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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Default Looking for a first router

Hi all,
I'm looking for a router to use for speaker cabinet building. It would be mainly for mdf, but in the future I might try plywood. I came across the 17543 fixed/plunge combo when at Sears and was initially scared off by some of the bad reviews at Sears' website. I found these forums and saw that it seems to be viewed as quite a good router for the price, currently $79 on clearance. I'm wondering if it will do everything I need though. I'd rather not have to buy a second/third router down the line although that wouldn't be the end of the world. I'd be using it for routing circles to flush mount drivers, rabbets, and roundovers. What I'm not sure of are the roundovers. For speaker cabinet roundovers, bigger is better for acoustical reasons. I'd like to work my way up to doing 1" radius roundovers or even bigger. I'd found some posts with reservations about the 17543's min. speed of 12000 rpm with really large bits. If I make a bunch of passes removing just a bit of material each time would the 17543 be able to handle this?
thanks,
Dan
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 02:03 PM
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Would study the medium weight plungers, the DW 621 in particular.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 04:16 PM
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Hi Dan

Yes the 17543 will take on the jobs you want to do easy note the bigger hole in the base plate that some of the routers don't have, that's a big deal when using the bigger router bits like the 1" radius round overs, plus the sub base plate can take on the PC type guides right out of the box..

Note,,,if you are doing speaker work be sure to check out the Jasper jig made just for that type of job..
You will see it on the forum or in my uploads, it's a great jig ..with a little bit of rework you can put in holes in a snap and not need switch out the sub base plate on the router..

Amazon.com: Jasper Circle Jig 200 & 400 Combo Pack: Home Improvement

Amazon.com: Jasper 270J Model 270 Router Circle Cutting Jig: Home Improvement

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_e10 View Post
Hi all,
I'm looking for a router to use for speaker cabinet building. It would be mainly for mdf, but in the future I might try plywood. I came across the 17543 fixed/plunge combo when at Sears and was initially scared off by some of the bad reviews at Sears' website. I found these forums and saw that it seems to be viewed as quite a good router for the price, currently $79 on clearance. I'm wondering if it will do everything I need though. I'd rather not have to buy a second/third router down the line although that wouldn't be the end of the world. I'd be using it for routing circles to flush mount drivers, rabbets, and roundovers. What I'm not sure of are the roundovers. For speaker cabinet roundovers, bigger is better for acoustical reasons. I'd like to work my way up to doing 1" radius roundovers or even bigger. I'd found some posts with reservations about the 17543's min. speed of 12000 rpm with really large bits. If I make a bunch of passes removing just a bit of material each time would the 17543 be able to handle this?
thanks,
Dan



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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 08:21 PM
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Default Have them both

I been toying since yesterday with the 17543 and really like it.
I bought a reconditioned DW 621 recently and like that one too.
Both have nice and smooth plunge s/u > I think for the money I'd grab the Craftsman. That said - the DW still can be had for $139 (recond) which is reasonable. But the $79 is a steal IMO

The folks here have been mostly positive on both and Bob has been my savior on the 17543 questions I keep tossing at him.

I look at reviews from users this way mostly since it's the way I am - we seem to get cranky on a bad tool and some others will chime in. We seldom praise a tool as we are to busy playing with it if she's a gem.
Or so I believe anyway .....
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-13-2011, 10:10 AM
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" . . . it seems to be viewed as quite a good router for the price."

The "operative words" may be "for the price". Whether it (the Craftsman) will do all you need is partly a function of how much you'll be doing. If you intend to use the router almost constantly (8 hours/day, five days a week), you might be better off looking at routers designed for industrial, rather than home-owner use.

- Ralph
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-13-2011, 10:32 AM
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Hi Ralph

I don't know of one router that can run 8 hours and 5 days a week...most run for 10 mins and that's it until the next job...for the home shop.
What would you suggest for a industrial router I have a air router that's rated to run longer than most..at one time..but that's air..

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Barker View Post
" . . . it seems to be viewed as quite a good router for the price."

The "operative words" may be "for the price". Whether it (the Craftsman) will do all you need is partly a function of how much you'll be doing. If you intend to use the router almost constantly (8 hours/day, five days a week), you might be better off looking at routers designed for industrial, rather than home-owner use.



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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-13-2011, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input so far everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Barker View Post
" Whether it (the Craftsman) will do all you need is partly a function of how much you'll be doing. If you intend to use the router almost constantly (8 hours/day, five days a week), you might be better off looking at routers designed for industrial, rather than home-owner use.
Right, my usage would probably be considered pretty light. I intend to build a few pairs of speaker cabinets in the next couple years with it. The part that I was a little nervous about was its ability to run the really large roundover bits since I read that its min speed of 12000 rpm might be a bit high for those.

Dan
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-13-2011, 11:22 AM
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Hi Dan

I spin the BIG 3 5/8" OD panel bits and it's not a big deal..

======

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_e10 View Post
Thanks for the input so far everyone.



Right, my usage would probably be considered pretty light. I intend to build a few pairs of speaker cabinets in the next couple years with it. The part that I was a little nervous about was its ability to run the really large roundover bits since I read that its min speed of 12000 rpm might be a bit high for those.

Dan



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Dan

I spin the BIG 3 5/8" OD panel bits and it's not a big deal..

======
Thanks for the info Bob. It sounds like the 17543 should be a good match for me then.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 06:50 PM
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Hi,
I would like to add that I have a Sears Craftsman 17543 router. I use it for mainly MDF work as I like to do speaker boxes. I recently (this past memorial day) weekend used a 3/4" roundover with it. It had no issues turning that big bit. I too though am looking for a good router as I bought the Craftsman unit because of the bang for the buck and not as a serious piece of woodworking equipment.

Sorry if Im highjacking your thread. But I would like to know what routers I should look at for larger bits like 1-1/2" radius roundovers for MDF work?

Thanks
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