1 1/4 HP router... do I even attempt this?

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Forum topic by Jofa posted 01-08-2014 03:15 PM 1119 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 1806 days

01-08-2014 03:15 PM

Hey all,

I have a little Makita 1 1/4 HP router which performs well for trimming, roundovers and dado’s (with a few passes of course).

I’m considering mounting this under my home made router table. I have a Skil 1810 under there now and it’s just not performing well at all. Very unstable even with things locked down and the height adjustment is brutal. Note, this was my first router and I’ve had it for a good number of years. Worked fine for non-critical stuff but it’s just not what I want to use moving forward.

So back to the Makita. Am I nuts using a low HP router on a table?


-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

13 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4954 posts in 2462 days

#1 posted 01-08-2014 03:17 PM

Not if it does everything you want it to do.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5099 posts in 1689 days

#2 posted 01-08-2014 03:26 PM

You should be fine, provided you don’t try to turn too big of a bit and it’s mounted securely enough to not have any movement issues.

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2280 days

#3 posted 01-08-2014 03:34 PM

I guess it would have as much to do with the structure of the router, as the hp. Clamp the base to your bench, does the top wiggle or move laterally?

How will you set the depth of cut if it is upside down and out of sight?

You may be learning why some of us have so many routers!

-- Dan V. in Indy

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2410 days

#4 posted 01-08-2014 03:36 PM

As long as you’re happy with the performance as it is now, there’s not much of an issue. I would guess it’s 1/4” collet (or maybe up to 8mm), so you might be missing out on 1/2”, but if you’re making do now, it shouldn’t be a problem.

View JayT's profile


5589 posts in 2179 days

#5 posted 01-08-2014 04:03 PM

I use my palm router in a small table frequently with no issues. Just have to keep in mind the limitations of a small motor with 1/4in shank bits and work accordingly.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2241 days

#6 posted 01-08-2014 04:17 PM

Make several shallow passes (1/8” +/-) and watch your feed rate. Shouldn’t be a major problem then.

A few years ago I used a Craftsman 1 1/4 hp. in a benchtop table and cut an ogee profile in 1000+ ft. of poplar, profiled on each side for a library paneled basement. That much continued use is hard on a router so I had to let it rest and cool down occassionaly so the bushings didn’t overheat, but using yours in the shop for projects, I cant see you hurting that router.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2297 posts in 2338 days

#7 posted 01-08-2014 04:27 PM

I’d say that short of buying an upgraded router, it sounds like your best option. I used to have a POS Ryobi that I inherited, mounted under my router table. Depth adjustments were a joke, and the whole thing flexed in the table if you looked at it wrong. Knowing your frustration with that, I’d say anything would be an improvement. Like others have said, just know the limitations of the router and you should be OK.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2658 days

#8 posted 01-09-2014 02:44 AM

I have used a little Ryobi router in my big router table ever since I built it. I honestly planned on using it for a short time and then replacing it with a “decent” router BUT I JUST CAN”T KILL IT! I don’t use anything larger than a 1/2” roundover in it but it continues to perform flawlessly even in tough woods like Jatoba. I must have lucked out and got the best one that Ryobi ever made! Now it will probably die tomorrow!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2297 posts in 2338 days

#9 posted 01-09-2014 01:03 PM

Maybe I just got a bad one, but the locking mechanism was a PITA, the adjustment was a PITA, and even with everything locked and tightened, it still had a ton of deflection. I have the Bosch 1617 and Colt now, but if the Ryobi hadn’t been such a let down, I would have kept it. This was the one I had :

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2280 days

#10 posted 01-09-2014 11:32 PM

I’ve been using a 3 hp Ryobi in my table for over 20 years. Some years I don’t do a lot, some years (like this one!) I am out there almost every day. I find it to be a solid fit in the table, no wiggle, and easy enough to raise and lower. (I did get smart and remove the plunge spring a few years back.)

Bearings are starting to rattle, but I can not measure any runout, I have no reason to switch, although I bought a milwaukee (top adjust!) on clearance a few years back with the idea the Ryobi would die one day. The Ryobi has other ideas.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View pintodeluxe's profile


5623 posts in 2782 days

#11 posted 01-10-2014 12:07 AM

It will have its limitations for sure. A 2+ hp is the lowest I would put in a table. Otherwise it’s not worth buying the router plate etc. to set the machine up.

That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t do some work for you. It will cut roundovers more accurately in table mode.
The way I look at it—a router table is a step lower in power than a shaper. Even a 2 hp router will struggle with the heavier tasks.
My biggest factor when choosing a router for the table is ease of use and bit changes.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View realcowtown_eric's profile


608 posts in 1905 days

#12 posted 01-10-2014 02:42 AM

while I’ve got several routers, including 2 hitachi m12v’s which were selected for their lack of motor/base flex (tested several to find this out, and I love the soft start and variable speed) =one is in my router table, I do have a little makita laminate trimmer that is mounted on a TS insert for light roundovers, and quick chamfers using the TS fence. Got the idea when I had to make some bevel gears for the famous box joint jig.

On my list of things to do is to get an extension table with the router table inset capability.

Beats me how folks can make do with just one router.

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 1806 days

#13 posted 01-13-2014 07:58 PM

Hey guys. Just thought I’d follow up. It works well…

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

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