Guide bushings or bearing guided? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Question Guide bushings or bearing guided?

Hi folks

I'm just trying to figure out what to do that makes sense in the area of bushings vs bearing-guided bits.
My Ryobi RRT1600-S router doesn't have the nice sub-base that will take guide bushings (such as the Porter-Cable style), and I am looking at dovetail guide systems.

I'm not planning on buying another router at this time, so that's not an option.

I'm curious to know if using dovetail bits with a bearing (I've seen some online) would work in these, or if it's a must to have guide bushings?

If the bushings are the way to go, I'll have to make or have made a sub-base that can take the guide bushings (not sure if my skill level is up to this).

What are your thoughts?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 09:08 PM
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I think it's time to bite the bullet and buy another router even though you said it's not an option at this time. Delay the purchase of a dovetail jig if you have to. You'll find it very handy to have a second router in any case. Dovetail jigs are fussy and you're setting yourself up for frustration if you try to build a base that centers the bushing with the accuracy required. My $0.02 worth, your mileage may vary.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 09:15 PM
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Steve, have looked into buying an aftermarket base for your router? I don't know if they or don't. Also, it would help to know what you are trying to accomplish.

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 09:26 PM
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For cutting dovetails, whether you need a bushing depends on what kind of jig you're using. I know that with my Sommerfeld Katey jig, I can use a bearing bit. Not sure about the older PC style jig since it's something I haven't used. Here's a video of that setup so you can tell for yourself. I don't think it would be that hard to make a nuw sub base, put a pointed bit in it, or even a drill bit, and with the blank base in place, plunce the bit into the base and you've got the center. I'd want to use a drill press to cut the PC bushing opening just right. Leigh also makes a jig similar to the Sommerfeld unit.


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Last edited by DesertRatTom; 04-02-2018 at 09:32 PM.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 09:47 PM
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Steve for about $20.00 in the US you can buy a universal base plate that excepts porter cable guide bushings.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 10:18 PM
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One more thing to consider. The difference between the two jigs is huge. With the PC style, you're moving the rouger across the jig. With the Leigh/sommerfeld jig, the router is stationary in the table and you're moving the jig. I prefer the later since it's always possible to jiggle or misdirect the router and mess up the cut. The jigs that move are not cheap. I assume you're not going to change either routers or jigs, so you're left with redoing the sub-base. I'd see if you can purchase a replacement part for the subbase. Pre drilled would be nice, but it's not much of a task as described, to cut your own opening.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks folks for the advice

I haven't bought a jig yet, so I have flexibility there. I don't have a table, so I'll probably likely aim for a PC style jig (of which there are certainly a number).
@Semipro - I'd need to see if it would fit my router base. I notice Leigh do various bases, and they look like they have 1 that might fit. I just need to provide some measurements and a photo.
I've also asked Ryobi directly, as I have seen reference to a kit.
@hawkeye10 - Ryobi have included a reasonable amount of thinking in this router package, but there doesn't appear to be an aftermarket option for this router. I'll be looking to make a drawer for a console table, and possibly some small boxes later on. And if my drawer turns out ok, my wife will likely grace me with more requests

I don't have a table saw to set up a jig for either, so I'm trying to get the most value out of what I have.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 06:34 AM
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Steve,
living under the same limitations of choice of the Southern Hemisphere (compared to our North American friends), here is my take:
1. unless the bearing is a complete dud, the concentricity of bearing and bit is a given; the centering of the bushing, not so much. The so-called universal base plates seem to be less than universal.
2. It is possible to use a bearing/bit combination on a PC type of dovetail jig; similar caveats will apply as for a bushing:
- make sure that the bearing OD fits between the template fingers;
-the correct depth of the bit does not locate the bearing above (disastrous for the template) or below the fingers (disastrous for your workpiece);
-the bit has the correct length and dovetail angle recommended for the jig;
3. Whatever you do, do not lift the router off the jig while the bit is spinning.
4. Since you have not purchased a jig yet, if Milescraft sell in Oz, i would recommend you look at their dovetail template-making master-jig. It allows you to make your own jigs, of whatever size you want, in two styles: PC style, and also Katy-style, such a Tom is using on his router table, above. You will need a straight bit, a dovetail bit, and their bearings. A centre-finding ruler will speed things up, but is not essential. Since the jigs are made of MDF, if you forget not to lift off with a spiining bit, worst case you have messed up some MDF. Also good for box-joints.

That Ryobi is a nice-looking bit of kit -has not been released here yet. I have had two of the predecessor 1600RE - only problem I had was bit slippage with 1/4in. shafts.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 10:10 AM
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I use this Chinese jig which is sold around the world under many different names and it's made to use bearing bits.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 10:16 AM
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My Katey jig came with the two bits so I didn't have to buy them.

No table? That's a pretty easy fix. Make your own. For cutting dovetails and many other tasks, you can get good results with a piece of good quality ply (you can get a piece of Baltic Birch ply or something similar, from a local supplier. You cut an opening in the ply and mount the router underneath. If you want to use it for the long haul, add a second layer or 18mm wide, straight stock as trusses underneath.

If you have almost any kind of cabinet, you can mount the top on it, or simply set on top of a couple of saw horses. I'd mount a switch on the underside of the top so you can easily turn the router on and off.

If you use two layers, cut an opening large enough for the router base in the bottom layer and attach the two with screws. Two layers help keep the top flat over time. Later, you might wish to put in a mounting plate, and the double layer will make that easier. Also, you can use a really flat 2x4 or 2x6 as a fence. You clamp it in place. Cut an opening for the bit and maybe a dust collection port at the back side of the opening. Simple to make, very serviceable. It is also safer in general to use a router in the table. Your mate may appreciate that.

Lots of posts on making a router table on the site. The Porter Cable type jig is less expensive in general than the Leigh/Sommerfeld (L/S) units, but one reason I'm selling my never used Rockler jig is it is very confusing to correct an effor in the result--at least it is to me. As you saw in the video, how intuitive the L/S jig is. You number the parts as shown and set height very simply and you've got it. Both L/S jigs also have straight box joint "tuning forks." The Sommerfeld "new" dovetail jig is $240 (U.S.), bits included, not very much more than the Porter Cable style jig. I think you'll be happier with the L/S style jig.

https://sommerfeldtools.com/professi...s-dovetail-jig
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