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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Default New to woodworking / routing

Hey all,

I am new to the forums and to woodworking in general. I have recently been looking into starting to work with a router but I am a bit overwhelmed with the options and accessories.

To start, I intend to work on small projects like boxes, picture frames, maybe some furniture (night stands, end tables, etc), and some small home items (spice racks, magazine holders, and the like). With this in mind though, I do like the idea of future-proofing a bit if I want to branch out.

Due to this, and doing quite a bit of research, I think I am going to end up buying the Bosch 1617EVSPK kit at Lowes.

I do have a few questions.

1. Is the Bosch fixed/plunge kit a good starting point? I doubt there is a fear of it being too much of a starter router, but I am hoping it is a good one to allow me to move forward to next steps without having to buy out another piece of equipment right away.

2. Not quite sure I have the confidence yet to begin building my own router table. Am I better of starting with a store bought table like the Bosch table or maybe a router edge guide?

3. Does anyone have any thoughts on the Skil brand 30-piece bit set? Normally this is $100 but I have the chance to get it for half that.


Thanks

Jesse
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 11:16 AM
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Jesse I would put the kibosh on that router bit kit . I've had kits and they went dull after a three inch pass and there was nothing but smoke .

I'm a Freud guy and buy all there bits separately as needed . I believe there carbide edges so you get what you pay for .
They add up eventually and I believe there prices aren't that bad for a decent bit . Although I have both , ideally you should probably stay with the ones that have 1/2" shafts .

Your going to get good feedback regarding Bosch as you can't go wrong there . I think the the 1617 wouldn't be to much for you or if there is such a thing , and it's proven to be a great router .

I was going to build a router table from scratch , but have since starting collecting parts to build from the top down . I bought the top from Incra and a fence and the LS positioner is on it's way .
You don't need to go nearly this elaborate .

So this time around I'm going to build from the table down so I can custom tailer my storage needs .
I was concerned about attempting a laminate top myself but with my luck it won't be within tolerance as you want accuracy , or perfectly flat ideally .
Someday I'm going to attempt it though , but for not it's just to easy to buy some others companies router table top which already has a built in miter slot etc.

Btw I'm kind of a newb so don't take what I say as gospel . There will be lots of input from the experts soon

I donít always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate

Last edited by RainMan 2.0; 08-31-2014 at 11:34 AM.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 11:49 AM
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I think that router would be a good starter router, for the price, what it comes with and what you can do with it.

What will eat you up in costs later is router bits. What most do when starting out is get a mid-range quality router bit set, that has an assortment of router bits in it... And as bits wear out, replacing those bits with quaility bits. I would suggest a carbide tipped set with C4 carbide. I have some leanings on brands, but you would get a better response from members if you posted that as a separate question in the router bit section of this forum.

For a router table, that is a good router set to start out with. For the projects you are saying you want to start out with, you might find that router a bit of overkill, heavy and clumsy to start with. Where you might find a Colt or trim router being enough and more nimble to use.

I've got a number of router tables. Most, I built myself. The one's I built I favor over any I've owned that I bought. They are personal to me and how I work. I could certainly use a store bought table and do what I need to do. Some people and their skill level, I suggest they buy one to start with... but that is to them, personally, what they need to do and their present skill level. I would suggest learning how to use the tool, before building your own. Using a hand-held router will be invaluable in building your own router table. But you need to be able to use it before that point. You will be safer and happier with your work if you build up your skills progressively.

Take your time in learning to use your new router. Practice profiles on scrap before you work up to more expensive woods, like on your project. That way you get an idea how a joint is going to fit together, how a profile is going to look... if you need to tweak your adjustments to get something dialed in... before putting bit to final cuts onto expensive woods.

Remember safety: Not just first, but always. Always keep safety in mind. Any power toll can be dangerous if you don't focus on what you are dong and use without caution and common sense.

Please fill out your profile on what tools you have, your past experience with woodworking and your skill level. It helps members in their recommendations. Otherwise, someone may inadvertently insult someone by explaining in detail to someone who has worked with wood all their life... Or lose someone by telling someone who has never used a tool or possess a skill, assuming that person knows what they are talking about. Some recommendations are geared to the tools and skills you have...

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 08-31-2014 at 12:00 PM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 12:00 PM
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Hello Jesse, glad you found us, it's great to have you as a member of the community, welcome to Router Forums.

Looking forward to your participation.
Filling out your profile to include (first name,tools and short bio is strictly (optional )but does help members to better relate to each other.
Thank You John
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 02:09 PM
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Welcome to the forum Jesse. The Bosch combo is an excellent set. It is bigger than what you need now but you wouldn't need to replace it later if your projects get more ambitious. Many of us have edge guides that came with our routers and they mostly occupy shelf space. I have one purchased table that is good, a LeeValley steel top, all the rest were home made and I liked many of them as we'll and some were better. It seems like most beginners think that they will only ever build one table and they have to get it right the first time and that isn't likely going to be the case.

I am one member who believes in starting with a reasonably priced set. I would go with maybe a 12 or 15 piece set unless someone can personally recommend one to you. I'm not sure about Skil. They are made by Bosch and Bosch is not a particularly good bit. White side is considered the best.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 02:52 PM
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1. Is the Bosch fixed/plunge kit a good starting point? I doubt there is a fear of it being too much of a starter router, but I am hoping it is a good one to allow me to move forward to next steps without having to buy out another piece of equipment right away.
it certainly is...

2. Not quite sure I have the confidence yet to begin building my own router table. Am I better of starting with a store bought table like the Bosch table or maybe a router edge guide?
no...
bide your time, do research and make it a project...


3. Does anyone have any thoughts on the Skil brand 30-piece bit set? Normally this is $100 but I have the chance to get it for half that.
junk... buy the bits as you need them as singles...
better bits and less money and waste in the long run...

I like my Freuds...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and TaxidermyĒ
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 03:27 PM
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Hello Jessie. Welcome aboard.

I have two of the Bosch 1617 combos. I started with one and bought more parts as time went on. I have a fixed base mounted under a table. The plunge base is used for hand held operations.

There are a few accessories that you might want to consider for this router:
  • Dust collection adapter - Bosch # RA1177AT - Several parts are included in the package - one fits to the router so a hose can be connected. A second one attaches to the base for collecting dust when running the router along the edge of a board.
  • Dust collection Hose - Bosch #VAC005 - 15 feet long and well made. Hook it to your shop vac.
  • Bosch Template Guide Adapter - Bosch #RA1126 - This adapter is necessary if you decide to use Porter Cable style template bushings with your router bits.
  • Bosch RA1100 Template Adapter - This adapter is made so you can mount the Porter Cable style guide bushings.

The router comes with a 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch collet so you can use a variety of router bits. I suggest you buy the bits as you need them. As you plan a project (or projects), you will probably find the need for several different types of bit.

One project that would be nice as a starter project would be to make your own router table. You don't need a stand or cabinet. You can clamp it to your work bench or straddle it over a pair of saw horses, or whatever is handy that you might have.

Here are a a few pics of a table I made. It and the fence are similar (but not exact) to the one made by Steve Ramsey on You Tube. Check his table and fence.

Note: Don't kid yourself. That router can make raised panel doors so it has the horsepower to do it. That should cover the biggest majority of any project you might build. See pics below of my set up when I built the doors for our Buffet.

I hope you find some of this info helpful.
Mike
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 03:29 PM
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Welcome to Router Forums and welcome to woodworking.

I started with a router table about the size of a shoe polish box. I say build something with your new tools and enthusiasm. The nice thing about projects for yourself, you can make mistakes and no one will know except you. Great place to learn the craft and make your fitst mistakes. I still use home projects for testing new joints, new wood, a new stain technique, etc.

Have fun and do not be afraid to experiment and just get creative. You will figure out pretty quick what router bits you want or need. Spiral upcut bits, flush trim bits, and your standard 1/4", 1/2", and 3/4" dado bits. I suggest buying them as you need them, as well. Freud fan for cost vs. quality.

Bosch has always been a forum favorite.


Just remember what my father always said, " Half the people in this world are below average!", and everything in life will make a hellova lot more sense.

Last edited by timbertailor; 08-31-2014 at 05:02 PM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainMan1 View Post

Your going to get good feedback regarding Bosch as you can't go wrong there . I think the the 1617 wouldn't be to much for you or if there is such a thing , and it's proven to be a great router .
and this from a Festool driver... YOWZER!!!

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and TaxidermyĒ
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick486 View Post
and this from a Festool driver... YOWZER!!!
hey I can't fight it . The Bosch force is much to powerful for this Jeti

I donít always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate
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