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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-09-2004, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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I need to buy a router but there are so many good ones to choose from and so many models. The ideal workshop should have at least 2 routers but I can't afford 2 since the average cost of a good router in my country( Trinidad & Tobago ) is in excess of $3000.00. I am leaning towards the Porter Cable 3 1/4 HP - Model #7539 Plunge Router with 5 speed. I need the horse power for panel cutting/ door making but I'm wondering how well will a plunge router work mounted on a table. Is it a good idea? I also need the plunge feature for portable routing. Any good ideas guys? What are the pros and cons of doing this?

the angler
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-10-2004, 03:47 AM
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Welcome to the forum. It is a common practice to mount the PC 7539 to a table. To do so you must remove the plunge springs. If you check out the PC website you will find downloadable .PDF files of the owners manuals. You can view an exploded parts illustration so see what is involved in removing the springs. You are right about needing the 3 1/4 HP to drive the large 3 1/2" diameter panel raising bits. There is another way to go about this. Check out Ebay for vertical panel raising bits. Instead of the familiar umbrella shape of traditional panel raising bits, the vertical panel raising bits look more like a bullet shape. The outside diameter of the bit is more like 1 1/2", and using this smaller diameter to cut the same shape requires less horsepower. The cutting edges are spinning faster since they are not spanning as great a distance and cuts are supposed to be smoother, less vibration. Cost is lower on these bits too. You might consider the Bosch 1617 router combination pack. This comes with both fixed and plunge bases. The bases switch very easily, The fixed base is ideal for table mounting leaving the plunge base free for more usefull jobs without having to unmount every time. This router is 2 1/4 HP and rated a best buy by Wood magazine in the November 2004 issue. I have been using mine for a couple years and am very pleased.
By way of price comparrison, here the PC7539 sells for about $350, the PC7518 fixed base sells for about $300, and the Bosch 1617EVS combo kit sells for about $190. Hope this helps.

Mike

Last edited by Mike; 12-10-2004 at 03:52 AM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 07:49 AM
 
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I bought a Porter Cable 890. It came with a Plunge base and a fixed base. It also came with a raising attachment that works great on the router table so you don't need a separate raising mechanism. You need to check the Porter Cable Website as the 890 comes with different base/configurations. I use the fixed base in the table.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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THANKS mike and murray......a great deal of information there... i am wondering what level of difficulty is there in raising 'curved panels' like for a cathedral style doors USING vertical panel raising bits. I am thinking with the vertical bits a jig to hold the panels and slide it along the fence might be a good idea. what are your thoughts on this?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 09:55 PM
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If you are looking at working with large panels, perhaps you would be better off to build yourself a horizontal router table? This way your panels can lay flat and be supoported better. I saw a design for a horizontal table that was very simple. The table was a quarter circle of 3/4" plywood with the router mounted in the middle. A pivot point was made by drilling a hole in the 90 degree corner for a lag bolt to be run into the end of a workbench. A groove was cut about an inch inside the radius of the curve. A bolt installed in this groove will set the height of the bit above the bench.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2005, 07:37 PM
 
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My husband and I are new router users. It seems that our very old ryobi router which was given to us. Won't hold the bit. we attached it to a table, (the mastergrip from costco) and the bit keeps sinking as I push the wood throught. we tighten it down, but it keeps sliding we are thinking it needs a router? If price is an issue, which one would you go with? We are weekend warriors, so it dosen't need to be the best.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2005, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laferg
My husband and I are new router users. It seems that our very old ryobi router which was given to us. Won't hold the bit. we attached it to a table, (the mastergrip from costco) and the bit keeps sinking as I push the wood throught. we tighten it down, but it keeps sliding we are thinking it needs a router? If price is an issue, which one would you go with? We are weekend warriors, so it dosen't need to be the best.
When you put the bit in push it in all the way and back off just a fraction. Be sure you are tightening the collet tight enough. You may need a new collet. Look at the end of the bit that goes in the router if it's chewrd up it's been spinning in the collet. . I don't know how close to a Home Depot but they're selling the PC 690 for $99 its just a basic router with no frills and it's 1 1/4 horsepower which would probably be enough power for you. If being able to adjust the bit height from the top of the table you'll probably have to spend more. I would look at PC, Bosch, Milwaukee, DeWalt they all offer high quality routers and you can't go far wrong with them.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2005, 05:14 AM
 
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I've been looking at the green machines. I have a C10FS compound sliding miter saw that I just love so I thought I'd see how the routers stacked up. Does anyone know the difference between a KM12VC and a KM12MC? How easy are the Makita base changes? BTW the case color is an indication of my WW experience so get ready for more silly questions.

Thanks
CB
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2005, 06:35 PM
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Laferg, read through the many posts and you will find lots of good advice on choosing a new router. The best thing to do is visit your local woodworking tool vendors and get them into your hands. See how the adjustments are made, what you feel most comfortable with. I would strongly urge you to get a copy of Wood Magazine, the November 2004 issue. There is an article where they show the differences between a $100 Skil router and a Bosch that costs about twice as much. They even cut the cases open so you can see the bearings and motor parts. Further back they have a discussion of the top brand combo kits, which means motors with both a fixed and plunge base. For table mounting you cant beat the Bosch 1617 fixed base, or the Bosch built Craftsman 26620 fixed base which includes an LED worklight that illuminates around the bit. (Why is Craftsman the only company that puts worklights on their machines?) All that having been said my old Craftsman router I bought for $49 new is still running strong. I only use it for sign making. The adjustments require constant watching, but it works. I use my Bosch 1617 for most jobs, and if something heavy duty comes along I have my Porter Cable 7518 to power through with.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2005, 06:45 PM
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CB, Makita makes good quality tools. I swear by my five 9.6 volt cordless drills and sabersaw. When looking for a new router I did a hands on comparison test and thought they fell behind other brands. I havent heard any complaints about them, and I know there are a lot of them out there. A friend bought a Makita clone and is very happy with it. By the way, Hitachi is also green.

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