|Review by RandyMorter||posted 01-24-2011 06:18 PM||2800 views||0 times favorited||9 comments|
- Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 HP Router & RA1171 Benchtop Cabinet-Style Table
- Brand: Bosch | Category: Routers
I got the Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 HP Router Kit with the fixed and plunge bases as an upgrade to my Ryobi router. I was looking for more power and also for a router I could mount in a table (I never could get the Ryobi in a table for some reason, and I even tried a Ryobi table).
I got the router from Lowe’s on 11/15/2010 for $189.00 in Phoenix, AZ. Home Depot had the same unit for $209.
Those are only the two routers I’ve ever used and I like the Bosch much better. I chose it over others mainly based on the reviews from ToolCritic.com and haven’t been disappointed with the router. I’m not going to go into it much because there are other good reviews of it here, such as from Tim from Iowa City.
I also got the Bosch RA1171 Benchtop Cabinet Style Router Table, again from Lowe’s, for $179.00, which I will discuss a bit…
I read a lot of reviews and info about router tables. The most common advice for getting a table you like is to build it yourself. Some of that advice includes waiting until it is you see what you want in a table and then build it yourself.
Being pretty new, and impatient, and ignoring the advice from those more experienced, I decided to get a store bought unit. I settled on this Bosch unit because the router fits in without much hassel. I liked it better than the other, non-cabinet model, mainly because of the laminated top and the cabinet.
I got a stand from Sears to mount it on, the Model# 22284, for $34.99.
1. I like the cabinet. It gives me a great place to store some of the accessories such as the inserts, wrenches, featherboards, etc.
2. The switch is convenient, has a removable safety interlock, and has 2 switched outlets so you can use it to control a shop vac (which I did use for a bit).
3. For the projects I’ve done so far (as of January 2011) the table size is sufficient. I have always used the fence and haven’t done anything using the starter pin.
4. I added some hooks inside and out to hang the wrenches on, including the height adjusting wrench.
5. The router height can be adjusted using the supplied T-handle wrench from the top of the table.
6. The bits can be changed from the top of the table (I put the shaft wrench on from underneath the table then loosen/tighten the collet from above the table. An offset wrench would be better but the supplied wrench works fine.).
7. Dust collection works pretty good using an attached shop vac. The cabinet still gets quite a bit of sawdust in it though.
8. I didn’t have to build it – and it’s giving me good ideas for when / if I do build one.
9. It came with a couple of nice plastic feather boards.
10. The router mounting plate is pretty thick aluminimum with levelling adjustments.
11. The fence is split with hardwood faces that can be replaced. The fence can be shimmed for jointing.
1. I don’t like the slots for the fence adjustment. I wish they were T-slot aluminum. The routed out through-holes seem sloppy and will likely wear. The fence uses carriage bolts through the slots and they bind when trying to adjust the fence. I haven’t had a problem with this, but it seems like the fence doesn’t tighten down very securely and could move during a cut. I haven’t looked into it much but I don’t think it’d be too hard to mount T-slots to the table top to replace the slots and if I can do that I’d be plenty happy with the table. Just cutting those slots square and parallel will be the biggest challenge.
2. I don’t like the plastic inserts. They are thinner than the aluminum mounting plate and there’s no provision for adjustment. I’d really like to machine some aluminum inserts but I don’t have the tools. As it is, I added 5 thicknesses of masking tape to four locations in between the four “snap” portions of the inserts to level the insert to the table. Without something like this the work piece dips down when it’s over the insert and then comes to a stop when it hits the end of the insert. I also wish there were more inserts with a bigger variety of holes. Sometimes you have to go to a bigger insert hole that leaves a lot of empty space around the bit, allowing material to fall into the cabinet and/or making you watch so that the work piece doesn’t droop into the hole as your cutting it.
3. I wish the switched outlets were easier to get to. They’re tucked up against the underside of the table top making it hard to plug in a vacuum (once the router’s plugged in you don’t need to change it much). You can plug in a short extension cord and then hang it out of the back, but I just hate using a bunch of extension cords.
About the Sears stand I mounted it on:
1. I think the work surface of the table is a bit too high. I wish it was maybe 5 inches lower or so. However,after getting my Grizzly G0555P Band Saw, the table on it is higher so I’ve kind of quit whining about the router. The stand height is NOT adjustable.
2. The stand is sturdy but it was kind of difficult to put together compared to other stands I have (the Grizzly, Ridgid, and Ryobi stands). It’s not that it’s hard but the way it assembles it’s like you have to hold everything together while fastening the bolts. Nothing is keyed or has any mating dimples, etc. Once together it’s plenty sturdy.
3. The stand has a couple of pieces of MDF to put on the top. I left those off and mounted the table directly to the stand. I may have had to drill a couple of holes in the stand for the bolts. I only have 2 bolts mounting the table to the stand (the 2 on the front of the table) but I don’t think it’s going anywhere.
-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ