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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Default Which router for a newbie?

Hi all

I live in the UK and after an illness that's floored me for 9 years, I am trying to get back into things around the house and do a little DIY. I am a complete novice to woodworking but it is where my passion lies.

I've been buying some decent tools, Makita, DeWalt etc drills and sanders and now want a router to do some basic woodworking. it making bee houses, bird houses, boxes, etc.

Can you point me int he direction of a good quality router and a set of bits that will keep me going for a while. I don't want to buy twice so prefer a decent brand. I don't need an enormous router either, just something not overly heavy.

Many, many thanks Li
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 08:49 AM
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Most of us have our own preference and for me the Bosch 1617EVSPK which has both fixed and plunge bases works great for my uses. I have one in my router table (motor only on a lift) and another for hand work. The bits I use are Whiteside and I've heard good things about Freud. I tend to get higher quality carbide bits that will last longer and give a nice cut.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 02:36 PM
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Welcome to Router Forums n/a. I have to call you n/a because you haven't edited your profile to provide us with your first name yet. Please do so. The "Edit Profile" button is in the upper right of your screen just below where you log on.

You should pick a middle size router that comes with at least a fixed and a plunge base. A middle size router (here they are 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 horsepower). The two common sizes of collets would be good too. Here the collet size is 1/4 and 1/2". Over there I believe that the most common sizes are 8 and 12 mm. Just make certain that the collets for the router that you buy will fit the commonly available bits that you can buy. Get one of the better brands of routers. Bosch, Makita, Proter Cable, and DeWalt are all good reliable brands here that I believe are also available in your Country and any one of them should give you many years of reliable service. Options like router bushings and edge guides are often needed and it would be good to get them too.

Buy carbide tipped router bits as you need them for what you want to do. This avoids spending a lot of money on router bit sets, because you will likely never use half of the ones that come in the sets.

Come back here and ask questions as you find that you need answers. I'm sure others will come along soon and send you many pdf files with information about getting started using routers. Reading them should get you off to a good start too. Our member "Stick486" probably will flood you with reading material.


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 06:34 PM
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A router table is the safest way to do a lot of routing tasks. You can buy one pre made or simply make one of your own. It can be as simple as a sheet of ply with an opening and the router mounted beneath. Suspend across two saw horses and you have a table. You can use a very straight 2x piece as a fence. The Bosch allows you to use the fixed base in a table and with an accessory key, you can adjust height from above the table. If you search for router tables here, you'll find a lot of different types, from very simple to quite compex.

My personal preference if I only had one router, it would be the Bosch 1617 kit, which may have a different name and setup for UK power. Here's a picture. The other picture is of the Bosch mounted under a table showing the adjustment key.

The Bosch table setup does not give you a full range of adulstment. You do a coarse adjustment by flipping the mounting lock off and pushing the motor up or down. Then you use the key for the fine adjustment. There are other good brands, but I haven't used them.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 07:46 PM
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A possibly dissenting opinion: @lijong , the best router for you is the one with which you are most comfortable and allows you to do what you want to do. In general, get the most powerful router that takes both 1/4 an 1/2 inch shaft bits (or 6 mm and 12 mm shaft bits?). Above table height adjustment is a very serious time saver. As fo the fixed base + plunge base, a plunge base can do anything a fixed base can do, but not all plunge routers have above table height adjustment.
Another issue is customer support. Bosch and Makita are both first rate, based on my experience.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 08:51 PM
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Normally I'm all onboard with the the Bosch1617 series but Lijong has expressed an interest in doing smaller scale projects. In this particular instance I'd almost recommend a smaller 1/4" (or metric equivalent) machine.
Maybe the DeWalt 611(?) or Bosch Colt(?). Bee houses and birdhouses will need small bits and precise cuts, the extra HP will be unnecessary.
Yeh, I know, pure sacrilege!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 03:49 PM
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Hi and welcome. Keep in mind that the model numbers quoted are North American models that run on our 110 volt 15 amp power system. Your models may have different numbers. Your best bets may be Trend as they are UK based. As I understand their bits are decent and reasonable. Freud should also be available but are probably more. Try having a lol at the Trend T4 I think it is. ITs a smaller router I think, good for small projects. Its utility quality but much cheaper. Might be a good choice to start with.

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 21 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 06:20 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Good point on the electrical service difference in the UK.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
Normally I'm all onboard with the the Bosch1617 series but Lijong has expressed an interest in doing smaller scale projects. In this particular instance I'd almost recommend a smaller 1/4" (or metric equivalent) machine.
Maybe the DeWalt 611(?) or Bosch Colt(?). Bee houses and birdhouses will need small bits and precise cuts, the extra HP will be unnecessary.
Yeh, I know, pure sacrilege!
+1...smaller would definitely be better for your application...and there are plunge bases available, certainly for the Bosch trim router...
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 12:49 AM
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Welcome aboard. Personally, I would not buy a bit set. I buy bits as I need them, in the style I need. If you buy a set you likely will wind up never using some of the bits.
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