Preferred router for Leigh D4R Pro - Router Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Default Preferred router for Leigh D4R Pro

I know this is like asking "what is your favorite color" but I am going to ask anyway.
I have had the D4R for a couple of years, but to this point have only done small projects. This week I am starting a built-in with 12 drawers, and the jig will be heavily involved. Of the routers I have none of them "flip my switch" when it comes to ease of use on the jig, so I am looking for new options. I have tried the DW611, DW618, and the Festool OF1400.
I am very interested in the opinions here.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 07:59 AM
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Welcome, Bob...what is it about the routers you've tried that you don't like...? Might make a difference in recommendations you might get...

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nickp View Post
Welcome, Bob...what is it about the routers you've tried that you don't like...? Might make a difference in recommendations you might get...
I don't have a plunge base for the 611 so it is a little "tippy" on the jig and no 8mm collet. I just don't like the 618, never have so it is my "beater" router. The 1400 is my go to handheld, but I find it awkward on the jig, and the dust collection makes it hard to see the cut. None of these are deal breakers but I would like to find a router for the jig that "just works".
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 08:54 AM
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Agree the 1400 is not the most ergonomic tool on a DT jig.
But any of the 6" routers, with over-sized base plates, work well & about the same.
A 618, 690, 5615, or the 1617 are made for this shallow repetitive work.
I would not rule out the plungers in these kits, tho the Milwaukee is way too heavy.
The Bosch 1166 has the right ergonomics, light weight & power, maybe the best plunge casting of all the kits (for the job).
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks
I will check out the 1617 combo today, I have to get started on this project by the end of week.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 11:08 AM
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I have a Leigh jig and a 1617. I wish I would have purchased the Bosch MRC23 instead. The 23 has the trigger in the handle and has two LED worklights to help illuminate the work area. The 1617 has the switch on top and no light.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 11:27 AM
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+1 on the 1617. I have settled in on the Triton TRA001 for the table, but the 1617s are really great tools and a pleasure to use--I don't think you can beat the Bosch's plunge base. I have a colt for trim use and very light duty tasks like installing hinges and such and have the plunge base for it too.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Adams View Post
I don't have a plunge base for the 611 so it is a little "tippy" on the jig and no 8mm collet. I just don't like the 618, never have so it is my "beater" router. The 1400 is my go to handheld, but I find it awkward on the jig, and the dust collection makes it hard to see the cut. None of these are deal breakers but I would like to find a router for the jig that "just works".
I use a pair of Bosch MRF23's...
one for the straight bit to hog w/ and one for the DT bit...
did use for the 617's for years...
Factory Reconditioned Bosch MRF23EVS-RT 2.3 HP Fixed-Base Router
I added the dust collection/router support accessory and things got a whole lot better...
https://www.leighjigs.com/vrs.php
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Last edited by Stick486; 10-11-2016 at 01:58 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 01:42 PM
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I've used several routers on my D4R, but prefer my two 618's in the D handle bases, when making dovetails. I might use a smaller router, if I had any that took 1/2" bits. I have a DW611, a Dewalt Laminate trimmer, a small Makita 1 hp router, and a very old Black and Decker 1 hp, but all of these only take 1/4" bits. I've tried using 1/4" dovetail bits and have not been happy with the results.

After buying a DeWalt 618 three base kit and using it a while, I tried it on my D4R with the fixed base and then again with the D handle base and I liked the D handle base for this use very much. I found that this worked so well for me that when another 618 three base kit went on sale, I bought it. One of these kits is always in the shop and the other is usually in my truck, but when I use the D4R for dovetails I have both kits in the shop and set up with the D handle bases. A word of caution - if you use two identical routers to make dovetails, label them with a piece of masking tape on the top and a bit of art work on it to show the bit shape that's in it. DAMHIKT.

You should also make yourself a couple of platforms about the height of your dovetail jig with a big clearance hole in the top of them for the router bits, so you can set your routers on them when changing the work pieces. I place these little platforms just behind and to each side of my D4R, so I can place the router there when not using it. Straight bit is always on the left and dovetail bit is always on the right (when I'm well organized). Having a platform near and about the same height as your dovetail jig reduces your router lifting requirements as much as possible. If you make dovetails all day, this becomes very important. The first time that I made dovetail joints all day and placed the routers on their sides on the bench, I couldn't lift my arms above shoulder height the next day. I've not had this problem since building the router platforms.

They are just three pieces of 3/4 scrap cabinet birch screwed together to form an upside down U shape, with a big hole (about 1 1/2") drilled through the top for the router bit to hang down through. Nothing fancy or time consuming to make, but very much worth doing.

Charley

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the help!
I ended up buying the MRC23, and played with for a while. I think it will work out great!
@Stick486 after I finish this project I plan to buy a second router so I can dedicate them to the jig. And I agree the DC and router support for jig does make life much easier.
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