selecting table-mounted router - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Smile selecting table-mounted router

I'm a general contractor who is just getting into building cabinetry for my clients, but I can see the need for a better way to make some of the cabinet door profiles. Could you recommend some good table-mounted routers for hardwoods. Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 11:37 AM
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Mike, perhaps the best router for you is the Bosch 1619. This 3-1/4 hp plunge router will handle anything you throw at it. This is assuming heavy useage. A better value would be the Bosch 1617 combo kit. This provides a fixed base for table mounting and allows you to swap the motor to the plunge base quick and easy. This model is rated at 2-1/4 hp. For my money these are the best you will find. I have tried many routers and tables and prefer a 1617 in a Router Workshop table from Oak Park. As you can see in the photo the table is easily portable with on board bit and template guide storage. When you compare price and specs I think you will agree.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 06:00 PM
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 07:13 PM
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Not knocking Mike's suggested choice of Bosch, just sayin' I really like my PC7518.
I'm sure the Bosch is a great one, too.
Mike (from Detroit), can you get the Bosch as a motor only? That was the deciding factor when I got the PC. It just fits the Jessem lift.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 09:48 PM
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I bought the Porter Cable 75182 which is a 3 1/4HP motor only, as it was to be dedicated to a router table and fit nicely in my Bench Dog lift. No sense buying the base if it never will get used. I am very happy with it, I have plowed through lots of tough wood with nary a problem.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 10:19 PM
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Mike, The router table Mike shows would be well suited for jobsite work, but are you going to be doing this on the job or at a shop/ If a shop I,d recommend you build your own to accomidate the size cabinets you intend to build. Both of those routers will work fine for that use as they are adequately powered. You just need to figure out where you will be building them. Its much easier to build them in a shop environment than in the field as that requires a lot of extras to haul around. But there are many manufacturers of tops as well as lifts, etc. A base is as simple as a cheap vanity cabinet from Lowes or H.D. with a good top mounted to it. Hope this get you goin in the right direction,Tommy
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 01:27 AM
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The Bosch 1619 motor is integral to the plunge unit, not removeable. With the springs removed this router works great in a table. It has the largest opening around the collet, it plunges further than other models. For these reasons I suggested it over the PC 7518. I own a 7518 and have no problems with it. You will soon see a post about mounting this router to a large Rockler aluminum plate and installation in a table top. I also have an extra base which I picked up for $10 new which has been fitted with an Oak Park 8" square base to allow free hand work with the larger Oak Park style guide bushings.

Many of you have never seen the router workshop methods of using the plunge routers in a table with the springs removed. Trust me when I say this is a much faster way of changing bits and doing set ups. I hope you will watch a few episodes of The Router Workshop to see why Bob and Rick's "Keep it simple" methods work so well.

As far as my Router Workshop table being portable, it sure is! I have done demos for woodworking groups and at my local Woodcraft store. Although this table seems small in size and very spartan in features it will surprise you. I started out with a larger table I built myself(seen below with a yellow shopvac) but Rick converted me to The Router Workshop methods. Just a few of the advantages of their system: Using C clamps to locate fences, jigs and fixtures allows complete freedon as to location. There are no fixed points to limit you. The mounting plate can be set in 4 positions to allow maximum advantage of table space. The plate uses the larger Oak Park guide bushings which adds more possible variations than available with PC style. Onboard bit and guide bushing storage keeps the accessories handy for use. In addition to these features the table is built with top quality high pressure laminate and baltic birch plywood. It is very sturdy, light weight and by far the table quality is the best I have seen. With a price under $200 I think you will have a hard time finding a better choice. With the optional Vac-u-plate most of the dust is captured with out resorting to a hose on the fence. Not everyone will like this system but it's common sense design sold me. The table also comes with plans to build a nice base cabinet.

There are many tpes of router tables, some horizontal to make it easy to work with large panels. The important thing is for you to be comfortable working on your table so go with what is right for you.
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Last edited by Mike; 07-31-2010 at 01:34 AM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 02:02 AM
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To help compare routers here are some of the most popular. My favorite is the Bosch 1617.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 02:08 AM
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Here are some more popular routers. The Craftsman 17543 is a 2 hp combo kit which sells for around $99 and is by far the least expensive. It is very popular with forum members.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Here are some more popular routers. The Craftsman 17543 is a 2 hp combo kit which sells for around $99 and is by far the least expensive. It is very popular with forum members.
Hi Mike Turner:

You don't buy a router, you collect them. You'll quickly find that one router ain't gonna "do it all." So, what Mike showed you and what I say below is merely the "introduction."

Mike does a pretty good job displaying most of the routers so I'll do it differently:

1. routers seldom wear out. They usually get broken. Make sure that you can get parts for "old" routers before investing your hard-earned cash! I had a milk crate full of Craftsman "looking for parts!" I've had good luck with Makita (esp 3612C) and Hitachi (M12V - no longer available but search for it.)
2. " chuck: Smaller bit shafts can be fit using an adapter.
3. 2 wrench collet: This is getting scarce but search for it. Sometimes it is hidden or it can be retrofitted. This is the alternative to the spindle lock which I consider dangerous.
4. Variable speed: (8,000 rpm to >24,000 rpm.) Nice but close to useless <3HP, but mandatory >3HP. Note that the slower speeds are mandatory for larger bits but you need the horsepower to push them.
5. Plunge base: This is the most versatile, but a fixed base is fine for a third or fourth router
6. Bit clearance: Able to accept or modifiable for large panel bits 3" to 3"+. Mandatory for panel bits.
7. Guide holes: These are used to mount a straight edge guide or for ski and foot use. These need to be a minimum of 12mm or ".
8. Soft start: Is handy especially with the heavier horsepower (higher wattage) routers. Without it, a starting router could be wrenched out of your hands.
9. Light weight but versatile and powerful. With power you want weight but you also want to pick it up and use it all day long. Sometimes table mounting is a viable solution.
10. 1" template guide hole: 1" hole with a 1/8" shoulder for brass template guides. There is the Porter Cable 1 3/16ths standard but is too small for even occasional use. Makita allows for a 40mm template guide.

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