Best router for integral above table height and bit change? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Default Best router for integral above table height and bit change?

I've been studying routers which have integral above-table bit height adjustments but many don't specify how the height adjustment gets locked in and if bit changes are possible above the table. I read a too-old FWW article that included the Triton and he glossed over locking it, saying in his experience the rack and pinion stayed put (but acknowledged Triton said to lock it). The point is it doesn't do any good to have integral (ie no lift required) bit height adjustment if you have to crawl under the table to lock the motor or unlock it to change the bit.

I'd love to buy the Bosch MRC23 combo kit but can't get locking and changing info on it. Any comments on this or other such routers? I'm in a shopping mood.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 06:00 PM
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All the routers are like this, except for one, and I think it was a Porter Cable fixed base, which had a hex end come out of the latch hinge that you could reach above the table. It was either the Porter Cable or maybe a Bosch, I can't remember.

The best ready-to-go routers for under table routing are the Bosch and the newer Sears Craftsman, because of their above the table adjustment. However, the latch has to be worked from underneath. The Craftsman plunge base is also above table adjustable, and is the only one that I know of. Of course, a Router Razer can be used on several brands to convert them to above-table.


The Triton, I've heard some bad things about the gearing in them breaking. Evidently, the gears are plastic, and they didn't work out too good for a few customers.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 07:27 PM
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My Bosch 1617 router has the above-table hex key adjustment you mention. In use the router is fixed to the base when a cam lever is flipped - this tightens the base around the motor housing.

The 1617 actually has three rough depth settings. First I flip the cam lever to allow the router motor to move, then I push another lever that allows me to move the motor between the three depth settings - each is 1/2" difference. When I release that lever locks. Then I use the fine adjustment screw (the same one that the above-table hex key rotates) to do the fine depth setting. Then I lock it all down by flipping the cam lever.

Both the cam lever and the rough depth settings are managed under the table. Only the fine depth adjustment is done above the table.

To exchange bits I need to remove the motor from the base - its really pretty easy to do: Flip the cam lever to loosen it, press the spring-loaded rough depth lever, twist and pull the motor out. The twisting seems to be Bosch's way to prevent the motor from falling out in an out-of-control way.

The manual is available at no cost at boschtools.com .

Ken
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 08:24 PM
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I just stumbled upon this article "Routers for Router Tables" that might be of interest to you:

(I can't post a URL because I don't yet have 10 posts, so here's the best I can do)

www DOT finewoodworking DOT com/media/RouterTables DOT pdg
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
The Triton, I've heard some bad things about the gearing in them breaking. Evidently, the gears are plastic, and they didn't work out too good for a few customers.
That is old news - the current gears are, I understand, metal, and metal replacement parts were available.


To answer the OP's question - I have a Triton TRA001 mounted in a table and I have never locked height adjuster _ Mine does not have above table height adjusting and I reach under the table (Oak park table) and use the adjusting knobs _ I have never had a problem with height changing during use......

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 09:47 PM
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My Bosch 1617 router has the above-table hex key adjustment you mention. In use the router is fixed to the base when a cam lever is flipped - this tightens the base around the motor housing.

The 1617 actually has three rough depth settings. First I flip the cam lever to allow the router motor to move, then I push another lever that allows me to move the motor between the three depth settings - each is 1/2" difference. When I release that lever locks. Then I use the fine adjustment screw (the same one that the above-table hex key rotates) to do the fine depth setting. Then I lock it all down by flipping the cam lever.

Both the cam lever and the rough depth settings are managed under the table. Only the fine depth adjustment is done above the table.

To exchange bits I need to remove the motor from the base - its really pretty easy to do: Flip the cam lever to loosen it, press the spring-loaded rough depth lever, twist and pull the motor out. The twisting seems to be Bosch's way to prevent the motor from falling out in an out-of-control way.

The manual is available at no cost at boschtools.com .

Ken
You're correct about the Bosch, and the Craftsman is essentially the same router, in the fixed base version. The only differences are in the plunge bases.

The Porter Cable, though, has an extra hole in the base where you can unlock and lock the latch, along with the hole for above the table adjustment. Its the only one I know that can do this, and they probably have a patent on this style latch-lock. The only other way would be to buy a good router lift that has a built in lock.

I started to buy the Porter cable, until I read the reviews on the Bosch and similar Craftsman routers. I bought the Craftsman because I could get a better price, and I have no complaints with mine at all.

Now, bit changing on the Craftsman can be a bear. When you raise the router all the way up, while in the table, you can hardly reach the spindle lock button. I ended up buying a set of bit extensions, that came with the wrenches, from MCLS over it.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 09:52 PM
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Default Triton

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Originally Posted by jw2170 View Post
That is old news - the current gears are, I understand, metal, and metal replacement parts were available.


To answer the OP's question - I have a Triton TRA001 mounted in a table and I have never locked height adjuster _ Mine does not have above table height adjusting and I reach under the table (Oak park table) and use the adjusting knobs _ I have never had a problem with height changing during use......
That's good to know, but here in the US, when this problem came up, they put the routers on sale, really cheap, and a few places are still trying to sell them off. One wont know what he has, until he buys it, then checks it out, unless the seller can verify that the ones they have have the metal gears.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 10:50 PM
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"Best" is a pretty subjective term. I've been running the Freud 3000 for a little over a year now and it has worked well for me. Leaving the springs in plus the weight of the router holds it in place pretty well, hence, I seldom flip the lock. Not sure of the big deal about reaching under there anyway as that is also where the speed control is. Non of the soft start/variable speed routers, that I am aware of, have remote speed controls available nor can they use aftermarket speed controllers. (I guess there is one exception with the Milwaukee 5625... maybe). It is a little easier for me though, as I have removed the front door of the router box for increased cooling.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for your opinions. I have read the FWW article and am still researching. My stuff has been stored for years and the last time I had a router table set up was 1989 or so. I distinctly recall my Bosch router with a 1" core box bit falling out of the base while running and bouncing around the (thankfully maple) floor of my shop. I think they hadn't even invented router lifts yet and I'm just looking for the best/cost effective approach. I did see a youtube of the Bosch MR23 not being able to fall out : )
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 02:33 PM
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The PC 890 series routers are capable of height adjustment, lock/unlock and bit change above the table. The only thing that can't be done above the table is change the speed.

Every member of the forum has their favorite table router for various reasons of course and that is as it should be. I have a PC 892 in my table and love it because the only reason for going under the table is to clean the router every so often. Actually I have a tilt top table so access to the router is much easier than the conventional router table.

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