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Forum topic by card9inal posted 09-30-2010 02:26 AM 1314 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 3001 days

09-30-2010 02:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router

I’m totally new to woodworking, so forgive the simple question. I’m looking to get a router table to make some raised panels I’m going to add to a headboard I’m building. I just don’t know what kind to get. Can I use a plunge router on a router table, obviously without the plunge part? (Do plunge routers give you that option?) Or do I need to get a fixed based router?


10 replies so far

View Tracey615's profile


19 posts in 3003 days

#1 posted 09-30-2010 02:37 AM

My routers are dedicated to certain jobs. One is for puting edges on very large pieces, one for a Bosch router table, one for pattern routering (wing ribs, aircraft parts), and one for roundover cutting only. My suggestion would be to purchase a Porter Cable combination package. It has two router bases, and a hefty motor unit. All of the routers have both 1/4” and 1/2” collets. I have not had problem with them.

-- Trace the Bald

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 3032 days

#2 posted 09-30-2010 02:53 AM

I could be wrong. But I think you need a fixed base in order to mount it cold turkey. Else you need a router lift, that just uses the motor assembly, instead of the base.

About $60 has an okay one. $600 has a Festool…:)

If its just for one project, maybe it would be a wiser idea to bring it by a cabinet shop, and ask them if they could run them over a shaper for you. You would then have more options, since they are more for raised panel work, so there are a lot more cutters just for RPW.

Scary machines they are… so dont even think about trying to rent one at the local BORG… since their lawyers usually wont let them stock em..

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Viktor's profile


466 posts in 3624 days

#3 posted 09-30-2010 02:54 AM

I use plunge router in the table all the time. It does not make any difference. Raised panel bits are pretty large, so you’ll need one of more powerful routers with ½” collet.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4027 days

#4 posted 09-30-2010 03:04 AM

You can use either a fixed base or plunge router in a table. A plunge router can be used without a lift but you will be fighting the springs. They can be removed if you desire to do so.

I second Viktor’s comment about getting one with a larger motor. I would use at least a 2 hp and preferably a 3 hp model since you are planning on raising panels with it.

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

View Colin 's profile


93 posts in 3016 days

#5 posted 09-30-2010 04:58 AM

It’s true you will be fighting the springs, but I like using a plunge base on a table because you can adjust it more precisely and with repeatability since they have stops.


View knotscott's profile


8153 posts in 3580 days

#6 posted 09-30-2010 10:54 AM

I’ve used both plunge and fixed in my router table, and prefer the fixed base, but there’s really no right or wrong. Above table features are the more important things I’d be looking for…auto collet lock, above table bit changes, above table height adjust, above table height lock, etc. There are lots of good choices from Milwaukee, Bosch, PC, Freud, Triton, Hitachi, Makita, DW, Ridgid, and even the newer Craftsman routers get favorable comments. AFAIK, only the Triton and Freud routers have all those conveniences. I’d get at least an 11 amp motor, 15 being even better (amp rating is a better indicator of power than the “HP” rating). Definitely get variable speed for table use, and go with 1/2” shanks whenever possible.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3397 days

#7 posted 09-30-2010 02:49 PM

I’ve been really pleased with my Triton 3.25hp, it’s perfect for table mounting.

And Festool doesn’t have a $600 router. They do, however, have an $800 one. But it’s currently on sale for a mere $720!

-- The Wood Nerd --

View brtech's profile


1052 posts in 3127 days

#8 posted 09-30-2010 03:08 PM

I am partial to the Hitachi M12VC router. You can get the full kit at Amazon for $177 that has the fixed and plunge bases, 1/4 and 1/2 collets, and a couple of other accessories. It’s 11 amps, variable speed, 2 1/4 HP and relatively quiet:

About the only downside is that some of the router tables, inserts and lifts don’t have the Hitachi base pattern version, so you have to drill one. I think that’s a decent tradeoff, and I think you get a better value than the PC routers that are comparable to it.

View card9inal's profile


11 posts in 3001 days

#9 posted 10-02-2010 03:26 AM

Thanks for all of your input!

I’m trying to see if I can find something that’s not too expensive, but nothing that’s going to fall apart very quickly. I’ve found the Bosch router has two bases, which seems like a great idea (one to fix to the plate, and the other for plunge routing).

Thanks again!

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3853 days

#10 posted 10-02-2010 03:47 AM

I’ve used the Bosch 2.25hp router with the 2 bases for a couple of years. I used the fixed based permanently in a router table which worked just fine – not as convenient and fast action as with a lift – but works just fine nonetheless. I used the plunge base for handheld work.

That said, I now have the Triton 3.25hp router permanently mounted in the router table – it has a build in lift mechanism (the plunge) with micro adjustement and is just a perfect router for table mounting. plus with the +3hp motor it can handle the larger panel raising bits.

having said that, you can always use the vertical panel raising bits that are smaller radius, and do not require a 3hp+ motor to turn.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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