Smallest plunge router that will do most tasks - Router Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Smallest plunge router that will do most tasks

Hi Folks,

I am fairly new to woodworking, been at it 8 months or so.

When I first started buying tools, I purchased a new "Toughest" Brand Router for $40.
It a very powerful no frills router, and has never given me mechanical trouble. The problem is the weight and visibility of the wood. It must weigh 20 lbs or more, I can't find the weight in the manual.

I cannot cut a straight dado if my life depended on it with this router. After an hour of trying .. I am finished for the day.

If I purchased a newer lighter plunge router would it improve my cuts ?

Any thoughts about a lightweight plunge router ? I don't build houses or boats ..
I am building a closet organizer and shelves which will require a fair amount of edge routing. Next project is a Kamado barque table.

I do have a router table mount in my workbench, with a Porter Cable 690RL .. a very nice table routing setup. I use the table when ever I can. My results with the table have improved quickly. But there are times when I need a plunge router. Like the other day, I got 48" x 96" 1" MDF board very cheap at Lowes the other day. I had them cut it 4 24" x 48" boards. I planed to use these for sled bases. I tried to cut shallow dado's for the runners. I used clamped 2x4 as a guide, the "toughest" router was all over the place, I wound up with a mess.

I also have two buffalo "Trimrbx" routers; why 2 ?; parts, the "ultra light" base and adjustment broke on the first one, at $25 each, it was easier to buy another. I used them for some edge work, but that is all I can do with them.

Thanks for reading.

-Fred
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 10:24 PM
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"If I purchased a newer lighter plunge router would it improve my cuts ?"
***************************
I doubt it. Lightest US plunge probably the new 1/4" trimmer x Bosch, if you'd like to try.

Why so much trouble trying to rout? See the 7 steps to get some control of things.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 11:52 PM
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Hi Fred, I would suggest incorrect feed direction as most of the problem if you are using jointed, straight 2x4 as a guide.

With incorrect feed direction, the router will tend to move away from the guide. With correct feed direction the cutter will try to move toward the guide and be held tight up against the guide.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:11 AM
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invest in a set of template guides
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 01:13 AM
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Question 'please explain'....

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutter79 View Post
invest in a set of template guides
Sam

Hi Sam.

If you are going to make a simple statement like that, could you also please explain how the OP would use the guides to alleviate his problem.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 07:53 AM
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Not trying to be smart here but some people are better off with a tablesaw and dado blade.

A light router is not easier to control unless your idea of control is to manhandle something. Trash all the routers except the PC, read a book on the use of routers, purchase a decent router made for plunge operation and not a dual purpose unit. Most items from SUVs to routers do one thing very good and the other OK. Read the book first, then decide.

Good Luck - Baker
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 08:39 AM
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Hi Fred,

Since you already have a PC 690, you could get the plunge base for that router. The 690 is a nice lightweight router. I have one myself for cutting dovetails with my PC dovetail guide. I just received a copy of the Ultimate Router Handbook from Woodsmith and they recommended the Precision Router Dado Jig from Infinity. I don't have any direct experience with this jig. Most of the other quick handmade jigs I have seen use 2 guides, one on each side of the router to make sure it does not wander as it might from trying to hold the heavy router against a single guide rail.

Basically, a tool is an object that enables you take advantage of the laws of physics and mechanics in such a way that you can seriously injure yourself - Dave Barry
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:02 AM
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Keep in mind that a heavier router actually gives you more control over your cut with less effort. If you are having difficulties making an edge cut there is something wrong with your method. Are you using an edge guide, bearing mounted bit or a fence to guide your router?

If you want a small, lightweight router the Bosch Colt PR20EVSPK includes a fixed base and an excellent plunge base.
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Last edited by Mike; 03-20-2013 at 10:06 AM.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 08:41 PM
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Has anyone ever heard of the "Toughest" brand router? Is there a brand new router that sells for $40 these days? Is there a hand router that weighs 20 pounds?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Stick View Post
Has anyone ever heard of the "Toughest" brand router? Is there a brand new router that sells for $40 these days? Is there a hand router that weighs 20 pounds?
It is a handyman club thing... Well actually that says toughtest! But then I have seen a lot of off brand stuff over the years! $40 router? can get very close! 20lb may be a slight exaggeration but 17+ lb do exist!

There is an old saying that you get what you pay for! Rarely get more than you pay for has been my experience.
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I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

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Last edited by Dmeadows; 03-20-2013 at 09:31 PM.
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