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Hello. New member here. I seem to have lost my best router friend (Pat Warner) and I need some up-to-date advice about a new fixed-base router. I need to get a new router-table router with the best height-control adjustments (meaning: most stable, accurate and easy to set). I use an embarrassingly old and beat up bunch of routers and it's time to graduate.

Also I've read about PC 690s being both good (the 'old' ones) and not-so-good (the 'newer' ones). But how do you tell the difference? Serial number? Body design?

Thanks for any help, Craig Umanoff
 

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welcome Craig..
new old stock is about unheard of.. been too many years..
Bosch 1617 for the table...
 

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The bosch 1617 you can take the fixed base and remove the phenolic base and mount it under your table plate. You might have to drill a hole in the plate to access the end of the height adjustment shaft to raise and lower it from the table top.
Herb
 

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The Triton 3 1/4 hp router is a plunge model but if you remove the spring (per their instructions), you can mount it under a table. The height adjustment can be made through the table with the supplied crank handle. Plenty of power to handle anything you can throw at it.

I have one in a table and a Bosch 1617 on the other end! :grin:

Note that I used the Kreg insert plates. They are predrilled so the crank handle and the Bosch hex key can fit through to make height adjustments.
 

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Craig; the point they're making is 'why would you?!'

-Parts will be almost non-existant
-new technology is far superior...soft start, electronic speed controllers, through-the-base ht. adj. just to name three off the top
-service from a lot of these older companies is hit or miss as they've been bought and sold so many times (the companies, not the tools).
-Craftsman is a good example; here in Canada Sears is closing their doors.
Do yourself a huge favor and buy a state of the art machine from a reputable manufacturer who will give you great Customer Service (my vote goes to Bosch).
 

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Thanks, Stick 486, but I meant that if I were looking for an older 'good' PC where is the cut-off from the poorer quality ones and how can you tell 'em apart by looking at them?
Got it... good luck w/ that..
What DaninVan said...
have no fears/worries...
go w/ the Bosch...
CPO Bosch is a good place to start...
 

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@cptvideo - Craig - I have a PC690 and a Bosch 1617 (both routers are kits, meaning they both have fixed and plunge bases). Quite frankly, the two don't compare. The Bosch is soft start - the router won't jerk out of your hands when you fire it up - the Bosch has speed control; the 690 (an older model) doesn't have those. The Bosch sits in a table in a Kreg insert plate. I had to drill my own holes, so drilled a hole for the above-table adjustment as well.

Go with the Bosch, you won't be disappointed.
 

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Go to an estate sale and look for one of the older ones. Have no idea what serial numbrs match what year, but you could contact PC and ask. Maybe they have a production run record somewhere. An old one should go for maybe $35 bucks max. At Estate sales, people who don't know beans about tools are grateful to get a few bucks for grandpa's old tools. However, I'm with the others on going Bosch and/or Triton. I also have both, the Triton TRA001 in the table, powerful, precise, really easy to adjust height from above the table--a great machine and good value. I have two 1617s, one was in the table, but now I keep one in each base. I also have the Bosch Palm router for trim work, cutting mortices for locks and hinges and trimming of all sorts. But if I only had to use one, it would be the 1617.
 

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Mike,
Another question is; you have both routers that I am considering buying to put in my new router table. I see the Triton has one more HP than the Bosch. I plan on re-modeling our kitchen that was custom built in 1983 and want to make raised panel doors from either hardwood or MDF, depending on paint or stain finish. Which one do you think I should buy ?
I have a King 3.25 or 3.5 HP that I have only tried a couple of times so it's still like brand new but it only cost me $99 a few years ago when I bought it. I was planning on using it in the table but it doesn't have the over the table adjustability I want. I looked at possibly building a lift but I'm not convinced that is the way to go. Budget is also a concern.
Thanks in advance for your advice.

Dan
 

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Mike,
Another question is; you have both routers that I am considering buying to put in my new router table. I see the Triton has one more HP than the Bosch. I plan on re-modeling our kitchen that was custom built in 1983 and want to make raised panel doors from either hardwood or MDF, depending on paint or stain finish. Which one do you think I should buy ?
I have a King 3.25 or 3.5 HP that I have only tried a couple of times so it's still like brand new but it only cost me $99 a few years ago when I bought it. I was planning on using it in the table but it doesn't have the over the table adjustability I want. I looked at possibly building a lift but I'm not convinced that is the way to go. Budget is also a concern.
Thanks in advance for your advice.

Dan
I have used both routers to cut raised panels for cabinet doors. With both routers, I slowed the rpm to the lowest setting, and made several passes adjusting the amount that was being removed each time. I did that by loosening the clamp on one end of the router fence and relocating it a little at a time. This method worked out pretty well.

The Triton seemed to loaf along cutting away. The Bosch was more labored but still made the cuts and the end result was good. I think in this case, more is better.

Note: Take some measurements of the cutter you plan to buy and check out the insert plate opening. Originally I had a Rockler Group A plate for the Bosch and the opening wasn't large enough to allow the cutter through it. The Kreg insert plates have a larger opening and the cutter fit through without any interference. That makes it a lot easier to adjust the bit up or down.

Hope this helps.
 

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The side vents on the Triton really help manage the sawdust. I went with the Woodpecker plate, double the price of most other plates, but it's thicker aluminum and I like the looks of it. When I drilled the hole for the height adjustment crank shaft, I also used a fine rat tail file to ease the edge of the opening I'd drilled, so it wouldn't wear on the crank. The Woodpecker model has a twist lock insert that makes it a snap to change height and bits. You can get inserts in a set to fit any bit. I believe Kreg now has a bayonet insert setup as well. Much easier than the 3 screw system many other brands have. Really easy to lose those screws. Since I have a Rockler table, I had to rout out an extra inch of height for the plate since the Woodpecker model is a little bigger than the original Rockler plate. I only replaced the Rockler plate because of the 3-screw inserts, which were a PITA.
 

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Thanks Vince,

That link is for the plastic plate, I'm looking for the Aluminium plate. I've seen it in pictures but not at any stores. I'll check the Kreg website and find out how much.

Dan
 
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