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  • #16
    Guys believe me these routers are hid plus I move them often to confuse SWMBO. However I have no use for three routers. I don't use a router often enough to really justify one let alone three new ones and the old Craftsman I already had.

    My plan is to keep the Hitachi which I paid $100 for and use it in a table, I may take up Greg's offer for advice on building it.

    I then have the Dewalt 618PK combo with plunge and fixed base plus a d-handle and the jump up whoopie edge guide and really nice set of router bits all of which I paid on $215 for. Now that is one sweet deal!

    And I have the Porter Cable 8529 which I paid $107 for. Also a very very sweet deal.

    Both are great deals but I think I could better use the the money I have in routers for something else.

    I just can't bring myself to give up on either great deal. You know I'm kind of like the wife that bought two dresses for the price of one to save money
    Rev Ed

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    • #17
      The consensus of what I've read is that a 2+HP router combo kit will handle most routing jobs. If you do occasionaly cabinet work and safely rout several passes, it will be all the router you will need. I have the Bosch 1617 EVS and have had no complaints. I bought an extra undertable base that is permanently attached to a Rockler router table. Really affordable setup. The DW kit includes a 3rd base so you may save even more going that route.

      While researching this, I agree with what was said above, you really want to set up a table by either constructing one or buying one. I made my first one and because I was inexperienced (and still am), the table didn't seem as convincing or as much needed of a tool in my shop. Instead of going back to the drawing board, I bought a table so that I could enjoy the router in a table rather than continue to get frustrated.

      This is a little off topic but something I recently experienced. I have yet to pick up a bandsaw or a jointer, but have collected and large amount of benchtop and hand power tools. Much of what I have heard and read is that the "big four" machines in WW are the Table saw, Jointer, Band saw, and Planer. I'm sure the priority AFTER the table saw remains a huge debate. At any rate, what I've found has limited the quality of what I've done thus far is the use of a jointer. I own a planer and probably could have done without for now having bought most of my wood from the Big Boxes (hope wife isn't reading this). I want a bandsaw but haven't run into anything I couldn't cut out with my Bosch jig saw (I haven't attemtpted resawing or cutting 1/8" veneer with the jig saw). My 3612 is, as expected, the "center" of my shop.

      I tried hand planing the edges of wood, but could not get the edge join that I wanted. Understanding this takes practice, it probably would have been better for me to have gotten a jointer, even Delta's benchtop model for $200 before starting a lot of the projects that I've undergone.

      Not to discount the router in any way, because next to my TS, it is the most functional piece of equipment I own. But should you successfully solve your dillemma with the purchase of a router combo pack and find yourself in a similar situation again, I would suggest getting as much jointer as you have money and space for, ensuring that those glue ups are tight and that you can flatten one face of a board for later planing.

      Until then, make one of the first bits you get for that new router, from a reputable company (Freud, Whiteside), a 1/2" shank flush trim straight bit. You'll use it a lot either way and combined with a straight edge, will be able to edge join boards ( just another way to skin a cat).

      You should also look at a book I found extremely helpful, Woodworking with the Router, by Bill Hylton and Fred Matlack. They cover a ton of uses for routers and offer plans for many jigs as well as table construction. You may want to peruse it to see what this machine can do before you make any purchase decisions.

      At any rate, good luck. [img]smile.gif[/img]
      Patrick<br />patrickssmith@cox.net<br />members.cox.net/patrickssmith

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      • #18
        Keep all of them. I have a 1 1/2 horse dewalt, 3 horse dewalt, and 1 1/2 craftsman. the 3 horse has a 1/2" collet for the big bits(which I use frequently), and I carry the 1 1/2 horse with me and the craftsman is old but has a big shoe on it and has an advantage for cutting radius' for cabinet door rails, so that always stays with the circle template cutter. You will find a use for all of them and wish you hadn't gotten rid of any of them. Good luck with your dilema

        Happy woodworking

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        • #19
          Hey Bizz, the key to any router purchase is what are you going to use it for. You may find that you need more than one router (even if you have a kit) especially if you decide on a router table. With the router in the table you don't want to continually remove and replace the router.
          As much horsepower as you can afford is the best, but it should be variable speed to deal with the widest variety of situations. The bigger the bit the slower the speed.
          I have had great success with the reasonably priced table from Lee Valley. Ease of set up, metal table, and router lift that is easy to use.
          Let us know how the decision process goes.

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          • #20
            I would disagree with "as much horsepower as you can afford." I got a Hitachi 3 1/4 hp M12V to replace my 20 year old crapsman. But any amount of hand routing (like using it on a dovetail jig) just about killed me and my shoulders - it is HEAVY. And my wife basically couldn't use it. So I bought the DeWalt 621 2 hp for hand use (great, especially the depth adjustment) and leave the Hitachi in the homemade table. Both are variable speed.

            If you count the crapsman that turns on and off by pulling the plug (switch is long dead), I guess I have the minimum of 3 routers. Since I have more than 3 bits, at least I am not like Norm Abrams - a router for each bit.

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            • #21
              Based on a lot of the responses I'm defintely going to look at a combo and have already looked at the DW618 and PC. I'm not going to rush into buying as I want to be sure of what I'm getting. I also want to look a little closer at the Rockler tables and now also a Lee.

              Hey RevEd, was your problem with the DW618 the tool itself? or just the way it was presented to you by the salesman? Would you still buy it if you had it to do over? (Actually, that may be a difficult question for you to answer, considering you now have a "collection".)

              One of the nicest things about this site is that you can ask for a little advice and get this kind of response. It sure does make things easier. It was this kind of info that convinced me to go ahead and buy my 2424 a little over a year ago and the saw has worked out great for me.

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              • #22
                My problem with the DW618PK started with the router but the dealer was the biggest problem. The base plate on the fixed plunge base is held by three screws, one of the screw holes was so close to the edge of the casting that the casting cracked. I went back to the dealer to have the base replaced and he said he did not have one in stock, would have to order it and would need to keep the plunge base for 2 weeks to replace the part when it came in. I said forget it, I would live with the crack. At that point I was packing everything up when the receipt fell out with a 30 day money back guarantee. I asked for my money back. Then all of sudden the dealer had replacement parts, new units and other manufactures equipment. I told him I didn’t want to deal with a crook and to give me my money back.

                I then called Dewalt told them of my problem, they knew about the bases and supposedly corrected them. I also discussed the dealer and their answer was disturbing. They said for most dealers business is so good they can afford to lose customers because there are two more standing in line. I went through the roof with that answer. Demanded to talk to sales manager, he said yes he heard stories like this but what could Dewalt do, the dealers were free to do as the pretty much pleased. Personally I think Dewalt needs to improve in this area.

                Dewalt to make up for the my trouble offered the D-handle base with proof of repurchase of the 618pk. The new dealer they sent me to wanted $60 more for the kit so I said forget it. Then Woodcraft had a sale with 15% off Dewalt which brought the price back in line. But since so much time had passed I call Dewalt to see if the offer was still open, expecting to have to send in a proof a purchase, instead they just sent the D-handle.

                So now I had the jump up whoopee fence (gift from factory rep at show), the D-handle base but no 618. So I had to buy the 618PK! Right?

                I did, then ran into the factory rep and told him my whole ugly story and he took me out to his truck and handed me a 6 piece bit set. End result for $215 I got the 618Pk, the fence, d-handle, and really nice 6 piece router bit set. Figured Dewalt did right by me. Although I would never use the first dealer for anything. Oh yes the 618 is a dream to use.
                Rev Ed

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                • #23
                  Forgot to add if your looking at the PC combo kit shop all the HD's. Some have left over kits from Christmas that contain PC's really nice fence for free. Make sure your getting the variable speed as some have the older fixed speed kits also.

                  One thing Dewalt has over the PC is on the PC the router body must be turned in reference to the base to adjust height. This can effect the distance of the bit from the edge of the base. If your using a fence and rout a groove then decide to deepen the groove you turn the motor within the base, the motor may not be concentric in base and shifting the bit causing a slight ledge on the wall of your groove. On one I tested it was about a fingernail thick. On Dewalt the relationship of the motor to base never changes you turn the ring which lifts or lowers the motor, the bit stays in same position concentric wise.
                  Rev Ed

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                  • #24
                    Just have to add my $.02 worth...

                    As long as baby has diapers, cloths that fit, and food to eat, she could care less what I buy for tools. She knows that if I buy a 5th routher, it's for a good cauz! And they will receive some items made with wood from the use of it.

                    I don't go to bars after work with the boyz, I don't take off to friendz and stay out late. I'm at work, or at home. If not spending time with her or our son, she knows where to find me...in the shop. She says it's well worth what tools I want, to not worry about where I'm at, or what I'm doing. And she enjoys time in the shop with me when our son lets her.

                    As for routers...Need a big boy for a table, or two. Couple around the 1.5 to 2.0 hp range for hand work. A trim router is a nice addition for laminae and finer work as well. Thing to remember is, no one tool will do it all. And to save time, multiple routers will speed things up with bit changes and set ups.
                    John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

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