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Forum topic by John posted 09-24-2007 10:42 PM 1437 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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John

100 posts in 4059 days


09-24-2007 10:42 PM

I am going to be purchasing a router soon. I have a cheap one, and want to get something versatile…I think. I saw on the New Yankee Workshop that Norm had a Porter Cable that could be interchanged with different casings, thus making it a “plunge” as well as a “regular” router. Then I got a video from the library, and that guy had over 20 different routers! So I’m confused. Do I want one router that I will have to constantly change around, or shoudl I figure that I will eventually have several routers and, therefore, purchase the router that’s perfect for what I need right now?

Currently, I want something which will make plaques. I also think I will want one to make signs – which I believe would then be a plunge router? I also think it would be great to have one that stays on the router table all the time. So, how would you guys approach this? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

-- Thanks!


21 replies so far

View mot's profile

mot

4917 posts in 4179 days


#1 posted 09-24-2007 11:04 PM

Routers are like clamps. You can’t have too many. I’m from the school of one for every job. I have friends that have one for all jobs. I have a 3 1/2 HP router in a table lift, permanently. I have 3 plunge routers and two fixed base routers that I use for a variety of tasks. My main workhorses are PC7518 in the table, and a DW621 plunge for most other things. I have a plunge that I use just for cutting dados, as the jig I made is specific to it’s base size. I have a fixed base that I use for my lettering jig for signs. It gets used about twice a year. I have a fixed base laminate trimmer that I use for some flush trim work.

The DW and PC combo routers that have a motor that fits in a fixed and plunge base are both good. I just prefer to not have to retask things in my shop. However, I live on the edge of excesses for my needs because I’m big on convenience and maximizing time spent in the shop. I find if I have to fiddle with tools alot, I’m less productive. I’m so committed to this philosophy of excess, that I’m going to have two routers dedicated to my Akeda dovetail jig. One for straight bits and one for dovetail bits. This is even more ridiculous as I’ve dedicated alot of time and effort to learning to cut them by hand so I rarely use the jig anymore.

I think I just love routers. I’m sure we’ll hear from the guys/gals that use one for everything. I think they are in denial! Unleash the beast!

Tom

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

13773 posts in 4240 days


#2 posted 09-24-2007 11:06 PM

It depends on how much money you want to drop into Routers. It becomes a more of a matter of convience than anything else. They sell combination kits that can be used in a table, with a fixed base, or a plunge base. Another factor is the size (amp or hp) of the router. They can vary from small motors in trim routers to larget 3+ hp motors dedicated to a table. The large motors are useful if your using large router bits such as the ones used to raise panels.

If your doing a lot of work in a router table, it makes sense to have one dedicated to the table so that you do not have to take the router in and out of the table when you want to use it.

Also, if your doing several operations, having a number of routers set up for a particular operation can make sense. For example, some people keep a router set-up with a round over bit already in it. Everytime you need to round over an edge, you just grab that router.

In your case, you probably would want one dedicated to your router table for the edge profiling and another to do do plunge work.

I have a Porter Cable 890 Series combo kit and I found a used 890 motor at a flea market that I keep in my router table. Others here like the Triton routers.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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WayneC

13773 posts in 4240 days


#3 posted 09-24-2007 11:07 PM

LOL. Looks like Tom and I were posting at the same time.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4105 days


#4 posted 09-24-2007 11:19 PM

Hi John, Here we go again. The gang’s all here. I have a 3 1/4 HP Mackita plunge, a dual base Bosch that I use in the table, A Milwaukee fixed base, there is a Sears 1/4 that my son-in-law put under the table, a Bosh Colt trim router and a Dremel router base. And some days I think I need a Veritas router plane. I use the Milwaukee for the dovetail jig and the Colt for triming laminate and the Maikita fits the dado jig and then they all do everything else. And some times I think I might need two more. These danged things are like planes. Once you get one you want ten more. Does any of that make any sense????

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4164 days


#5 posted 09-25-2007 12:58 AM

Is 8 a lucky number?

Bob

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

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

13773 posts in 4240 days


#6 posted 09-25-2007 01:20 AM

Hmmm. I guess I need to buy 3 more.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1064 posts in 4211 days


#7 posted 09-25-2007 02:42 AM

Concerning plunge or fixed, the “kits” contain both as you mentioned. I can’t speak concerning the Porter Cable, but do know that it is very popular (the 890 model I believe). I’m not sure how simple it switches from base to base. My Dewalt 618 takes about 10 seconds to switch. I leave the fixed base mounted to the table and use the plunge for free-hand stuff.
If you’re looking for a smaller router for detail work or better handling, I love my Bosch Colt. It is a fixed base, but the thumb wheel to lower the bit does so smoothly. I almost want to get a second one. Lot of router and features for $100. I keep a flush trim bit in it almost always. I’m with Mot in that you can always use another one. I have three (third is a generic brand trimmer, nothing great) and can normally get through most projects without bit changes.
If I had it to do over, I’d of skipped the Dewalt (gift actually) in favor of a model that can be adjusted from above the table. Most Porter Cables can do this. Also, variable speed is essential if you have any desire to use the big bits such as a raised panel or lock-miter. The default speeds are too fast and the bit will do more damage than shaping.
Routers are often on sale on various websites. Go to Toolcrib or Amazon. They have rebates and discounts all the time on the popular models. If you need a table, Rockler packages their tables with Porter Cables for the most part.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Karson's profile

Karson

35134 posts in 4543 days


#8 posted 09-25-2007 02:57 AM

I agree with never having too many routers. Most of mine are PC.

And I’m cool with owning 8 as Bob says.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

13773 posts in 4240 days


#9 posted 09-25-2007 04:34 AM

Jeff, the PC890 takes about 10 seconds to switch as well. It has a latch on the side of the base.

http://www.amazon.com/Porter-Cable-895PK-Horsepower-Plunge-Collets/dp/B0000DCBKN/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/002-9183345-2218432?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1190687744&sr=8-2

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4105 days


#10 posted 09-25-2007 05:32 AM

Oh, I forgot the over arm router, it’s Makita too.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4027 posts in 4206 days


#11 posted 09-25-2007 08:25 AM

I have an older PC 890 combo, a PC Laminate trim router and a Stanley #271 (old woman’s tooth) and a Precision Router base for the Dremel tool from Stewart-MacDonald luthiers supply.

Some I have heard from of late decry a loss in Quality Control over at Porter-Cable these days. If mine craps out, I’d go with the Triton plunger, which has great potential as a table mount (above table bit changes with safety lock-out) and a hand-held as well as getting you a 3.25 HP router without costing too much. Then I’d get that sweet little Bosch Colt in the kit with the offset and tilt bases for scribing in, inlay and such. And the remade Stanley 271 from Lie-Nielsen or Lee-Valley.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View snowdog's profile

snowdog

1166 posts in 4125 days


#12 posted 09-25-2007 01:47 PM

A man can have to many routers for sure, but that number would be well over 10 and I may get disagreement with that from many Jocs here:) I have 5 and it really is not enough. Of course my wife and I completely disagee on the number she things 3 is to many <laugh>

btw, I just broke the collet (funny word) on my 1/4 laminate trim router and found a great place to by parts.
http://www.ereplacementparts.com/porter-cable-3092-type-laminate-trimmer-parts-c-129_1861_1865.html

$7 for the collet and 4 for shipping

Martin – you should get them to advertise here for $$ :)

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Karson's profile

Karson

35134 posts in 4543 days


#13 posted 09-25-2007 05:27 PM

Nice site for parts.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View John 's profile

John

100 posts in 4059 days


#14 posted 09-25-2007 06:15 PM

Wow! I’m overwhelmed with your responses. It seems that “a single” router is out, and “many” routers are in. You guys have no idea how helpful you have been. Well, now I go shopping!

So, how about purchasing online vs. in-store? Have you had success ordering tools online? I went to Lowes yesterday to look at oscillating spindle sanders and they don’t even have one! The nearest Rockler shop is about 50 miles away in Pittsburgh, but it appears it may be a necessary trip. Any advice? Where do you buy your tools?

-- Thanks!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4105 days


#15 posted 09-25-2007 06:25 PM

definitily not at Sears. Call Rockler. They will have it on your doorstep while you are filling up the car for the trip.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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