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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to decide on a Plunge Router that I will use primarily for Mortising. I have a Bosch 1617EVS but have it in a lift in my table. I have the Plunge piece and the Edge guide that goes with it. So my delima is this, should I just buy another 1617 and use what I have with it. Or should I spend the extra money and get a more powerful 3.25ish router. I have looked at reviews on the Triton and the Makita and am leaning toward the Makita. I will not be using this in a table since the larger size will not fit my lift. I will also be using it for some bowtie inlays which i currently use a Colt for but it seems a little under powered. Thanks in advance for your advice!!
 

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I would consider the weight of a 3.25 hp router. It may be to heavy/cumbersome for your intended use. If it is I think a 2 or 2.25 hp router would be plenty for mortising.
 

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Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Marco, I got that same impression from some more research I did after I posted this yesterday.
 

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Welcome to the forum @sbumgardner

I have Triton and Makita and would prefer Makita for hand held use...
 

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You don't need a lot of horsepower for mortising, but your choice should have a 1/2" or 12 mm collet. If you can get the smaller collet to go with it (either 1/4" or 7 mm) that would be good to have too. I suggest getting one of the 2-2 1/2 hp multi base router sets, as it will not only be the best choice for mortising, but also most of the rest of your routing needs. Find one that is balanced well and is as light as possible to you when holding it, because you are going to want it to have a low profile and as light as possible, since you will be lifting it on and off of your mortising jig, likely many times. The plunge base is the best choice for mortising, in most cases. You could buy a 7/8 or 1 hp router, and although they are much lighter, they don't make them with the 1/2" or 12 mm collets, so you would be limited in the bit sizes that would fit in it.

I frequently do mortise and tenon work with my DeWalt DW618 multi-base router kits, but look at and check the balance and weight of any router that you like. In this 2-2 1/2 hp size there are many brands to choose from. Find one that is right for you. Compare the weight, plunge action, switch location, etc, before deciding. All of the better brands will likely last you many years, possibly your lifetime. Choose wisely, and not by price alone..

Most mortising work requires router bushings and a jig to guide the router. There are many plans available for these, but also some manufactured models. Again, choose wisely or make your own, depending on your need. Up spiral router bits capable of cutting downward as well as sideways are the best choice for mortising. Some bits are available with no bottom cutting capability, so again, choose wisely.

When router mortising, it's best to make many overlapping downward plunges to the full mortise depth, overlapping each plunge until the full width of the mortise has been reached. Then go back and remove the remaining waste using side to side motion at full mortise depth to clean out the remaining waste. A movement with the router bushing against both the front and back of the guide should be part of this. This is more important when using a smaller bit than the desired mortise width, but it is a good practice to follow regardless.

Are you planning to make floating tenon joints, or make tenons some other way to fit these mortises?

Charley
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Charley, I don't plan on making the floating mortise and tenon but you never know. I am leaning heavily toward the Bosch MRC23.
 

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I am trying to decide on a Plunge Router that I will use primarily for Mortising. I have a Bosch 1617EVS but have it in a lift in my table. I have the Plunge piece and the Edge guide that goes with it. So my delima is this, should I just buy another 1617 and use what I have with it. Or should I spend the extra money and get a more powerful 3.25ish router. I have looked at reviews on the Triton and the Makita and am leaning toward the Makita. I will not be using this in a table since the larger size will not fit my lift. I will also be using it for some bowtie inlays which i currently use a Colt for but it seems a little under powered. Thanks in advance for your advice!!
I use my 2 HP DW621 for making mortises. I have never felt like I needed more HP. This router has pretty good dust collection, which is important to me. Buy a decent quality spiral up cut bit.
 

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You don't need a expensive router to do mortises. With a plunge router I'd go with a 2hp, 2 1/4hp or 2 1/2hp. For more options of usage, you may want a router that comes with a fixed and plunge set. Some of you DIY router mortise jigs are real simple. I bought the General EZ Mortise and Tenon jig about five years ago, with intensions of using a 2 1/2hp router with it. Still sitting new in the box. Maybe I'll use it someday. I've been using a drill press to drill out the mortises then cleaning up with a chisel. Also done some by hand with a Narex mortising chisel. But lately I'm cutting my mortises with a horizontal router table.
 
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