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post #1 of 44 Old 09-13-2012, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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My first router

I just ordered this router after some sage advice on the Lumberjocks forum: http://www.reconditionedtools.com/fa...=bosch-routers

It got high marks from everyone who had it and I don't mind refurbished tools.

So now I have to get router bits and other accessories. I know next to nothing about routers (but I intend to learn!).

I know I'll need bits to start out. I was hoping the knowledgeable folks here could recommend some bit packs to start out with. Things that I know I want to do with the router is cut grooves, dados, rabbets, etc. Joinery cuts. Maybe mortises and tenons as well. And at some point I'd like to get a dovetail jig and cut dovetails.

I don't have a table saw so this little critter will be doing a lot of things for me.

I don't want to break the bank on router bits. And I've already been advised not to go hog wild and buy a whole bunch of bits I may never use.

I know there are such things as router bearings too, though I'm not sure what they are.

My plan is to get a router table soon as well.

So any reccomendations for bits, accessories, templates, jigs, magic wands, etc would be welcome.

As always, my deepest thanks.
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post #2 of 44 Old 09-13-2012, 05:07 PM
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You could have got sage advise from this forum also.

I have this router installed in a router table for several years. May date back to 2005. I have replaced a bearing at the end of the rotor, which I consider was a lifetime lubricated bearing whose life was shorter than the life of the router.

Purchase the bits you need, but first decide what the need will be based on your projects.

Another post earlier in the week in the General Woodworking was a person who purchased a router and now wanted to know what he could build with the router.

For my purposes a router is not the main tool of construction, rather a tool to perform some final operations. Typically edge treatment.

The Bosch has 1/2in and 1/4in collet. I recommend 1/2in bits where possible. They will be more robust and so have less vibration.

I have not yet broken a 1/2in bit, but I have broken a 1/4in bit. Technically 1/4in dia, but 1/8in cutting diameter. Likely my trying to take off too much or too deep.

The router bits which I use the most are :
a) Roundover. 1/8in, 1/4in, 3/8in, 1/2in cutter radius. These are examples of the ones with bearings. The bearing rides against the wood and so can be used without a straight edge guide for the router. It does require the wood to be straight.
b) Straight bit. My 1/8in bit is used with a guide to make bowties and the hole to install the bowtie.
c) I have some spiral upcut bits 3/8in and 1/2in which I used to make grooves or mortices.
d) I have slot cutters of various sizes. Good to cut short tenons or slots for joining boards together.
e) If I want a gentle curve to a cutting board but not a roundover, I will use a Queen Anne bit, like this one. I think this was named after some style of furniture.
http://www.infinitytools.com/basket.asp
f) I also have some Ogee style bits which I used when I want an ogee style of edge on a board.

There are many sites from which to purchase the router bits.

Infinity Tools have decent router bits.
http://www.infinitytools.com/ROUTER-...artments/1384/

Eagle America has a lot of selections.
The Eagle America brand is meant to be US made.
The Price Cutter brand are foreign made.
http://www.eagleamerica.com/

MLCS has a good selection of bits. I think most foreign made.
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...routerbit.html

Peachtree also has a lot of router bits.
http://www.ptreeusa.com/freud_bits_list.htm
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post #3 of 44 Old 09-13-2012, 06:43 PM
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Purrmaster,

I recommend these books. Only $10 each shipped and worth every penny.

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his
sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

Jack Handey
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post #4 of 44 Old 09-13-2012, 06:44 PM
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Sorry, app crash

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his
sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

Jack Handey
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post #5 of 44 Old 09-13-2012, 06:46 PM
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Congrats on your new router. That's an excellent first choice!
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post #6 of 44 Old 09-13-2012, 06:56 PM
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http://www.shopnotesspecials.com/

Woodsmith books:

Router Workshop, Ultimate Router Handbook and Router Table Secrets.

These books have helped me understand the capabilities of router use and the different techniques for router use.

Start with Router Table Secrets. It covers a lot of the basics including info on essentials, techniques, bits and router upgrades.

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his
sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

Jack Handey
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post #7 of 44 Old 09-13-2012, 09:37 PM
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Mostly what Dave said; You picked a good router and vendor also. I have picked up several tools from CPO and their service has always been top notch.

As far as bits go, for just starting out I recommend the MLCS, specifically their 30 piece set. There are only about 3 bits in the set that aren't needed on a fairly regular basis. There is also a school of thought that says when just starting out, one really has no idea which bits do what and if you don't have them, you can't try them.
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...et30piece.html

The MLCS bits are foreign made but reasonable quality and you can replace them as they wear out with high end bits such as Amana, Whiteside, CMT, Freud or other. If you try to stock up with those up front you can tie a ton of money up in a hurry.

Any bits that require bearings will typically come with one appropriate for the profile of the bit. Once you have gained some experience, you will find you can change the bearings to modify the profile.

I will also repeat what Dave said about the router not being a primary construction tool. That said, there are a lot of aspects of the construction process that I prefer the router for, ie dados, rabbets and slots.

Good Luck and Congratulations on your new acquisition.

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
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post #8 of 44 Old 09-13-2012, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:

"You could have got sage advise from this forum also"

Very true. But I figured you guys were getting a little sick of my constant desire for recommendations.

Those books sound like a good idea. I'll check it out. I may even be able to find them at Powell's Books or Amazon or the library.

I really don't know diddly about routers but I am looking things up. Oddly, I haven't been able to find the answer to what is a pretty simple question: What is a router bushing and why do I need a bunch of them?

Also, I am made to understand that most jigs and templates and such are set up to fit Porter Cable routers. But that one can get adapters for the Bosch to allow it to take accessories designed for Porter cable. Which accessories are these, please?

I ordered this set of bits:

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...et15piece.html

The price was quite fair and I am told they are good bits. I'll probably need to pick up other bits. I am wary however of spending 50 bucks on one router bit. That seems.... excessive. And I hear I need to get a bunch of bearing as well. But I also don't want to go hog wild buying bits that will sit in the packaging forever.

The primary use for the router, at least at first, will be doing joinery cuts. I realize there is no real substitute for a table saw. I hope to have a bandsaw in my future though.

Thank you!
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post #9 of 44 Old 09-13-2012, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrmaster View Post
Quote:

"You could have got sage advise from this forum also"

Very true. But I figured you guys were getting a little sick of my constant desire for recommendations.

Those books sound like a good idea. I'll check it out. I may even be able to find them at Powell's Books or Amazon or the library.

I really don't know diddly about routers but I am looking things up. Oddly, I haven't been able to find the answer to what is a pretty simple question: What is a router bushing and why do I need a bunch of them?

Also, I am made to understand that most jigs and templates and such are set up to fit Porter Cable routers. But that one can get adapters for the Bosch to allow it to take accessories designed for Porter cable. Which accessories are these, please?

I ordered this set of bits:

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...et15piece.html

The price was quite fair and I am told they are good bits. I'll probably need to pick up other bits. I am wary however of spending 50 bucks on one router bit. That seems.... excessive. And I hear I need to get a bunch of bearing as well. But I also don't want to go hog wild buying bits that will sit in the packaging forever.

The primary use for the router, at least at first, will be doing joinery cuts. I realize there is no real substitute for a table saw. I hope to have a bandsaw in my future though.

Thank you!
Hi - this is pretty decent read on guide bushings.
http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodwork...uide-bushings/

I'm not sure if you aren't interchanging the terms "bearings" and "bushings". While in probably most applications, the meanings are almost synonymous but in reference to routing they are quite different. You keep mentioning a need to buy bearings. I have a maintenance kit with a dozen or so spare bearings but I think I have only needed to replace one in the last two years.

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
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post #10 of 44 Old 09-14-2012, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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I may be using the terms interchangeably and incorrectly. I apologize. I keep reading about needing all sorts of bushings and bearings for a router. When I think bearings I usually think of ball bearings in motors.
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post #11 of 44 Old 09-14-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrmaster View Post
I may be using the terms interchangeably and incorrectly. I apologize. I keep reading about needing all sorts of bushings and bearings for a router. When I think bearings I usually think of ball bearings in motors.
No apology necessary. You are correct. There are ball bearings in the motor and on the ends of some bits. I don't know why you would need "all sorts" of bearings. Guide bushings may or may not be another matter. You don't really need guide bushings to get started, some never use them. I happen to be one that uses them a lot. I would suggest you hold off on buying any bushings or bearings for awhile. You can tie a pretty good chunk of change up just in those things.
Guide bushings, aka Template guide bushings, are just that. They help guide the router along a path determined by a template or guide strip. They will follow the path but it will be a parallel path, offset by the distance between the outside diameter of the guide bushing and the edge of the bit. The link I posted gives a reasonable introduction into guide bushings.

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
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post #12 of 44 Old 09-14-2012, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrmaster View Post
I just ordered this router after some sage advice on the Lumberjocks forum: http://www.reconditionedtools.com/fa...=bosch-routers

It got high marks from everyone who had it and I don't mind refurbished tools.

So now I have to get router bits and other accessories. I know next to nothing about routers (but I intend to learn!).

I know I'll need bits to start out. I was hoping the knowledgeable folks here could recommend some bit packs to start out with. Things that I know I want to do with the router is cut grooves, dados, rabbets, etc. Joinery cuts. Maybe mortises and tenons as well. And at some point I'd like to get a dovetail jig and cut dovetails.

I don't have a table saw so this little critter will be doing a lot of things for me.

I don't want to break the bank on router bits. And I've already been advised not to go hog wild and buy a whole bunch of bits I may never use.

I know there are such things as router bearings too, though I'm not sure what they are.

My plan is to get a router table soon as well.

So any reccomendations for bits, accessories, templates, jigs, magic wands, etc would be welcome.

As always, my deepest thanks.
go join this web site router work shop. This is all about routers ect. I been a menber for yrs and lot's of knollege their . Router bearing are on the bit's. Not all of them tho. that is why i would like you to join the router work shop form. I guess the first thing i would do is remember to feed the wood into the rotation of the bit. Depends which side of the router you are on as to which side of the bit you feed the wood into. You can find out by starting the router up and shutting it down and look and see which way the bit is turning. I won't list the bits. Their are a few kit's of around 10 bit's that would be a start. that way you can see which one you use a lot and than up grade to a better brand. I would try and stick to 1/2" shank if it were me. The bosch if you got the different nut's for 1/4 and 1/2 bit's than you can use both or buy both. good luck oh if it look's like it is dangerest than take another look at the project. I have been in wood for maybe 50 or so yrs. good luck here is the link http://www.routerforums.com/
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post #13 of 44 Old 09-14-2012, 12:37 PM
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Woodworking sites are a great resource when it comes to information. Friendly and knowledgeable folks willing to help.
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post #14 of 44 Old 09-14-2012, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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I probably will join that forum as well. I'm a bit concerned about etiquette. I've already posted to here and to Lumberjocks essentially the same questions. In some forums and usenet newsgroups that might be considered spamming. Cross posting on Usenet is highly frowned upon and I much of my netiquette is old school.

In other words, I don't want to piss anyone off. Especially considering the fantastic information my questions have gotten. It has been extremely valuable. I keep looking for ways to answer questions and contribute but I am just to green to know anything.

I ordered the 15 bit kit from MCLS woodworking. And I'll probably pick up a pack of bits from Harbor Freight. If they suck then I haven't lost much.

I'm also interested on how one sharpens router bits. I read that high speed steel bits can be taken to a higher sharpness than carbide, though they dull much more quickly.

But I also want to pick up bits that are sharp out of the box. I don't want to spend hours and hundreds of dollars sharpening brand new bits.

I've run into something similar with jointer blades. They don't come sharp enough. And when I sent one set of knives out for sharpening the knives I got back weren't sharp enough for me. True, they were better. But not good enough. I'm going to probably pick up Vertitas' jointer blade jig and just do it myself. I know I can get stuff pretty sharp with 2,000 grit sandpaper.
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post #15 of 44 Old 09-14-2012, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrmaster
I may be using the terms interchangeably and incorrectly. I apologize. I keep reading about needing all sorts of bushings and bearings for a router. When I think bearings I usually think of ball bearings in motors.
I have the same router as you and in order to get it to work with porter cable style bushings I had to make these purchases.
http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-Quick-Change-Template-Adapter/dp/B005HPUP80
http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-RA1100-Threaded-Template-Adapter/dp/B0009H5INI
Later on I discovered a cheaper solution which is this base plate from rockler. Good luck


http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=25412

Last edited by Kramer; 09-14-2012 at 09:21 PM.
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post #16 of 44 Old 09-14-2012, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramer View Post
I have the same router as you and in order to get it to work with porter cable style bushings I had to make these purchases.
Amazon.com: Bosch Quick Change Template Guide Adapter: Home Improvement

Bosch RA1100 Threaded Router Template Guide Adapter - Amazon.com

Later on I discovered a cheaper solution which is this base plate from rockler. Good luck


http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=25412

That is a significantly cheaper option. The downside is you loose the "snap in" capability of the Bosch bushings. Don't get me wrong, I like my bushings and have a lot of them but, IMO, the Bosch system is superior, Bosch just hasn't followed up with a comprehensive selection of sizes.
I don't care for the Porter Cable two piece (bushing and ringnut) system as it is possible for the collet nut to contact the bushing and unscrew it. If that happens you can kiss the bushing goodbye, if it's a steel bushing, kiss the bit good bye also.

John

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post #17 of 44 Old 09-15-2012, 01:15 AM
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I have the same combo. The fixed base is mounted under a table and I use the plunge base for hand held operations. Loving it so far. I also have the same MLCS router bit set you ordered. So far the bits are working OK for me.

Now if you were to build a router table top and obtain a 1/2 inch straight bit say about 2 inches long, you could have a first class joiner in no time. :-) There is info on you tube and Lumber jocks and the router forum (which I am a member on both also) that shows you how to set up your router to join boards. I use a piece of Formica clamped to the down side of the fence, set up my it so it takes of a little cut (abot a 32nd or so and the board edge comes out smooth.

Here is the page with the straight bits. I bought the 1/2 inch shank, 1/2 in dia cutter.
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops..._straight.html

Good luck and happy routing.
Mike

Note: I built this table out of 2 pieces of 3/4 mdf glued together and covered with Formica. The router plate is the Rockler Group A plate. I had to drill a hole in the plate so I could adjust the height from above the table. No big deal.
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post #18 of 44 Old 09-15-2012, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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I ordered this from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000063XTX/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00
Will this include the items you suggested?
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post #19 of 44 Old 09-15-2012, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrmaster
I ordered this from Amazon:

Video Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000063XTX/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

Will this include the items you suggested?

I think you will still need the ra1126 adapter. I didn't see it listed in the kit you linked.
http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-Quick-Change-Template-Adapter/dp/B005HPUP80/
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post #20 of 44 Old 09-15-2012, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrmaster View Post
I'll probably pick up a pack of bits from Harbor Freight. If they suck then I haven't lost much.
I wouldn't bother with the HF bits, they are guaranteed to suck. I am not a fan of buying CHEAP bits, considering you will be spinning them at 10000rpm's or so, shrapnel from bits that come apart can cause some damage. If you want affordable bits, you have gotten some pretty good suggestions already, and probably a good start with the MLCS set you bought.
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