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Which router, router table, and Jig?

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Forum topic by Lucky1406 posted 2156 days ago 1119 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lucky1406

9 posts in 2156 days


2156 days ago

Greating all, glad to have found this site. I just thought I’d see what ya’lls thoughts would be if you were in my shoes.

Well, I’ve just sold one of my guns, and am on the search for a great router, router table, and a dovetail jig. I have $500-600 to spend. I’m wanting a powerful router, around 3hp or more, that can plunge. Now in truth, I’ve never used a router before, but I always like to buy the best from the start. I don’t want to have to upgrade later. I’ve been looking at the 3hp Dewalts, and the Milwaukee. I also like the Festool, but that would be most of my budget. Unless I can find a good price on eBay. I shop on there a lot.

I’m also really interested in dovetailing, and am also looking for Jig to help me with that. I’ve been looking at the Leigh Super Jig, and a few others.

As for the Router table, I’m not sure. I’ve seen a few, but have no idea what would make a good router table.

I just recently purchased a Delta Radial Arm Saw, so now I’m ready to work. Any thoughts as to what brands and models would be a good choice? Thanks,
Nick


12 replies so far

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2130 posts in 2318 days


#1 posted 2156 days ago

I’ve been hearing fantastic things about the Triton 3 1/4hp router... I’ve got my sights on it next.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile

NY_Rocking_Chairs

495 posts in 2201 days


#2 posted 2156 days ago

Porter Cable makes a nice 1 3/4hp router, the dewalt is also nice. Depends what features you want, how much routing you plan to do, the type of routing…

If you are doing nothing but routing on the table then it doesn’t matter too much on the router. If you plan to do free-hand or edge routing then you want to look for a router with a plunge base and/or a pistol-grip style. For example, I have this PC kit which also came with another D-handle base at the time: PC Router
D-Handle

I also have a dewalt router. I prefer to use the PC router for most things though since it has the self-contained, self-releasing collets and nicer bases. The dewalt I have uses one nut and has 2 different collets that the nut closes down on. The PC router also has an adjustable rotation speed while the dewalt is fixed.

As far as tables, most people build their own, it is far more cheaper and you can customize what you want as far as size, track layout, etc.

I have the Porter Cable dovetail jig 4212 which I find very useful. It takes some tinkering and practice to get used to using it, but that is true for any new toy.

-- Rich, WNY, www.nyrockingchairs.com

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2252 days


#3 posted 2156 days ago

what are you planning to do with the router? if it’s dovetailing mostly – you’ll find the 2 1/4 HP routers more then enough powerful for that, and are lighter, and more conveniently used then their heavier 3HP counterparts… Porter-Cable are good, Bosch are excellent, Milwaukee have been praised a lot.

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

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Lucky1406

9 posts in 2156 days


#4 posted 2156 days ago

Wow, I’m really liking that Triton router. Thanks for pointing that out. But now I’m finding it hard to locate the RTA300 Router table that goes along with it. I see that that router is sold on Amazon.com, but not the table. And there are no dealers in Texas as far as I can tell. Though I would probably have fun making my own router table in the end.

I’m also looking at the Freud FT3000VCE 3-1/4 HP router. The reviews on Amazon.com are much better, though I don’t think the features are as nice. Any thoughts?

And as for the Porter Cable dovetail jig 4212, I was wondering if you wish that you had bought a different one since owning it. I’ve seen a few reviews on it, and it sounds like kind of a pain to have to keep adjusting it all the time to get really fine cuts. What do you think? Thanks,
Nick

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Lucky1406

9 posts in 2156 days


#5 posted 2156 days ago

Well, I’m really going to be using it for dovetailing, and finishing off corners for tables and things. But I’d hate having to go buy another router encase I want a bigger one later. But your right, I may be biting off more than I can chew. I’ll have to look at smaller ones and see about them. The only thing is, I can get the Freud FT3000VCE 3-1/4 HP for about $215 shipped to my door, and that’s not bad at all for what you get. I’d just hate to spend $30 less, and get one that I’d like to replace later, when all I had to do was spend another $30, and get the best. But if you think it may be too much, let me know your thoughts. I may be persuaded. Thanks for you insights.
Nick

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2252 days


#6 posted 2156 days ago

Lucky – although they are all called “routers” they each have their better uses… in some cases ‘bigger’ is not necessarily ‘better’... just like hand planes – if you are mostly going to be chamfering corner, and work on end grain – you wouldn’t buy a #7 hand plane instead of a bench-plane just because it’s bigger and you might want something bigger in the future – cause for most – it’ll be a PITA for you to use – every single day.

I’m not bashing 3 1/4 HP routers – just make sure you get what you need for 95% of your work, and not what you think you’d need for the remaining 5%, 5 years from today.

for dovetailing and for routing edges – 3 1/4 HP is not only an overkill, but is a burden – you’d have to balance and keep it stable on top of the dovetail jig / edge of work piece…a 3 1/4HP really stars to shine when you work with raised panels, and large diameter bits (2” + for example)...

just my $0.02 … sounds like you’re pretty firm on a 3 1/4 HP though … lol

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

View Lucky1406's profile

Lucky1406

9 posts in 2156 days


#7 posted 2156 days ago

Good call. I think I’ll look more into the smaller routers, and see if I can find one I like. Since my price range is still the same, I may be able to look into the Festool line. Any opinions on those? Thanks,
Nick

View motthunter's profile

motthunter

2141 posts in 2403 days


#8 posted 2156 days ago

I think festool is overpriced… look at porter cable, triton, or dewalt.. These work well.

You will find that most folks that set up a router table dedicate a router there and never take it out. Woodcraft sells the motor only for the monster porter cable and it is perfect fo the router table. Then get a set with multibases like the dewalt and or porter cable for your regular routing needs.

-- making sawdust....

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3659 posts in 2267 days


#9 posted 2156 days ago

I have been pretty happy with my Porter-Cable routers and Bench Dog table.

I regularly use two Porter-Cables in my shop (an older 6902 type 4 and a 690VK). The 6902 is mounted in a Bench Dog 40-001 benchtop router table with a Rockler speed control and safety switch. The 690VK is 1.75hp multi-base, variable speed. Both have 1/2” collets. They are both easy to handle, and the 690VK is great in a pantograph doing sign work.

I know some say the PC 690’s are under-powered, but I have never had any problems with mine even doing raised panel doors (with vertical bits).

If I had space, I would go to a Bench Dog Pro-Top table and a Porter-Cable 890VSR.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View jcees's profile

jcees

946 posts in 2403 days


#10 posted 2156 days ago

The brands and jig are all fine. My advice is to check the rest of the line as you should standardize, or at least attempt to, so you’ll get some compatibility between accessories. I use P-C. It’s the brand I started with. They’re like Chevys and Fords, everywhere and you can get them worked on and pick up parts readily.

As to your table; MAKE YOUR OWN!!!

always,
J.C.

-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile

NY_Rocking_Chairs

495 posts in 2201 days


#11 posted 2156 days ago

I have no experience with other dovetail jigs so no basis for comparison. I do about 3 projects a year that require the dovetails so I don’t mind using it since all my drawers get the same treatment it is pretty easy to set it up and I don’t really change it after that.

-- Rich, WNY, www.nyrockingchairs.com

View Lucky1406's profile

Lucky1406

9 posts in 2156 days


#12 posted 2156 days ago

Well I’m thinking about what all ya’ll have said, and now I’m favoring towards the Milwaukee 5616-24 2-¼ Max HP EVS Multi-Base Router Kit Includes Plunge Base and BodyGrip Fixed Base(long name, I know. I just copied and pasted it from Amazon.com, lol). This has great reviews, and looks to have all that I would need. And it should be able to easily make a table for. And I can put more money into router bits, and into clamps. And plus, I can get it for $209, shipped to my house.

But also I’m looking at the DEWALT DW618B3 12 Amp 2-1/4 Horsepower Plunge Base and Fixed Base and D-Handle Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (again, long name). I really like the D handle, and it also has good reviews, and seems more versatile. What are your thoughts?
Nick

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