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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've notice that there are several different materials used for router lift insert rings. Some manufactures use some sort of plastic, others are aluminum or other some other metal. I know most twist lock, though a few manufactures have either magnetic versions or a snap in/out toolless version (rockler.) Seems like most have gotten away from having to physically screw them on/off.
Does anyone have any insight into what works best or the pros and cons of each.
 

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My old table had the three screws to hold the ring style and it worked fine for years. But I always hated changing the rings. Where is my screwdriver, or dang dropped a tiny screw again. This year I upgraded to the Rockler Pro lift with the snap in rings. So simple and fast to change the rings. So far I really like this system.
 

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I think plastic works fine for hobby woodworkers, but definitely prefer the twist lock, bayonet style. Too easy to drop a screw into the special spot in every workshop that is a portal to another universe. Kerplunk and it's gone forever.

I haven't tried a magnetic one, but they would be limited to iron tables or plates. They won't stick to plastic or aluminum. I splurged for a Woodpecker extra thick plate, with twist lock inserts. They are plastic, and I got the set with several sizes of openings. It's pretty too.
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My first router plate was the cheap and now distinct HF which had the snap in which I didn't care for but they worked. I now have the Kreg plate that uses the twist lock method which I like. Ever since a pc type template guide came loose and hit the bit at 15000 rpms I stay away from metal when I have a choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ever since a pc type template guide came loose and hit the bit at 15000 rpms I stay away from metal when I have a choice.
That's been my fear of the metal ones, especially the magnetic versions (incra)
I guess I'm just trying to make sure there's not a major flaw with the plastic ones and I'm missing it. I absolutely refuse to deal with the screw down versions.
 

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Ever since a pc type template guide came loose and hit the bit at 15000 rpms I stay away from metal when I have a choice.
PS
To solve the problem of the template guide coming loose get a "Spring Washer". I don't use a template guide with out it. I prefer the Spring Washers rather than wearing a diaper....... :oops:
 

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I absolutely refuse to deal with the screw down versions.
BUT
I can just use a small cordless drill with magnetized driver-bit + some spare counter-sunk screws ready nearby.
If it is a screw down version, I could make Zero Clearance Insert out of wood/MDF anytime.
What is so hard screwing down 2 screws for an insert after you change router bits?

Do you EVEN have router bits that "twist lock" into the router.
 

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BUT
I can just use a small cordless drill with magnetized driver-bit + some spare counter-sunk screws ready nearby.
If it is a screw down version, I could make Zero Clearance Insert out of wood/MDF anytime.
What is so hard screwing down 2 screws for an insert after you change router bits?

Do you EVEN have router bits that "twist lock" into the router.
I don't get it. You infer that people are lazy for not wanting to deal with the screws then suggest using a cordless drill??

I would be concerned about getting carried away with the cordless drill and stripping the threads on the plate itself. Granted we no longer use the outdated screw down plates.

Fairly clear that most folks consider the screws a bit of a hassle. I know I did. Twist lock is just an easier method and if you are changing bits a lot it does matter. Can't tell you the number of times that a little screw fell off into the hole and I had to go on a rescue mission. More than once I still had the DC on and the screw got sucked up too LOL. But I know some folks are perfect and never do that. And some of us are getting a bit older and working with tiny screws is more difficult. Your hands just don't cooperate like they did when younger.
 

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I don't mind "twist lock" rings as long as I can get them with smaller inner apertures too.
I would prefer "zero clearance" rings even with screws than using "twist lock" rings" that have ONLY 25mm, 30mm and 67mm inner aperture only.

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What do you pass by the bit that would not bridge the smallest gap?
I would cut a disc without center hole out of MDF or HDPE (from kitchen chopping board) using a portable router + circle jig) mount it on the router table, set the router to 10,000 RPM and slowly raise the router fitted with the (small) straight bit slowly up to cut the center hole.
Then sand down the then "donut" ring to the correct thickness.
 

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I would cut a disc without center hole out of MDF or HDPE (from kitchen chopping board) using a portable router + circle jig) mount it on the router table, set the router to 10,000 RPM and slowly raise the router fitted with the (small) straight bit slowly up to cut the center hole.
Then sand down the then "donut" ring to the correct thickness.
I know HOW you make the zero clearance ring. I want to know WHY you need it on a router?
 

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Well what do YOU use them for?

I'm not saying there isn't a need. I just don't know what it is.

I myself use zero-clearance plates on the table saw for Melamine to reduce chipping. Although I have found the right and sharp blade is more important.
I made my router table fence 8 1/4" tall because I do route things vertically. To help balance the tall and narrow wood, precision zero insert rings are also essential. The zero insert rings also help minimize dust and chips getting into the motor of the router though the router fan cavities. Remember, routers were/are never designed to be used upside down.

For usual edging or dado work when the work pieces lie flat, zero-clearance fence is more important than zero-clearance insert rings for reducing chipping. So the zero insert rings only help minimize dust and chips getting into the motor of the router though the router fan cavities in those scenarios

The zero-clearing plate on the table saw is for work quality (reduce chipping) and also for safety when ripping thin strips (BUT wide side should always at the fence though). Thin strips can fall in the gaps and get thrown out by the blade or gets jammed and cause kick-backs or accidents.
 

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Well that was a much better explanation of why you want the zero clearance rings. I don't think the issues warrant all the extra trouble but each to his own.

My next question probably should go on a new thread: Is there any advantages to Horizontal routers that make them worthwhile? Particularly to working tall stock? We don't need one for mortise and tenon as we already have a mortiser and a couple different jigs.

I have considered a horizontal router as a cheap step between our current router tables and shapers.
 
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