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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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I hate to even ask this question but curious what the answer is. I've been using a table mounted 3.5HP Hitachi M12 for many years. Happy with This router and the work it produces.. Just changed the bearings out and its brand new again. Lots of power and it has a built in speed control with feed back to keep speed constant. The plunge guides are super smooth and to change bits I simply pick the router up out of the bench for access.

This router is the plunge type. Not knowing what I was doing years I simply bought and installed it in a bench top cut out. I use this bench for a regular bench top when its not being used as a router station. For a lift I use a scissor type jack the router sits on. Paid about $15-$20 for the jack years ago. No play up or down and it holds the position dead on.

So my question is-- I notice very expensive Tables for routers and very expensive lifts for the non plunger type. Why does one use this set up instead of a plunge type router? The lifts along cost almost as much as a plunge router plus the same for a table top.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 05:40 PM
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Good question. The lifts are probably a little quicker and easier to adjust. I have an M12 in my table too but I just turn the knob. BJ has one with a cheap electric screwdriver fixed to the adjustment rod. Some people are convinced that you have to have all the bells and whistles to do good work. I would rather spend the money on more bits. That's something you can't work your way around.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 05:50 PM
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"BJ has one with a cheap electric screwdriver fixed " == ???

Hey ??? ,,, the screwdriver cost more than the router I only paid 100.oo for the M12 router

Plus it's not fixed in I can snap it in or out ,to high end of a tool to be just hanging on the router all the time.. plus I have the hand crank that can to do the same job if the driver is being used on some other tool/job.

CTS561, Screwdriver, Cordless, 7.2V

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Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
Good question. The lifts are probably a little quicker and easier to adjust. I have an M12 in my table too but I just turn the knob. BJ has one with a cheap electric screwdriver fixed to the adjustment rod. Some people are convinced that you have to have all the bells and whistles to do good work. I would rather spend the money on more bits. That's something you can't work your way around.


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 05:58 PM
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Sorry Bob,
I thought it was one of those cheap Skil ones.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 12:25 AM
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For years I used a PC 7539 a powerful, smooth, electronic feedback, 5 speed plunger mounted in a table using a Rousseau plate 'cause I needed the different sized inserts.
The table was homebrew, two layers 3/4" lumber core cab grade ply covered with laminate.

Adjusted the router height using a knob kit that replaced the depth stop on the router. Changing height was two handed job, unlock and turn knob below the table while trying to eyeball above. Changed out bits by lifting out the ~20 lb unit out of the table and plopping it back down.

I have a separate router "station" that is ready when needed, no bench to clear and setup, can also use the router table as additional bench if needed.

If I needed the big plunger for free hand, had to take it out reinstall the depth stop, check for dust in spring tubes and most times dismount the table plate.

First fence (for this table) was a lumber core ply thing with a glued on vac port, clamped to table. Second was Rousseau double face, slot bolted to table. Third fence was Incra Wonder.

Worked with this a long time.

New job called for heavy plunge cuts by hand and big profile edging at the table, ran across package deal for PC 7518 motor with lift, got it. Lift plate was smaller than old plate, needed to fill in table hole and get to work. Soon discovered the benefits of table top height adjustment and bit change.

The ol' table top was getting ragged, the fill in for the lift plate was wearing, the wonder fence was nice but a little disappointing for dust extraction.

Kreg table top and T Square fence was next upgrade. The lift fit perfectly, the fence is guick to setup, the dust port is right behind the bit and I discovered the benefits of a miter/t-track. Added a dust bucket later for the 4" pipe below and 2" pipe at the fence. All is atop of my original homebrew mobile stand.

Current setup is faster all around, fine adjustments are much easier, dust extraction is very good, feather boarding is nicer, coping cuts are safer and more accurate and frankly, it's real nice not having to lift that thing out to swap bits. My big plunger is still ready anytime I need it.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 08:59 AM
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"Why does one use this set up instead of a plunge type router? "

I've been asking this very question almost from the day that I became a member of this forum.. In the 37 years that I've been using routers, I can't recall a single project that could have been faster or better had I used a fixed base router. A plunge router can do everything that a fixed base one can but NOT visa versa. I've never understood why America is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to routers, and whilst I'm back on my soap box, not fully metric!

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomE View Post
For years I used a PC 7539 a powerful, smooth, electronic feedback, 5 speed plunger mounted in a table using a Rousseau plate 'cause I needed the different sized inserts.
The table was homebrew, two layers 3/4" lumber core cab grade ply covered with laminate.

Adjusted the router height using a knob kit that replaced the depth stop on the router. Changing height was two handed job, unlock and turn knob below the table while trying to eyeball above. Changed out bits by lifting out the ~20 lb unit out of the table and plopping it back down.

I have a separate router "station" that is ready when needed, no bench to clear and setup, can also use the router table as additional bench if needed.

If I needed the big plunger for free hand, had to take it out reinstall the depth stop, check for dust in spring tubes and most times dismount the table plate.

First fence (for this table) was a lumber core ply thing with a glued on vac port, clamped to table. Second was Rousseau double face, slot bolted to table. Third fence was Incra Wonder.

Worked with this a long time.

New job called for heavy plunge cuts by hand and big profile edging at the table, ran across package deal for PC 7518 motor with lift, got it. Lift plate was smaller than old plate, needed to fill in table hole and get to work. Soon discovered the benefits of table top height adjustment and bit change.

The ol' table top was getting ragged, the fill in for the lift plate was wearing, the wonder fence was nice but a little disappointing for dust extraction.

Kreg table top and T Square fence was next upgrade. The lift fit perfectly, the fence is guick to setup, the dust port is right behind the bit and I discovered the benefits of a miter/t-track. Added a dust bucket later for the 4" pipe below and 2" pipe at the fence. All is atop of my original homebrew mobile stand.

Current setup is faster all around, fine adjustments are much easier, dust extraction is very good, feather boarding is nicer, coping cuts are safer and more accurate and frankly, it's real nice not having to lift that thing out to swap bits. My big plunger is still ready anytime I need it.
These shots show my method of bit change/height adjustment. The Triton router raises above even this thick cast iron table and the easily made foot operated height adjustment makes for an excellent system. The latest version of this router even has an above table hand crank making even the foot control obsolete.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Some very enlightening comments here. I too had a problem with fouled guides until I got my Cyclone DC. The router sits down inside a box and until the addition of 6" duct work the box filled up with saw dust and made a mess of the router.. The fence also had a dust pickup but didn't do much. Dust will wreck your lungs.

I did a search of YouTube for automatic router raisers. Worth looking at and some good ideas. There is a whole bunch of them along with all sorts of ideas. At the same time I came across a DIY automatic blast gate for DC's. The assembly uses a $15.00 Harbor Freight drill for the actuator. Not sure of the URL but Google-- blast gates automatic You Tube .

I might motorize my scissor jack for $15.00 with Harbor Freight. That would be really cool.

What I really need is a digital display. Anybody have one? Amazon sells one for about $ $30 or so.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrysin View Post
"Why does one use this set up instead of a plunge type router? "

I've been asking this very question almost from the day that I became a member of this forum.. In the 37 years that I've been using routers, I can't recall a single project that could have been faster or better had I used a fixed base router. A plunge router can do everything that a fixed base one can but NOT visa versa. I've never understood why America is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to routers, and whilst I'm back on my soap box, not fully metric!
So what you are saying Harry is that I should break out my brand new un-used PC plunge base and place it on my extra PC 892 router and discard my other fixed base routers as worthless toys? Come to think about it I do have a nice Ridged plunge router that I plan on giving a workout later today by routing a couple of 24 inch long T-Track grooves across my work bench.

As far as the Metric system goes I am still trying to learn the Imperial measurement system after 70 some years. All joking aside are you aware that several years ago there was a push in the US of A to replace the Imperial system to Metric? Evidently there was such a negative outcry that the plan was scrapped as a bad idea.

Another thing about this post as well as many others in the forum....Why do people title their posts as "Dumb Question" or something along those lines? There is absolutely no such thing as a dumb or stupid question, only dumb or stupid answers/responses.

When something is advertised as being foolproof there is always a better class of fool that comes along to prove them wrong.

Last edited by Ken Bee; 03-05-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 11:47 AM
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The only dumb question is the one that goes unasked.

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