You have the right technique, almost.
1. With the router off, position the bit down to touching the work surface. Lock the plunge. (On the 1617EVS, release the plunge lever.)
2. Loosen the depth stop.
3. Use something like a brass measuring bar between the depth stop and turret.
4. Lock the depth stop, while holding the measuring item between the stop and turret.
5. Release the plunge, allowing the router to rise.
You're now ready to plunge again, this time with the router on.
As for bit not sticking out far enough with the fixed base, I wonder if you are (1) inserting the router properly into the base and (2) mounting the bit properly in the collet. With a 2" bit in my 1617EVS, I have no problem getting a 2" deep cut. When you insert the router into the base, are depressing the lever on the base to allow the router to move down? When I insert my router into the fixed base, I always depress the level on the base, to permit the router to enter the base properly.
Last edited by Cassandra; 12-18-2010 at 07:18 PM.