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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Default Which first router to buy?

Hi,
I have researched several routers and have narrowed my selection down to the below two for the project described below. While the below may not be the best choice for future route projects, I believe they would function for the below project not be a very expensive introduction to routing. If these two are way out of the ball park for my project then I am open to recommendations.

• Craftsman 14-amp, 2.5-hp Fixed/Plunge Base Router with Soft Start Technology Model #27680 $144.
• Craftsman 12-amp, 2-hp Fixed/Plunge Base Router with Soft Start Technology Model # 27683 $101.

Project description.

I plane on making a small decorative fence for an 8’x8’ area. My plans are to use 4” (3.5”) x 4 “(3.5”) pressure-treated pine lumber for the post and 1” (.75”) x 2” (1.5”) pressure-treated boards for the rails.

The post will be 2’ above ground and I will have 3 rails between each post.
Each post will have a decorative top cut at 45 degrees on all 4 sides. I have already cut the decorative top cut on a scrap piece of 4”x4” using a collar template as a guide for each cut. I then smoothed out the top with a belt sander.

I plan on cutting 1 decorative horizontal 1/4“ dado around the 4” x 4” just below the top 45 degree cut. I will use the collar I created for the 45 degree angle as a guide for the grooves.

I plan on cutting a .75” wide x 1.5” long x 3/4” deep groove to insert each rail into its 4”x4”post and plan on making a template out of Ό inch MDF. This will be a total of 48 cuts.

The posts will be secured to 4”x4”x8’ pressure-treated pine that are currently laid and secured in the ground to define the area for the fence. I plan on slightly bending the rails in order to insert them into the post.

I have attached a drawing of a post side view and top view of the layout.

My work bench for this project are Dewalt adjustable metal leg sawhorses with a 4”x4” sheet of 3/4” plywood top secured to 2”x4” rails. At this time I do not plan on installing or using a vacuum system.

Thanks in advance for any and all answers and advice.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 02:53 PM
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Harry,

Either one of those is able to do the job. If you shop the sales right, then you might get the bigger one for a better deal.

If you think you will be using this router more in the future, you might want to go for the bigger one, it will allow you to use larger bits in a table mount setup later.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 04:02 PM
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Will those routers accept standard Porter Cable style guide bushings? Some Craftsman routers require proprietary guide bushings. That would be a bummer.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hi and thanks for the information as there is so much to learn.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 09:09 PM
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If those two C-man routers were my only choices--i'd do the 27680. As mentioned, you may be able to squeeze that $144 a little...Sears does a lot of coupons, Craftsman Club discounts, etc, etc. I would prefer they just gave me a lower price without having to feel like a hunter/gatherer (but i did work a combination of coupons and discounts to get my 21833 table saw down from $499 or $549 to $324--still had to buy it from my car for in-store pickup!!).

Not to muddy the water, but....

If i had a broader world of routers to choose from, i would go to a Bosch 1617 EVSPK, reconditioned from CPO for $174, most likely no sales tax. Free shipping if you figure out how to spend another $25. Accepts Bosch template guides, but it's also tapped for a PC 690 sub base so it will easily adapt to PC style guide bushings (may not seem important to you tonight--but it will be in short order). Factory Reconditioned Bosch 1617EVSPK-RT 12 Amp 2.25 HP Combination Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Kit

Good luck!!
earl
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 09:57 PM
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I'm with Earl...

add an edge guide and get the free shipping...

http://www.cpotools.com/bosch-ra1054...617evspk-rt--3

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If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 10:36 PM
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Harry, I have two of the Bosch 1617's. The 1617 will do just about anything you ask of it including making raised panel doors from hard maple and poplar and rail and style drawer and door frames.

Box joints or dovetails - no problem.

Here are a few pics. You won't be disappointed.
Good luck.

Mike
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 08:29 AM
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If you are an Amazon prime member, you can buy the 1617evspk for $189 NEW with free shipping. so not sure why one would buy recon for near zero discount

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 12:56 PM
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I just wanted you to be able to post that Duane!! And it gives Harry a chance to do the price creep--4 or 5 increases of $15 to $20 each are much easier to justify than $50 all at once!! I've got great math skills, except when it comes to buying tools!!

Another benefit to the 1617, besides being a great router, is that the fixed base can be table mounted and adjusted from above (yes, you need to reach under the table to latch and unlatch the base). This leaves the plunge base available for hand-held use, much more flexible. Most routers use the plunge base in the table for easy adjusting, so if you need to plunge you need to take the base out of the table. Hand-held, a plunge base can do anything a fixed base can do--the reverse is not true.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hey everyone,

I really appreciate the feed back and decided to purchase the Craftsman 2.5 hp. This and my first set on bit (MLCS 8377 15-Piece Router Bit Set with Carbide-Tipped 1/2-Inch Shanks) plus maybe another one or two is a good starting place for me.

I needed to keep price creep in mind as I may also be purchasing a shop vacuum. It all adds up fast.

Take care,
Harry
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