I would choose the 7518 once again and honestly, 5 speeds gives me all of the flexibility I need. Whether the bit is running at 16,000 rpms or 16,200 or 16,400 rpms won't make a difference; either 16,000 is too fast or too slow and bumping it up or down in increments serves the function. You get good guidance from the manufacturer on maximum speed but the proper speed really comes by how the bit cuts.
Speed control (IMO) is pretty-much a must-have unless you are alweays using small diameter bits, then high speed is acceptable. Be aware that the 7519 does not have variable speed but comes with soft-start.
Router maximum speed is goverend by the diameter of the bit, subject to specific recommendations from the manufacturer. Tom Hintz (a member here) has the following info on his site Router Bit Speed Chart - NewWoodworker.com LLC
Bit DiameterMaximum Speed (RPM)Up to 1"24,0001 1/4" to 2"18,0002 1/4" to 2 1/2"16,0003" to 3 1/2"12,000Bit Speed chart courtesy
Infinity Cutting Tools Visit www.infinitytools.com
When you are spinning a 3" raised panel bit the tip velocities are about 90 mph at 12,000 rpms, or 200 razor-sharp cutter tips cutting each second. Running that big bit at the 7519's single speed would be highly unsafe.
Regarding remote speed controls (unless one is vendor-offered): if you read the fine print for advertised speed controls they say "Not for use with soft-start motors" (with the exception of a few no-name models that don't reference soft-start as being acceptable or unacceptable). There may be one out there designed for soft-start routers but I haven't seen it.
This is not to say that a soft-start router will not *function* with a remote speed control, you're just taking your chances. Depending upon whether speed control is managed by frequency-shifting (unlikely) or voltage clamping (more likely) you risk burning up the remote electronics, the routers electronics or the router itself (through overheating).
FWIW, I've opend up the head on the 7518 and checked out the electronic speed control. My preliminary assessment is that it will be very straightforward to remote the speed control that comes with the router. I plan on confirming that once I have the base cabinet for my table built, as I plan on remoting that as well as my bit depth indicator and switches for router power and DC. I won't attest to this nor go into details on how its done until I have it working and tested but if you open up the top of the 7518 you'll see there are only 3 wires (connected to the system with wire nuts) and the electronics lift free. Subject to any resistance / capacitance issues, relocation should be a 3-wire no-brainer and 100% restorable to "shelf" condition.
I've only recently (last week or so) installed the pin router arm, for use with a second 3hp plunge router in my table. BobJ3 and others here have demonstrated their usefulness so I got one together with a LV / Veritas bitjack to permit table-mounted plunge cutting for pin routing and cutting mortises. Its a bit of an experiment on my part so time will tell as to its value.
That's on hold right now as I have been working on a storage cabinet to test my planned methods for building my RT base (using a Kreg jig to join the maple plywood, mounting drawer slides and building dovetailed drawers) as I need to get the RT top off of the sawhorses and onto a mobile base very soon as we just got snow here in Anchorage and my wife is going to want to get her car inside once in a while.
So far I've gotten the carcase complete, mounted it on casters and two of four drawers installed but still need to install the trim and drawer fronts (on the dovetailed false-fronts), after I finish installing the last two drawers.
Just my $0.02.. and worth every penny I charge! <g>
If you like my gallery you should check out the gallery of others here, as I'm a neophyte woodworker compared to many here. Guys like BobJ3, HarrySin, AxylMike, Bob, Twoskies57 (just to name a few off the top of my head) will show you some of the things a router can do that you haven't even considered yet... or at least I hadn't... and I see more all the time.
BigJimAk -Thanks for the response. I actually already have a couple of smaller mid size routers like the craftsmen and the PC 890 dual base set. All of which I use with a variety of dedicated jigs for template or free hand routing. And (soon) a shop-made right angle set-up for plunge and angled routing mainly for tenons and other type of stuff. So I am specifically looking for a Permanent BIG BOY 3+ hp set-up with accurate micro-height adjust from preferably above the table as well as the option, of bit changing above would be very cool.
Also Do you like the 5-speed PC-7518 router or if you had the choice again would you go for the 7519 with a external speed control. I have a friend who wired up the external power switch with a industrial rheostat for his set up and it works great. But that doesn't necessarily mean its needed. I have not used the big bastards before so is it??? With that much power if slowing it down or adjusting like the smaller PC router is needed or not. This may seem fussy but a I dislike having to go back and redo stuff. It makes a mess of the original usually and takes my allowance away from other projects etc.
On a side note I checked out your gallery of photos, Very Nice. Do you find that you use or enjoy the Lee Valley/ Veritas Pin Jack set up?