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Hello all,
Ran into this forum while doing some research on router tables and router lifts. I'm a small one man shop of a general contractor in Seattle doing remodels and restorations. I currently have a rather large project of completly restoring an occupied 10,000 sf mansion built in the late 1800's and in need lots of love from decades of neglect and taking it back to it's original glory. The owner is the principle of a big architecture firm here in town and he's hell bent on doing in the original style and features. Which is great. I'm loving it. He is the third owner. The second owner was a single seattle police officer that as one of the first of many crimes of craftsmanship he committed during his ownership he installed a ten inch diameter fire pole from the ball room on the third floor all the way to the basement because he could and he turned the whole house into a swinging bachelor's pad in the 50's and 60's and couldn't sell it in the 70's so he let it run down and it sat empty for many years until it became the scourge of the neighborhood until the current owner bought it 18 years ago. The current owner had great intensions of doing all the remodeling himself but with five kids and a demanding career himself doing a lifetimes worth of work to build this place back to life on the weekends was just to much and his wife had finally had enough of always living in a construction project of some sort so she gave him an ultimatum and this is where I came in. Long story short.
So what I came here for was to get opinions on a very good router lift and table set up. I have miles of different trim styles with details I need to match and I need a really good, reliable, accurate router table to run them through. I know I can take a sample to a fabricator to have it matched but sometimes it's just quicker and easier to make it myself not to mention boatloads cheaper. Last year when I took some trim to get duplicated and I told them of the house I'm sure they must have tagged on a premium just because of the history of the house. so I'm taking a different approach this year. I've been thinking about the Bench Dog Router lift and portable table. Can anybody weigh in on this one? Rockler has a product but it looks like it will come apart at the seams after a short period of use.
Anyway there is my intro and I'll look forward to hearing your comments and staying in touch with the forum here.
Happy trails
BjR
 

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Welcome BJR to the router forums! I hope you keep us updated on your progess with the house and can post some photos every once in awhile.

The Benchdog cast iron table top and lift is top notch. I belong to another forum and one of the members installed these items on his new combination slider saw. He also uses that big PC in the lift, forget the model.

Corey
 

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Welcome BjR. Depending on the volumn of moulding you need to cut it may be worth your while to invest in a shaper instead of a router. There are a wide variety of knives available for shapers and custom profiles while more expensive are designed for high volumn work. It is less money to purchase custom knives than to order custom router bits to match a profile. All that having been said most router tables will do the job. For large runs of moulding you should purchase one of the 3-1/4 HP models such as the PC 7518 Corey was refering to. My personal choice would be the Bosch 1619 which has the largest base opening, longest plunge depth and was top rated in the last comparison testing done. Since this is a plunge router you would not have the additional expense of a lift mechanism. Plunge routers on mounting plates are super easy to adjust for height settings as opposed to cranking the fine thread lift mechanisms to get your height setting. Since you will be running a large volumn of moulding you will want finger boards holding the wood to the fence and down to the table. This will ensure consistant cuts the length of your wood.
 

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WELCOME TO THE FORUM BjR. As Corey said please post some pictures of your huge project. We love pictures. Also maybe post some of your procedures or methods of restoration. Some of us could learn a lot from something like that.
 

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Hi Mike

Mike said you may want to take a look at a shaper, that maybe the way to go, you can get one for about the same as router table setup and all the cutters you want for about the same price as router bits, plus the shaper only needs a standard 3/4HP motor. :)

Most shapers can do all the same things a router table can do,it comes setup and ready to go to work so to speak :).
I should NOTE*** I had a Gizzly Shaper (G5010Z) and they are great machines but I got into routers about 15 years ago because all the stock must goto the machine top unlike the plunge/standard router that can be taken to the stock so to say it's best to have both.

see one below

G0510Z 3/4 HP Shaper
http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2007/Main/63

Many,many cutters from Grizzly
http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2007/Main/503
http://www.grizzly.com/products/searchresults.aspx?q=Shaper&start=25&num=25
Bj :)
 

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W e l c o m e . . A b o a r d . . BjR !!

My first thought was a shaper too... followed up with others.

Yep, it looks like a shaper would do a better job for you than a router...
(shaper with a router feature :) best of both worlds.)

We would all be interested in your progress on that house... sounds like a huge job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
challagan said:
Welcome BJR to the router forums! I hope you keep us updated on your progess with the house and can post some photos every once in awhile.

The Benchdog cast iron table top and lift is top notch. I belong to another forum and one of the members installed these items on his new combination slider saw. He also uses that big PC in the lift, forget the model.

Corey
How do I post pic's in this forum? I'd be glad to post a few pic's after all the great info.
I was jammed for time so I unfortunately had to make a rather unfortunate and hasty choice so I bought a Bosch Benchtop table and a fixed base 1-3/4 horse Porter Cable router with a micro adjusting knob/feature. I unfortunatley don't recall the model number. It's not a plunge router but has a micro adjuster which has been helpful. I had to modify the benchtop to accomodate the router and it wasn't to bad of a modification. The mounting hole didn't align with the router holes.
As far as a shaper it would probably be too difficult and cumbersome with the field/site conditions I've got going on and I'm not going to try to cut/shape any 10" crown molding on it so this set up will be fine for my needs. They are currently living in the house as I do the work which, as I'm sure you can imagine, has some logistical and practical considerations for dust control and scheduling among other things so trying to yard around a big shaper up and down a couple flights of stairs every day isn't my idea of fun. I just started the second phase of probably a total of six-seven phases. After a three month break for the holidays I kept busy on some filler projects with other customers projects untill this one started back up again.
I'll post some pic's if somebody can walk a computer ignoramous like myself through the process.
Happy trails
BjR
 

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Happy Trails and welcome to the Router Forums BjR. Glad you RAN into this forum. By being a member, you can have all your questions answered by our experienced woodworkers. Got more, please ask. Look forward to seeing some pics of your work.
 
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