Plunge for fixed router for a table - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Default Plunge for fixed router for a table

I have a 1/2" plunge & 1/4" fixed (in my table) but am considering getting a second 1/2" for the table - so I then need to buy only 1/2" bits. Which is the most common / best for a table, fixed or plunge. I gather that some of the "lifts" only work on plunge (but not sure - and that purchase would be a while off in any case). I know there are combos that seem like good deals (like the Craftsman in the $ 150 range) so maybe that would be best.

It seems that it is best to go with 1/2" (vs 1/4") bits from what I've read on the forum - but how important is that really - is it worth the price of another router???

Feedback appreciated
Brian
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.Crawford View Post
I have a 1/2" plunge & 1/4" fixed (in my table) but am considering getting a second 1/2" for the table - so I then need to buy only 1/2" bits. Which is the most common / best for a table, fixed or plunge. I gather that some of the "lifts" only work on plunge (but not sure - and that purchase would be a while off in any case). I know there are combos that seem like good deals (like the Craftsman in the $ 150 range) so maybe that would be best.

It seems that it is best to go with 1/2" (vs 1/4") bits from what I've read on the forum - but how important is that really - is it worth the price of another router???

Feedback appreciated
Brian
Yes. Bits with 1/2" shanks are more stable and (if sharp) produce better cuts.

For table mounting, I prefer a fixed base if just using a plate. Some lifts (like the BenchDog Pro I use) clamp directly to the motor housing, eliminating the base entirely. Some of the newer router designs, however, allow bit-height adjustment from the bottom or base/plate side. So, the choice among the options is left to the user.

The 1/4" shank bits are fine for some hand-held operations, or even in a light-duty table with a light-duty router. We all use wrenches of different sizes and designs for different purposes. The same logic holds true for routers, as well.

- Ralph

Last edited by Ralph Barker; 02-13-2011 at 11:04 AM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 11:11 AM
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I prefer bits with a 1/2" shank when given a choice. If you use your router frequently you will also end up with a collection of bits with a 1/4" shank. This is Ok. Many routers sold today come with both collets to fit both sizes. The older models might have an adapter (sleeve for 1/4" bits) or another collet you can buy as an accessory for the other size.

If buying another router to dedicate to your table I would use a larger hp model with variable speed to be able to handle anything in the future you might want to route. New routers today will be able to handle both sizes of bits. No need to have a second router for smaller bits.

James
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Last edited by jlord; 02-13-2011 at 11:15 AM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 11:22 AM
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Hi


Just my 2 cents

You need both, 1/4" and 1/2" shanks,,for dovetails, inlay kits the norm,many times you will want to use a 1/8" or 3/16" bits and many of the smaller routers can only take on the 1/4" shanks bits so so say you need both.
I will not say the 1/2" bits are more stable, just more mass that keeps the vibration down but it comes down to what you want to do with them.
I have some 1/4" shank router bits that are 4" long and they work just as well as the 1/2" shank bits...just less mass..
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 01:20 AM
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Most will take either 1/4 or half just change collet.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Default 1/4" vs 1/2" bits Some clarification on my question

I probably over complicated my question a bit. I have both 1/4" & 1/2" routers (1/2" is new plunge). I'd prefer to keep the 1/4" in the table which means mostly buying 1/4" bits (instead of 1/2"). I'm just not sure continuing to invest in 1/4" bits is a wise move!!
I am prepared to buy another 1/2" router for the table if investing in 1/2" bits is strongly preferred.
I'm really relying on your recommendations on this one.
Thanks all
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 04:28 PM
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Again, it depends on what types of work you are doing on the table. Having a larger, 1/2" variable-speed router in the table will add capability and versatility, however.

- Ralph
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.Crawford View Post
I probably over complicated my question a bit. I have both 1/4" & 1/2" routers (1/2" is new plunge). I'd prefer to keep the 1/4" in the table which means mostly buying 1/4" bits (instead of 1/2"). I'm just not sure continuing to invest in 1/4" bits is a wise move!!
I am prepared to buy another 1/2" router for the table if investing in 1/2" bits is strongly preferred.
I'm really relying on your recommendations on this one.
Thanks all
Hi Brian - If you are prepared to buy a different router for the table, the preferred way would be to select a router that has both collets. There will be times you will want profiles that are not available in 1/4" and other times profiles that are not available in 1/2". Having capability to use either resolves the issue. Most routers 2 hp and up routers will take either these days.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default Thanks all

I think I've decided to get another either fixed base or more likely a less expensive combo 1/2" and stick to 1/2" bits as much as possible.
Any suggestions on brand at the mid to lower end, say about $160.00 (US$) or less for a combo?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2011, 12:06 PM
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Default My 2 cents on the plunge

I would suggest a comb set. Buy ½’ as they most all come with a ¼” collect also. You can step down with a ½”, but you are stuck if you buy a ¼” router. If you are doing rails and stiles, then you need the 1/2” any way. I would also consider how the router adjusts and the accuracy of the mechanism. I prefer up/down adjustment opposed to the spin type. Use the standard base in the table and the plunge as your hand held. If you upgrade sometime in the future, the standard motor will fit in a lift and you free up your standard base for hand work. If you buy a plunge the motor will not fit the lifts or you have to buy one for a plunge and they mount to the base, which means you will lose height on your bits. The best I recall there isn’t much of a choice when it comes to lifts for plunge routers. You will need the plunge for mortises or any middle of the work setups. I like the Bosch 1617evs soft start combo. The new one’s come with a handle and are adjustable from the top of the table; they go straight up/down and can be inserted in the base either left or right. You look on e-bay and buy the old ra1160 base cheap to use for now for hand held work off the table if you need it. That will keep you from removing the base from the table. You just drop the motor out for plunge work and never remove your base from the table. If you ever buy a lift, then get one for the 7518 and sleeve it down to the 3 ½” motor size. That way you want be faced with an upgrade if you happen to get totally hooked on woodwork.
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