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Steve
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks

I'm just trying to figure out what to do that makes sense in the area of bushings vs bearing-guided bits.
My Ryobi RRT1600-S router doesn't have the nice sub-base that will take guide bushings (such as the Porter-Cable style), and I am looking at dovetail guide systems.

I'm not planning on buying another router at this time, so that's not an option.

I'm curious to know if using dovetail bits with a bearing (I've seen some online) would work in these, or if it's a must to have guide bushings?

If the bushings are the way to go, I'll have to make or have made a sub-base that can take the guide bushings (not sure if my skill level is up to this).

What are your thoughts?
 

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I think it's time to bite the bullet and buy another router even though you said it's not an option at this time. Delay the purchase of a dovetail jig if you have to. You'll find it very handy to have a second router in any case. Dovetail jigs are fussy and you're setting yourself up for frustration if you try to build a base that centers the bushing with the accuracy required. My $0.02 worth, your mileage may vary.
 

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Steve, have looked into buying an aftermarket base for your router? I don't know if they or don't. Also, it would help to know what you are trying to accomplish.
 

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For cutting dovetails, whether you need a bushing depends on what kind of jig you're using. I know that with my Sommerfeld Katey jig, I can use a bearing bit. Not sure about the older PC style jig since it's something I haven't used. Here's a video of that setup so you can tell for yourself. I don't think it would be that hard to make a nuw sub base, put a pointed bit in it, or even a drill bit, and with the blank base in place, plunce the bit into the base and you've got the center. I'd want to use a drill press to cut the PC bushing opening just right. Leigh also makes a jig similar to the Sommerfeld unit.

 

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John
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Steve for about $20.00 in the US you can buy a universal base plate that excepts porter cable guide bushings.
 
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One more thing to consider. The difference between the two jigs is huge. With the PC style, you're moving the rouger across the jig. With the Leigh/sommerfeld jig, the router is stationary in the table and you're moving the jig. I prefer the later since it's always possible to jiggle or misdirect the router and mess up the cut. The jigs that move are not cheap. I assume you're not going to change either routers or jigs, so you're left with redoing the sub-base. I'd see if you can purchase a replacement part for the subbase. Pre drilled would be nice, but it's not much of a task as described, to cut your own opening.
 

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Steve
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks folks for the advice

I haven't bought a jig yet, so I have flexibility there. I don't have a table, so I'll probably likely aim for a PC style jig (of which there are certainly a number).
@Semipro - I'd need to see if it would fit my router base. I notice Leigh do various bases, and they look like they have 1 that might fit. I just need to provide some measurements and a photo.
I've also asked Ryobi directly, as I have seen reference to a kit.
@hawkeye10 - Ryobi have included a reasonable amount of thinking in this router package, but there doesn't appear to be an aftermarket option for this router. I'll be looking to make a drawer for a console table, and possibly some small boxes later on. And if my drawer turns out ok, my wife will likely grace me with more requests ;)

I don't have a table saw to set up a jig for either, so I'm trying to get the most value out of what I have.
 

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Steve,
living under the same limitations of choice of the Southern Hemisphere (compared to our North American friends), here is my take:
1. unless the bearing is a complete dud, the concentricity of bearing and bit is a given; the centering of the bushing, not so much. The so-called universal base plates seem to be less than universal.
2. It is possible to use a bearing/bit combination on a PC type of dovetail jig; similar caveats will apply as for a bushing:
- make sure that the bearing OD fits between the template fingers;
-the correct depth of the bit does not locate the bearing above (disastrous for the template) or below the fingers (disastrous for your workpiece);
-the bit has the correct length and dovetail angle recommended for the jig;
3. Whatever you do, do not lift the router off the jig while the bit is spinning.
4. Since you have not purchased a jig yet, if Milescraft sell in Oz, i would recommend you look at their dovetail template-making master-jig. It allows you to make your own jigs, of whatever size you want, in two styles: PC style, and also Katy-style, such a Tom is using on his router table, above. You will need a straight bit, a dovetail bit, and their bearings. A centre-finding ruler will speed things up, but is not essential. Since the jigs are made of MDF, if you forget not to lift off with a spiining bit, worst case you have messed up some MDF. Also good for box-joints.

That Ryobi is a nice-looking bit of kit -has not been released here yet. I have had two of the predecessor 1600RE - only problem I had was bit slippage with 1/4in. shafts.
 

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I use this Chinese jig which is sold around the world under many different names and it's made to use bearing bits.
 

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My Katey jig came with the two bits so I didn't have to buy them.

No table? That's a pretty easy fix. Make your own. For cutting dovetails and many other tasks, you can get good results with a piece of good quality ply (you can get a piece of Baltic Birch ply or something similar, from a local supplier. You cut an opening in the ply and mount the router underneath. If you want to use it for the long haul, add a second layer or 18mm wide, straight stock as trusses underneath.

If you have almost any kind of cabinet, you can mount the top on it, or simply set on top of a couple of saw horses. I'd mount a switch on the underside of the top so you can easily turn the router on and off.

If you use two layers, cut an opening large enough for the router base in the bottom layer and attach the two with screws. Two layers help keep the top flat over time. Later, you might wish to put in a mounting plate, and the double layer will make that easier. Also, you can use a really flat 2x4 or 2x6 as a fence. You clamp it in place. Cut an opening for the bit and maybe a dust collection port at the back side of the opening. Simple to make, very serviceable. It is also safer in general to use a router in the table. Your mate may appreciate that.

Lots of posts on making a router table on the site. The Porter Cable type jig is less expensive in general than the Leigh/Sommerfeld (L/S) units, but one reason I'm selling my never used Rockler jig is it is very confusing to correct an effor in the result--at least it is to me. As you saw in the video, how intuitive the L/S jig is. You number the parts as shown and set height very simply and you've got it. Both L/S jigs also have straight box joint "tuning forks." The Sommerfeld "new" dovetail jig is $240 (U.S.), bits included, not very much more than the Porter Cable style jig. I think you'll be happier with the L/S style jig.

https://sommerfeldtools.com/profess...ols/jigs-and-guides/sommerfeld-s-dovetail-jig
 

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Steve
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Biagio

Steve,
living under the same limitations of choice of the Southern Hemisphere (compared to our North American friends), here is my take:
1. unless the bearing is a complete dud, the concentricity of bearing and bit is a given; the centering of the bushing, not so much. The so-called universal base plates seem to be less than universal.
2. It is possible to use a bearing/bit combination on a PC type of dovetail jig; similar caveats will apply as for a bushing:
- make sure that the bearing OD fits between the template fingers;
-the correct depth of the bit does not locate the bearing above (disastrous for the template) or below the fingers (disastrous for your workpiece);
-the bit has the correct length and dovetail angle recommended for the jig;
3. Whatever you do, do not lift the router off the jig while the bit is spinning.
4. Since you have not purchased a jig yet, if Milescraft sell in Oz, i would recommend you look at their dovetail template-making master-jig. It allows you to make your own jigs, of whatever size you want, in two styles: PC style, and also Katy-style, such a Tom is using on his router table, above. You will need a straight bit, a dovetail bit, and their bearings. A centre-finding ruler will speed things up, but is not essential. Since the jigs are made of MDF, if you forget not to lift off with a spiining bit, worst case you have messed up some MDF. Also good for box-joints.

That Ryobi is a nice-looking bit of kit -has not been released here yet. I have had two of the predecessor 1600RE - only problem I had was bit slippage with 1/4in. shafts.


I appreciate your insights. Yes, we southern-hemisphered people do not seem to have the range sadly, and it does make things a little frustrating. Postage costs are also often prohibitive.
I'll look up that Milescraft kit - it may be that one of the local suppliers can source it at a reasonable price for me.
 

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Steve
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Tom

My Katey jig came with the two bits so I didn't have to buy them.

No table? That's a pretty easy fix. Make your own. For cutting dovetails and many other tasks, you can get good results with a piece of good quality ply (you can get a piece of Baltic Birch ply or something similar, from a local supplier. You cut an opening in the ply and mount the router underneath. If you want to use it for the long haul, add a second layer or 18mm wide, straight stock as trusses underneath.

If you have almost any kind of cabinet, you can mount the top on it, or simply set on top of a couple of saw horses. I'd mount a switch on the underside of the top so you can easily turn the router on and off.

If you use two layers, cut an opening large enough for the router base in the bottom layer and attach the two with screws. Two layers help keep the top flat over time. Later, you might wish to put in a mounting plate, and the double layer will make that easier. Also, you can use a really flat 2x4 or 2x6 as a fence. You clamp it in place. Cut an opening for the bit and maybe a dust collection port at the back side of the opening. Simple to make, very serviceable. It is also safer in general to use a router in the table. Your mate may appreciate that.

Lots of posts on making a router table on the site. The Porter Cable type jig is less expensive in general than the Leigh/Sommerfeld (L/S) units, but one reason I'm selling my never used Rockler jig is it is very confusing to correct an effor in the result--at least it is to me. As you saw in the video, how intuitive the L/S jig is. You number the parts as shown and set height very simply and you've got it. Both L/S jigs also have straight box joint "tuning forks." The Sommerfeld "new" dovetail jig is $240 (U.S.), bits included, not very much more than the Porter Cable style jig. I think you'll be happier with the L/S style jig.

https://sommerfeldtools.com/profess...ols/jigs-and-guides/sommerfeld-s-dovetail-jig

Thanks Tom, as always, sage advice, I appreciate it.
A table is on the "to do" list, although it'll likely be one I can pack away easily as I don't have the room for another table in my garage currently :)
My only thing about doing a table is the higher likelihood I'll want a dedicated router to fit it - would just make life easier - but that might need to wait until I've got enough brownie points to swing that past my wife :grin:

I've picked up a few router table designs, including looking at some in the forums, so I think I'm spoiled for choice in that area.
 

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Steve
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Andy, but...

I think it's time to bite the bullet and buy another router even though you said it's not an option at this time. Delay the purchase of a dovetail jig if you have to. You'll find it very handy to have a second router in any case. Dovetail jigs are fussy and you're setting yourself up for frustration if you try to build a base that centers the bushing with the accuracy required. My $0.02 worth, your mileage may vary.

I don't have the budget right now for something that would suit this, and the used market here isn't great even if I went that way (not keen for a router unless I know the history, it's too risky IMHO).

But I hear what you're saying about the base. I think we could all go round all day on how reliable it is. Harry's obviously built his own with some success based on what I've seen, but I'm not sure I've got enough confidence to get it right ;)
 

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Steve, a limited budget (with which I have been painfully familiar most of my life) is no impediment to doing what you want - some of the best ideas on this forum involve improvisation. I second Tom - for getting your feet wet, a simple board on any stand is adequate, and if you use the Katy-style jig, a fence is not required ( alertness and safety-consciousness is, however, essential). If you have one of those folding Black and Decker Workmate type of portable benches, there is a very simple plan on Pinterest. For about 15 years, a similar setup served me adequately for my limited capabilities.
I have a larger version of Harry’s jig (BTW, no special sub-base required, he is showing a 1/4 inch shank bit in a 1/2 inch adapter), but since going with the simplicity of setup that Tom refers to with the Katy-style, it has been gathering dust. As an anal-retentive type, I hate parting with tools, even unused ones.
I have two major gripes with the world: the 220-110 volt divide ( I believe thanks are due to Mr Edison), which means our power tools are about 50% more expensive, and driving on the wrong side of the road ( not sure who to thank) which means our cars are 30% more expensive. And if you think it is bad your end, concole yourself that eight of ours equals one of yours.
 

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Theo
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I tried a bushing once. Didn't care for it. Bearings serve me well, and I'll just stick with them. But, your money, your call for yourself.
 

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Sounds like you have more time than money, in which case, one router will have to do. You don't need a lift either. For me the PC jig vs. the Katey style jig is a matter of remembering how to adjust the PC style jig--I can't seem to get it down pat and I've retired my Rockler/PC jig. So when you get the spousal OK, I'd get the Katey style, which includes the bits. Really about the same cost as the PorterCable jig alone. Having semi retired, I know how money can get tight. A flat chunk of ply will make an adequate router table top. You could also repurpose an old table from a thrift store. It's no big deal to mount the router in the top only when you need it, that's a workable choice if you have more time than money.
 

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Steve
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ah to dream...

Sounds like you have more time than money, in which case, one router will have to do. You don't need a lift either. For me the PC jig vs. the Katey style jig is a matter of remembering how to adjust the PC style jig--I can't seem to get it down pat and I've retired my Rockler/PC jig. So when you get the spousal OK, I'd get the Katey style, which includes the bits. Really about the same cost as the PorterCable jig alone. Having semi retired, I know how money can get tight. A flat chunk of ply will make an adequate router table top. You could also repurpose an old table from a thrift store. It's no big deal to mount the router in the top only when you need it, that's a workable choice if you have more time than money.
Tom, I may get more funds if I build some things that can be sold ;)
Self-funding hobby is going to be the easiest way for me to expand my options.

As it stands, I suspect I'll look to build something simple but functional as my first table and go from there. I'm not sure how the power part works - how do you add an external power switch to your router without messing with the controls built in?

Anyway, that's probably a separate conversation.
I thank you for your contributions, I'll keep my eye out for a Katey-style jig at reasonable price (over here).
 

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You only need an adapter

Hi Steve
You only need an adapter
Something like:-
https://www.carbatec.com.au/joinery...nd-adaptors/leigh-guide-bush-adaptor-lgh-704r

Triton, Hitachi, Ryobi, Trend use a 60mm holder of their Guide Bushes.
With an adapter, that has a 30mm hole, ALL Porter Cable Guide bushes can then be used.

Alternatively you can get the Triton Guide Bush kit that has guide bushes of same (imperial) sizes as the Porter Cable set and also includes an adapter to take more Porta Cable Guide type brass bushes.
(I have one set of the Triton Guide Bush kit and use them on my Hitachi Router.)

Reuel
 

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You only need an adapter

Hi Steve
You only need an adapter

Triton, Hitachi, Ryobi, Trend use a 60mm holder of their Guide Bushes.
With an adapter, that has a 30mm hole, ALL Porter Cable Guide bushes can then be used.
Check whether this is compatible:-
https://www.carbatec.com.au/joinery...nd-adaptors/leigh-guide-bush-adaptor-lgh-704r

Alternatively you can get the Triton Guide Bush kit that has guide bushes of same (imperial) sizes as the Porter Cable set and also includes an adapter to take more Porta Cable Guide type brass bushes.
(I have one set of the Triton Guide Bush kit and use them on my Hitachi M12V Router.)

Reuel
 
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