Wood workers...

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some young guy

Wood workers...
« on: 26 Dec 2007, 06:58 pm »
question:

if you had a budget of about $300, which router table would you buy? keep in mind that you use a lot of hardwood and while you don't need a plunge router right now, it may be useful in the future.

thanks in advance :D

JoshK

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #1 on: 26 Dec 2007, 07:12 pm »
Do you have a decent tablesaw?  If so I recommend getting a really good plunge router plus a bench dog table saw router insert.  At least that is what I did.  I can't remember how much the insert was, but it was less than $300.  Do you need a router and the insert for less than $300?  I'd check your local craigslist for a used good condition router.  I got many high end good condition tools that way from mom and pop hobby businesses that were moving or going under or just the hobbiest getting married and needed to get rid of stuff.  Typically $.50/$1 for stuff that was barely used. 

Recommend the Hitachi router M12, but that is ~$250 new, try to find it new.  However it is big and heavy but has it all. The porter cable top end router, which I also have it much lighter and quite versatile but not quite as powerful.  If you want a table mounted router, go for the M12, as you want the power over size IMHO.

JoshK

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #2 on: 26 Dec 2007, 07:13 pm »
P.S. if you want to route hardwood, you want atleast 2.5HP imo.

shokunin

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Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #3 on: 26 Dec 2007, 08:43 pm »
what type of projects are you planning on doing?  I kind of like the Bosch magnesium routers with the fixed and plunge base kit.  I've used the old school porter cable fixed spped 690kits for over 10years but once you try out modern smooth variable speed routers like the bosch, festool, you'll never go back to the knee-jerk kick start porter cable.  The Bosch is around 2HP which should be good for most bits and any type of wood.  You can use large bits with it, but take multiple passes and lower the spindle speed.

Install the fixed base on a piece of plywood with a hole in the center and voila, a $10 or less router table, any straight edge of wood can work as a fence (with some clamps), use the plunge base for hand router.  If you're planning on doing large raised panels (often) then a 3hp router might be the way to go.  I use a 5hp shaper with a router spindle insert so that doubles as my router table.  When I get lazy to change spindles on the shaper or if it's setup with a different cutter, I pull out my baltic birch router top with a 2" or so hole drilled through it and clamp it to my workbench. 

shokunin

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Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #4 on: 26 Dec 2007, 08:47 pm »
I think this is the one Josh is talking about:

http://www.amazon.com/Bench-Dog-40-031-ProMax-Extension/dp/B00005RHP5/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1198702453&sr=8-2

that is definitely a great option to save space and it's cast iron!

WGH

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #5 on: 26 Dec 2007, 09:05 pm »
I don't know anything about router tables since I built mine out of scrap plywood 10 years ago. The router gets bolted underneath, I clamp on a beefy wood straightedge and I am good to go. I can take a picture later if you need inspiration, but it ain't pretty, just very functional.

Now if you want to talk about routers, there is only one to buy for a router table - the soft start Porter-Cable 7518 Speedmatic 15 Amp 3-1/4 Horsepower 5 Speed Fixed Base or the 7539 Plunge, though for under a table I find the fixed base easier to use. This router is the one used by all the professional woodworkers in Tucson, the 5 speeds are necessary when large bits are used, you don't want a big raised panel bit spinning at 21,000 rpm. Expect to pay around $300.



Wayne

Scott F.

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #6 on: 26 Dec 2007, 09:12 pm »
I agree with Josh. If you don't have a good table saw, that is where I'd start. If you are still looking for a router, I too like the Hitachi. Its a nice machine but you may want to consider this in its stead.



The Rigid combo base (includes fixed and plunge) from Home Depot comes with a LIFETIME warranty. This is a biggie in my book as over the years I've worn out two routers. Bearings do wear out. I recently picked up this same model.

Rigid Router

Christof

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #7 on: 26 Dec 2007, 09:40 pm »
This caught my eye the other day on some woodworking site.  Triton routers usually come with a few freebies and have pretty good reviews.  This table might be nice for folks with limited space.  It's kinda neat how it can be converted into different systems....probably gonna cost about $500 for table and router.



FWIW, I have a couple small benchtop tables made by Benchdog that we carry with us on jobsites.  These little tables have been through hell and back again and work great.  We use Bosch Routers in these tables.

some young guy

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #8 on: 26 Dec 2007, 11:20 pm »
thanks to everyone for your responses so far. i'm always so in awe of wayne's work that i sort of feel compelled to buy the p&c router based solely on his recommendation. i even found a lightly used one on craig's list for $278, but i think it might be a little over-kill for making face plates and chassis, plus it would sort of blow the budget for the table (i'd have more to spend, but i just invested in a new amp :roll:). unless i read something even more compelling, i'll probably wind-up with the bosch 1617evs.

i really like the idea of further utilizing my table saw too, but damn if that bench dog extension isn't pricey! i may just end-up building my own or maybe i'll try to sell more knobs and face plates in order to raise more funds (that would be a little more mature than i'm used to though).

anyway, thanks again for all of your expert opinions! i very much appreciate it!

mgalusha

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #9 on: 26 Dec 2007, 11:52 pm »
I have both the Bosch 1617EVS and the Hitachi M12V. I have used both under the router table (Rockler) and both work well. The Hitachi has noticeably more power than the Bosch and works great for raised panel bits and large radius bits. A quick Google search shows a reconditioned Hitachi for $143, not bad. I've had good look with reconditioned tools.

If you want even more opinions, pay a visit to www.sawmillcreek.org, a very active woodworkers forum.

some young guy

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #10 on: 27 Dec 2007, 12:20 am »
I have both the Bosch 1617EVS and the Hitachi M12V. I have used both under the router table (Rockler) and both work well. The Hitachi has noticeably more power than the Bosch and works great for raised panel bits and large radius bits. A quick Google search shows a reconditioned Hitachi for $143, not bad. I've had good look with reconditioned tools.

If you want even more opinions, pay a visit to www.sawmillcreek.org, a very active woodworkers forum.

great tips. thank you. the hitachi looks good (3 recomendations here alone) and now i get a head-to-head comparison... very compelling. i think maybe i'll go ahead and... no, wait. control. i'll wait to see what else may be posted. :D

i like the rockler table as well. that's what i'm looking for in a table for sure.

shokunin

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Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #11 on: 27 Dec 2007, 01:05 am »
If this is solely for a single duty router table (don't need it for hand-routing), then I'd get what others have mentioned the Hitachi M12V or the PC speedmatic.  I personally prefer the speedmatic for it's fixed base, even though I've I used the Hitachi for many years.  Hitachi is easy enough to adapt to screw height adjust or to remove the springs from the plunge mechanism.

Just a pet peeve, I hate router insert plates that do not secure to their tables, although they allow your to pull the router out of the table by lifting up the plate to change bits and so forth, I just find them to vibrate too much.  Bench Dog's plate screws down, which is what i prefer but it's a pain in the arse to change bits if you're using a plunge router, with the speedmatic you can just unscrew the motor off the base.   

ecramer

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Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #12 on: 27 Dec 2007, 06:01 am »
Ive got quit a bit of time on one of those and like it a lot also.  :thumb:


I don't know anything about router tables since I built mine out of scrap plywood 10 years ago. The router gets bolted underneath, I clamp on a beefy wood straightedge and I am good to go. I can take a picture later if you need inspiration, but it ain't pretty, just very functional.

Now if you want to talk about routers, there is only one to buy for a router table - the soft start Porter-Cable 7518 Speedmatic 15 Amp 3-1/4 Horsepower 5 Speed Fixed Base or the 7539 Plunge, though for under a table I find the fixed base easier to use. This router is the one used by all the professional woodworkers in Tucson, the 5 speeds are necessary when large bits are used, you don't want a big raised panel bit spinning at 21,000 rpm. Expect to pay around $300.



Wayne

some young guy

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #13 on: 27 Dec 2007, 06:35 pm »
so it would seem that the p&c and the hitachi get the popular vote, with the bosch trailing... and the table i like is the rockler. looks like i may have to find something else to use those sears gift cards for :duh:.

many thanks for again for all the advice :notworthy:

to show my appreciation: if any of you guys ever need thingamaknobs, you all get a special discount.

Christof

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #14 on: 5 Jan 2008, 11:19 pm »
One more vote for the m12V.  I have two in my shop used under tables and never a problem.  Remember they are fixed base and once mounted you will need another bench router.

c.

some young guy

Re: Wood workers...
« Reply #15 on: 2 Feb 2008, 12:37 am »
Hey, I just wanted to thank all of you again for your help. After much consideration, I finally (today) picked up a new Cable-Porter 895PK and I'm expecting my new Rockler router table and legs later today. I've been doing a lot of reading and with any luck at all, I'll be doing some cool new work soon.  :D