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I have a very old Craftsman router and need determine the best approach for figuring out how to use a router to make both rabbet and dado cuts. My skill is limited and I need a guide to make strait cuts. Is there a generic guide that will fit an 30+ year old router? If not, can I mix a Triton router and Bosch guide? Will the lower price 1 1/3 HP model handle basic routing work or should I spend the extra $'s and go for the 2 1/4hp model?

Any suggestions?
 

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I have a very old Craftsman router and need determine the best approach for figuring out how to use a router to make both rabbet and dado cuts. My skill is limited and I need a guide to make strait cuts. Is there a generic guide that will fit an 30+ year old router? If not, can I mix a Triton router and Bosch guide? Will the lower price 1 1/3 HP model handle basic routing work or should I spend the extra $'s and go for the 2 1/4hp model?

Any suggestions?
Rabbets can be done freehand with a bearing guided bit; or on a table using a fence and straight bit or with the guide fences that come with some routers and a straight bit. All of the guide fences I have seen will only fit the router they were made for but there might be a few exceptions. For making grooves you only need to clamp a straight edge on your work which gives you a lot more range that a guide will. As you and the router are facing the guide strip work from left to right.
A 1 1/3 hp router will rabbet and groove just fine. If you will want to use bits of about 1 1/2 inch diameter and larger, you may want to go to more power and speed control so you can slow the rpm down.
 

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Hi

Thanks for joining us. For straight line work, have a look at this system Edge Clamps Quick Search Index
The same system is listed by several woodworking supply places. This one is slightly dearer than others I've seen, but you will get the idea. The clamp/guides come in various lengths. There are sliding plates that fit, that you fit your router on to. I've also a plate with a circular saw fitted on, that makes cutting up sheet material easy.
Busybee list them http://www.busybeetools.com/categories/Clamps/Clamps/Straight-Edge-Clamps/
Peachtree list them, too http://www.ptreeusa.com/edge_clamps.htm

Cheers

Peter
 

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Small routers can accomplish a great deal of work. The secret is to make cuts incrementally, so as not to over-tax the capacity of the router. How much stock to remove in a single pass? That depends on the nature of the cut and the type of wood. With soft woods like Pine or Poplar, cuts can be more aggressive - 1/4" to 1/2" perhaps. Hardwoods require smaller increments - 1/8" or so.

As others have noted, there are several choices in guiding the path of the router, including: edge guides attached to the router, bearings on the bit, or guide rails clamped to the stock. If you can't find an edge guide that will fit your old Craftsman, you can always make your own.

One point to keep in mind when using guide rails clamped to the work piece - don't assume your sub-base is perfectly round. If it isn't, rotating the router in relation to the guide rail will cause minor variations in the path of the bit.
 

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Hi

That's why it's best to make your own base plate(s), round is nice but sq.is so much better :) you can use a standard router table mounting base plate and just cut it down a little bit..plus you can use all the guides and use the bigger router bits all in one base plate..
Plus it makes it snap to change the guides out..
Plus by adding two bolts with bearings you have a new jig to put in mortise slots very easy and true every time...(dead on center)


Router accessories


Replacement Rings & Guide Pin
#9329 ................................SALE $10.95

I was lucky and got 10 base plates from HF for 15.oo bucks ea.
Can't have to many on hand :)

======
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tip. I can see where the right clamp can provide more flexibility than having a guide attached to the router.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Your observations really helped clarify my thinking At this point, I will be working with soft wood, so I will see how the old Craftsman works before spending money on a new one.
 
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