To mount or not to mount a router. A year long experiment. - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Default To mount or not to mount a router. A year long experiment.

There was a recent post by squidzilla asking about mounting his router with toggle bolts. Instead of answering through the thread I thought I'd start a new thread and let others comment on my thoughts. . I wouldn't do it. Not because it wouldn't work but because it would not be necessary. I'm of the opinion that a router should be mounted on a table and only removed as a last resort. The first time I used a router was in the early 60's. I was trying to make a wooden dash board for a Triumph TR3 and it turned out to be a disaster. Knowing what I know now I understand that if I had it mounted on a table it would have turned out like I expected it to. There are very few things that can't be done safer and easier on a table. Sign making would be an exception. Of those things probably some of them are are work arounds using the router for something another tool is designed to do but you don't have the correct tool for the job. Flattening a board or making a mortise come to mind. My suggestion would be to mount it permanently and report back in a year on how many times you needed to take it off the table. If I had to report back for this year it would be zero buy hey there are still another 10 days to go. So let December 21st be the beginning of a longitudinal study, mark it on your calendar and report back in a year.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 10:03 AM
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The proper solution is to invest in a second router. One to mount permanently in a table, and the other for those jobs you need a handheld router for. An even better solution is to have 3, or 4, or 5 routers. One for each bit you own.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 10:21 AM
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If I only had one router, it could not stay mounted in a router table all year. Yes, you can make dovetailed drawers with a router mounted on a table, but I much prefer to use my Leigh jig. I usually wait until after assembly to round over edges, and cabinet boxes are just too big to wrestle onto a router table.

Over the years, I've kept adding to my tool collection until my router count now stands at six. The big Triton lives in the router table most of the time, except when it is ousted by the big Porter Cable which has one half of a rail/stile combo correctly adjusted and ready to go when I drop it in the table. A Porter Cable plunge router holds the other half of the rail/stile combo. So I change routers instead of changing bits and fussing with the height adjustment. I have two D-handle fixed base routers that stay set up for dovetailing. And the little Bosch Colt keeps a round-over bit in it's mouth already set for quick duty.

Not saying it can't be done if you're building small stuff, but my routers go in and out of the table quite regularly.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by DonkeyHody View Post
If I only had one router, it could not stay mounted in a router table all year. Yes, you can make dovetailed drawers with a router mounted on a table, but I much prefer to use my Leigh jig. I usually wait until after assembly to round over edges, and cabinet boxes are just too big to wrestle onto a router table.

Over the years, I've kept adding to my tool collection until my router count now stands at six. The big Triton lives in the router table most of the time, except when it is ousted by the big Porter Cable which has one half of a rail/stile combo correctly adjusted and ready to go when I drop it in the table. A Porter Cable plunge router holds the other half of the rail/stile combo. So I change routers instead of changing bits and fussing with the height adjustment. I have two D-handle fixed base routers that stay set up for dovetailing. And the little Bosch Colt keeps a round-over bit in it's mouth already set for quick duty.

Not saying it can't be done if you're building small stuff, but my routers go in and out of the table quite regularly.

Andy,it sounds to me like the routers that you take in and out of the table are mounted on router table plates and set up to just exchange. I think what was meant was that to have one router and use the same router hand held.
The solution is to have a router dedicated to the table another,or more to handheld operations.
I have two router tables and both have dedicated routers and then I have one dedicated to the pantograph and 3 others set up with bits and one fixed/plunge router for other handheld operations.

Herb
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 10:45 AM
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Lots of different solutions....

I use a drop in plate for my table, it also makes a great baseplate outside of the table. Held in just by gravity, working perfectly for over 20 years that way.

My newer routers have multiple baseplates. The "fixed" baseplate is pretty much used only in the router table, as it has a microadjuster. The plunge baseplate sits on the shelf and waits until I need to use the router out of the table.

Best part, I have multiple routers of the same model, so often times I change motors instead of bits. This also lets me have one fixed base attached to a large diameter baseplate (for panel raisers, lock miter, other monster bits) and one to a template guide sized opening. The second plunge base is mounted to a Milescraft universal plate for using their sign jig (very handy little tool) and spirocrafter --->which I must admit I have never really played with<
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by 4DThinker View Post
The proper solution is to invest in a second router. One to mount permanently in a table, and the other for those jobs you need a handheld router for. An even better solution is to have 3, or 4, or 5 routers. One for each bit you own.
or even a few more than that..
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 11:35 AM
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My routers also just sit in the table and pop out too. Like Doug says, the base plates make good offset plates so that you could get by with just one router if that is all you had. The only time the plates would get in the way of handheld routing is if you were in close quarters to something or using it on a jig like the Leigh D4R. But if you can afford a D4R then you should already have extra routers. Even if you did have to table the table insert off it's only a 2-3 minute job at most and would only happen occasionally.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 11:42 AM
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Andy,it sounds to me like the routers that you take in and out of the table are mounted on router table plates and set up to just exchange. I think what was meant was that to have one router and use the same router hand held.
The solution is to have a router dedicated to the table another,or more to handheld operations.
I have two router tables and both have dedicated routers and then I have one dedicated to the pantograph and 3 others set up with bits and one fixed/plunge router for other handheld operations.

Herb
Exactly! I have plates mounted to the 3 routers that work in the table and they never come off. I never put plates on the 3 that I use hand-held. I think sooner or later we all end up with multiple routers if we stay with it. The alternative just takes too much time away from making sawdust.

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.” - Mark Twain
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 12:12 PM
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I switch my router motor between the fixed base attached to my router table and the plunge base for freehand routing. It stays in the plunge base when not being used because my router table folds down out of the way to save shop space.

It takes less than 2 minutes to raise the table, remove the motor from the plunge base, and install it in the fixed base attached to the table which suits my needs.

I find the place where multiple routers would be helpful is in sign making where I may need to change bits as many as four times. The Musclechuck makes that pretty quick but still isn't as fast as reaching for another router ... kinda' like a New York Reload.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 01:02 PM
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My table saw has a cast iron router table. To mount a router to it, the fixed base is attached to the table using three bolts/angle pieces which in effect, clamp the base to underneath side of the cast iron top. I guess that would be an example of toggle bolt usage.

I haven't used that router option in a couple of years. Due to lack of usable floor space, the router table is hard to get to. The dust collector is against the right side. Then there is a trash can, UGH! And to think, I thought it was going to be a great deal.

I have since built the adjustable height work table with two routers mounted in it. This contraption has worked great. I have also accumulated several routers so two can remain in the table and I still have one in a plunge base for hand held operations.
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