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Discussion Starter #1
I've gotten a lot of great advise, mostly on this forum, to get started using guide bushings. New to routing, I did a fair amount of work with a table and new Triton TRA001 since last March. Decided to use an old PC 6931 I bought at an auction for template work.

I have been only buying 1/2" bits to slowly replace my 1/4" Ryobi starter set, believing "the quality of your work is only as good as your tools" I'm 3hr drive from my nearest WoodCraft, but made the trip Fri to get a base plate, and see if I can get what I need to convert 6931 to 1/2".

Q1: For making trays from 3/4" - 1 1/2" boards (oak, maple, walnut) is it best to use 1/2" bits, or are 1/4" sturdy enough? I found that they have a 1/2" collet to fit the 6931, only to get home and find that they sold me only the collet, not the part that I need to replace on the shaft.

Also, learned that Centering the base plate is critical, so planned to get the base plate with centering pin, then saw that the pin is 1/4". Decided to just get a PC base plate to hold the bushings, and make a 1/2" centering pin on my lathe (wood). Makes me think that 1/2" bits might be overkill, since all I've found there and on line is centering pins for 1/4"

Now the "am I nuts?" question. I was happy to see that the PC base plate had screw holes with squared off shoulders to use pan head screws, thus allowing slight movement for adjusting before tightening. However the package contained mounting screws that are flat head, not even the right kind if the plate didn't need adjustment. The plate is not an off brand, it's Porter Cable! PC is the industry leader? Am I nuts?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks al,

I know I said a lot in the post, might have confused things.... I wanted to use 1/2" bits, but the store sold me just the 1/2" collet, not the part that goes on the shaft to convert to 1/2" and hold the collet. So the question is, will 1/4" bits be stable enough (vibration) for making shallow hardwood bowls from 3/4" - 1&1/2" boards, or do you think I should continue to try to convert PC 6931 to 1/2"?

I do have a large Triton for heavier table work use mostly high end 1/2" bits on it. (Sommerfeld, Whiteside, Amana)

Thanks again
 

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Carl if you are using a bowl cutting bit you should have no problem ( just no not try and extended the bit length by not inserting properly in the router)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks "semipro", I'm trying first to make a shallow tray from 3/4" boards, flat bottom with about 1/4-3/8" lip. I thought I could use a round bit (core box?) around edge, then with a larger bushing use a straight bit to hog out a flat bottom. Does this sound right? Or is there a specific bit only for bowls? I haven't seen one called a bowl cutting bit in catalogs.

Thanks again,
Carl
 

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Carl, many companies offer bowl cutting bits, bit extensions and templates. David the owner of Infinity is a friend of the forums and has sponsored a couple of contests over the years. I am in the process of using his products to make a snack tray. Everything is top quality including the over sized clear sub base plate which accepts PC style guide bushings and Infinity offers a nice centering kit with a disk and 1/4" pin. Once your router is centered using your 1/4" collet with this kit you can switch to the 1/2" collet and collet nut. You should have no problems using your PC plunge router with this.

I am using the big PC 7538 plunge router on the large square clear base. This provides excellent support and lets you see what you are working on. In the photo you can see how I adjusted the depth stop on the 7538 so the Type 1 Musclechuck would not hit the base plate. Now I can raise the router and feel safer using a collet extension since the Musclechuck has 4 times the holding power of a standard collet and collet nut. More photos to follow as time permits.

The majority of the material should be cut out on a drill press with Forstner bits and this reduces the work and wear on your bowl cutting bit. Bowl cutting bits are also available with 1/4" shanks.
 

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