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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm kinda new here and new to routing in general. I was kind of forced into it by demand lol. Here is my issue with the skill 1817 variable speed ... it doesn't have any. I'm needing to build raised panel kitchen cabinet doors. I bought a router table and router combo from lowes (blue hawk brand) for this project, lets just say that didn't work. Returned two of them. Bought a skill table and router and I already had a bit set. However, the bit for the raised panel is freakishly huge. I've done a little research and I know I need to slow it down. The problem I'm having with the skill 1817 is it has a soft start motor. I can't find a variable speed controller that will work with it. They all state that they won't work with a soft start router. Is there one that will work? I'm seriously thinking about taking the router apart and trying to remove the soft start device. I have no clue why anyone would make a router than the speed can't be controlled on... just seems stupid to me.

Any help would be appreciated and please don't say buy a better router ... that's not an option.

Thank You
 

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Porter Cable makes at least one fixed speed maybe a few. There aren't any controllers that I've heard of that will work with soft start. You could go to a vertical panel raising bit instead. They are only about 1.5" diameter so you could run at full speed and with less power. You stand your panels on edge to use them. With either bit it's a good idea to make the cuts in stages. You will probably want to extend the height on your fence.
 

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Joe, IMHO if you can return that router that is what I would do,for around $100.00 more you could have a router that is over 2hp with variable speed, by the time you buy a switch go to all that work you would still have a under powered router ( how much time a money you going to spend to get this skill up to do the job) just think time and money wise you be better off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Semipro, I know a better router would be a better choice. It's just not in the budget. As I said to Cherryville, I'm making the panels from MDF. Do you really think I need a 2hp router for that? I mean it's glorified cardboard lol
 

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:)
Yes Joe those budgets can be a pain,
What I am say is add up the cost of vertical bits switches and the like.
I can guarantee that if stay with routing you wil not be satisfied with that router
But agree a man has stay with his budget. good luck
 

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Semipro, I know a better router would be a better choice. It's just not in the budget. As I said to Cherryville, I'm making the panels from MDF. Do you really think I need a 2hp router for that? I mean it's glorified cardboard lol
what I'm going to say I hope doesn't offend you because it isn't intended...
but I'll be the devil's advocate...

the equipment you selected is all bottom line entry level...
improve it or you will be unhappy down the road...
there is a reason why a new router's speed control failed.. it's clearly not a very good piece of equipment to start with...
and what doesn't make any sense is that you are willing to throw good money after bad to get some place you'll never get to...
to turn big cutters bigger routers are needed.. maybe not the biggest but bigger than that Skill... that Skill has bushings and not bearings... it will detest being worked like it is going to be...
take the Skill back an upgrade to at least a 1617 combo kit...
http://www.retailmenot.com/view/cpotools.com
Factory Reconditioned Bosch 1617EVSPK-RT 12 Amp 2.25 HP Combination Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Kit

you want to use MDF and you already have underestimated it from the git go...
do you realize cheap budget router bits are going to be expensive in the long run...
they will have short run life and need to be replaced often because MDF is very abrasive to cutters....
you'll then push them past their endurance and burn the MDF...
keep on burning the MDF and MDF dust is very flammable...
ever try to put out saw dust fire???
good luck w/ the off shore manufactured TS blade too... and is the correct tooth configuration???

another thing there is no mention of, dust collection or how you intend to protect your respiratory system from the dust and it will ruin your life let alone your weekend...
if you think you are going to get by w/ those elcheapo white dust masks.. guess again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LOL Stick, you're not going to make me mad. Don't worry about that. I appreciate your input. Your keen insight is amazing. I never said the speed control failed on the first two routers (blue hawk) and you guessed that it did. well, The first one, the cheap fence locking screw got galled up and the knob wouldn't turn. The carriage bolt that is suppose to lock in place was spinning in the table and was tearing up the table. So I took it back and exchanged it for the second one ... which did have the speed control problem.

The skill should work. It don't have to work for long. Just long enough to finish my doors. I don't see it as throwing good money after bad. It's a $70 router and if it fails, I'll take it back to lowes and get another one.

Here is what I don't understand, if I cut a bevel (and I'd have to measure the angle to find out exactly how much to take off) on my table saw then I have removed a good chunk of the material from the MDF. Now, if I go to the router and take small cuts .. say 1/8 or something at a time, how is that going to over work the router? If it can't do that then it has no business being called a router in the first place.

I appreciate the link to the reconditioned router, if I can find the funds then I may buy it. I am the type of person that likes good quality tools. However, at the same time I know I can't afford better right now. I have a job to do and one way or the other I'm going to do it. If push comes to shove then I'll pop a piece of 1/4 plywood in there and call it good enough. Maybe some frosted glass, not sure yet but these doors age getting made.

I haven't underestimated MDF. It's crap, but it's cheap crap LOL. Only reason I'm using it in the first place is because it's flat ... very flat. I don't have a plainer or jointer, if I did I'd be using real wood.

You have made assumptions that my bits are cheap.. I never said they were cheap. They are but that's OK with me because they were free. If they don't hold up then I'll get more. I'm going to use what I have and see how it does. If they work then they work, if not then I'll address that problem when the time comes.

No, never tried to put out a saw dust fire, but I'm sure your everyday garden hose will do the trick. Yes, I'll unplug it first LOL.

Not worried too much about the dust, I'll be working outside with a shop vac sucking up most of it. I've very well versed in PPE. I have a north 7600 full face respirator with pre filters. Ain't no dust gonna get through that :)

Now, I hope you don't get offended, it's not intended either but what did any of this have to do with a speed controller that would work with a soft start motor? That reconditioned router you mentioned has a soft start motor and variable speed. That tells me that it can be done and there may be an external controller out there. I just haven't found it yet. Then again, maybe not.

>>>>> good luck w/ the off shore manufactured TS blade too... and is the correct tooth configuration? <<<<<< What is this? I have no idea

Please don't get me wrong. You probably know what you're talking about but, you don't know me, my capabilities, or the position I'm in. I may not have a lot of funds to spend on this but, I have to work within my means. I'll hang curtains over them if I have too lol. It's not that critical for me to have cabinet doors. If I can do it then I will, if not then screw it.
 

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hello, i'm kinda new here and new to routing in general. I was kind of forced into it by demand lol. Here is my issue with the skill 1817 variable speed ... It doesn't have any. I'm needing to build raised panel kitchen cabinet doors. I bought a router table and router combo from lowes (blue hawk brand) for this project, lets just say that didn't work. Returned two of them. Bought a skill table and router and i already had a bit set. However, the bit for the raised panel is freakishly huge. I've done a little research and i know i need to slow it down. The problem i'm having with the skill 1817 is it has a soft start motor. I can't find a variable speed controller that will work with it. They all state that they won't work with a soft start router. Is there one that will work? I'm seriously thinking about taking the router apart and trying to remove the soft start device. I have no clue why anyone would make a router than the speed can't be controlled on... Just seems stupid to me.

Any help would be appreciated and please don't say buy a better router ... That's not an option.

Thank you
variable speed add on controllers do not work with soft start routers.
 

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That reconditioned router you mentioned has a soft start motor and variable speed. That tells me that it can be done and there may be an external controller out there. I just haven't found it yet. Then again, maybe not.
The thing with an external speed control with a soft start router, is now you have 2 controllers trying to control the speed of the router. Since the first(ext speed control) is already slowing the outer, it messes up the ramp up time of the soft start circuit.

With a router that has both soft start and speed control, both functions are done by the same controller that is properly designed for that.

The assumption is the slower ramp up will destroy the soft start circuit in the router. I am personally not convinced that will happen, but... do ya really want to risk that?
You can of course disable the softstart feature, if that is something you are comfortable doing.

So.. you have had issues with 2 of these routers? That should tell you something!

If budget is an issue, here is another option..
Sears.com

People either swear by, or swear at Craftsman. But I have 4 of them, 3 of which are 18-20+ years old and going strong. The forth is about the same model I posted without variable speed(I know.. got it really cheap!) and it has been reliable as well.
 

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Removing as much material as you can on the table saw and then making progressive router cuts (if necessary) is the way to go in your situation.
 

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LOL Stick,.
I never said the speed control failed on the first two routers (blue hawk) and you guessed that it did. well, The first one, the cheap fence locking screw got galled up and the knob wouldn't turn. The carriage bolt that is suppose to lock in place was spinning in the table and was tearing up the table. So I took it back and exchanged it for the second one ... which did have the speed control problem.
you are not the 1st one to have had these issues... actually they are kinda common to the brand...
no guess work involved...


The skill should work. It don't have to work for long. Just long enough to finish my doors. I don't see it as throwing good money after bad. It's a $70 router and if it fails, I'll take it back to Lowes and get another one.
I see..

Here is what I don't understand, if I cut a bevel (and I'd have to measure the angle to find out exactly how much to take off) on my table saw then I have removed a good chunk of the material from the MDF. Now, if I go to the router and take small cuts .. say 1/8 or something at a time, how is that going to over work the router? If it can't do that then it has no business being called a router in the first place.
that router is tailored to those who think with their wallets or the weekenders that use one rarely...

I appreciate the link to the reconditioned router, if I can find the funds then I may buy it. I am the type of person that likes good quality tools. However, at the same time I know I can't afford better right now. I have a job to do and one way or the other I'm going to do it. If push comes to shove then I'll pop a piece of 1/4 plywood in there and call it good enough. Maybe some frosted glass, not sure yet but these doors age getting made.
now that's a plan that is easy on yourself...

I haven't underestimated MDF. It's crap, but it's cheap crap LOL. Only reason I'm using it in the first place is because it's flat ... very flat. I don't have a plainer or jointer, if I did I'd be using real wood.
real wood for the rails and stiles w/ inserts like you mentioned...
lot less effort and a way better, stronger, longer lasting, finished product..
look to poplar for for flat and straight.. comes in a lot of off the shelf thicknesses...
as for that jointer use your router and a straight edge...


You have made assumptions that my bits are cheap..
no I didn't - I said...

do you realize that cheap budget router bits are going to be expensive in the long run???
they will have short run life and need to be replaced often because MDF is very abrasive to cutters....

just headed that on off at the pass...


No, never tried to put out a saw dust fire, but I'm sure your everyday garden hose will do the trick. Yes, I'll unplug it first LOL.
surprisingly. a garden hose doesn't work all that well....
it will put out the fire on the surface or contain it but does little to nothing for the fire internally...
when you stir the pile of saw dust to get to the fire internally it will flash and that's where the problems start....
at a minimum, say goodbye to facial hair.... SNORK!!!
think Pennsylvania coal mine fires...
saw dust fires can be very difficult to put out...


Not worried too much about the dust, I'll be working outside with a shop vac sucking up most of it.
for a few minuets till the filter plugs unless you add a separator to help you out there...

I've very well versed in PPE. I have a north 7600 full face respirator with pre filters. Ain't no dust gonna get through that
excellent!!!

Now, I hope you don't get offended,
the only thing that would offend me is if you interfered w/ Daninvan's beer and grub deliveries...

it's not intended either but what did any of this have to do with a speed controller that would work with a soft start motor? That reconditioned router you mentioned has a soft start motor and variable speed. That tells me that it can be done and there may be an external controller out there. I just haven't found it yet. Then again, maybe not.

more head it off at the pass stuff... you did say you were new to all this...
hints, suggestions and tips offered free of charge...

the cost of the router and speed controller, together, would more than cover the cost of that reconditioned 1617 which will give you an outstanding router, smooth top table adjustments and speed control all in on package...

the reason an external speed controller won't work on a router that has speed control built into it is that you are trying to operate them in tandem...
internal or external speed control, your pick, but not both simultaneously..


>>>>> good luck w/ the off shore manufactured TS blade too... and is the correct tooth configuration? <<<<<< What is this? I have no idea
yet another head it off at the pass to help make this project a little less frustrating...

Please don't get me wrong. You probably know what you're talking about but, you don't know me, my capabilities, or the position I'm in. I may not have a lot of funds to spend on this but, I have to work within my means. I'll hang curtains over them if I have too lol. It's not that critical for me to have cabinet doors. If I can do it then I will, if not then screw it.
okay...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You can of course disable the softstart feature, if that is something you are comfortable doing.
Bingo .. yes the soft start would have to be disabled or removed and I have no problems with that at all.

So.. you have had issues with 2 of these routers? That should tell you something!
No, the issue I had with the two other routers were different. They were blue hark brand routers. I switched to a skill 1817.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
that router is tailored to those who think with their wallets or the weekenders that use one rarely...
That's me :)

real wood for the rails and stiles w/ inserts like you mentioned...
lot less effort and a way better, stronger, longer lasting, finished product..
look to poplar for for flat and straight.. comes in a lot of off the shelf thicknesses...
as for that jointer use your router and a straight edge...
Yes, I will be using poplar for the rails and stiles. The MDf is for the insert. I bought a 2ft by 4ft piece from home depot for $12 to play with. I don't know how well it will work but for $12 it seemed worth it to find out.

surprisingly. a garden hose doesn't work all that well....
it will put out the fire on the surface or contain it but does little to nothing for the fire internally...
when you stir the pile of saw dust to get to the fire internally it will flash and that's where the problems start....
at a minimum, say goodbye to facial hair.... SNORK!!!
think Pennsylvania coal mine fires...
saw dust fires can be very difficult to put out...
Old shop safety saying "clean as you go". There won't be any large piles of sawdust.

for a few minuets till the filter plugs unless you add a separator to help you out there...
Good idea

Now, I hope you don't get offended,
the only thing that would offend me is if you interfered w/ Daninvan's beer and grub deliveries...
HAHAHA That's the spirit

more head it off at the pass stuff... you did say you were new to all this...
hints, suggestions and tips offered free of charge...


I like free :)


the cost of the router and speed controller, together, would more than cover the cost of that reconditioned 1617 which will give you an outstanding router, smooth top table adjustments and speed control all in on package...


No it won't. The router is $70 and the external controller $56. I'm not going to use the $155 controller I found. If I had that much to spend on this then I would agree with you. I know, the external controller will not compensate for load and the bit will slow down. If it becomes a problem then I'll have to compensate for that.


the reason an external speed controller won't work on a router that has speed control built into it is that you are trying to operate them in tandem...
internal or external speed control, your pick, but not both simultaneously..
Yes, I'll have to disable the soft start device in the router. That will be an easy modification.

>>>>> good luck w/ the off shore manufactured TS blade too... and is the correct tooth configuration? <<<<<< What is this? I have no idea
yet another head it off at the pass to help make this project a little less frustrating...
Can you elaborate a little on this? I still don't know what it was you were trying to head off LOL
 

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Old shop safety saying "clean as you go". There won't be any large piles of sawdust.

No it won't. The router is $70 and the external controller $56.

Can you elaborate a little on this? I still don't know what it was you were trying to head off LOL
it's the saw dust that builds up in the vac, DC's and under the TS in thick quantity....

= 126$ + tax + time + gas + more time/gas for the exchanges....
the Bosch is the better deal by a wide margin...
by any chance is the controller Harbor Fright???

see the attachments...
 

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