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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Default Elu / DeWalt DE6900

Hello & good evening to all.
I was wondering if anyone has experience of using the Elu version of the DeWalt DE6900 Router table. I've just bought this set up & it appears to be well engineered though very 'compact'. I have both models of the Elu MOF96 & the MOF96E (Variable Speed) with the intention of keeping one router fixed in the table (which one I'm undecided) Any thoughts, reviews, pro's con's or pointers on this set up would be hugely appreciated.
Initially the routers are to be used to run channels in timber to house LED strip lights, so no huge power load needed hopefully
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 01:40 PM
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Welcome. Many of us have used a piece of plywood with a board clamped to it for a table so anything more sophisticated that that is a bonus. The small table size is an issue but if you have the room you could use that with wings built on either side like table saws use. You don't necessarily need a long fence and sometimes a long fence can be a problem if the is a slight curve in your work.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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Many thanks Chuck. I was thinking along the same lines re table extension. Another option I was considering if practical would be to inset the table into a section of the workbench retaining access to the underside.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 11:52 AM
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The only issue with insetting it into a bench would be how you lock the fence down maybe. I didn't see the fence in the diagram so I don't know how it works. If you couldn't use the existing fence if mounted into a bench top then I would just make a fence and rout some grooves in the bench top for t track and lock it down to the t track. It's definitely a doable plan.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 06:05 PM
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What you have there is an example of finely-engineered, Swiss-made innovation. Elu invented the "portable plunge router", and the MOF96 and its accessories really started the trend in plunge routers for home workshops, outside of North America. So much so, that fixed base routers have never had much of a following - there were mostly some clunky Stanleys readily available in 220V at the time (remember tilt-plunge?).

The worst one can say about the MOF96 is that it is underpowered by today's standards - 600 Watts in the 220V version (750 Watts approximates 1 H.P.) There was a bigger machine - 2000W, but priced like a Festool today. 40 years ago, a friend bought the MOF96. As an impecunious medical resident, I had to settle for a Hitachi (still running) - more powerful, but I had to make the equivalent attachments over time (and never as precise as the Swiss-made). When my friend sold his kit without telling me some years back, it almost dented a very long friendship.

But the ingenuity lay in the accessories that came with it (Rockler, Trend, Incra, Kreg and Leigh did not exist or have products at the time). In particular, using the router in portable mode, but attached to the table with the right-angle fence in place, was (and probably still is) streets ahead for edge routing - virtually no chance of the router tipping. I did not hear of DeWalt continuing the accessories when they took over - if they did not, it is a pity. A lot of today's aftermarket jigs and plates are just not in the same league.
The supplied table was small, but adequate for about 80% of the tasks one would perform in a home shop. Elu did sell a larger floor-standing table, for working on bigger pieces. They also had a great circular saw, which could be mounted over or under the floor-standing table.

You could drop the table into a bigger surface, much like any other router plate (but too thick for 3/4"), just bear in mind that you would need feather-boards of some sort, as the adjustable-pressure spring guard mounts on one edge of the table (there is a threaded hole and a bolt).

I scanned the original "manual" so you can see how the bits and pieces come together. To keep the file size manageable, I omitted pages showing the construction of joints, bits, etc. There was a separate manual for the dovetail jig.
For your expected use, you will find it a joy.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Huge appreciation here Biagio for your incise & enthusiastic comments about the Elu MOF96. I omitted to add in the initial post that I also own the MOF96E (variable speed). I'm considering a way of constructing extensions to the router table using e.g. Bench Dog feather boards - I run these on a table saw - I'm unsure of which router would be best allied to the table, variable or fixed speed, I'm hoping to dedicate one router to the table. I couldn't agree more with your appraisal of the quality of construction & materials Elu used, this tool is truly a joy to use & control. I have the chance of buying (locally) a MOF 177 (it might be an 'E') & wonder if the extra grunt would be useful in the event that I develop into larger heavier work p.s. it's cheap & I'm always on a piddling budget. Though a novice at the moment I've not experienced any current workpiece to be desirous of much more power. In saying this I have little or no experience of higher end 1/2" machines, the units I've borrowed over the years have been budget store products and found them to be difficult to control or use with little assurance of personal safety! Once again very very many thanks for your helpful comments & pdf's
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 10:28 AM
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Hagheld you only need to worry about more power when you start using larger bits. You'll also need either a 12mm or 1/2" collet to go with them as those bits have too much torque for small shanks.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Many thanks for the input Chuck. I've made the deal for the 1/2" Elu MOF 177 & collect it next Tues. So I guess this means a new 12mm Collet & Nut plus a whole new set of cutters! I'm taking things very slowly partially due to the fact that everything I read about routing strongly yet rightly emphasises safety (even more stridently than the warnings about Table Saws!) The main concern I have is deciding if some of the router bits I've collected are in good/useable order but am doing all the recommended checks before trying test cuts.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 08:59 PM
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Safety. If there is any way to use the router in the table vs freehand, I'll take the table.

Freehand, the router is spinning at up to 20,000 rpm, and it doesn't take much to lose control of it and have that bit tear into your flesh. I'd definitely work out a way to attach a larger table. A split fence is a very good thing as well. Consider putting in a T-track on each side so you can affix and pivot your fence. Bottom edge of the fence should be trimmed to a 45 angle, about an eighth inch up from the table to allow dust a place to escape. Standard advice, but good.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 01:02 AM
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Hagheid, on the 1/4" models there will be liitle to choose between the single-speed and the E model for table mounting. Most of the bits will run at full speed, and you will need to take more than one cut to get to full depth anyway, given the power output.
There are larger bits, even panel-raisers, with 1/4" shanks, but probably best avoided, as Charles suggested.
You did a good thing getting hold of the bigger machine, which should have the 1/2" collet as standard. I am envious of your ability to source such stuff - problems of living in a smaller country, and the stupid 110/220 volt dichotomy (I blame Thomas Edison).

By the way, if you happen to have a radial arm saw, Elu had brought out brackets to attach their routers to DeWalt saws, so that one had an over-arm, radial routing capability. Not sure if you will still find one, but not particularly intricate to make. Useful for repetititive dado cuts for shelving and the like, if one does not have a dado set for the saw.

Tom, I second the notion of preferential table-mount use (and the Elu kit even included a ball-bearing template follower that mounted over the bit, allowing the template to be on top of the workpiece, without collars). You will notice that with the Elu attachments, for edge work the router bit is almost fully shrouded. Does not get safer than that - the equivalent of a table-mounted bit shrouded in the fence. Freehand plunge routing is freehand plunge routing, and should not be attempted with low blood sugar, alcohol intake or sedating medication.
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