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Let me start off by apologizing for posting this question. I'm sure it has been posted 100s of times before. I tried browsing and searching the forum, but I always get side-tracked reading too many posts.

I am in the process of building my router table. It is going to be a fluid project, with not much about the build decided beforehand. This probably isn't the best method, but it is the one I have chosen, and I am comfortable with. I will eventually be building raised-panel doors. What is the prevailing opionion on minimum specs to be able to use vertical and horizontal raised panel bits? My current router is a 2 HP Craftsman. While this does a decent job of "everyday" routing, it only handles 1/4 inch bits. I definitely want to upgrade to something that can handle 1/2.

Where are some good places to buy routers, bits, etc? I have previously purchased from Harbor Freight, Woodcraft, Rockler.

Also, my Craftsman router has a knob that I can turn to adjust depth when the router is mounted in the table. This has allowed me to do some mortise joints. Do other routers have something similar, or would I need a lift?

Thank you in advance for your help.
 

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You of course definitely need a 1/2 inch router. I make alot of raised panels and have a Bosch 1617 EVS. It has a fixed base and a plunge base so it comes in and out of the bases easily. You can mount the fixed base to the table and easily take out the motor for use in the plunge base, for easy bit change, etc.

Bits are available from Rockler, Eagle America, Amazon, and so many other sources.

Lowes has a good price on the router combo kit. I'm sure others will also weigh in here and by the way, happy routing.
 

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I put a Hitachi M12V in my table. If I were buying for my table today, I would go with the Milwaukee 5625. However, any of the router kits in the 2hp range should work for you.
As to the need for a lift, in my opinion, they are not needed. For me it is no trouble to set the height from below. Save the money and buy bits and wood.
 

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Hello, Keith Welcome: You go ahead, and ask. There is no question that you ever need to apologize for. You will find that Craftsman has a good name, and is liked. I have craftsman and ryobi.and craftsmen are good. To start off, i bought a set of inexpensive bits from Lowe's, or Menard's They are the carbide bits, and i would get 1/2 in. bits. They are better because the extra material in the bit helps to lower the chattering. They also feel more solid when your routing. i got some bits that i found i used more that others, like the 1/4 and 3/8 straight bits. I got a few good bits for those, and although i haven't done it, i recommend some 3/8 up, and down spiral bits. from there, you can buy any thing else that you find yourself using a lot in the good bits, and watch for some great sales, or E-bay, big box kits for other uses. And Sears for the combo pack routers. They will cost a lot less, and you will have a standard, and a plunge router base that has all the bells and whistles. The red top. On sale, the combo will be around 100 dollars, normally about $130.00. That is a great price for a good router. Good luck, and have a happy Thanksgiving.
 

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Fluid? hmmmmm says I...

That is exactly how I approach a project... Now I have a name for it.. *S*...
no doubt you'll need 1/2" shanked bits.. I've got several craftsman routers that handle
1/2" and have no complaints. They are newer versions though.. My big dawg is a milwaukee 5625 and I can't work it hard enough. It sits in an Woodpeckers PRv2 lift. This is just a fantastic combo.. period...
The milwaukee does have above table adjustments available without a lift.. which is nice. Most newer routers are coming out with above table adjustments to stay competitive. I have to say, a lift certainly isn't "necessary" but nice none the less..

I've gotten bits from all the usuall suspects.. I do like MLCS bits, Eagle America has great deals and whiteside is a premiere supplier.. its all good..
 

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If I may suggest, you will need to upgrade your router to take on the 1/2" bits. I will recommend, the sears combo router. 2 1/2hp, plenty of power to handle the jobs you want to do. Pluse, these also have the built-in lift. Simply use the allen "T" wrench that's supplied. Check sears web site on Black friday for their best sales options. :)
 

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I have a Hitachi M12V 3-1/4 with the Router Razer lift in one table & a Triton 2-1/4 in the other table. Last month I bought the new Triton 3-1/4 to replace the 2-1/4 Triton. I favor the Hitachi because it is noticeably quieter than the Triton, but the Triton comes with a built in raiser to adjust above the table.

For the money the Triton has been an good router. I have other routers for freehand & jig work so these stay in the tables. These will take 1/2" shanks & have 1/4" reducers if a small bit is needed. I always buy 1/2" shank bits & will only get the 1/4" shank bit if not available in the larger size.
 

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I have a Hitachi M12V 3-1/4 with the Router Razer lift in one table & a Triton 2-1/4 in the other table. Last month I bought the new Triton 3-1/4 to replace the 2-1/4 Triton. I favor the Hitachi because it is noticeably quieter than the Triton, but the Triton comes with a built in raiser to adjust above the table.

For the money the Triton has been an good router. I have other routers for freehand & jig work so these stay in the tables. These will take 1/2" shanks & have 1/4" reducers if a small bit is needed. I always buy 1/2" shank bits & will only get the 1/4" shank bit if not available in the larger size.
Does the new Triton 3-1/4 come with the lift I thought the 2-1/4 only came with the lift? Thanks
 

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Yes Triton does have a lift in the new 3-1/4 router. I originally bought the 2-1/4 for that reason. But now the 3-1/4 has the lift also, so I bought one to replace 2-1/4 in one of my tables. I have not switched it out yet but was told it will bolt right in. I just have to drill a new access hole for the crank because it is in a different location that the 2-1/4 in there now.
 

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FWIW, there have been reports here of stores with the old & new Triton for sale, with the old (non-lift) version discounted. Make sure you're buying what you want. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to everybody for their input. I appreciate the guidance.

I've narrowed it down to 2:

Bosch 1617 EVS
Dewalt DW618PK

Right now I'm leaning toward the Bosch, but I am intrigued by the Dewalt. I am a big Dewalt fan. I have numerous tools made by them, and have been extremely happy with all of them. I'm also looking to upgrade my Craftsman table saw, and the Dewalt is high on my list.

Does anybody have any knowledge of the Dewalt router?
 

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I liked the Bosch so much that I bought a second one. The newer 1617EVS with the combo (fixed and plunge bases) is even better that my older one. The motor is quieter and the fixed base has above table adjustment. The router itself interchanges with all the bases I have - very nice. I cut tons of raised panels and stile and rails.
 

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I have the Dewalt 618 combo kit. It's a nice setup. I really like the plunge system because the sight-line is so good. Cons: I don't like where the power switch is, and mounting the motor in the plunge is a little difficult to align. Pros: I like the soft start and variable speed controls with a single wrench bit change.
 

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Ok I just took the plunge so to speak I found a Reliant dd34 shaper on craigs list the guy said it doesn't run so I got it for $50 I figure if I cant get it running I will just mount my router to the bottom of the cast iron top. Does anyone know anything about these shapers I know they came from Woodworkers Warehouse and can run 110 or 220
 

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Hello Keith,
I have had a Bosch 1617 EVS mounted in my Router table and have had problems with the adjustment feature built into the Bosch base. Specifically, the height adjustment through the table is reliant on a small "C" clip staying in a groove on the through shaft. It was constantly coming off.
For me the solution was to put the Bosch into a Woodpeckers PRv2 Lift...Problem solved.
The Bosch router itself was working fine, it was just the above table adjustment built into the Bosch base that was IMHO...under engineered.
Brian
 

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Thanks to everybody for their input. I appreciate the guidance.

I've narrowed it down to 2:

Bosch 1617 EVS
Dewalt DW618PK

Right now I'm leaning toward the Bosch, but I am intrigued by the Dewalt. I am a big Dewalt fan. I have numerous tools made by them, and have been extremely happy with all of them. I'm also looking to upgrade my Craftsman table saw, and the Dewalt is high on my list.

Does anybody have any knowledge of the Dewalt router?
Keith. My Preference is the Makita 1/2" router and there is a new one on the market I was asked to do a review back in June last year a good router, What i had noticed with the Dewalt router here in Australia the cutter was not central in the base and the two curved ends were of a different radius. I prefer a router with circular Base as the base can be used as a template guide from time to time when designing some projects. The Bosch router here requires the locking device to be held down when it is necessary to plunge.
These possibly are the only two comments I have for the Australian Brand machines. Oh also there is a problem with the supply of template guides for them especially the large Guides
Tom
Template Tom
 

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Thanks to everybody for their input. I appreciate the guidance.

I've narrowed it down to 2:

Bosch 1617 EVS
Dewalt DW618PK

Right now I'm leaning toward the Bosch, but I am intrigued by the Dewalt. I am a big Dewalt fan. I have numerous tools made by them, and have been extremely happy with all of them. I'm also looking to upgrade my Craftsman table saw, and the Dewalt is high on my list.

Does anybody have any knowledge of the Dewalt router?
Hi Keith,

I have the DW618PK-3 and have been extremely happy with it for the last 5 years both in and out of the table. It does everything I ask of it and does it well.
 

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Dd34 shaper

Ok I just took the plunge so to speak I found a Reliant dd34 shaper on craigs list the guy said it doesn't run so I got it for $50 I figure if I cant get it running I will just mount my router to the bottom of the cast iron top. Does anyone know anything about these shapers I know they came from Woodworkers Warehouse and can run 110 or 220
I recently bought a dd34 shaper that the prior owner couldn't seem to get wired correctly. I have both the factory forward/reverse switch and bought a Dayton 2x440 switch per the recommendation of another woodworker. I don't know how to wire this. Are you currently using yours on 110 or 220? Would you be so kind as to send pics of the wiring? I'm hugely indebted if you can. I'm currently dead in the water.
 
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