Is 2 1/2 HP enough? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Default Is 2 1/2 HP enough?

Great Forum loaded with invaluable information.

I am building a combination tablesaw router station, I plan to use 1" MDF as a base with arborite cemented to the MDF for the top. The Benchdog Pro lift appeals to me also it fits the Bosch 1617 router rated at 2 1/2 HP which I like.

I mess around with boats so I do use some hardwood, marine plywood as well as King Starboard which is a Marine-grade Polymar. For basic work the polymar cuts like butter with a hand held Bosch Colt. My concern is working larger pieces of wood and hardwoods that 2 1/2 HP may not be enough. Should I be thinking 3 1/4 HP, I consider myself a hobbiest.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 02:27 AM
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The size of the wood has nothing to do with router power but the type of bit and depth of cut do. I used a Bosch 1617 in a router table for years to make raised panel doors and had no trouble at all. I took multiple light cuts because you stress the wood less (regardless of horsepower) and get a cleaner cut but that also dramatically reduces the necessary power needed. Avoiding force feeding the stock into the bit helps a ton also.
My current router table has the big Milwaukee 5625 in it but your Bosch will do fine if you make reasonable depth cuts and feed rates.

Tom Hintz, Publisher
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 01:44 PM
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Default Does Size Matter?

Well said, Tom.

I've got a 3-1/4 Triton for strickly table routing. If your router will live in a table, and you have the ability, install a 3+ hp router. That is the way to go.

How many people have you known, Piloto, that shortly after getting a boat, want a bigger boat? Same goes. If you're setting up a router table now, NOW is the time to go big. With a bigger router, you will NEVER regret the choice. It's only after a smaller router is installed would regrets ever have the opportunity to sound.

Good luck. You're gonna LOVE the ability table routing offers!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Bob,

Thanks for your helpful insite, I confess that I was hoping to get by with the 2 1/4 HP Bosch because it it comes with a fixed base as well as a plunge base and weighs less than a large 15 amp router which should make it easier to handle when not under the table.

Your suggestion makes sense my only concern is some of the comments I have read in this forum about having to change or remove springs when using a 3 1/4 HP plunge router in a table.

"A boat is a hole in the water surrounded by wood that you throw money into" I don't know who said this, perhaps it was Noaha.....

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 05:00 PM
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I have a 3-1/2hp PC 7518 in my table and an old 3-1/2hp Ryobi plunge (and a small fixed base) routers. My opinion is if the router is going to live in the router table, I'd go with the larger router. I agree with Tom that it's best to take lite cuts when possible and you won't often (if ever) overload the 2+ hp unit but in a table you don't have to balance it like you do when handheld. For handheld use (owning a 3+ hp plunge), I'd go for something lighter, at least to start off with.

If I was goning to use the same router above and below the table I'd go for a combo kit: the dual-base Bosch 1617evspk (I think those letters are right), variable speed with 2 bases. I'd mount the fixed base in the RT and leave it there and use the plunge for handheld use.

Remember though, even as hobbiests, most of us end up with several routers. I've got 3 though some have dozens with each set up for special cuts, jigs and bits. Multiple routers greatly reduces setup time, especially when you must cycle between same or similar cuts. I'm currently working on an entry-way bench and all 3 of my routers are set up with different bits and adjusted for different cuts. If you make a mistake and want to re-create one piece of a matched set (like I did), it's wonderful already having all of the bits set the same as they were without having to try to match some previous setting.

Give some thought to your liklihood of buying additional routers in the future. If not, IMNSHO a combo kit is the best way to go!!

Check out that new high-tech cordless router.. wireless and no recharging required!!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 05:48 PM
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The larger the better. Limit the size of cuts with a smaller router and build up to the final cut. Don't hog out the detail.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 07:04 PM
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Hi Guys

You don't need to use a M16 to shoot down a duck or two's the same for routers..

The right tool for the job i.e. using a 3 1/2HP router to put on a simple round over edge..any 1 HP will do the job just fine,I use the Bosch Colt in a router table just for that type of job


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 08:43 PM
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Default Bit Change Ease?

Bit change ease (or lack of it) may vary from router to router. I own the bigger Trition and the collet extends a half inch higher that the table top and automatically locks at that height for one-wrench bit changes. I can't see how any router could make bit changing easier.

keep y'r bits sharp,
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 08:49 PM
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Default Oh... and changing springs..

Converting the Triton to the Router Raizer took 30 minutes. It was easy - though my heart was pounding because the Triton was brand new and hadn't even been turned on yet, and here I was drilling a hole in it's cap!

Am thinking of setting up another table in the future and the same combo I'm using now is still my choice.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 10:20 PM
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Default Versatility or assortment

I use the BenchDog Pro with a PC 7518. For my purposes, this is a permanent arrangement and I'm happy as all get out I went that route. However, as other have indicated, if you plan to make your router multitask, at least until you can pick up another, you might be better off with a smaller and more versatile unit.

I have an old PC 690 which came with plunge base, standard base (permanently mounted on a RouterCrafter) and a "D" handle. It gets used as much as the table mounted unit, if only because frozen bits are never a problem and I like "D" handles for runs in which I have to hold the wood while routering. However, if I have to do a lot of 3/4 round-overs (e.g., deck railing), I pull out the 2-1/2 hp PC, or my 3-14 hp Hitachi plunge router (big bit plus weight good (insert chest beating here)).

I use a Colt for detail work, but am equally comfortable using the 690 (again, sometimes weight adds control) and have a PC laminate trimmer, which rides around in the work van for "I wish I'd brought that" moments.

Several of my routers were bought second hand, at a fraction of the original price. For example, I bought the Hitachi from a reputable pawn shop. The 2-1/2 HP PC was a horse trade item.

The reason I have what you want is, I never lent it out before.

Scraps are a myth.
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