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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a home made router table with an old Sears 1/4" router mounted underneath. I hate the router because the depth setting mechanism stinks. It's one of those split base designs where the base is clamped around the motor. You loosen the clamp and the router falls out (it's upside down). And the chuck is not guranteed to be centered where it was the last time, which is most annoying.

So.. what's the preferred router for table use nowadays? I have a big plunge machine that serves me well, but I want something that will be permanently mounted in the table.

TIA
 

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where's my table saw?
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Do you have a rectangular router plate...

Or just a round hole for the cutters? Router plates come all sizes, round holes as well. It it's homemade, I'm thinkin' a round hole. :blink:

At any rate, I'd get a router with bottom side up height adjustment feature, Milwaukee, Freud, Triton, so you can change the cutter height from above the table. http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/top-adjustable-router-51146/
AND: http://www.routerforums.com/table-m...ie-here-need-help-w-first-router-table-4.html

A table router should be at least 2 HP, the largest I have is 3 1/2 HP Milwaukee, reason being that you will use larger cutters in the table than hand held. The Craftsman combo is a good bang for the buck according to others here. Bosch and Hitachi are also well acclaimed.

A router lift will allow you to use, twist height routers like the Porter Cables. They lock into the lift and do not use the factory base. This is the cheapest lift I've seen:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=6396&Max=999

I have a few of these and they are great!
http://routertablereview.com/jessem-mast-r-lift-ii-router-lift-review/
 

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I would also recommend a router, where you can adjust height, and change bits from above the table. After buying a Frued 1700, which has these features, I wouldn't want to do without. However I would never buy that router again. POS. A number of different parts broke 5 or 6 times in 2 years of light use. Plastic, and die cast parts inside.
 

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I'd get one of the ones that has built in table features....first choice would be a Milwaukee 5625, if you don't want one quite that big, then go with the Milwaukee 5616.
 

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I picked up a Triton TRA001 for my table to replace a PC 7518. I saw that a lot of guys in the router forum were choosing the Triton and I have been totally pleased with it. Smooth, lots of power, nice table top adjustment and since the bit area is enclosed with its own dust port, the dust collection is excellent.

When you raise the collet all the way to the top it locks, making bit changes easy. The router is designed for under tale use.

Negatives are that there is a safety cover on the power switch that has to be pushed back to raise the collet for bit changes, requiring groping until you get the hang of it (or take the router apart and remove it) and the speed control is to the lower rear which also requires some groping. A good point is that unlike the PC, I'm not afraid to reach under the table to adjust things with the router running, as the bit area is completely enclosed.

The Triton comes in two smaller sizes other than the 3 1/4 HP version, but the smallest isn't for under table use.

If you are on a budget, Sears makes a 12 amp fixed/plunge base Craftsman set http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-...p-00927683000P?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2 which I'm pretty sure has above the table adjustment. I have a slightly earlier version of this one that I use for hand use and it has the above table capabilities. If you watch for a good sale, you can grab it for around $100.

Bill
 

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John
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I picked up a Triton TRA001 for my table to replace a PC 7518. I saw that a lot of guys in the router forum were choosing the Triton and I have been totally pleased with it. Smooth, lots of power, nice table top adjustment and since the bit area is enclosed with its own dust port, the dust collection is excellent.

When you raise the collet all the way to the top it locks, making bit changes easy. The router is designed for under tale use.

Negatives are that there is a safety cover on the power switch that has to be pushed back to raise the collet for bit changes, requiring groping until you get the hang of it (or take the router apart and remove it) and the speed control is to the lower rear which also requires some groping. A good point is that unlike the PC, I'm not afraid to reach under the table to adjust things with the router running, as the bit area is completely enclosed.

The Triton comes in two smaller sizes other than the 3 1/4 HP version, but the smallest isn't for under table use.

Bill
Hi Bill - actually, that safety cover is there to keep you from accidentally powering the thing up with the spindle lock engaged, not usually a good thing. I haven't found disengaging it too bad, just flip the rocker switch off. It's trying to move the cover and flip the switch on at the same time that took practice.:smile:
Oh, yeah... the JOF001 can be used under the table, has the same above table features as the 3-1/2HP one. I put mine underneath a table just for grins and to see how it would work. Dunno why you would want a 1-1/3HP router in a table though.
 

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Alan Sweet
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I have the Rockler router lift.

I like it with 2 reservations.

1) The inserts for the router plate for different hole sizes are not consistent in thickness. I had to adjust the typical 1/4" insert by putting a couple layers of tape on the bottom side to make it level with the plate.

2) About every 4-6 months, you have to tune the lift. The worm gear that raises and lowers router assembly has an adjustment that comes loose and you have to pull the whole unit in order to tighten it correctly. If you don't address it the whole router carriage unit will slowly creep down. This can cause significant differences. Especially if you do long molding runs or have a lot pieces to route using the same setting

But other wise I like the raiser. I have a porter cable 890 series router
 

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I have a pair of Bosch 1617 routers. I use one under a table but it is easy to remove for hand held use. The fixed base stays mounted to the table. i pull the motor out and put it in the plunge base for hand operations. the other router is mounted under the cast iron extension wing of my table saw.
 

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Also consider the Porter Cable 890s.

They can be adjusted above the table as well.
 

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Wood Snob
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ShopNotes featured this type of under table router set up. I built it with a few changes and Couldn't be happier.

Doesn't hang so the top doesn't have to be bionic. No top sag.

Very easy to change the bits. Table lifts up to expose the unit.

Doesn't require the base. Easy to remove if needed else where.

Micro adjusts. One full turn is 1/16". Very easy to adjust 1/128" at a time.

Adjusts top or bottom.

Built from shop scraps. Cost me more for the nuts and bolts.

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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John said: <<Oh, yeah... the JOF001 can be used under the table, has the same above table features as the 3-1/2HP one. I put mine underneath a table just for grins and to see how it would work. Dunno why you would want a 1-1/3HP router in a table though.>>

I stand corrected. You are 100% right.

Regarding fumbling around with the switch cover - for non-table use I can see why the cover/interlock is an important safety feature. With the router under the table and my power switch being a big paddle type on the front of the table, it's kinda a pain. I saw a web page that gave instructions for removing the cover here: http://www.thewoodnerd.com/tips/tritonInterlock.html and it's a bit more involved than one would expect. I may do that someday but then again I may eventually get used to the cover. Right now, with both switches turned 'off', I no longer feel the need to unplug the router for bit changes, so at least that's convenient.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys. I'd like to keep it under $200 so the smaller Milwaukee and the PC 892 look like my choices. My table is small and I use it clamped between dogs on my bench. I'll probably make a new one when I change routers, as the current (round hole) design was made to accommodate the router I had.
 

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I picked up a Triton TRA001 for my table to replace a PC 7518. I saw that a lot of guys in the router forum were choosing the Triton and I have been totally pleased with it. Smooth, lots of power, nice table top adjustment and since the bit area is enclosed with its own dust port, the dust collection is excellent.

The Triton comes in two smaller sizes other than the 3 1/4 HP version, but the smallest isn't for under table use.

Bill
I agree, I have the same router mounted in my table and I love the power and the ease of changing bits. I have it connected to a separate switch so that it's easier to operate. I was able to pick it up for $199 about 2 years ago when it was on sale.:thumbsup:
 

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This may have been suggested previously and if so I apologize.

You may want to bite the bullet and buy a combo kit that includes a fixed base and a plunge base.

Chances are you'll have use for a plunge bade eventually and it'll cost you a lot more to buy it separately.
 

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John
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