I am brand new to the Forum. Greetings.
I would like to get some basic advice on what router(s) would be best suited to use in a table. I am concerned with a couple of things: how powerful a tool do I need (is a 2 -2 1/4 HP enough or should I look for a 3 HP); fixed base or plunge; can I get a tool that can be adjusted from the top surface of the table without using a special surface plate (I am reluctant to have to deal with leveling the plate and assuring that it is flush to the rest of the table top); is variable speed necessary; and, finally, what specific tool(s) do you all recommend? Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the forum.
The answer to your questions depends on what you intend to do with the table-mounted router. If you don't intend to use large diameter bits (e.g. panel shaping bits) then a 2-1/4 HP router would do. However, if you intend to go for large diameter bits then look for something at least 3 HP.
Also, will the router and table setup be used for hobby work (evenings and weekends) or production? For production, best to go with a higher HP rated unit.
Some members use plunge bases on the table, with the plunge springs removed. Others prefer the fixed base.
I have a Bosch 1617EVSPK router kit (2-1/4 HP), which I intend to mount on my first table. (The table is a project for this summer.)
Like you, I don't like the idea of the plate. So, I am making a custom mount, which will also eliminate the need for either the fixed base or the plunge base. (I am borrowing an idea from John White. He used a custom mounting of the router to a router lift. I intend to replace the commercial router lift with my own home-made equivalent.)