can give away to anyone new to the arena who can’t afford the tools.
My lesson has been learned. I won’t spend 400 dollars in the future in order to save me 100 bucks.
Happy woodworking everyone,
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.