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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Evening

I am a newbe and have never used a router before, but I've been reading a lot of stuff. I need some cabinets for the garage and want to do raised pannels to match a set already out there. It will cost about $1,500 to have them made, which is only $400 more than the store, which doesn't even cary the tall uppers. I thought I could buy a buch of tools for the same money and make the cabinets. I was thinking about the DEWALT 2.25-HP Fixed Base / Plunge Router Combo Kit (Lowes $200) and a router system from Kreg, Woodpecker or Bench Dog. Sears has the complete Woodpecker system for $799 online and catalog.
Am I jumping into this to fast to go spend $1,000+ to get started?
If not, which system is best. I noticed some posting on Kreg and they are buying the Woodpecker lift for their tables; why not go all the way Woodpecker. Bench Dog doesn't look as fancy, but I like the cast Iron.
What bits are best? Looks like they should be 1/2", but what brand for raised pannels.

Anyway you get the drift. Should I have the cabinets made and learn about routing with just a hand held, or get a system too? Which one?

Thanks, I hope you like shopping with me-lets go!

Bob
 

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Hi Bob

" Am I jumping into this to fast to go spend tons of money"

Yes ,,if you are gearing up just to make some cabinet with raised panels, I would suggest you look around for some ready made ones that you can pickup for peanuts, you can find many type of the takes outs, in Denver last year they had a truck load sale, all cabinets with doors for 15.oo ea.. I'm sure you can find a outlet in your town that have many..for sale that way.. :)

The doors makes the cabinets, you can buy doors all over the place cheap here's just one place ..
http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_tr...raised+panels+doors&_sacat=See-All-Categories
http://shop.ebay.com/cabinet_door_maker/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p4340
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Good Evening

I am a newbe and have never used a router before, but I've been reading a lot of stuff. I need some cabinets for the garage and want to do raised pannels to match a set already out there. It will cost about $1,500 to have them made, which is only $400 more than the store, which doesn't even cary the tall uppers. I thought I could buy a buch of tools for the same money and make the cabinets. I was thinking about the DEWALT 2.25-HP Fixed Base / Plunge Router Combo Kit (Lowes $200) and a router system from Kreg, Woodpecker or Bench Dog. Sears has the complete Woodpecker system for $799 online and catalog.
Am I jumping into this to fast to go spend $1,000+ to get started?
If not, which system is best. I noticed some posting on Kreg and they are buying the Woodpecker lift for their tables; why not go all the way Woodpecker. Bench Dog doesn't look as fancy, but I like the cast Iron.
What bits are best? Looks like they should be 1/2", but what brand for raised pannels.

Anyway you get the drift. Should I have the cabinets made and learn about routing with just a hand held, or get a system too? Which one?

Thanks, I hope you like shopping with me-lets go!

Bob
 

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I'm sure you will get many, many opinions about the table, lift and router.
My favorite is a 3.25 hp Porter cable motor in a Jessem Smart lift turning a raised panel set, which included the coping bits for the rails, from CMT. The table and fence is from Jointech.
There are far less expensive options, though.
Study all your options well. Cheap is not always best (seldom, actually) but, there's no reason to over buy, either.
 

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This is how I got started with my own router table. I remodelled my bathroom and decided to do my own raised panels doors (which eventually did turn out!) First, it is worthwhile to slow down just a bit, even if that means having a cabinet without doors for a little longer (the bathroom went a year). ;-)

First, for a router, you are going to get a lot of different brand and model recommendations. (I personally have the Bosch 1617 combo kit) When I go tool shopping, I drive the sales guys nuts, because I will 'play' with it is best I can without actually plugging it in and turning it on. Do this with the various routers to determine which has the best feel for you. For what you are doing, you will need at least a 2HP router with a 1/2inch collet. This is going to run around $200 in the box stores. If you are going to be doing a lot of raised panels, you may want to consider a 3HP router. This will cost you over $300. I have done some raised panels on my 2.25 HP router at low speed and it is sufficient for what I have done.

Now for the table, I personally built mine, and has done me very well. I built mine for right around $100, the most expensive part being the plate and extra fixed base. (I actually was lucky enough to find one a custom made plate with base already installed on ebay) With the raised panel doors, you will want a table that has a big enough surface to safely run you doors across. When it comes to tables, whether you buy or build, do your homework to make a determination as to what works best for you.
 

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Gee Bob, kinda depends... If you're going to just do this project then I would have them made... to much cash if it's a short term situation. Also, what other tools do you have? You'll need a table saw, sanders, a jointer (will make life much easier), clamps, router bits. One thing I would check into is an adult education wood working class. High Schools, Junior Colleges frequently have them and for a pretty cheap fee, you can use their equipment and have some input from an instructor on what you're trying to do.

However, if your going to buy... I'd look at the Triton 3 1/4 hp router, it has an above table crank so you don't need a lift. Currently on sale at Woodcraft for $269 with free shipping, Incra has the best plate and I think they are on sale at Incremental Tools... it's a 3/8" alumimum plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone

I do have the other shop equipment (15 year old craftsman table saw, jointer, drill press, lathe and band saw that I picked up for $275 total. I am rebuilding/refreshing them now and the parts have cost me about $125. I am wondering how to do the panels after they are glued up and dry. All I have are hand held sanders. I want to retire in two years, so am trying to build the shop. I also have a new 12" Milwaukee sliding miter saw I bought to do the base board in the house during the remodel; boy, is it nice!

I am leaning towards the cast iron Bench Dog table and prolift PL1002 with the PC 7518 router. Can you buy the motor all by itself?

Thanks again for your inputs.

Bob
 

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Bob..

I'll play the smarta$$ here and just flat out ask ya...

do you have any wood working skills? Experience? background?
You've no doubt have plenty of ambition which is a very good thing *S*

If you do.. then you know what your getting into and what it'll take to accomplish what your looking to do. You're money will be well spent..
If you don't. maybe consider treading softly into the hobby first. See if you like it, have skills for it. If you do, great, proceed,,, if you dont'... then you're not out a small fortune..

bout the only thing I can offer you on the Bench dog rig is that I've seen it reviewed well often. the down size is that I do believe you are limited to bench dog lift/router plates because of their "odd" size opening in the router table.
The PC 7518 is the industry benchmark for large routers. I've a big Milwaukee and have absolutely no complaints! you can buy the PC motor only easily. Shop around, you'll be able to save anywhere from 50 to 75 bucks on the motor only option.
 

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Thanks everyone

I do have the other shop equipment (15 year old craftsman table saw, jointer, drill press, lathe and band saw that I picked up for $275 total. I am rebuilding/refreshing them now and the parts have cost me about $125. I am wondering how to do the panels after they are glued up and dry. All I have are hand held sanders. I want to retire in two years, so am trying to build the shop. I also have a new 12" Milwaukee sliding miter saw I bought to do the base board in the house during the remodel; boy, is it nice!

I am leaning towards the cast iron Bench Dog table and prolift PL1002 with the PC 7518 router. Can you buy the motor all by itself?

Yes! To both, and you won't be sorry. You'll love them both. Oh yeah, sure you can buy the 7518 motor alone. Some might, but I couldn't handle that monster as a hand held router. It's a beast! But, oh so nice.
 

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The part number for the 7518 motor-only is a 75182, which can be Googled.
 

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Golly what enthusiasm, and I wish I had your pocketbook. I have raised panels with planes and a one horse old rockewell router (yep it's before PC) If you don't want to spend BIG Dollars..use a router bit that is vertical vs. horizontal and take 3-4 passes and make your panels. Those big 3" bits can be very scary. You don't have to have a router lift..some of the new units have a crank with the routers (PC I believe and Milwalkee??) Heck for years people used fixed base and set height by taking the router out of the table. Get some skills first, then go shopping. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am slowing down on this to look into the ideas you all have given me. When I take the leap, I'll let you all know and get some specific hints from you to help me get going.

Thanks everyone!

Bob
 

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I'm new and have a years worth of schooling behind me now. Just setting up my shop and I've researched the heck out of it. In school we have the bench dog lift and we made the table top to take it along with the cabinet. It's similar to the open front Sommerfield one. I've found that Tylertools.com have some great prices along with many b stock item/refurbished. That's how I bought my general purpose double base router.

For my table, I just went with the Rt1000xl (being shipped today) as the price is right and it's easy for now as I have other projects I want to work on. I was able to get the smaller PC router from HD as it was NOS and missing the collet (the 1/2" one). PC is sending out the collet under warrantee. I ended up paying only 103.98 out the door and it's new (the Type 1, not the newer one) and I got the wrench to do above table lifting. This motor will eventually go into the motorized lift that will come out at the end of the summer.

I would have gone with the Triton as the lift on it seems like it's much smoother and easier than the PC, but the price swung it to the PC. Buy it in steps and get used to what you have and you won't regret it. I do love the Bench Dog at school. We have a cordless drill with a socket there all the time for 'speed lifting and lowering', lol. It works really well and gets a ton of use. I love the Woodpecker lift for the fine adjustments it can make. It's much easier to use than any others I've seen (I like to visit everyone's shop from class, lol).

I love the idea of what you want to do in order to save money to pay for your shop augmentation, but doors are tricky if you aren't PERFECT on your measurements and M/T joinery isn't something to just pick up. I'd practice practice practice that joint before starting your doors. JMHO
 
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