LumberJocks

DeWalt router: plunge base = better table lift?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by mdoleman posted 01-29-2016 03:50 PM 498 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

36 posts in 331 days


01-29-2016 03:50 PM

Pretty quick question… I have a DeWalt 2-1/4 HP router, which I love, and it sits in my home-made table about 99% of the time. I have it in its fixed base, which works reasonably well when it comes to height adjustment. But—not gonna lie—it isn’t much fun. It’s one of those things for which I’m really not willing to spend the 2 to 4 hundred bucks for a premium lift, and I also don’t particularly wish to go down the road of building a home-made contraption which may or may not work well for me.

I don’t have much call for a plunge base, but have been considering it as a purchase, anyway, since it’s not a lot of money. But my question is: would having that base improve my experience with table-bound height adjustment? Right now the way I adjust is to remove the motor, move the little height ring, and replace it into the base. Not a lot of fun. And, while accuracy is quite good, it always seems to be a slight question mark…

Anyway, again, not a big deal for me, I’m just wondering.


14 replies so far

View nerdbot's profile

nerdbot

97 posts in 828 days


#1 posted 01-29-2016 04:13 PM

If you’re talking about the DW618, then I don’t think the plunge base will be a good fit for you. I have both the fixed and plunge base for this router, and the plunge base doesn’t have a means of adjusting the height above the table. You plunge down and set the depth lock lever. When used as a regular router, I’ve occasionally had the vibration from routing shake the depth lock loose. I have to remember to really crank down on the depth lock. I wouldn’t be too happy if my bit suddenly “dropped” out of the router table. Right now, I use a fixed based Hitachi router in my router table which uses the same twist/spin mechanism the DW618 fixed base uses. I bought one of the Wixey digital height gauges, and that’s been “good enough” until a better router table setup makes it to the top of my priority list.

View Mark's profile

Mark

822 posts in 1442 days


#2 posted 01-29-2016 04:21 PM

I have diy router plate in my T/S. I use a rigid plug base router. It’s pretty much a breeze to raise and lower the router bit. Yea a real router lift would be great but for the amount of use it’s going to get…. I did use the plunge base quite a bit on a chair project I did. If I could do it again I wouldn’t get the Rigid. But to answer your quest. Yes a plug base will be a definite asset. Hope this helps..

-- Mark

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

36 posts in 331 days


#3 posted 01-29-2016 05:06 PM

Okay, cool, this is kinda what I thought… I thought that perhaps the plunge base had some manner of “micro” adjustment, by which it could be locked into position and then incrementally adjusted by means of… whatever… a thumb-wheel or something. Sounds like I’ll just stick with my static base until I decide to—heh—take the “plunge” and get a lift.

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

875 posts in 1751 days


#4 posted 01-29-2016 05:07 PM

Wow, talk about two extremes! :) My recommendation isn’t 100% on point with your question, but maybe something to consider.

The Dewalt plunge base is around $100-115, right? I use a Bosch 1617EVS. You can pick one up for $150-175 (got mine for $140 about a year ago). The benefit to the Bosch is that it has above table height adjustment that works like a charm.

Bottom line: If you’re thinking of spending over $100 on the plunge base, maybe it’s worth it to get an extra router for another $40-50 that can be dedicated to the table.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1732 posts in 1436 days


#5 posted 01-29-2016 05:13 PM

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Torin-Jacks-1.5-Ton-Scissor-Jack/14560046

This was my solution for my extra plunge router. No 300 dollar lift needed for me. It works fine and is micro adjustable.

If you have the room stick it right underneath the router and lift to your hearts content

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

36 posts in 331 days


#6 posted 01-29-2016 05:14 PM

I didn’t know of this option… I will look into it. Yes, a second router has crossed my mind a few times. But there’s a point at which the expense seems to “cross over” and I may as well grab a lift.


Wow, talk about two extremes! :) My recommendation isn t 100% on point with your question, but maybe something to consider.

The Dewalt plunge base is around $100-115, right? I use a Bosch 1617EVS. You can pick one up for $150-175 (got mine for $140 about a year ago). The benefit to the Bosch is that it has above table height adjustment that works like a charm.

Bottom line: If you re thinking of spending over $100 on the plunge base, maybe it s worth it to get an extra router for another $40-50 that can be dedicated to the table.

- SuperCubber


View jdh122's profile (online now)

jdh122

879 posts in 2285 days


#7 posted 01-29-2016 05:17 PM

If you’re thinking of spending around $100 for a new router base, consider buying the Jessem Rout-R-Lift, which thanks to the devaluing of the Canadian dollar you can get for only $159 (at Lee Valley). Not quite as heavy duty as some other lifts, in that the plate is made of phenolic rather than steel. But I have one and think that for the price it’s hard to beat (there are steel stiffeners under the plate).

Edit: just saw your latest post, which is basically my thought, that you’re close enough to the cost of a lift that you might consider spending a bit more and just getting one…

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View nerdbot's profile

nerdbot

97 posts in 828 days


#8 posted 01-29-2016 05:19 PM

Kaleb, could you post some pics of your setup with the jack? That looks like something I might want to try myself.

View nerdbot's profile

nerdbot

97 posts in 828 days


#9 posted 01-29-2016 05:19 PM

Kaleb, could you post some pics of your setup with the jack? That looks like something I might want to try myself.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1732 posts in 1436 days


#10 posted 01-29-2016 05:24 PM

I’ll snap a picture when I get home from work today. So later tonight

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

36 posts in 331 days


#11 posted 01-29-2016 05:29 PM

Wow, thanks for the tip. That might be hard to pass-up. That’s a nice looking product.


If you re thinking of spending around $100 for a new router base, consider buying the Jessem Rout-R-Lift, which thanks to the devaluing of the Canadian dollar you can get for only $159 (at Lee Valley). Not quite as heavy duty as some other lifts, in that the plate is made of phenolic rather than steel. But I have one and think that for the price it s hard to beat (there are steel stiffeners under the plate).

Edit: just saw your latest post, which is basically my thought, that you re close enough to the cost of a lift that you might consider spending a bit more and just getting one…

- jdh122


View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

36 posts in 331 days


#12 posted 01-29-2016 08:42 PM

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2280 days


#13 posted 01-29-2016 09:21 PM

It’s funny, I really went out of my way to get a router with above the table adjustments. It not only has height adjustment topside, but spindle lock / unlock and collet access as well. I really do appreciate the full collet access above the table, but half the time I just reach under the router table to make adjustments.

My absolute favorite table router is the Freud FT1700.

The Dewalt 618 is tops for handheld work. Yes you need the plunge base, but not for the router table.

Good luck with your setup.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

36 posts in 331 days


#14 posted 01-29-2016 10:24 PM

Good, real-world perspective. Thanks!


It s funny, I really went out of my way to get a router with above the table adjustments. It not only has height adjustment topside, but spindle lock / unlock and collet access as well. I really do appreciate the full collet access above the table, but half the time I just reach under the router table to make adjustments.

My absolute favorite table router is the Freud FT1700.

The Dewalt 618 is tops for handheld work. Yes you need the plunge base, but not for the router table.

Good luck with your setup.

- pintodeluxe


Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com