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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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