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Some advice Please?

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  • Some advice Please?

    After deciding to pass on the BS1400 band saw unless there is a drastic cut for the floor model, I'm trying to decide what is the next best piece of equipment to get. I have 2424 which is fine and a scroll saw and compound miter. I'm thinking the most logical choice is a router and table, especially since I would like to get into some jointery, Does that make sense?

    But that's where the confusion starts, What type and size of router? should it be a plunge? what type of table? should it have a lift? Do you need a freehand router and another one thats dedicated to the table? or is it feasible to change as needed? I don't want to spend a fortune but I want to spend enough that I'm not wasting my money.

    I think I've put this purchase off simply because I really don't know what I need therefore, I dont know what to buy. Attending a couple of "wood shows" certainly didn't simplify the question.

    Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

  • #2
    My vote goes out to one of the combo packs. I have the PC, but the Boesch gets good reveiws also. The thing about a router is it must feel right in your hands. The PC feels right to me.
    I have the Rockler router table (top). It's ok. If I was in the market for one again, I think I would go with Lee Valley's this time. The cost is more, but the quality is second to none.
    Support Our Troops!
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    • #3
      I second the combo pack. I have the DeWalt variable speed 2-1/4 HP combo (Fixed and Plunge bases). I have only used it a few times, but so far I love it. I figure that variable speed, 2-1/4 HP will pretty much handle anything I need for now. If I start doing a lot of work on the router table, I will probably pick up a dedicated 3-1/4 HP VS.

      The 1-3/4 HP motor will also fit the same bases and I see that they have added the D-Handle base as an option to the combo pack.
      Mark

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      • #4
        Thanks, At least I feel like I have an idea of what to start looking at. I've seen some of the "combo packs" but didn't know if they were overkill or not. I can see that some of the options available might make this the way to go.

        Is it necessary to go beyond 2hp? or is the additional power a nice cushion to have?
        Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

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        • #5
          I use the PC combo, and I would not give it up for the world for doing work holding a router. It's a slow start, so torque doesn't twist it out of your hands. Yet powerful enough to turn a large bit like a lock miter bit. But so are many other brands.

          In my opinion, you'll want a router table as well. There are many designs to choose from. My view is why buy one you can afford now, then upgrade later. So I went with a JessEm system for a router table, not sorry I did. Woodcraft now carries the Miter-R-Slide for the JessEm system.

          Both my router tables have Freud routers. But there are better for tables on the market now. Ones especially designed to get the collet closer to the table top, so more bit shank will sit in the collet as it is suppose to.

          This is an area you will want to spend plenty of time researching on your own. Getting personal preferences is good as you will get a feel of what's out there. Look at table design, lift systems, and materials they are made with. I would stay away from any table made from particle board or MDF.
          John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

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          • #6
            Why don't you decide what your next project will be & figure out what tool you'll need to make it then decide which manufacture makes the best tool to do the job.

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            • #7
              It's very hard to do almost any project without a router. I've found that next to the table saw, it's probably the most used peice of equipment in the shop. I'd vote for spending the money on a combo kit where you get the plunge base and the fixed base. You can build your own table using the router and things will come out just as good as store bought.

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              • #8
                I'm no expert on this, but I do have a little experience in this area. If you plan to use the router primarily for joinery (dovetails, mortise and tenons) and edging, one of the combination packages is a good choice. I have the PC combo that was packaged with the PC router table. I recommend the combo but not the table (too small and the guard is a nightmare). If not a combo and you have only one router, I would definitely go with the more versatile plunge router, although I like a fixed base router for table use because of the ease of adjustment, unless you also buy one of the secondary market plunge adjusters. A limitation of the 1.5 hp and 1.75 hp routers is bit size. This isn't much of a problem with joinery and small edging, but for relatively large roundovers, coves, and panel bits, the PC 690 combo series is too small.

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                • #9
                  I have a DeWalt combo kit and I love it. One of the nices things I like about the DeWalt is the ability to quickly change from the plunge base to the fixed base without any tools. I use the table most often so I leave the fixed base mounted in there. When I need to do some hand routing, I usually just use the plunge base. Unless its a little more delicate where the smaller, lighter fixed base is required. Also, for changing the bits in the router table, I just drop the router motor out, change the bit and snap it back into the table. I can change bits in less than 30 seconds with that system.

                  You will definately want a router table, there are many available and I'm not familiar with many of the commercial ones because I built my own to suit my needs.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks again all, I realize i have a lot of research to do but at least I feel like I have somewhat of a direction to go.

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                    • #11
                      Don't do what I did! I bought the Dewalt 618PK and took it back after the dealer lied to me. Since I originally bought it at a wood show under a Dewalt Factory techs advice, I also complained to Dewalt. To shut me up Dewalt said if I repurchase the combo they would send me a D-handle. I let that ride for about 2 months and found out Woodcraft was having a 25% off sale on Dewalt so I called Dewalt and asked about the D-handle. Well two days later Lowes did a close out on the Hitachi MV12 so I got one for $100. Then a day later a D-handle was delivered to my door. Now I have a D-handle and fence (given to me by factory rep at show). So I tell the SWMBO that I have to buy the Dewalt, She agrees so I buy it. Then HD does a close out on the PC8529 Router for $100 so convince SWMBO that I should buy it take back the combo, sell the d-handle and fence to buy a PC fence and I would be set. She agreed! [img]smile.gif[/img] Today I ran into the Dewalt rep and told him my problem to convince me Dewalt was a great company he gave me a set of router bits to keep my 618 combo. I feel too guilty to return the Dewalt, I'm keeping the Hitachi to put in a router table and the PC8529 seems like too good of deal to pass. SWMBO is starting to figure this all out Isee her counting boxes in the garage and looking at me funny. I have to get rid of a least one router and I can't decide between the PC and Dewalt
                      Rev Ed

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                      • #12
                        I think you need to look into a mini-matress for the top of your table saw. Your going to need it when she finds out.

                        Best of luck.

                        Chad

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                        • #13
                          LOL, Reved, Pick up some cabinets with doors and build yourself a router table so you can start hiding the routers. My wife has no idea I have 3 routers and I'm going to keep it that way. When she thinks she spots a new tool, I tell her "No, I picked that up when..."

                          I hope that she doesn't snoop in the garage anytime soon and bust me for all teh cabinet master clamps that I've been buying on sale. I has 6 Besseys this summer, and now I have well over 20 combined K-Bodies and Cabinet Masters. (how do I hide a half dozen 48" clamps?)

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                          • #14
                            The first thing I've learned is:
                            Hide those clamps by gluing up a new headboard and while the glue is setting, show her what you are doing. (You probably need another half dozen for that project, don't you?) So now she sees a dozen clamps, but of course they are all for her, right?

                            I get in trouble a lot with that kind of twisted thinking, so the second thing I've learned is:
                            It is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.
                            If it don\'t fit, force it. If it breaks, \'needed fixin\' anyhow. 8{~

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                            • #15
                              "It is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission."

                              True words of wisdom to which all husbands who like tools can aspire.

                              RevEd, you are now dubbed ROUTERMAN!!!

                              I use the PC 1-3/4 horse combo for the hand work. The include edge guide has been handy more than once.(check Tool Crib). I have the Hitachi M12 under the CMT Industrio table(check Sommerfeld). Sweet!!! I wanted to make my own cabinet because I am 6'4" and like my work areas a bit higher than most. I bought a piece of 3/4" MDF for $17 and made the cabinet in a couple of hours. Added some locking casters and I was raising panels the same day. If you choose this set up, I can offer you some advise on dimensions of the cabinet and modifications to the router. There are no instruction included with the CMT table/fence. Also, Sommerfelds pocket hole kit mounts on an insert that fits this table. It all works very nicely. But, it ain't cheap.
                              keep makn\' sawdust!...just don\'t breath any.

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