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Hello,
My wife snagged a deal at an auction for two Bosch routers, one a 1617 and the other a 1617EVS. Deal came with several Bosch bits, the fence from an RA1200 router table, a 1054 edge guide, and a set of bearings these routers. Seems like a fair bit of kit for her $50 successful bid. One of the routers has the standard base and the other has just the motor, no base at all. Neither has a plunge base.

Anyway, while I've used my dad's Porter Cable from time to time, this is my first foray into owning a router, and I wondered how I would know if the bearings need to be replaced on these guys? Searching around this excellent forum, it seems like one significant indicator might be that the spindle is difficult to turn. Another might be that it makes more noise than usual. Having not used these before, I guess I really don't have a baseline to judge the noise or ease of rotation.

I thought perhaps someone on here is experienced with these? They seem to be a relatively-common model.

Also, I've thought for some time about building a router into the surface of my table saw bench, and I see that Bosch makes an under-table router base, the 1165, which seems to get pretty awful reviews on Amazon. Obviously, it would be better to buy a fancy lift, but I'm not sure about dropping ~$300 on something I'm not sure I'll use all that often. So, in addition to how to know you have bad bearings that need replacement, I wonder if anyone has an opinion on whether the 1165 is adequate? Seems nice that you can do height micro adjustment from the top.
 

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I can't say much about replacing router bearings, as I've never had to do it. As far as under table mounting, the 1165 is the same as the fixed base you probably got in the deal (RA1161), except it doesn't have handles. I'd start by mounting the base you have under your bench (remove handles if necessary), and seeing how it works for you. While you can indeed adjust the bit depth from the top (you might need to get a T-handled allen wrench), you always have to reach under the bench to release the motor clamp before adjusting, and reclamp before routing. I found it about as easy to adjust the bit with the knob on the base, since my hand was already under the table. Also, when changing bits you'll probably have to remove the motor from the base. All this is to say, you can perform table routing fine with what you have already, though it's just a bit cumbersome. Give it a try! If you find yourself doing a lot of such routing, upgrade to a router lift; if not, no loss. I went through the same process, and am extremely happy with the Jessem Rout-R-Lift II (~$200), which is designed to fit your router. Good luck!
 
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