Newbie Router Question

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Forum topic by Chris Moellering posted 02-25-2011 05:11 PM 1261 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris Moellering

227 posts in 2617 days

02-25-2011 05:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router

Okay, my wife got me a Porter Cable router for my birthday this week. (yeah, she’s great!)

So I go to Lowe’s and get some bits so I can use it.

Just sitting in the living room reading the manual and looking at everything, I notice some of the bits are too big for the hole in the stock base plate. (I didn’t get anything wild…just some round-overs and straight cutting bits and the like, we’re not talking big panel cutting bits or anything)

So, what’s the way ahead? Buy a second plate with a bigger opening?

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

9 replies so far

View quartrsawn's profile


146 posts in 3182 days

#1 posted 02-25-2011 05:41 PM

Hello Chris, you can buy or make a base plate with a larger hole. P/C sells them or make one from clear plastic. I’ve made them from clear Lexan, and in a pinch,out of 1/2 plywood , although they don’t slide as well as plastic.

-- Nat - West Sayville,L.I., NY

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2653 days

#2 posted 02-25-2011 05:43 PM

yup. Amazon has them and they aren’t that bad.

Or you can try to make your own from 1/4” ply or hardboard. Norm made a home-made circle jig once and it worked great (it looks like a ping-pong paddle)...round part goes on your router, handle part accepts a pivot pin to allow the router to swing around in a circle. Shallow passes around the circle and you will have a perfect circle. Use your existing plate to mark the screw holes, give them a slight countersink, then drill the center hole. Doesn’t need to be exact there.

But you may find it easier to just buy the plate. I made my own because I wanted to goof around with the jig!

btw, I hope you bought 1/2” shanks! 1/4” are “toys” and don’t handle the heat as well (heat=death to a router bit).

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Chris Moellering

227 posts in 2617 days

#3 posted 02-25-2011 05:47 PM

Unfortunately, my local Lowe’s had no 1/2” shank bits! So I picked up a “variety pack” knowing I may end up replacing some that I use more often with better bits. Seemed like an economical way to start anyway.

I’ll take a look on amazon.

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

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Rick Dennington

5810 posts in 3163 days

#4 posted 02-25-2011 05:58 PM

Greetings Chris,

One thing I will suggest that hasn’t been, and that is to buy carbide router bits, if your budget will allow. Steel bits are no good, and will burn up in a hurry, plus you’ll have burn marks all over your workpiece. You don’t need many to get started. Carbide bits do cost more, but they last 5 times longer than steel…depending on how much you use the router. Just pick one or two up as you go along….your wallet will thank you for it…...Carbide…..the only way to go for any kind of bits and blades…....and 1/2” shanks…....

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2653 days

#5 posted 02-25-2011 06:11 PM

HD used to sell 1/2” shank “variety packs” (I think Old Hickory or something like that…I can go look in the shop). A few in there that I will never use but I think it was about $100 for 20 of them (carbide and many of them with the ball-bearing guides). Not the “best” quality but I would still rate “very good” and they are still being used 8 years later.

anyway, welcome to the router! unless something happened to PC since I bought mine (a few of them now all in the 690 series with both fixed and plunge bases), you should enjoy it. Too bad you didn’t start out with a Craftsman or something so you could really tell the difference between a toy and a tool! Remember to follow the instructions about rotation and keep your hands away from a spinning bit!

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Chris Moellering

227 posts in 2617 days

#6 posted 02-25-2011 06:28 PM

Thanks…I had an ancient Black and Decker several years back that had been my grandpa’s. It ended up in my dad’s garage after several moves somehow….so I’m not totally new to routing. But, it has been a while, and I have learned one thing in woodworking over the years thus far….

Take your time!

So I’m trying to follow my own good advice, ask questions, and not rush anything.

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3043 days

#7 posted 02-25-2011 07:29 PM

Whenever possible, buy bits with a 1/2” shaft and carbide tipped.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2653 days

#8 posted 02-25-2011 08:31 PM

good call Chris about taking your time…good wood isn’t cheap and haste makes waste (although I think somebody here posts “I didn’t cut it short, it was simply meant for a smaller project”). LOL

and I’ll add that haste increases your band-aid budget if not worse.

you have landed on a very good site with some very experienced people. ask away before doing something stupid and somebody will give you the answer.

View tommyt654's profile


122 posts in 3417 days

#9 posted 02-27-2011 11:53 PM

I would check over at,There a ton of info there for anyone who lokks thru the site.

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