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Craftsman router: worth 20 bucks?

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Forum topic by fishinmonkey posted 02-06-2012 10:17 PM 8012 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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fishinmonkey

9 posts in 1790 days


02-06-2012 10:17 PM

I have zero router experience and, correspondingly, no router in my home shop. I am planing to build a simple desk for my daughter to work on mortise and tenon jointing. Looking on Craigslist, I see a 1 1/2 horsepower Craftsman router for sale that I could probably pick up for $20. It appears to be a fixed base model (grey base with black motor and red accents) I have sent an email requesting info on the model number and year purchased.

So, my question is whether or not this is a worthwhile purchase, assuming the unit is in good shape. Would I be able to use a fixed base router as a table router subbed onto the side of my table saw. If so, will I need a mechanism to lift/lower it to set blade dept?

I assume I could use a jig/guide to route mortises with it on a work table, but I wounder if a plunge router would be a better first purchase? Any info/tips would be helpful.

-- I like to cut wood apart using various power tools and then screw and/or glue the pieces back together agian. It passes the time.


15 replies so far

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Richard

1898 posts in 2153 days


#1 posted 02-06-2012 10:40 PM

I think if I was only going to have one router it would be a plunge model. It works as fixed base and plunge so you get the best of both. And I think that doing the mortise is best done with a plunge router, but I haven’t got to doing them yet myself. It’s on the to do list.

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canadianchips

2349 posts in 2459 days


#2 posted 02-06-2012 11:41 PM

People are buying 1/2” shank routers, bigger HP and less movement when doing heavy work, such as raised panels. With that said, you can find a lot of 1/4”, they are fine hobby tool. At $20. you really can’t go wrong. The older craftsman routers were good. I just bought one at Habitat re-store for $10, even older model than yours. You can also find some used router tables that you can use. Gives you more options !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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bandit571

14562 posts in 2146 days


#3 posted 02-06-2012 11:44 PM

I’m getting ready to buy a NEW Craftsman router “kit”. it has a P-C friendly base, and a plunge base to go along with the fixed base. On sale for about $110, out the door. It’s the one with the shiny Alumminum Body. Also has a 1/4” and 1/2” collet/chuck.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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David Grimes

2078 posts in 2102 days


#4 posted 02-06-2012 11:46 PM

I’ve got one of those that I use all the time in a small table. I can’t kill the thing. Really. If it smoked now I’d still say it was one little work horse.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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knotscott

7210 posts in 2838 days


#5 posted 02-07-2012 01:52 AM

Which model are you looking at? They’ve had many over the years. Hard to go too wrong for $20 if it runs and holds settings.

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

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RibsBrisket4me

1526 posts in 1968 days


#6 posted 02-07-2012 01:58 AM

As long as the collet or height adjustment does not slip. I used one for years with a 1/4 collet and never had an issue.

I still use two Craftsman routers, 1/2 inch collets, and they work great for me.

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fishinmonkey

9 posts in 1790 days


#7 posted 02-07-2012 01:59 AM

It’s a model 315.174921 from 2001. I’m planning to take a look at it later today.

-- I like to cut wood apart using various power tools and then screw and/or glue the pieces back together agian. It passes the time.

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RibsBrisket4me

1526 posts in 1968 days


#8 posted 02-07-2012 02:01 AM

Should be fine! I used that model for yrs. For 20 bucks it’s a nobrainer. Just know it only uses CRAFTSMAN proprierty attachments like bushings, edge guides etc.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2431 days


#9 posted 02-07-2012 02:40 AM

For 20 bucks you can’t go wrong. If you don’t like it you could always sell it again.

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William

9906 posts in 2305 days


#10 posted 02-07-2012 03:30 AM

This was the same router style I started with (older model, but basically the exact router). It served me well until I figure out whether or not I really need a router (I did).
I still keep it around. When my brother comes to my shop, it’s the one I hand him when he wants to borrow one. He has yet to tear up the old Craftsman, but I know him, it’ll be a cold July day before he touches my Ridgid router.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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Vrtigo1

434 posts in 2454 days


#11 posted 02-07-2012 04:15 AM

A plunge router is better for routing mortises if you are not using a table, but unless you are routing mortises in really wide stock, I think it is actually easier/safer to do it at a table rather than with a plunge router. Don’t have to worry about finding and setting up the edge guide or stop blocks, etc.

I have a similar craftsman router and don’t really have any complaints other than the lack of a speed adjustment. It’s the only router I have that has LEDs on the bottom that really light up the work so you can see what you’re doing. I wish more manufacturers would include this feature.

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fishinmonkey

9 posts in 1790 days


#12 posted 02-07-2012 06:54 AM

Seemed solid, if clunky. The motor really screams. Bought it for $15 and picked up a $40 dollar set of basic bits at the local home improvement store. Guess I have one more way to make sawdust.

-- I like to cut wood apart using various power tools and then screw and/or glue the pieces back together agian. It passes the time.

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bandit571

14562 posts in 2146 days


#13 posted 02-07-2012 07:01 AM

Biggest thing to watch for is the bearings on these routers. Not sure on the model you bought, but the shaft-lock can break on some Craftsman routers. Both of the ones I bought were a lot older then yours. The one ( EZ-router) was almost all plastic. The bearing race just wore out. I am planning on buying a NEW craftsman router kit in a couple weeks. Third time lucky?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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fussy

980 posts in 2513 days


#14 posted 02-07-2012 09:01 AM

I have used a Craftsman Commercial 1 1/2 hp 1/4” collet router since 1980. If yours is anywhere near as good as mine has been, you will be happy. Treat it kindly, and if you need brushes (you will at some point) try
www.store.eurtonelectric.com. They seem to have it all.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View Ben's profile

Ben

302 posts in 1793 days


#15 posted 02-07-2012 09:25 AM

My only router at the moment is an older craftsman 3/4 HP solid base model with 1/4 inch collet. I got it at a yard sale for $20 and it has served me quite well for a few years. The restriction of 1/4 inch collet and lower HP is just now beginning to be a major frustration for me. I’d say go for it.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

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