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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am looking at a set of each of these on Amazon, a set of guide bushing from Wood river, and a set of reducer bushings from Fulton, or Peachtree, which I think is who supplys them.

Anyway, I had a couple of questions. On the guide bushings, I see some are all about 1/4 inch in depth while others are progressively deeper the larger you get. Is this necessary? The only experience I've had with any are the Milescraft guides for sign making and it only needs to be very shallow. I did buy a whole set of them to fit that baseplate, and they are all varying depths too, but as of yet I have not used any except the shallow one for making signs. I decided I don't much care for the baseplate being so large, or the tight fitting guides either, they're hard to change. Makes me feel like I will break one trying to remove it, so I'd rather have brass and just use the baseplate the router came with. It accepts PC guides. I can see needing deeper guides if you have patterns made from thick material, but 1/4 inch lauan is what I'd use if I made any router patterns. I have made several from lauan plywood but these were all intended just to trace out on thicker wood and then jigsaw it out.

My second question is on clearance. The reducer bushings claim to be only 1/32 larger in opening around the intended bit size, such as a 5/32 reducer on a 1/8 bit. That's only 1/64 clearance from bit to bushing. Can a bit deflect that much and end up hitting the bushing wall? Now I know I can simply use the next size up if it worries me, say a 7/32 on a 1/8 bit. That's still less than 1/16 clearance (3/64) from bushing to cutter edge, which is still plenty close enough, and I don't see the bit deflecting that much. But I just wondered what are the chances of it at all? I have mostly 1/4" shank bits.
 

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Its not so much the deflection as the space needed to remove cutting debris and anything less than about 3.5mm (just over an eighth of an inch) not being recommended.
 

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I have a set from Woodcraft that are all 1/4" deep (actually .240"). I picked them because of that. I don't get why some sets have deeper ones for the larger sizes. I make my templates out of 1/4" melamine which works really well with the Woodcraft bushings. Perhaps the reasoning is because larger bits need thicker templates? I dunno, doesn't make sense to me. I've heard people say just grind the longer ones down but I opted to get the right length to start. Note that your luan may be thinner than .240.

As to clearance, I like to have 1/8" between the OD of the bushing and the bit. That gives a bit more than 1/16th clearance - plenty of room for the chips to clear. I've never had a problem.

Also, do you have a centering cone so you can align the base plate? I just use a 1/4 spiral bit with the 1/4" ID bushing but will probably get a cone sometime.
 

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The cone would allow you to center any size bushing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, I bought two centering cones, the Bosch one that works with both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets, and I bought the DeWALT one that is supposed to work with their compact router also. I probably didn't need both, but I did it anyway. I also have the one that came with the Milescraft baseplate, but it only works with the bushing installed. The others I can use with the baseplate only.
 

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I have the Milescraft set and the centering pin that cam with it is like hard rubber and bends to easy. I used a 1/4" drill bit with ht e 1/4" size and it didn't touch. I put a 1/4" up cut bit in my Ryobi RE175 plunge base router and didn't even get one picture frame cut out and it broke out part of the brass guide bushing. I though that my router (bought used) was bad but from what others have said, it just needs more clearance.
Allen
 

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Duane, I have always recommended the bushing set from Woodcraft. As Phil mentioned they are a hair under 1/4" so there is clearance when using 1/4" template material. Another place you should check out before making your purchase is Lee Valley. In addition to bushings and reducers they also offer several sizes of the larger Oak Park style bushings for very good prices.
 

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By the way, that woodcraft set (BTW, I think it's their house brand Woodriver) goes on sale for $10 off somewhat regularly. I bought it at the full price and then it went on sale a month later. sigh.

Another good thing about it is that it has 2 screw rings which means you can use the bushings in two routers at the same time. Not a big deal until you have a job that requires switching between two different bit profiles. With two routers the work goes A LOT faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Duane, I have always recommended the bushing set from Woodcraft. As Phil mentioned they are a hair under 1/4" so there is clearance when using 1/4" template material. Another place you should check out before making your purchase is Lee Valley. In addition to bushings and reducers they also offer several sizes of the larger Oak Park style bushings for very good prices.
Thank you, Mike. I just checked and that is the exact set I have on my wish list on Amazon. I like to shop for stuff on there and save it for a later date. We are now at a point in our lives where money is no longer tight like it once was, but I still can't do everything at once, but I will get this set soon. Right now there are a few things I need to get done first, such as finishing my shop set up, which with my wife's help, we really hit a lick on it yesterday. It actually looks like a shop now (new house we moved to, garage is mine and it was a disaster until yesterday), but there is still a lot of work to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Here is a quick pic of the new shop space. I was looking for a better place to post this here but can't seem to find one.

You all might recognize the Harbor Freight work bench there. I have three of them. One is older and dinged up and will now just serve as counter space on the wall, and to mount my drill press to. The other two are new, placed back to back in the center, and I will shim them to be level with each other for a large work surface. We just built those last night. I was hoping for a better fit but it seems the tops are not going to be exactly even with each other from end to end. I also noticed my old one had a finish on it that seems slicker than these two. They just feel like sanded, unfinished wood. Any suggestions on that? Coat of wax, or even a finish?

For now I will use these to get me started again, but I have dreams of a large super bench, maybe full plywood sheet width, and at least 6 feet long, and dead flat from end to end. I was hoping to use it to help square up cabinet type furnishings as I build them. It might still work, once I get everything shimmed and any high spots dealt with (plane it out, maybe even add a shop made top over them).
 

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Here is a quick pic of the new shop space. I was looking for a better place to post this here but can't seem to find one.

You all might recognize the Harbor Freight work bench there. I have three of them. One is older and dinged up and will now just serve as counter space on the wall, and to mount my drill press to. The other two are new, placed back to back in the center, and I will shim them to be level with each other for a large work surface. We just built those last night. I was hoping for a better fit but it seems the tops are not going to be exactly even with each other from end to end. I also noticed my old one had a finish on it that seems slicker than these two. They just feel like sanded, unfinished wood. Any suggestions on that? Coat of wax, or even a finish?

For now I will use these to get me started again, but I have dreams of a large super bench, maybe full plywood sheet width, and at least 6 feet long, and dead flat from end to end. I was hoping to use it to help square up cabinet type furnishings as I build them. It might still work, once I get everything shimmed and any high spots dealt with (plane it out, maybe even add a shop made top over them).
Have you seen the MFT slab things?

Using the right combination of bench dogs (20mm instead of the more usual 3/4") I think they would make a great tool for squaring things up, cutting with a guiderail saw and generally a good idea.

I have no affiliation to them by the way, just spotted something about them on the internet.
 

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Router Bushings

Anybody buy bushings from Infinity? I'm a fan of Infinity and have bought most of my bits and blades from them.
 

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Jim, Infinity has long been a friend of the forums. They have sponsored contests and provided door prizes for some of our activities. Anything I have seen from them has been very good quality. I really like their scuff balls.

That said I still recommend the guide bushings from Woodcraft or Lee Valley.
 
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