...we are world wide.
In the U.S. there are many D handle routers and by keeping the handle over the wood you are less likely to tilt while routing with one of them. Any router can use a simple home made sub base to acomplish the same thing.
Yes indeed we are! (Worldwide) Mike, you actually can't get hold of D-handle routers very easily here in Europe, unfortunately. In the UK one of the few models available is the Makita 3601B
which whilst it is a good robust tool is limited to single speed. I believe that B&Q (our equivalent to Home Depot) used to sell a Power Pro D-handle router but I haven't seen one in store for a while. So the choice here is normally a range of plunge routers. I agree wholheartedly with you that a sub base, such as this by Trend
or the designs shown on Pat Warner's site
, are a boon to accurate edge routing. For the benefit of the OP these arae easy to make oneself from pieces of polycarbonate (Lexan, etc) or acrylic (Perspex, Lucite, etc) and cost very little. They can even be knocked-up from 12mm plywood or MDF offcuts if (like me) you're being a cheapskate
For the benefit of the OP (and others) I looked up the supplier he quoted (Magnum
) and found their T-cappings
. They require a 8mm deep x 2mm high slot. For that you'll need an appropriate arbor
, a 2mm slotter/groover
and a bearing
to give an 8mm deep slot (for Wealden's groovers that means a TB880). Total cost from Wealden for a typical 1/4in set-up (T3020 arbor, T5420 groover and TB880 bearing) would be £22.31.
On the issue of template routing I'll throw in my own take on this. I don't use guide bushes that much. Instead I tend to make up templates full size and use template guide bits with the bearing at the top, like these
. They allow a direct plunge into the material (although it is better for the cutter if you pre-drill a starter hole slightly back from the edge of the opening) and the bearing is directly guided by the template. For one-offs and short runs they are much easier to use than a straight cutter and guide bush as there are no offset calculations to do (the template is exactly the same size as the cut-out or shape you wish to copy), however
, more care is needed to use them as the plunge has to be made backed off a few millimetres from the template to ensure that the cutting edges don't damage the template (and maybe ruin the work). Pretty much the tool of choice in shopfitting and bar fitting over here these days. Replaceable tip cutters
make a cleaner cut in plywood IMHO, but at a higher initial cost but be aware that they won't do plunge cuts
. Despite that they are my own personal favourites
BTW thanks for the really useful supplier
They also sell lightweight decorative faced poplar plywood which is so essential for vehicle interior fitting and is very difficult to source