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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Which Router?

I am just getting back to routing and need advice on a router considering what I already have.

About 15 years ago, I bought a Jointech system but never set it up. I also purchased a Woodhaven tabletop with a Woodhaven phenolic plate that has only a single hole (1 3/8", I think). The plate sets on four pieces of plastic that has 4 screws for leveling. In addition, I purchased a Bosch 1613EVS 2 HP plunge router.

In the interim years, I did manage to build a cabinet-style router table, but I haven't yet attached the top.

I have done some hand-held routing recently and want to finish off the table and use the Jointech system for dovetails and the like.

I think I will need a plate that can handle different size inserts. Can I buy a set of 5 inserts and drill my existing plate (how do I make the hole?) or do I need to get a whole new plate?

Now, what router should I use in the table? I can use the Bosch 1613 and buy a separate router for hand use (probably the PC 1.75 hp with D handle) or I can buy a router for the table and use the 1613 for handheld work (plus I could pick up the PC in the future).

* What do you suggest I do and buy?

* If I buy a router for dedicated table use, which one should I buy? Should I just get 3.25 hp? I don't know that I will do heavy duty routing requiring such a large router, but it may be best to cover all possibilities. The PC 7518 seems to be the gold standard, but the Bosch 1617 and Milwaukee 5625 and the Hitachi seem pretty highly regarded.

* Is there a reason to prefer either a heavier duty (3hp+) or lighter duty router for the Jointech system?

* I know there are mixed reviews on here regarding the lift systems, but would the Jointech digital lift provide a benefit when using the Jointech IPM fence due to its precision and repeatability?

Thanks for your thoughts and assistance!!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 09:21 PM
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I recently purchased a new router. A milwaukee 5616-24 multi base kit. Is is 2 1/4 hp and has more than enough power for handheld or table mounted routing. If you are considering using the bosch in the table then I suggest you check out the milwaukee routers. The main reson for this is the "bodygrip" feature. It feels like an extension of your own arm. The control is unbelievable!! They also have a smaller 1 3/4 hp motor that you can pick up at HD. I got mine from Amazon at a steal.
They have all of the features that you can ask for-
soft start
variable speed
1/4 and 1/2 collet
above the table adjustments
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 09:22 PM
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Welcome to the RouterForums Frank.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 09:27 PM
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Greetings Frank and welcome to the forum, good to have you with us.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 09:28 PM
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hello Frank,

im just here to learn and am no expert at anything other than killing bugs,lol, but if you get a router in the 2 to 2 1/4 hp size you can get a combo with 2 or more bases, that way you can leave the fixed base in the table and use the plunge base and router motor out for hand use. also most all of these combo sets come with above the table adjustments so you dont need a lift.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 10:00 PM
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Frank, I have a 1613 and love it. But I would not recommend it for table use. Only because you would be fighting the plunge springs,and it has a very small bit opening. The 1617 combo is a great choice because you can leave the fixed base in the table(I have the discontinued Sears clone). And it has above table height adjustment. In my table is a Hitachi M12V2 with the springs removed. But I don't think I've ever routed anything that the other 2 would'nt have handled.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 04:00 AM
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Frank, I own a 1613 and a pair of 1617's along with an older 905? from the Bosch line. I also have a PC7518, an original Rockwell(now called the PC100) and a Delta router/shaper table. I use my 1617's for almost all the jobs I do. The 2-1/4 HP is enough to turn big bits providing you are not a production shop. If you plan to make lots of raised panel doors then you are better off with the 3-1/4 HP routers. I think you will find it is much easier to buy a new mounting plate rather than convert yours to different opening sizes.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 03:38 PM
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Frank, welcome to the forums from another newbie. I recently bought the Craftsman 2hp with the fixed and plunge bases. While it may not be as expensive and powerful as some of the above mentioned routers, I've found it to be versatile and plenty powerful enough for my needs. Of course, I haven't ventured into raised panels yet.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcomes and the good ideas.

If I buy a new router for the table, I want it to be fixed base as my 1613 is a plunge.

Thanks for the advice on the plate, Mike. I figured a new one was the answer but wanted to ask just in case there was an easy way to do inserts.

Other than HD, Loews, Sears and Woodcraft, what are good sources for tools?

Also, are the woodworking shows worth going to?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 08:38 PM
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Welcome Frank

I would not suggest to purchase a set of 5 inserts etc. unless you are equipped to do machining; these inserts fit snugly plus they have a kind of looking tab which it would be difficult to reproduce.

Buying a router itís a matter of preference to me. Also you can buy a router and use it either in the table or handheld, again itís a matter of preference.

My recommendation is not to go with a 3+ HP router. Start with an average plunge router which you can use either in the table or handheld and take it from there.

A lift system, especially the digital ones, is a very nice thing to have if you can spare the cash

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