Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day #10: Emergency router purchase - Bosch 1617 EVSPK - first impressions, and a surprise!

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 01-24-2010 04:36 AM 1562 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Heading home tomorrow. Thoughts on digital devices. Part 10 of Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day series Part 11: Some progress on the sled, finished up my "bicyclic panel trolley". »

Well today started out OK. Down to the shop, after Sherie got up a little late, no shop work when she is sleeping…right above the shop.

Finally decided that plywood was out of the question for my Super Sled due to poor quality materials…....I know…I will find a local cabinet supply to get me Baltic birch. But I reviewed the stresses etc, and with some thought and additions, 3/4 MDF will work, I am certain. So while trying to lift up a 4’x 8’ sheet of the stuff, and saying to myself this is going to be a tough haul, I decided to build a plywood trolley (guaranteed to be interesting, as usual).

So, I decide I will make some plywood wheels, about 6” diameter, time to make a quick and dirty circle jig for the band saw. Pull out the old Vermont-American cheapo router table with it’s 30 year old Skil router attached. Then the fun?!? began. Cut out the wood pieces on the saw, but needed to do some routing for what is essentially a large sliding dovetail. Found the design for the jig in a ShopNotes I had, but checked my FWW archive of the last 25 years….......and…....found the same design. This should take me about two hours total to make the jig I figure.

So I decide to do some test routing. I can’t get the bit to stay in the collet, adjusting it is a b——, and the one nice feature of it, a push gizmo that holds the shaft so you only need one wrench, fails. Now, I have done a modest amount of routing with this router, and it always worked. I thought I could hold out until I had a new router table in the TS extension, and put a Triton in there, which is still my intention. But I knew I would need three new routers, one for fixed and plunge work (I hadn’t decided what), a Triton 2.5 hp for a table router, and the Bosch palm router for trim.

So I said, I am now going to do an emergency purchase of my free router, fixed and plunge, and temporarily stick it in my old Vermont-American table. I can’t work with the Skil anymore (it will not be buried, I might find a fixed use for it. No taps yet.) The issue is, I have to do a lot of routing on the Super Sled…..I have to have a working router.

So quick to the internet…..
Reviews come up with two…...a Milwaukee fixed only router at a reasonable price…..or the universally well reviewed Bosch 1617 EVSPK plunge and fixed combo. For the Bosch I liked the low set wooden handles for the fixed router to give it good balance, and the essentially universal praise. I print them both out, and 20 minutes later out to Lowe’s. I figured I might not get the lowest price, but I was gonna find one in town if I could.

Wham…...Lowe’s had the Bosch for $220 which…...was reasonable. 20 minutes after I left, I was home with the router. Without changing clothes or taking off my coat, I read the instructions and put it in the router table….....and here comes the surprise….........

Much to my amazement, it has an above the table height adjustment with T-wrench. And even more amazing, my Vermont-American old cheapo table has a beveled hole already made for it. So I run upstairs, get into my grungies (you know, old clothes) run down to the shop. Then to put the bit in it. I find that if I take the insert out, then push the motor up, put a block of wood under it of the right height…..I have above the table bit change capability. It comes with two CAST WRENCHES, unfortunately you need two. But one goes under the table on a flat section of the shaft, and does not have to be held, kinda a nothing thing, and I can work on the collet nut above the table.

I put in the bit. Take out the piece of wood. Stick in the T-wrench and adjust the bit perfectly in one try, snap the lock, and get perfect results as proven with a test piece. Ran that RPM down to the lowest, because I was removing a lot of wood…


Now the Triton, I know, will be a little easier, but this is quite extraordinary for a quick purchase, and a temporary implacement in an old table. Wow.

Well too late for any more work, but tomorrow, I should be a shop whiz…...........(-:

Kudos to Bosch, because this looks like it will be a very good emergency purchase…....

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

25 comments so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3391 days

#1 posted 01-24-2010 04:46 AM

Congrats Jim, now lets see some sawdust!

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3187 days

#2 posted 01-24-2010 04:52 AM

Thanks for the viewing. I am quite impressed with the router…..of course when you haven’t purchased a router for 30 years, maybe anything looks good….....

You know…
When you haven’t had a girl friend for thirty years…..............


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3348 days

#3 posted 01-24-2010 04:57 AM

LOL…. sounds like you still remain choosy enough to protect yourself ;)

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3187 days

#4 posted 01-24-2010 05:04 AM


Thanks… wife is glad I was choosy…...........

......did I say that right?..............

Anyway, it was a good experience, and the internet reviews improved my chances. But I am still amazed that Lowes had what I wanted, and the resulting performance was so good.

Thanks for viewing….....


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 3129 days

#5 posted 01-24-2010 05:04 AM

Good pick up, I have two of them and they work great. A few things that help is the on/switch wears out quickly (they are easy to replace) and one has to lubricate the sleeve from time to time so it moves freely.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3187 days

#6 posted 01-24-2010 05:16 AM

Thanks for the tips. You’re my neighbor…..Washington is our neighbor…......

Thanks for the viewing, you have some very nice projects… wife is an A&C freak, and I guess our house is getting that way, so hope to hear more from you…......

.......thanks again


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3587 days

#7 posted 01-24-2010 05:33 AM

Ripped apart the old sled (fit my old Craftsman saw ) and started on my new sled today too, nothing special but going to make it to the left of the blade only.

Oh yea, welcome back to the shop Jim.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3187 days

#8 posted 01-24-2010 05:40 AM

There are more darn designs for sleds, I finally said to myself, I am going to set the design and go do it. So that is what I am doing. Understand the one sided design. We can compare… can bet your life mine will be heavier…....(-: ..........if nothing else.

But it was a good day, since I improved my router situation….....

.....should have some shop antics tomorrow to report…....

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3187 days

#9 posted 01-24-2010 05:41 AM

.......and thanks for the welcome back…....was getting tired of the sunny beaches and grass skirts…...missed the smell of sawdust…......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3587 days

#10 posted 01-24-2010 05:54 AM

After all the planning and cogitating sometimes you just have to build it.

As for the beaches and grass skirts…Uh yea Jim…I aint believing that one!

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3187 days

#11 posted 01-24-2010 06:33 AM

......come on now…....this is not reality… never has been…............

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3357 days

#12 posted 01-24-2010 12:25 PM

Congrats on the new router Jim. It seems that Bosch wins almost all tool comparisons. I’m sure you will get a lot of use out of it. Looking forward to seeing that sled finished!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3844 days

#13 posted 01-24-2010 01:30 PM

Jim, 30 years on with a Skil router!! You should get out and browse through the tool section at Lowe’s more often. :) It is always exciting when we add a new tool to the shop so open up the wallet and treat yourself to a new tool every now and then.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3904 days

#14 posted 01-24-2010 02:33 PM

Congrats. That is a fine router. Everything Bosch that I own, I love.

Re-consider the weight of your sled. I always find my self taking it on & off & off the saw for any particular project. So size and storability is also important.

But hey, It will be cool,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4322 days

#15 posted 01-24-2010 03:54 PM

Welcome back the wood lovers realm.

Congratulations on your new purchase.

I think Bosch is a reliable tool.

Nowadays if you buy any of the top name brands, you’ll be satisfied.

Competition is a good thing.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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