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Hello and thanks for adding me! New to forum but not entirely new to routing, just retired and looking to increase my routing skills. I have been a “weekend warrior” all my life and now have more time for my tiny garage shop. Like me , most of my tools are old.... current router is a 30 year old Ctaftsman fixed base and I am currently looking to purchase a new router with a budget of $125 (retired lol) my questions are what routers fall in that category, build or buy router table and finally need a VERY simple router table and base plate plan to “tinker” with, planning to make picture frames, and some small furniture and toys for the grandson. My tiny shop currently has a table saw, miter, circular and jig saw, multi purpose tool, drill press, and so forth, I Have constructed several table saw sleds, bird houses and so forth. Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Welcome to the forum, Mike! When you get a minute go ahead and complete your profile with first name and location. That helps us to help you and it could be that another member is close to you. It also makes that N/a go away on first name in the user panel on the left.

Feel free to show us so photos of your shop and tools, projects, etc.

David
 

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Hi Mike, welcome to the fun. $125 isn't much of a budget for a router. If you can, I suggest you check into a Bosch 1617 EVSPK kit, refurbished, from CPO. They've been in the 160 range and have a good reputation here. The kit includes both the fixed and plunge bases. The fixed base can be placed under a table (shop made is fine), which is pretty much the safest way to do many tasks. My first router was pretty cheap and didn't have a plunge base. I was happy when I got rid of it for about $60 including a small table. I was OK, but not much power.

You can get a new Bosch 1617 with the fixed base only, but before long, you'll want to have the plunge base for cutting stopped dados (a groove that begins and ends within the edges of the material, and that will require a plunge base. If you buy the plunge base later, you'll pay a lot more than getting the kit in the first place.

You are within the price range of a trim router, but they only take the 1/4 inch shank bits, and with only about 1hp, they are limited in the projects you can do with them. So whatever you buy, you want to get both 1/4 AND 1/2 inch collets, which is the nut you tighten to hold the bit in place.

For general bits, I'm happy with Freud bits, which you can get at Home Depot. You'll probably start out with what are called roundover bits. Most of us have the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 inch roundover bits. They're the ones you'll be using all the time. Since they're small and light weight, you can probably do fine with the 1/4 inch shank models. You'll be making several passes with these, not hogging out the whole roundover in one pass. I pretty much limit my cuts to about 1/8th inch cut per pass.

If you decide to get the Bosch machine, you can use the fixed base for table use, but you'll want to order a key (see pix) so you can adjust the bit height from above the table. It's cheap.

Making your own table means taking a piece of flat ply, cutting a hole in it and securing the router base to the bottom. Many people here have been using this simple table suspended over a couple of sawhorses for years. If you want a simple, you find a really flat 2x4 and clamp it to the table. hint: cut out a spot in the middle for the router bit to fit in.

Routers produce a lot of sawdust, and if you can, I suggest you use it outside until you have some dust collection in place. Sawdust is very nasty stuff that can ruin your breathing and health. Get yourself a dust mask (3M makes an inexpensive model with a one way valve. Wear it at all times, particularly if you are working in an enclosed area. Sawdust hangs in the air for a LONG time, and sweeping it up stirs up the finest particles, which are the most dangerous. Working outdoors will help, but do get a mask. Some of us use a 20 inch box fan with a 20x20 filter taped to the front. Let it run for a couple of hours at a time to reduce the suspended air. Hang it from the ceiling so it doesn't blow on the shop floor and raise more sawdust than it catches.

I also suggest you watch videos of routers in use. There are hundreds of them on YouTube. Among the best are by Marc Sommerfeld, who sells router stuff, but his videos teach simple and effective technique (he was a cabinet maker before starting his company).

I'm sure Stick will post his pdf collection and safety information shortly. Well worth reading. I also have a long post on the 17 plus things that helped me get going in woodworking, it may help you avoid buying stuff you really don't need. Here's the pdf.

Woodworking is a great hobby, glad you've found us, there are hundreds of years of woodworking experience around here, and we all love answering questions. We also have a little fun now and then.
 

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Hi Mike and welcome. Take a hard look at Gene's link to CPO. That's probably the best bang for your bucks you'll find. A router table can be as simple as a piece of plywood with the router bolted to the underside and a straight strip of wood or ply with a cutout jigsawed into it for a fence. If you want some variations search router tables using our Community Search function when you have a fair amount of spare time. The results are lengthy.
 
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I'm not much for ebay. Not had happy experiences there. Some people swear by it, so just my personal opinion. We're talking 35-40 bucks for a known entity.
$40 for a much more capable entity, as well.
 

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Welcome aboard from another Mike.

I have a pair of those 1617 combo kits. They work great. I have also made several purchases through the years from CPO including a DeWalt compact table saw - looked good as new, and probably was.

As for the router table, check out Steve Ramsey on YouTube. I built his router table top and it worked well for me for several years. I have since moved onward and upward to a dual router table with adjustable height so it can be used for other projects. Both f my routers are mounted to a Kreg insert plate that comes with the hole predrilled for the height adjustment key/crank to allow access from above the table.


Below are some pics of the table top I made several years ago patterned after Steve's version.
 

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MTStriner's shop built tables are really neat, and not much of a big deal to build. I really like that tall fence. Of course, he lives in texas where tall fences are the norm. BTW, the Bosch 1617 isn't available in Australia, there are much different model numbers and voltages there.

You've probably gotten as much advice as you'd need to make a choice, and obviously, it's completely your choice.
 

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I'm not much for ebay. Not had happy experiences there. Some people swear by it, so just my personal opinion. We're talking 35-40 bucks for a known entity.
I have bought tens of thousand of Australian dollars from ebay worldwide. Only recently I bought 2 brand new HP ProLiant servers through ebay when my distributor Ingram Micro temporarily out of stock but my customer had already prepaid me AUD60,000 for them.


Craftsman warranty will be honoured by the largest tool company in the World - the American company "Stanley Black and Decker" that promised to produce them in USA.

"Buy America Hire American"
 

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SBD vs Bosch

Stanley-Black and Decker? Hmmmmm.....
Just for readers awareness.
The "fixed based router" was invented by American Carter that sold the patent to Stanley.
The "Plunge base router" was invented by German ELU which was sold to Black and Decker and became part of Dewalt (a division of Stanley Black and Decker).
The guide bush system was invented by Porter Cable which is now also a company under Stanley Black and Decker.

On the other hand the only invention by Bosch was an "electric hair clipper" and they bought a Swedish patent for a hammer drill. Nothing to do with routing nor woodworking.

The German made Bosch router has a 6 years warranty but the router recommended by some in router forum has motor only assembled in Mexico all other parts made in China and so has only one year warranty. Their dust chute $40 extra cannot be used with template guide bushings and cannot be used without a black adapter because they are in metric size.

Porter Cable routers was MADE (not just assembled) IN MEXICO before SBD took it over.
Stanley Black and Decker bought Craftsman in 2017 from Sears after Sears lost money and SBD promised to produce Craftsman product in USA again.


Overall SBD has 15% market share whereas Bosch has 10% market share worldwide.

PS:
At least Markita is Made in USA too.
Hitachi & Metabo has now been sold to a USA company.
So for USA - the worst company to recommend is Bosch.

Sorry because I am not ignorant.
 

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B&D burnt their bridges up here in NA, a few decades ago, Reuel. They decided in their infinite wisdom to hang their hat on cheap homeowner tools and basically walked away from their contractor market. Now they have to live with it.
I personally give B&D a wide berth. As I said, they dug this hole now they can fill it back in.

Bosch, DeWalt, and Makita battle for the contractor business; almost weekly hands on presentations at lumberyards.
DeWalt is OK though (close relationship to B&D...but I won't hold that against them), and DeWalt service in Vancouver is also OK...not my first choice for service centers, but that's only because I have a preference for a different one

I don't know why you hate Bosch, Reule; in my long experience with their tools I've only ever had one issue and they went way above and beyond to make sure it was rectified...they spent a lot more than the tool was worth in satisfying me.
 

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B&D burnt their bridges up here in NA, a few decades ago, Reuel. They decided in their infinite wisdom to hang their hat on cheap homeowner tools and basically walked away from their contractor market. Now they have to live with it.
I personally give B&D a wide berth. As I said, they dug this hole now they can fill it back in.

Bosch, DeWalt, and Makita battle for the contractor business; almost weekly hands on presentations at lumberyards.
DeWalt is OK though (close relationship to B&D...but I won't hold that against them), and DeWalt service in Vancouver is also OK...not my first choice for service centers, but that's only because I have a preference for a different one

I don't know why you hate Bosch, Reule; in my long experience with their tools I've only ever had one issue and they went way above and beyond to make sure it was rectified...they spent a lot more than the tool was worth in satisfying me.
I do not hate Bosch. I hate badly designed products & companies that destroy local jobs and do not pay local tax and/or dividends.
B&D due to a market survey decided to Brand all their tough and industrial tools Dewalt. Dewalt is just the former B&D industrial division rebranded.

I came from a extremely poor family. So my first drill was a B&D because they invented the Pistol grip drill and made them available worldwide. I had a church member laughed at me for using a B&D instead of a Makita. He owned a hardware store and told me that B&D will always burn out quickly.
When I started working in Melbourne, I would visit the B&D shop. I was told that they have industrial grade tools too. So I bought a B&D 8.25" Industrial Sawcat & Industrial grade 1/2" hammer drill. For nearly 30 years those two (saw & drill) never broke down. If I have to buy again IT WILL BE A DEWALT (B&W Industrial rebranded Brand).

The same church member ran a moulding factory beginning from his home using routers. He & his Brother later became the no.1 supplier of Hard wood mouldings in Malaysia. From his experience all but 1 routers brands would fail. The ONLY router that never failed was 3.5HP ELU that became Dewalt DW625. The next best he said was Hitachi who paid B&D for ELU's patent. Since I could not buy an ELU in Australia then, I bought a Hitachi M12V.

So do not criticise B&D. It is a brand like Martec (Makita MT) or the Green Bosch DIY/Handiman range. Their Pro & Industrial product are branded DEWALT and have a 3 years warranty.
If the MEXCINA Bosch router is so good, why is it that it has only 1 year warranty instead of 6?
 
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