Two Questions - (if you have little tolerance for beginners, skip this topic :)

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Forum topic by Emeralds posted 08-25-2008 04:05 PM 2923 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Emeralds's profile


143 posts in 3526 days

08-25-2008 04:05 PM

Unhappy with my recent purchase of a very gently used Craftsman 1¼ HP Router and Pro-Table, I redesigned and built a new top for the unit which extended it’s capabilities beyond that of the router itself so I think it’s time to get a serious router so I can quit blaming my ever increasingly large piles of saw dust and shrinking/changing project plans on inadequate equipment. The bottom line is that although I may not be the world’s most industrious person, I don’t suffer inefficiency well. In order to get satisfactory results I find myself changing the settings on my stationary router sometimes as many as 5 times (crawling all the way) just to create a roundover in a 3/4” piece of material. Three passes should (from what I’ve read) be more than sufficient to produce near perfect results given decent material and proper technique.

So, time for me to quit blaming the tools. I’ve read about two that interest me, the Dewalt 3 HP plunge and the Bosch 1619EVS. I’ve read that the travel on the DeWalt is inadequate to expose the entire cutting edge unless you seat the shaft less than all the way into the collet. Although I like my DeWalt tools, this bothers me. The Bosch on the other hand is said to be heavier and less “change” friendly although both units get raves. I would appreciate any hands on accounts and opinions. These are not inexpensive units and I would HATE to make another stupid mistake if I can avoid it.

My second question is (and please don’t think me ridiculously ignorant although I know the truth ), is there a way to turn my hand held B&D 3.5” inch planer into a stationary unit through that can act as an edge jointer? I don’t have the room or budget for milling equipment and was just hoping that I could efficiently extract some more use out of this tool.

Thanks for any thoughts in advance.

-- JMP

19 replies so far

View CedarFreakCarl's profile


594 posts in 4017 days

#1 posted 08-25-2008 04:24 PM

My 2 cents on the edge jointer question is to use your router table. You can use an edge trimming bit and shim your router fence on the outfeed side for edge jointing up to 2” or so thick. I haven’t actually done done this, but I saw it in a wood working magazine. Sounds viable to me.

-- Carl Rast, Pelion, SC

View lew's profile


12017 posts in 3719 days

#2 posted 08-25-2008 04:26 PM


I don’t own either one of the routers you mentioned.

After looking at the pictures of the hand planer, I think you could probably build a Jig/table to hold the planer in an inverted position. The addition of in feed and out feed tables and a vertical fence it might do what you wanted, although it would probably have limited capabilities for stock sizes and some other features found on a stand alone jointer.

As router/table combinations go, 1 1/4 hp routers are a little under powered for some applications (i.e. raised panels) but for most other work, they do OK. The ideal- in my opinion- would be a variable speed 3 hp model. It is very convenient to have a router that includes an adjustable lift mechanism so you can change height setting with less hassle.

One thing you mentioned- and it may be just the way you described it- the preferred technique for placing router bits in the collett is to not seat them completely. This helps prevent them from working loose.

Hope this helps.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3732 days

#3 posted 08-25-2008 04:30 PM

you should look into some triton routers. they have a 2 and 3 hp. both are affordable and have been getting great reviews. next up on the list is a huge milwakee, freud, or festool 3 hp router. those are a bit on the expensive side though.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3676 days

#4 posted 08-25-2008 04:38 PM

I would check out the reviews of routers here on LJs (and promote my favourite the Trition routers).

I would be a bit concerned about mounting the hand planer upside down as I would be concerned that B&Ds are designed to run upside down for any length of time. I would particularily be concerned about dust collecting inside of windings where normally gravity and the fans would keep it clear. Experiences with an old B&D belt sander come to mind when offering this advice :-)

I am as fond of power tools as the next person (look in my garage and you’ll see all kinds of evidence) but have you considered using a hand plane to do the work of the B&D plane? A hand plane has a small footprint so will fit in just about any shop, can dimension just about any size of material you may be working with and probably is an affordable alternative to buying a power jointer. The ease of use of power tools is often outweighed by their purchase price and space requirements. I am just learning to use hand planes myself and am very impressed with how well they do what they do (thanks Betsy!...this is a reference to another LJ who blogged her experience about learning to use a hand plane;-) The nice part about hand tools is that you can very quickly get up to speed shaping wood and not have to worry about financing. Yes it takes some practice, but from what I am seeing the practice is well worth the effort.

Oh yeah Welcome to Lumberjocks…an awesome community willing to share their knowledge to all levels of woodworkers!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3637 days

#5 posted 08-25-2008 04:43 PM

A No. 7 or equivalent hand plane (22 to 26 inches long) is great exercise and joints a nice edge.

I currently don’t have a jointer in my shop and I’ve been using my Ohio Tool Company No. 7 for edge and face jointing. Getting great workouts and good results.

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3748 days

#6 posted 08-25-2008 05:17 PM

Hey, I was just about to say exactly what Marc said. A hand plane will joint right nicely!

-- Eric at

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3684 days

#7 posted 08-26-2008 06:31 AM

I saw a picture in a woodworking magazine of a hand plane clamped upside down in a bench vise and used as a jointer. I like to use the router for jointing by shimming the outfeed part of the fence about 1/16th of an inch out from the infeed part of the fence. Hope this helps.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3857 days

#8 posted 08-26-2008 07:06 AM

I have never owned a “pernament router table” and for that matter…...........I’ve never used a router I didnt like.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View davidtheboxmaker's profile


373 posts in 3769 days

#9 posted 08-26-2008 10:27 AM

I’ve just traded up to a Triton router. I’ve made my own table unit using a Rockler top. The Triton is great for height adjustment and for ‘above table top’ bit changes. I make one offs or 2 or 3 boxes at a time, so handling set up changes easily is important to me.
What’s wrong with doing a lot of fine adjustment until your happy with the result. As you do more work you’ll find you’re making adjustments much more smoothly and with confidence.
The idea of a hand planer upside down frightens me half to death. It was an option I considered, then quickly thought better of it!
With a simple jig, and a bearing mounted straight bit in your router table, you can replace the jointer function. I use this to edge all my boards – I make almost solely boxes, so am handling fairly small pieces. I edge trim up to 21” long – could see the jig working well up to about 3 feet, then it might be clumsy. If you need details of how the jig works, let me know and I’ll take some photos.

View Emeralds's profile


143 posts in 3526 days

#10 posted 08-26-2008 02:45 PM

Thank you all very much for the all of your responses and very helpful suggestions and advice. I did some more router research looking into the Triton 3¼ HP model, a brand I was unaware of (I’m sure there are many) and several of the Freud 3¼ HP models (I saw very little difference between them). From the reviews it seems that the Triton line seems to be a mixed bag of great design and features but lesser quality control (lots of plastic where there shouldn’t be). I’m now leaning toward the Freud FT2200EP on the strength of its reviews (the worst seemed to be it’s weight, a real tank apparently). I would love to hear appraisal from any of those who own either of these.

As for my jointing issues I intend to purchase a manual hand plane and begin learning how to use it, but at this stage I certainly wouldn’t feel the least bit confident of my ability to joint with one of these. While I enjoy hand tools, carving etc. and am adept to some extent with a chisel, I lack the experience or methodology to produce technically precise pieces as yet which is why I lean on power tools hoping to lessen the gap between my technical craftsmanship and an acceptable outcome.

I’ve tried quite a few times to joint using the router table and shim method described by a couple of you, but my results have been less than satisfying. I believe this has be mainly due to the “underpowered” routers I own, neither of which seems unable (although admittedly it could just be me) to joint a ¾” piece of hardwood in less than 5 passes. That’s more adjustments than I believe should be necessary (3 passes is what I’ve read) and then you shim only on the last pass is how I’ve understood it. Does anyone know of a jig that might facilitate this? I’m sure a side to side independent micro adjustable fence would help, but then so would a winning lotto ticket!

Hopefully soon I’ll be beyond converting what use to be planned as a sideboard into the world’s most very expensive Jojoba skate board.

I’m also intrigued by the prospect of an upright jointing jig for my B&D 3½“ planer as I see little value in forcing myself to take the work to machine when the machine can more easily come to the work. If there are any jig design junkies out there, I would appreciate your thoughts on this as well.

Once again thank you all for your thoughts, they’ve help expand my own considerably.

Cheers to all.

-- JMP

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3710 days

#11 posted 08-26-2008 03:15 PM

Some thoughts: IF (a big IF) you have the router mounted in an enclosed base then above the table height adjustments are a deal,though not necessarily big young jeddi. If not, why worry? It’s a matter of what? Right hand or Left hand to make the adjustment. The above base and below are just inches away. Literally. Why get hung up on it. If your router table is so big as to require the wingspan of two men, put a door on it. Done. It’s not a shaper, it’s a router table. If your production requirements are such that the millisecond difference is affecting you economically then you’ve already lost reading this far down this post. You should be feeding stock not reading schlock.

Secondly, a lot of engineering types, for whom I have guarded respect, as well as certain magazine scribes claim that it is only theoretically possible (likely impossible) to get an actual 3.5 h.p. form a 15 amp 125 volt circuit. I believe I have read this. I can cite no sources, it could be fevered imagination. There are a number of engineers out there, any takers to prove/disclaim this? There are apparently a number of ways to claim horsepower as well, which is probably why Both P/C and Bosch changed the h.p. ratings on the same model routers a few years ago. Both the P/C 690 and Bosch 1617 were once lowly 2 h.p. machines but now due to improvements in advertising, nanotechnology and flabbawattage they’re both 2 1/4 h.p. an increase of 1/4 h.p. by the mere utilization of a front slash and two cardinal numbers. And the addition of some stickers on the old packaging.

So get what you can afford. I’d highly recommend a two base kit (plunge/fixed). I’m partial to the Bosch. The new kits have an above table adjustable fixed base (oooooh) as well as the standard plunge base with seven stops on the turret, two collets (1/4 & 1/2), a handy carrying case, and occasionally on sale with a fence or other fabulous parting gifts.

As for the B/D jointer in a base, you can make up a fence assembly for the router that will make that much safer. Save the money that you might spend on a kludge for adapting that item and the attendant medical expenses from Things Gone Wrong Using It and put it towards the biggest baddest jointer with the longest table you can buy. (Then get a band saw)

I have been meaning to post photos of my recently completed “router table” fence and am now more motivated to do it.

And there are no stupid questions, just unasked questions. I grew up in cowboy country and still I wondered why quarter horses were the same size as the others. It was epiphany when I worked out all by my lonesome self that Century Boulevard in Los Angeles was actually 100th St. And so it goes . . .

View northwoodsman's profile


242 posts in 3710 days

#12 posted 08-26-2008 03:40 PM

What about your router bits? Are they sharp and clean? A dull router bit in a 1 1/4 hp router will slow it down and burn the wood. It may spin faster in a larger router but you will still have the same results. Try blowing out your router with compressed air to make sure the parts are clean and free of sawdust, this could slow the motor down or make it overheat. I have a 32 year old 1 1/4 hp Crafstman router that will cut through almost anything with a sharp bit.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View niki's profile


426 posts in 4044 days

#13 posted 08-26-2008 06:50 PM

Hi Joe

As for the “glue line on router table”, it reminds me myself…I could never get it right…
So, I’m using a more “Idiot proof” method that gives me “Jack-pot” every time…

Just to demonstrate the problem with the “Split fence” (with the 1/16” shimming) lets go to the table saw….

If you have a curved board, and you want to make a “straight edge”, you don’t just push the board through the blade because the rip fence is short and the wood will follow the rip fence line…but, if the wood is curved, you will almost “copy” this curve and you’ll not get any straight edge.

To get a straight edge on the table saw, the wood must follow a line that is parallel to the Miter slot or the rip fence….that’s the reason that we are making jigs like this one that, eliminates the curve and the wood follows the parallel line to the rip fence…

Or,like this one

Same with the Circular saw and straight edge…the saw is following the straight edge and not the curve….

The problem is, that the router table fence is too short and again, you’ll follow the curve….if you had a long fence that can support all the length of the wood on the Infeed side and all the length on the Outfeed side, you’ll get a very nice glue line but, when you work with a 6’ board it’s not so practical to have a 12’ long fence…

For that reason, I prefer to make the glue line with a straight edge, clamped to the board and, with hand held router….the router follows the straight edge and who cares how much the board is curved…

As for routers, please follow the advise of the other replies but a 1¼ HP router is stronger than my hand held router that you see on the picture above…

Taking into consideration that, 3¼ HP router is ~1,800 Watt (15A x 120V)...(here in Europe we don’t use HP but Watts), a 1¼ HP would be ~700W…the router on the picture is only…400W…of course I don’t “bite” 1/16”....much less but, it’s doing the job…

Please have a look at this post to see a step-by-step…


View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3732 days

#14 posted 08-26-2008 07:56 PM

niki has some good advice. i use the table saw method to straighten my boards.

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4041 days

#15 posted 08-26-2008 10:08 PM

Im sure most other folks answered your questions, however here are two blogs that I posted that may be of interest. I appologize if I am repeating what others have said.

Resawing without bandsaw –
Router Jointer –

-- BLOG -

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