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Discussion Starter #1
I recently got done purchasing most of the equipment for my new shop and because of an unexpected expensive dental bill my budget was slashed $1600. I won't be able to get the set up I had wanted so I am trying to put something together that is decent yet still affordable. I was going to put off getting the router system but I already have a request for dovetail drawers. The only router I have is a cheap Black and Decker Fire Storm plunge router.

After doing a little research on quality versus price I came up with this. Anyone see any issues I might run into or possibly something better for cheaper.

This Bosch Combo Base Router
Bosch Factory Reconditioned 2 25 HP Plunge and Fixed Base Router Combo Kit | eBay

Either of these Bosch Tables (haven't done much research on either table so not sure yet)
Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181 New | eBay

or
New Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table with Adjustable MDF Face Plates | eBay

any recommendations on affordable and good quality dovetail jigs? I had my heart set on the newest Leigh but the budget won't allow it this time around. I am thinking about a Porter Cable system.

PORTER-CABLE 4216 Super Jig - Dovetail jig (4215 With Mini Template Kit) - - Amazon.com
 

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Out of curiosity, have you looked at the Rockler dovetail jig?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I watched one video where the guy was reviewing a couple jigs including the Leigh and he said he used to use the Rockwell and he wanted to throw it out the window so I didn't explore it any further.
 

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I hate to say this but you might think of telling the folks that wanted the dovetailed drawers that you can't do it right now. It will not take that long to save more money ""IF"" you really put your mind to it.

Many years ago I made a router table out of a piece of MDF with a hole in it and a straight two by four as a fence. You would be surprised how well it worked.
 

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I have the Rockler jig and its fine. But it uses plastic for the template. This is OK, but you must NEVER lift the router upwards if it is still turning. The Porter Cable uses metal templates, and I think there may more variety of templates for the PC. I now have a Sommerfeld Katey jig and like it a lot. Kind of intuitive to use. Whichever jig you use, be sure you mark the work pieces for inside and outside, and which ends get the tails. Lay it out carefully BEFORE you make any dovetails. Use same size scrap wood to set the jig up as you have to finesse it to make the dovetails fit just right.
 

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Both Bosch tables are a bit on the small side, the 1171 the worst of the 2. The 1171 also has a quirk in that the bit opening on the table is 3 5/8" but the fence only opens 3 3/16" which wouldn't allow a panel raiser or 1 1/2" roundover. I personally would also like to have my router in the open where it is easier to get to. Don is correct that a flat sheet of panel and a 2 x 4 with a notch cut out works well enough and quite a few of us have used that setup at some point.

My personal opinion is that you can do better by making a table and for a lot less money. I made one for my son last summer for $5 out of re-purposed materials and there are photos in my uploads as well as pics of home made sliding face fences. There is nothing magical about router tables. As Don said they are just a flat work surface.
 
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I hate to say this but you might think of telling the folks that wanted the dovetailed drawers that you can't do it right now. It will not take that long to save more money ""IF"" you really put your mind to it.

Many years ago I made a router table out of a piece of MDF with a hole in it and a straight two by four as a fence. You would be surprised how well it worked.
Thanks, I can always upgrade later however right now I don't want to turn down any business. I already have someone who also wants a custom entertainment stand as well.

I have the Rockler jig and its fine. But it uses plastic for the template. This is OK, but you must NEVER lift the router upwards if it is still turning. The Porter Cable uses metal templates, and I think there may more variety of templates for the PC. I now have a Sommerfeld Katey jig and like it a lot. Kind of intuitive to use. Whichever jig you use, be sure you mark the work pieces for inside and outside, and which ends get the tails. Lay it out carefully BEFORE you make any dovetails. Use same size scrap wood to set the jig up as you have to finesse it to make the dovetails fit just right.
I watched several videos on the porter cable system and felt that one for my budget looks like my best bet. The Sommerfeld was my original choice awhile back until I saw the Leigh. The Rockler having the plastic templates would worry me a little bit.

Both Bosch tables are a bit on the small side, the 1171 the worst of the 2. The 1171 also has a quirk in that the bit opening on the table is 3 5/8" but the fence only opens 3 3/16" which wouldn't allow a panel raiser or 1 1/2" roundover. I personally would also like to have my router in the open where it is easier to get to. Don is correct that a flat sheet of panel and a 2 x 4 with a notch cut out works well enough and quite a few of us have used that setup at some point.

My personal opinion is that you can do better by making a table and for a lot less money. I made one for my son last summer for $5 out of re-purposed materials and there are photos in my uploads as well as pics of home made sliding face fences. There is nothing magical about router tables. As Don said they are just a flat work surface.
Looks like I have quite the decision to make then on my router table. Besides the Bosch table anyone have issues with the choice of router. I wanted to go with the Makita but I do have several Bosch tools and it seemed like a pretty good price. As for the Raised Panels I already have the Grizzly Panel Cutter/Rail/Stile Sets for the Shaper I have. As for buying a table if there is one the is better for around the same price I am all ears.

I haven't checked the table out much but a guy locally who I bought my cabinet saw from has this for sale. I'm not sure how good of a deal it is but its cheaper than a Bosch Table and I'd get an extra router.

http://twintiers.craigslist.org/tls/5452857650.html
 

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@96BelisleAs

Eric - I just had occasion to buy that reconditioned router package from CPO Outlets for $174. If you trust the eBay seller, that's a great priceP
My purchase, other than the fact, the price was much better than I could get in Canada (24 hour shipping to where I'm vacationing in the States, and no tax), was based on all the recommendations from folks on this site. Bosch seems to be well-respected on here.
I've got a PC 692 package as well as a Craftsman, and an old B&D, but I'm looking forward to putting this baby to use when I get home in a couple of weeks. My router table is an old Vermont American that I bought used, and I've had a router installed in the extension of my table saw, but the first thing I'll do when I get back is to build a proper table.
If you check my uploads you'll see pics of a homemande fence with sliding faces I built some time ago. Had some material on hand so the only cost was the price of the knobs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@96BelisleAs

Eric - I just had occasion to buy that reconditioned router package from CPO Outlets for $174. If you trust the eBay seller, that's a great priceP
My purchase, other than the fact, the price was much better than I could get in Canada (24 hour shipping to where I'm vacationing in the States, and no tax), was based on all the recommendations from folks on this site. Bosch seems to be well-respected on here.
I've got a PC 692 package as well as a Craftsman, and an old B&D, but I'm looking forward to putting this baby to use when I get home in a couple of weeks. My router table is an old Vermont American that I bought used, and I've had a router installed in the extension of my table saw, but the first thing I'll do when I get back is to build a proper table.
If you check my uploads you'll see pics of a homemande fence with sliding faces I built some time ago. Had some material on hand so the only cost was the price of the knobs.
Thanks, I was actually just about to pull the trigger on the purchase and get it. I was just trying to figure out the best way to save more cash, ebay bucks, credit card points, and ebates should get me 5% back. Every bit extra helps.

I am obviously new to woodworking and I don't know anyone near me who does it so you guys are all I have. I appreciate everyone being so helpful and being patient as I learn as I go.

Learning how to make things seems easiest to me, making the decisions on what exactly are the best machines for me I have trouble with. I can get overwhelmed with so many choices, opinions and reviews. I bought a Bosch Tile Saw, Bosch Sliding Miter and a Bosch Table Saw so why not a Bosch Router.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll probably upgrade later on my Router Table (probably build my own) and the dovetail jig. Here are the last of my purchases. Went over budget but hopefully this is the last of my purchases for awhile other than normal items such as router bits, ect. Going to have to sell a few things on ebay and craigslist so my better half doesn't kill me. I was second guessing the Bosch Router table because of its smaller size but it seemed to get great reviews. We shall see.

Infinity Pro Coping Sled w/ Bessey Clamps with guide
Grizzly Tenoning Jig
Bosch Router Table ra1181
12" Porter Cable Dovetail 4016 Set
Bosch 2.25 Plunge/Fixed Base Router System
 

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I recently got done purchasing most of the equipment for my new shop and because of an unexpected expensive dental bill my budget was slashed $1600. I won't be able to get the set up I had wanted so I am trying to put something together that is decent yet still affordable.se Router Combo Kit | eBay[/url]

Independent from the shop, explore Care Credit for Dental and Medical Bills. If the provider will accept with them, they will give you 12 months with no interest too pay the bill.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I recently got done purchasing most of the equipment for my new shop and because of an unexpected expensive dental bill my budget was slashed $1600. I won't be able to get the set up I had wanted so I am trying to put something together that is decent yet still affordable.se Router Combo Kit | eBay[/url]

Independent from the shop, explore Care Credit for Dental and Medical Bills. If the provider will accept with them, they will give you 12 months with no interest too pay the bill.
I had the same tooth worked on (filling) twice a few months before. The third time was free because the dentist messed up. A jelly bean did me in on Christmas Eve and when I bit down it split my tooth in half. Its probably a little late for Care Credit I have already spent $600 and I am putting down another $1000 in a few days for my second procedure.

I wish I would have known. I did look into getting dental insurance (its actually very reasonable) however it wouldn't have kicked in for my type of procedure until after a year of having it. I've had a good amount of bad luck with my dentist who I've been with for almost 20 years. Another one is handling me this time.
 

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Buying Equipment

Hello Eric! Why not try to find some used Router equipment?? Try Kijiji or Craigslist. There are some super deals to be had if you take your time. You seem to know what you want, so you are ahead of most of the shoppers right there. The fun is all in getting to where you want to be!!
 

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I've had a good amount of bad luck with my dentist who I've been with for almost 20 years. Another one is handling me this time.
Sounds similar to the lady of the manse and myself. We both experienced troubles with a former dentist. Went to a new younger fellow and he is excellent. And he's no more expensive...in fact a little less so I think.
 

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Hello Eric! Why not try to find some used Router equipment?? Try Kijiji or Craigslist. There are some super deals to be had if you take your time. You seem to know what you want, so you are ahead of most of the shoppers right there. The fun is all in getting to where you want to be!!
I think I know what I want at least. I am on craigslist daily. The worst part about it for me is when I find a machine far cheaper than the one I got weeks before. Just happened to me the other day. Bought my shaper for over $700, a model slightly newer than mine was listed for $500.

I have sold and bought quite a few things on craigslist the past month or so. I'm 2 hours from any decent sized city so things aren't listed as much and when it is its gone before I get there. My issue is patience isn't a virtue at the moment and I am too eager for my own good to get my shop up and running. As long as its temporary I don't mind. Its been awhile since I felt this excited over a new hobby.

Other than having a change of heart on what dovetail jig I wanted after buying one, I am all set. The only thing I need to pick up is either a Leigh D4R or Omnijig 24" set and a Plate Joiner and I should be good.

Sounds similar to the lady of the manse and myself. We both experienced troubles with a former dentist. Went to a new younger fellow and he is excellent. And he's no more expensive...in fact a little less so I think.
I try giving him the benefit of the doubt but this was the last straw for me. He actually happened to be on vacation when it happened so the other dentist who runs the office with him looked at it and mentioned it never should have cracked and someone missed something. I also mentioned how I had my canine worked on while the tooth was live and I felt every bit of it.

The dentist told me to deal with it as he drilled on me. When I recently mentioned it to the other dentist he shook his head in disgust. I get the sense the one dentist doesn't like how the other one operates. My fiance went in for her first major issue (she also split a tooth) and her root canal had issues and she had to go back in to have it redone. I am hoping the other guy is an improvement, appears to be so far. I'd hate having to drive over an hour each way to get to a decent dentist.
 

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On the plate joiner, if you were near me (seattle) I'd make you a great deal on a dewalt. I picked it up used and aside from one project, I never use it. It's one of those tools I thought I would use a lot but reality had a different idea.
 

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On the plate joiner, if you were near me (seattle) I'd make you a great deal on a dewalt. I picked it up used and aside from one project, I never use it. It's one of those tools I thought I would use a lot but reality had a different idea.
Thanks for the offer. Dewalt was actually #2 on my list of ones I was looking at. I just picked up a used Porter Cable 557 Type 3 a few minutes ago. I wrote someone on a omnijig 77240 so if that goes well I'll have everything on my wish list, for now.
 

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I have the Bosch table RA1171 with a Porter Cable 890 series router mounted. I have had many issues with the table. The included feather boards are the worst. The fence offset on the out feed will over time will come lose the carriage bolts spin in the wood. The fence is not the best. The track in the table will not accept standard 3/4" slides mounted on most jigs. The door has vibrated off of the two weak mounted door hinges and I have had to replace the magnet holding the door closed. I have used this table for awhile being on a fixed budget at the time I bought it. It did what I needed it for. It is ok for rough work but I would not use it for anything delicate or requiring precision. I don't like to be negative about a product Bosch does make excellent tools they just failed on this one. The Plate is designed to work with a Bosch router but will work with other brands. by mounting my router to this table I lost the ability to adjust through the top plate on the table and have to open the cabinet every time. It's a pain but do able.

Now to the Router I use I have owned both Bosch and Porter Cable I like my Porter Cable 890 it has soft Start and is speed adjustable. I have done raised panel cabinets doors and side paneling on cabinet and have used it to build several pieces of furniture.

I hope that you get a set up that makes you happy and that works trouble free. I myself am in the process of purchasing a new router table system. If you plan on doing a lot of table top work with a router just my opinion stay away from the Bosch RA1171. There are to many better solutions on the cheap on the market that are available. There are plans if you want to build your own also from places like Woodcraft, Rockler, New Yankee Workshop ETC just to name a few.
 

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Thanks, I actually went with the 1181 version as recommended of the two by another member. I already got it in the mail but haven't used it yet. It seemed to get really good reviews especially for anything in its price range. I don't know why but for some reason I thought it was entirely made of metal. I'll probably upgrade later or I might strip the Bosch down and use the top to build my own cabinet. As for cabinets and doors I have my shaper for that. The Bosch router which I have also has a soft start and speed adjustable. For $150 for the fixed and plunge versions I couldn't pass it up. I actually started retro fitting my old pool table into a work table, with option to attach and remove the entire top as well as my miter saw, saw platform and possibly adding my router table into the mix. I ordered casters for it so it will be easy to wheel around. Just have to figure out the best placement for my miter saw.

I look forward to starting my first project for someone. Right now my biggest concern is trying to find a saw mill close by that has kiln dried wood so I don't have to over pay for lumber from home depot.
 

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If you shop smart, even with shipping, great deals on wood you will never find anywhere else can be purchased online. I buy about 90% of all my wood online now. From ebay to direct web sites and sometime right from the Sawyer themselves online is the place to get lumber these days.
 
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