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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Default Lifts?

I currently borrow a small Porter Cable 1/2 horse router, and a Porter Cable router table. The router depth is adjust by twisting the router body on spiraling slots under the table fixture. The clamp with these slots in it is then tightened once the depth is finalized. Since I have a 3.25 HP plunge router on my wish list for table purposes, it doesn't appear this table will work anymore. I've started looking at making a nice custom table.

My understanding is that a typical assembly of such consists of a flat durable surface (often mdf), counter sunk in the center with a base plate such as the HF one, the plunge router screws into that, and depth is adjusted via the plunge mechanism. Is this correct so far? How do you adjust depth without a plunge router such as the Milwaukee, or a brand specific table like the PC that adapts to it's own fixed base router?

After I thought I'd figured this out, enter "lifts" into my research findings. Are/when are they necessary?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 03:44 PM
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Default use fixed base

fixed base routers have depth adjustments. Some will allow you to adjust with a rod from the top of the table. I use a Bosch 1617. Although I have to reach under the table, the height adjustment, with the optional plastic extension knob, is quite convenient. Much better than the style you describe, which is how my old Sears router works. the plunge base is very useful for routing mortisses and other jobs but not for use under a table.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 04:43 PM
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The "lift" mechanism typically replaces the plate and the traditional fixed base, allowing both height adjustments and bit changes to be made above the table. In other words, just the router motor is installed into the lift. With large (heavy) routers, this is a big advantage. With smaller routers, it can be just as easy to lift the plate and the router out of the table opening yourself to make adjustments in better light.

With my new table, I opted for the Benchdog Pro lift and a PC 7518 (motor only) for it.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ralph Barker View Post
The "lift" mechanism typically replaces the plate and the traditional fixed base, allowing both height adjustments and bit changes to be made above the table. In other words, just the router motor is installed into the lift. With large (heavy) routers, this is a big advantage. With smaller routers, it can be just as easy to lift the plate and the router out of the table opening yourself to make adjustments in better light.

With my new table, I opted for the Benchdog Pro lift and a PC 7518 (motor only) for it.
Ahhh, I see! Thanks much! I probly need to make more trips to Woodcraft, but it seems their store isn't very hands on friendly...Plus I end up spending more...
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 11:45 AM
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Actually newer Bosch 1617, the fixed base does allow for above the table adjustments. You can find these on ebay fairly reasonable.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'll hijack my own thread now that I have a better idea on the OP.

What's the most powerful router that comes with a case (and isn't a poor quality boat anchor)? I like cases to keep things organized and protected, especially since I have to break down the shop everytime I want to put vehicles back in. I was all gung ho about the big Freud going on sale next week, but it's got no case. I'd rather not leave it in the table when not in use and pushed into a corner. Plus, realistically, after this big remodel is done, I'm a weekend hobbyist, so I might be able to get by with a step down in power...or not...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnmaniac View Post
I think I'll hijack my own thread now that I have a better idea on the OP.

What's the most powerful router that comes with a case (and isn't a poor quality boat anchor)? I like cases to keep things organized and protected, especially since I have to break down the shop everytime I want to put vehicles back in. I was all gung ho about the big Freud going on sale next week, but it's got no case. I'd rather not leave it in the table when not in use and pushed into a corner. Plus, realistically, after this big remodel is done, I'm a weekend hobbyist, so I might be able to get by with a step down in power...or not...
I have the same issue, once I'm done working for the day I still have to put 2 cars back in, I have a porter cable 890 model I think it was 893 it comes with a case and the plunge and fixed base. I even bought an extra motor and have it mounted in a woodpecker lift, and a rockler table top.

When I'm done with the router table the lift with the PC 890 motor goes back into the box the lift came in and is put back on the shelf, the table top comes off my black and decker work mate and is put up against the wall, then the work mate gets folded up and put against the table top; then the car gets pulled in.

The PC has had plenty of power for what I have done so far.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 02:54 PM
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Go for the big one! After all, a good big un is normally better than a good little un, isn't it?

On a more serious note why not use the router to make a lock-jointed router box for storage.......
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Go for the big one! After all, a good big un is normally better than a good little un, isn't it?

On a more serious note why not use the router to make a lock-jointed router box for storage.......
That's a great idea, and is probably what I'll do if I go for the big un...Thanks! The other benefit tho to the smaller sets with cases is the other attachments that come with for the price.

Sounds like the setup I'm going for jd! Now to figure out how to fold that cast iron table saw...

Last edited by mtnmaniac; 11-19-2010 at 03:19 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnmaniac View Post
I think I'll hijack my own thread now that I have a better idea on the OP.

What's the most powerful router that comes with a case (and isn't a poor quality boat anchor)? I like cases to keep things organized and protected, especially since I have to break down the shop everytime I want to put vehicles back in. I was all gung ho about the big Freud going on sale next week, but it's got no case. I'd rather not leave it in the table when not in use and pushed into a corner. Plus, realistically, after this big remodel is done, I'm a weekend hobbyist, so I might be able to get by with a step down in power...or not...
That's gotta be the Binford 10-400, 10HP, 240v 3-phase w/ case. Of course, it takes four men to lift either the router or the case.

Most of the 3 hp routers are considered "production" machines, intended for in-shop use, rather than on-site use where the cases are a plus. Get a 3 hp with both fixed and plunge bases, and then get a Pelican case big enough for them and the accessories:

pelican cases for laptops + camera cases + shipping containers from Pelican-Case.com

- Ralph
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