Router Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of purchasing the Porter-Cable 895PK router kit mainly for it's built-in router lift capability. I'm looking for feedback here on how it compares to a dedicated lift like Woodpeckers, JessEm, BenchDog etc.

If the built-in lift is a reasonably useful feature I would save quite a bit over the combined cost of an individual router motor plus lift kit. If it does a good job I'd rather save the bucks for some other goodies but if not I'll spring for a good lift setup instead.

My plan is to build my own table and just use the 895 without a separate lift. I'm also wanting to do raised panel work too and wondering if this router is underpowered for the application.

Thanks fellas...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,921 Posts
Most brands offer above the table height adjustment on their 2-1/4 HP combo kits. They all work. If you are handicapped this feature is for you. Let me suggest that a properly designed router does not need a lift. It will have 3 coarse settings to get you in the neighborhood and a fine adjuster to zero you in. It will be easy to adjust with one hand while the other hand feels the bit and set up block for alignment. This is much faster than cranking a fine adjustment handle above a table. Did I mention this tried and true method has been in use for over 10 years? I am talking about the Bosch 1617 series routers, the model everyone has imitated with their new routers, including the PC 890 series. No two models are identical in features and all have a different feel in your hands so you will have to decide which feels right for you. I will say 3 moderators of this site have Bosch 1617 routers. Enough about lift abilities. We suggest you make large cuts in multiple passes and this will allow the 2-1/4 HP models to accomplish the panel raising job. For a production shop environment a 3-1/4 HP model is a better choice. Using vertical panel raising bits instead of horizontal has some real advantages: Smaller diameter of the bit means means less mass in motion, less power is required, and they cost less. These bits perform best in a vertical table as seen in posts on this site.
 

·
Marine Engineer
Doug
Joined
·
4,906 Posts
The 890 series does well. I use the fixed base in my router table, (it's the gripvac base), and I use the plunge base out of the table. The built in lift is not as fancy as some of the $300 aftermarket ones, but when you get used to it, it works pretty nicely.

First, there are 2 holes you have to drill into your baseplate. The first allows you to unclamp the motor from above the table. I'm so used to doing bit height adjustments the old way, I still use my finger. The second hole is for adjusting the motor height up and down. I use this for the real fine adjustments. After the motor is where you want it, you flip the clamp back down, and you're all set.

Coarse adjustments can be very easily made by pressing a lever which moves the gear off of the height adjustment rack. You can then move the motor up or down freely, drop the worm back into the rack and adjust with the fine tuning to match whatever height you want.

Sounds like it's complicated, but give yourself an afternoon and you'll be a natural. It is a lot easier than a plunge router with or without springs. I do recommend adjusting on the way up, you get more accurate results.

The ability to disengage the rack is awesome. If you've used something like a router raiser on an old plunge router, you'll appreciate not having to crank 7000 times to do large bit changes.

Hope this helps,
 

·
Marine Engineer
Doug
Joined
·
4,906 Posts
Forgot-- you also asked about panel raising.

This is not a 3 hp stationary shaper, it is a router. The 2 1/4 Hp is more than able to raise a panel, depending on how you feed the stock. I've taken full passes in pine, but I never do in hardwood. I prefer to shim the fence, take half the cut, then do a finish pass. That way, if I feed to slow and get some burn marks taking the bulk of the material off, the finish pass feeds nicely and machines off any burn marks. I don't make a lot of doors, so it's not a big deal in my opinion.

If you're making a few doors, you'll be happy. If you're going to build a business around building cabinet doors, you'll probably want a bigger tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the good info Mike and Doug. I wasn't aware that the 890 series height feature was modeled after the Bosch.

Oh, and Doug, since we're about giving and taking advice I've got some that really works for me.... Is 26:3! God Bless...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,921 Posts
So there is no confusion, the PC 890 series height adjustment was not modeled after the Bosch design. Rather say it was inspired by it, a different solution to the same problem. In all fairness Bosch was the last to offer above the table height adjustment, and this is only on the new release 1617's. The base change first appeared on the Craftsman 26620 router built by Bosch. Although this adjuster is much slower than under the table adjustments (like other brands) they went with the popular demand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Anyone have any difficutly raising and lowering? Sometimes it take a good amount of power to raise/lower...anyone use any lube, etc ?
 

·
Marine Engineer
Doug
Joined
·
4,906 Posts
Never had any real trouble raising or lowering, unless the motor clamp is not all the way off.

You might want to try a couple of things first. Take the motor out of the base and try the adjuster, see if you have binding through the hole in your baseplate, or if the worm is a little sticky. Taking the motor out of the base will also let you see if any dust is fouling the rack and worm assembly, MDF dust in particular can set up like a rock.

That's all I can suggest now, I'll take a peek at my router later and see if any other possibilities come to mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I purchased the 895PK to use in my router table. On the second project, I could not raise or lower it from above the table. Upon investigation, I found that shavings had fallen into the lift mechanism jamming it. A few months later, I again had difficulty with the fixed base raise and lower mechanism. This time I found that the screws securing the rack on the router body had stripped. The screws had 3 threads at most. I have spent the last 6 months trying to get PC to repair/replace it. Several others have indicated issue on other forums.

I have more than a dozen PC tools and love them. However, the 895PK with fixed base in a router table is a loser if you intend to use it in a router table.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
595 Posts
That's good information surface_navy. I have a PC 7518 in my homemade table. I was thinking I would buy the PC 895Pk for its table top height adjustment. There was an article in Fine Woodworking that talked about Routers with table top height adjustment. I think it last months issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,165 Posts
surface_navy said:
This time I found that the screws securing the rack on the router body had stripped. The screws had 3 threads at most. I have spent the last 6 months trying to get PC to repair/replace it. Several others have indicated issue on other forums.
We've just been hearing of yours, and other problems with the newer PCs.. Seems like B&D cheapened things up when they bought the company..
It's too bad.. I have a PC 896PK set and love it..
 

·
Marine Engineer
Doug
Joined
·
4,906 Posts
AxlMyk said:
We've just been hearing of yours, and other problems with the newer PCs.. Seems like B&D cheapened things up when they bought the company..
It's too bad.. I have a PC 896PK set and love it..

I agree with Mike! I've been happy with mine from day one, and recommended it wholeheartedly. I hope that no one has been burnt by my recommendation if quality has fallen that far.....
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top