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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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I have been lurking for a while, and finally have formulated some questions. I think I will get the Grizzly special. It looks like a lot for the price. What accessories are "essential"? I would assume the first would be a miter guide, and perhaps some feather boards.
I have an old B&D (#7613) hand me down from my father that I have used in the past, but it only has a1/4" collet. I may experiment with that, but I am leaning towards getting a new, more appropriate router. Any comments.
Most of my Internet reading suggests a fixed base for use on a table. But I also see that on the Triton, the plunge base acts as a lift. It certainly sounds like it greatly simplifies using a table, both bit and height changes.Do any other plunge routers make it simple like Triton? Or, would it make more sense to get a combo, and use the fixed base for the table? If using the fixed base, are there any that make changes as easy as Triton, or others?
Thanks, John
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 03:27 PM
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Welcome aboard, John!!

You're asking some great questions! You will find that for some of them opinions on the value of certain accessories (such as a miter gauge) range from "highly valuable" to "totally unneeded". This exists due to the phenomenal versatility of the router, especially when one can be used free-hand, in a table, on skiis, with cam boards and many, many more ways. As a result, most things can be accomplished in several ways, and are, by different people. Some use push blocks, jigs and guides and never need the miter; others choose to use different combinations of accessories.

Routers give you a lot of "artistic expression", not only in the result, but also in the path.

One accessory you've mentioned that I do not *believe* people will disagree with is the value of feather boards for safety and easy of wood alignment, although some (such as I) have yet to need them though I can readily envision cuts where they'd add great value.

Welcome aboard the slippery slope of routerdom, where your options are nearly endless and flexibility is incredible. The only major down side to a router though, is the noise. In my opinion, getting good hearing protection for yourself and enough for any others who may be in your shop while you're working is one of the most important accessories.

Well, that and making sure your brain is fully engaged before turning on the machine!

Jim

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 05:49 PM
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Hi John; Welcome!
Don't get rid of the old 1/4" B&D. You can put it aside for dedicated tasks like laminate trimming.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 06:26 PM
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+1 on keeping the B&D.. If / as you start using your router for more things, you'll find out having multiple is a great convenience and can let you spend more time making sawdust and less adjusting bits. I've got 8 routers while some here have more than 50, with many if not most, set up for specific activities such as cutting dovetails, skiis, etc., etc. etc...

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 08:26 PM
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Any plunge router has its own built in adjust mechanism. Just turn the adjusting handle on it. It is not as handy as a lift but a lot cheaper. Milwaukee and some Sears models have above table adjustments, others that I'm not familiar with may too. Many fixed base router motors will fall out of the mounting when you unclamp them if you are not careful.
If you use a mitre slot, and you use the fence to set depth of cut, then your fence and mitre gauge have to be square. If you use a sled, the sled is always square to the fence no matter if the fence is square to the table or not.
Feather boards are a good idea. If you don't have to use both hands to hold a board down one of them can be holding a push stick instead.

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 #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 10:24 AM
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Hello John and Welcome.
I second the good hearing protection.
Bill
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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I put a miter guage high on the list because of experience with them on table saws. Obviously, with no router table experience, i did not think of the difference. From the comments, i assume it is quite a pain to insure that the fence is parallel to the track.
I have tried to searce about sleds on this forum, and would welcome advice. I am thinking the router could be used for tenons with a sled or properly set up miter guide.
As an aside, it looks like the Kreg fence takes care of the squaring problem. Not that I am going to spring for that at this point, but are the claims accurate?
Thanks again, John
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 03:25 PM
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I have both a Miter slot and a T-Track slot in my table and doubt if I could get along without them, but as has been said many woodworkers do not feel the necessity for either. To me they are more of a safety addition than anything. It is rare I do not use a feather board, both horizontal as well as vertical. I also have a few jigs that require the miter gauge for their proper use on the table

As far as routers for the table there are many opinions as to which is best for use in a table and for good reason. Many of the members have been in woodworking for several years and while there may be many differing opinions all of it is worthwhile to help one decide. Personally I have a Porter Cable 892 fixed base router in my table that after trying 4 different routers it is in my opinion the ideal router for the table.

I leaned one simple fact from the forum members, you have to decide for yourself what is best for you. Probably the single most important question to help you decide is to ask yourself, what kind of work am I going to do with a router and a router table? Once you can answer that question it will serve you in deciding the kind of router(s) you want to buy.

I have only been working with wood for a little less than 2 years but in that time I have learned most of what I know about routers and accessories from two sources, visiting the forum on a daily basis and from woodworking books and magazines. I spend almost as much on them each month as I do on tools. The rest is from good old common sense and at times re-inventing the wheel to suit my purposes.

I now have 9 routers and each of them have a specific purpose so I don't have to change bits for every task I undertake other than when I do hand held work on my workbench which actually is very rare, except for inlays and there again I have a dedicated router for that kind of work.

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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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Europa View Post
I put a miter guage high on the list because of experience with them on table saws. Obviously, with no router table experience, i did not think of the difference. From the comments, i assume it is quite a pain to insure that the fence is parallel to the track.
I have tried to searce about sleds on this forum, and would welcome advice. I am thinking the router could be used for tenons with a sled or properly set up miter guide.
As an aside, it looks like the Kreg fence takes care of the squaring problem. Not that I am going to spring for that at this point, but are the claims accurate?
Thanks again, John
My favorite sled is just a scrap piece of mdf or plywood that is perfectly square, at least on 2 edges, and is large enough for me to register my work against and hold it steady. This method has 2 advantages. One, it is always square to the fence. Two, it helps prevent blowout on the back side of my piece as the router bit emerges.
There are several other members who advocate this method here. BobJ3 also posted a link on a thread about wainscotting that is on the forum right now. In the link, someone from MLCS ,I think it is, is machining wainscotting and they are using this same method if you want to have a look.
You are correct, this method will make tenons. It is also how to profile the ends of the rails on cabinet doors. From what I have read on the forum the Kreg fence works. I have not had an urge to buy it because the method I use works and costs nothing.

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 #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 07:24 PM
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John, only you can decide which router is right for you. I like the Bosch MRC23EVSK combo and the 1617 combo's but they are different from the Triton. Spend the time to compare as many routers in person as you can. This will show you how the controls operate and you will be able to choose what you are most comfortable with.

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