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Hello from Down Under

8651 Views 50 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  curiousgeorge

I'm Adrien Hopkins, living in Sydney Australia, just rediscovering wood work having acquired a garage big enough to do a little more than just park my cars and bike.

I found this forum as a result of my endeavors to decide on a router, table and jig combination. I'm starting with a clean sheet, currently leaning towards either a Dewalt 625 or Triton TRA 001, I would like a router with interchangeable fixed and plunge base, but have been unable to find one in Australia.

I also like a Phenolic Router plate with an engineered router table top from woodworksupplies com au

I like the Incra positioning systems but aside from cost are struggling to work out what I would be bset getting?

Any suggestions or pointers will be most appreciated.

Aside from that, I'm in the Military and have a passion for Smart Cars and Ducati Motorcycles.

Look forward to continuing my journey in Wood Working


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Welcome to the routerforum community Adrien. I won't hold it against you for riding a Duc, just as long as you ride. Here's hoping you get started making saw dust.
Welcome to the forums Adrien. One thing you will notice here is we tend to follow the "simple is better" rule. The Oz forum has home users building CNC Tables they will never be able to take full advantage of. You dont need to spend a lot of money to build a decent table and enjoy building projects. I understand your pain about router availability in Oz. In your shoes I think I would go with the Triton. In the US the 3-1/4 HP model is priced around $200 and is a very good value. Check with Template Tom either here or at: Tom lives in Perth and is a wealth of information about all things router in Oz. He may know of other choices or where to find the best deals.
Why would ANYONE need a router with interchangeable fixed and plunge bases when any plunge router when locked becomes "fixed". Please satisfy my cuiosity.
Harry, the reason for the interchangeable bases is easy to understand. The fixed base is mounted in your router table and the plunge base is used for free hand routing. While it is possible to use a plunge router in a table and then remove it for free hand routing it takes a great deal of time to make the change compared to the combo units. Most of these you simply flip a release lever and drop your motor into the other base and you are ready for action. Keep in mind that your selection of routers is a small fraction of what is available here in the US. You also pay much higher prices for your routers. By way of example the 3-1/4 HP Triton TRA-001 sells for around $190 US. The new Hitachi KM12VS is a 2-1/4 HP combo kit which features plunge and fixed bases, electronic soft start and variable speed, through the table height adjustment, a set of guide bushings and dust collection adaptor; organized in a nice carry case and all for the price of $167 US. We have seen these units for as little as $119 on sale. Perhaps this helps you understand how different things are between our locations and why our routing follows a different path.
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Fixed base routers

Thanks for the info.Mike, I must confess to never having heard of a router with interchangeable bases. This afternoon I went to all three specialist toolshops in the area and non stocked a single fixed base router and had never heard of ones with interchangeable bases so they must be peculiar to the USA. Regarding the gent in Sydney who first raised the question, I would suggest that if cash is not a problem Either a top of the range Makita,Hitachi or Triton, all three are around three hp, have a half inch chuck,soft start and variable speed and buy a cheaper one to mount permanantly under the bench. If however cash is a problem,I would suggest the 2000watt GMC which in addition to all the above features has a SEVEN step height stop, in my humble opinion, a necessity for serious plunge routing.The GMC sells here for under $A200.00 against approx. $A450.00 to $A500.00 for the others. In my photo attached to my reply to Walt you may notice that I have modified my Makita so that it has a five step adjustment. Best wist wishes, Harry
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Hi Harry

Welcome to the new world of routers :) :),,,
With the InterNet the whole world will now open for you and others, I'm not sure why you would want to drag around a hvy.plunge router to do hand held routing job. :)
It's like use 2lb. sledge hammer to put in a finishing nail, the right tool for the right job.
A 3 1/4HP is a great tool for the router table but for small jobs it's bit over kill.

You may want to read the link below,it will list many routers on the world market today
Also great place to get info on router prices is
just type in the type you would like to know about and you will get a list of them plus some.

Bj :)
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Plunge routing

Bob, prior to taking router lessons I thought exactly like you, I couldn't see how a small guy like me (about 5ft.2") could possibly haul around a heavy router but I didn't realise that the machine rests on a template and justs slides around with ease. I attach two pics of a large balloon clock which I made from Jarrah, which is a West Australian hardwood,it is about 15inches tall not counting the brass finial and four and a quarter inches deep it weighs in at about thirteen pounds. I think that it would have been very difficult to make this clock using a router table and certainly nowhere near as safe,that is one of the great points about plunge routing, one's fingers can't get caught in the cutter.
All that I ask is that you and similar minded woodies keep an open mind and follow Template Tom's postings. It is twenty after ten on a sunny Friday morning with a temperature of 21deg.C here in Western Australia. Harry


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Hi Harry

Well I'm 6'4" 260lbs. number 12 boot and I just don't like to pick up a big 14lb. router just to do a small 4lb. router job(s).
I always try to keep a open mind when it comes to routers and most things but I must admit Tom's way leaves me in the dust :) I would like to see more from Tom and maybe this old fart can pickup something new. :)

BUT he needs to drop the 40mm guide because we can't get it in the states and use .750 in place of 19mm that would help on this end for me anyway.
The dewey decimal system is almost a universal langage and most can understand it without a chart.

I use the router table for most of the projects I do and use templetes and jigs all the time on it.
Well 12deg. in Aspen,Co. cold as Hell because the Sun is on your end this time of the year and it's 6:55PM on a Thur. night.

have a good one mate :)
Bj :)
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Routing methods

Wow Bob, you are a big lad! I hope that by now you are feeling relaxed in front of a blazing fire after having had a delicious evening meal.Now down to serious business, I hope that I haven't given the impression that plunge routing is the only way to go,far from it, I not only have a very solid table set-up but use it quite a lot. I shall attach a couple of pics showing a box that I made about a year ago,after the thicknesser came the saw bench followed by cutting the mitres on the table using a 45deg cutter and the groove for the insert to fit the lid.the box was made as a sealed coffin then cut on the bandsaw before which I cut the grooves for the splines on the saw tableThe only use of the plunge router on this project was to make the cut-outs for the inlay.
Now Bob,as they say,I have shown you mine so please show me your'es!,in fact I should love to see all the woodies out there post pics of their set-ups and projects.
I really am not attempting to promote Template Tom's future DVD,all that I'm trying to do is make it clear to everyone out there that I for one now how much enjoyment I have been getting from my routers since learning what this versitile tool is capable of.My first router,a Black and Decker which looked like a drill with a flimsy base attached was bought in 1975 so I do have some experience but I now know that I kept reinventing the wheel,it was only after joining Tom's classes after I retired in 2000 after spending 50 years in the consumer electronics repair industry that I started to get real pleasure from routing,the feeling whilst plunge routing using home-made FEMALE templates is little short of exhilarating,one has total control of the router.I mention female templates as I presume that you are using male ones on the table.Well Bob I've rambled on for long enough I hope that eventually not only you,but all other woodies will open their minds and look into the use of template guides.Heres hoping that you're weather wars up,Harry


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Gee Harry, BJ is just average like me. I am 6'4", 340lbs and size 15 footwear. You guys in Oz must not eat right or something... ;)
Hi Harry

"I have shown you mine so please show me your'es!"
some of them below ▼
Plus many jigs and templates.

Bj :)
aniceone2hold said:
Gee Harry, BJ is just average like me. I am 6'4", 340lbs and size 15 footwear. You guys in Oz must not eat right or something... ;)

Hi Mike

It's hard to eat when you are on your head all the time.
Upside down thing :)

And the water runs backwards (down the drain,counter clockwize ) and they drive on the wrong side of the road. :)

Now Harry you can poke some fun at us :) :) :) LOL

Bj :)

Just a Note, that is a Great Box :) ,see snapshot below.

BUT have you watched Bob R. of the RWS make a box on the router table ?
He can make this type of box in less than 5 mins. and add 1 min. for the hinge inlay.
All on the router table without a jig or templates.
NOTE below ▼
I just saw you have used a box joint/spline, that would add 2 mins. for Bob and his box joint jig. :)

You may want to take a peek at the
You will see him do some magic on your computer.

Plus the link below,for boxes and other items.

Bj :)


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Harry, that is one fine looking box. I like the fixrure you use to hold your work. Multi-sizes and any shape. Atta boy.
apology and magicians

First of all I must apologise to anyone who may have been offended by my lack of understanding of the difference in meaning between Aussie and Yankee slang,from now on I shall refer to you all as WOODWORKERS!
Well Bob I have heard on occasions that Americans can exagerate like the one about the Russians sending a twist drill claimed to be the worlds smallest,to America and having it returned a few days later with a hole down the centre!This leads to you're claim that you know a magician named Bob R. who makes boxes similar to mine in just eight minutes incl.hinges and corner splines.Mine probably took several hours incl.five coats of Danish oil.I should love to see four time stamped photos during the making of an eight minute box,one at the start,one at the finish and two in-between.Even if the timber is ready prepared,Eight minutes????!!!!
I look forward during the weekend to perusing the sites that you suggested.I'm attaching another pics to prove that I DO use the router table when needed,I have sufficiant experience to know when plunge is best and when the table is best! Have a great weekend, Harry


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Thanks for kind remarks,need I mention who designed the "universal" fixture?
I believe that Tom has come up with new methods to hold the workpiece and template but having only just caught up with him since moving home four years ago I haven't had time to pry this information from him.I have found the one shown to be very versitile, I use it for all sorts of projects,it doesn't of course matter if the work-piece is symetrical or not.I have attached a few shots of my shed,looking forward to further posts,Harry


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Hi Harry

"America and having it returned a few days later with a hole down the centre!"
I can beleave it, what they can do now days with lazer would blow your mind :)
Open mind thing :)
I can't see why the Yank didn't send it back with a drill bit that would go down the center of the bit that the Russian sent. LOL
I may need to back off just a bit with the 8 mins. on the box that Bob R. can make but he is so good with the router table it will blow your mind also.

I like your box jig setup, take a look at Bob's ,with 2 screws and the jig you and I can make box joints quick and easy and they are right on the button every time.
I also made a push block jig to make them a bit quicker
I'm sure we can learn some new things from you and Tom and I'm looking forward to it.

Have a good week end .
Bj :)
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Hi Adrien,I presume that you have been following the posts created by you're simple question on what router set-up to buy.Have these posts solved you're problem or caused total confusion? Harry in Perth
Hi Mike, re-my height impairment,in spite of growing up in England during the war and living on a diet strictly controlled by government rationing,I was the tallest lad in my class when leaving in 1949,so perhaps smoking from age about thirteen 'till I had a heart attack in 1982 at which time I getting through 40 cigs. a day might have had something to do with it! By the way, I'm not the slightest bit self-concious about it and it hasn't affected my work prospects, over the years I have managed service departments for several consumer electronics service companies and for many years up to my retirement in 2000 I owned and operated a specialist video repair centre representing several major manufactures.You now know as much about me as my fabulous wife does! Cheers, Harry
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