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soft start/variable speed table setup

32498 Views 175 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  jw2170
greetings all... here is my situation: I've built a custom router table, invested in top of the line accessories blah, blah, blah.. but as of yet, still have not purchased a router. I would idealy want to have remote control (outside of the router box portion of the cabinet) of router motor speed. Right now, the only production router i can find that allows for this is the Milwaukee 5625 sold as a package with remote varialble speed control. This package has reviewed very well and certainly isn't a bad consideration, however, I'd like to know of any other options. From what I've read, the big PC's and Milwaukee's with soft start and VS will not allow for a 'remote' motor speed controller. I've read through the forum and could not find anything that answered my questions, so i figure go straight to the experts..thanks in advance for any assistance...
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ok guys, here is the short story.. quite honestly, the table I've built is way beyond what I need. or probably will ever need for that matter. But dang, its cool. 27 x 49 x 1 3/8" tabletop with an Incra LS fence, wonderfence, Incra rails and mounting base (yes, attached to the router table for quick and easy relocation/removal of the fence) The cabinet itself is 41 x 27. The Cabinet mounts as an addition/extension to my cabinet saw. Will purchase a woodpecker PR2 lift as soon as I decide on the router. I already have a digital height readout mounted on the control side as well as a deadman switch. I've ordered a Jessem Mit-r-slide which I will adapt to my fence assemblies via machined aluminum stock if necessary. not to mention just way to many dooo dads and thingamabobs.. *L*.. You dont' even want the long version, trust me.. anyways, back to the question at hand.. I guess the answer is just cuz, easy access and control of router speed etc.

OH, did i mention, it just looks cool?
bobj3, I passed up 'a little over the deep end' on this thing long ago, but all in all, that was kind of the point of the project. waiting for great deals, waiting for sales, nickel and diming it as I went along. The research I've put in, the time, craftsmanship etc. have all contributed to a huge learning curve. Primarily with cabinet design and layout.

I broke down and purchased a custom sized table from Woodpeckers (28" x 49" x 1 3/8"). this included them placing the plate hole exactly where I needed it. The table itself is laminated MDF with a industrial grade phenolic laminate on both the top and bottom. Money I believe well spent. I don't believe expansion for you would be much of an issue. Mounting a twin screw to it might be though. Mounting wouldn't be a problem, but the constant stress applied to the screw might be unless you really do a good job of reinforcing the table and make good use of legs to the floor. My table is mounted to a cabinet I built. The LS runs on a pair of Incra TS rails and basemount. This way I can pop the entire assembly off in a heart beat...AS for remote control. I'm sold on it, I want it *L* and damned if i can find the milwaukee (jessem) 05626 motor. I have a call into Jessen and they are trying to run one down for me. Every where I've called, they are out of stock and not going to get anymore. Jessem says the have stopped production. My guess is due to the high cost. I've spoken to two electrical motor shops and they both agree that because of the ue of a circuit board, built into the big routers, converting them is not a very good idea..but I'll keep looking...
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I never even thought of the shipping to AK... thats gotta be a deal killer for sure..

well, here is something more to ponder if there isn't enough already. Consider a freestanding table. Giving you the flexibility to move the table around if and when you need to. Design your table a lil short of the height of your new saw and use it for an outfeed table. Killing two birds with one stone. A little planning ahead will allow for the quick removal of the LS positioner. Place a piece of 3/4" mdf or other suitable material over the top of the router table (just to save the table top from getting all scratched up). Give yourself some extra wide mitre slots so exact alignment isn't necessary.
the only question would be where the dust port for the TS is located and how to work around it....
ok guys, a good friend passed this link onto me. One of the best if not the best piece i've seen on converting a 5625 Milwaukee to what amount to a 05626 Milwaukee (with factory remote VS control) I have concerns about how this might effec the routers PCB control. However, if you read the article. the author claims there are no issues?...I'm guessing this conversion would apply to just about any router.. Before you try it, consult with someone who would know one way or the other first...

WoodNet Forums: Milwaukee 5625 Router convert JessEm 5626 - WARNING - PIC HEAVY
For those of you out there that are following this lil adventure or just curious here's the latest. It seems that Jessem and Milwaukee have parted ways. the 05626 with remote variable speed is no longer available and out of production. (per jessem) I'm running out of patience but have yet to hear back from Jessem on a possibly inventory return they were expecting to recieve. Once again, the folks at Jessem have been great to deal with. I've been very impressed with their customer service. Most of of the websites that offer the unit just havn't taken the add offline yet. I've heard the rumor that Jessem is looking at providing another remote VS router via another mfg. heard that from two different vendors, but nothing to support it.
Hey Levon..

Yes, surprisingly (at least to me) not much mention in here about the Milwaukee line of routers. I don't put much stock in any mfg's review of their own product. I do rely heavily on 2nd party reviews and consumer comments which weigh heavily in my decession making process. I think it part its due to the fact that most of the guys who have been using routers for quite a while have gone to PC and stuck with them. and why not, if something works and works well, why change. The killer with the 05626 in my opinion has got to be the price point. At 500 a pop, just how much market share did they think they were going to get? Considering that the base model 0525 is around 275 +/- a few bucks.
Its priced competitively. Take away the router base, add a remote VSC (which in the end couldn't have added much if anything to the cost) and you've got something to should sell just above the PC 75182. But nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.... *L*
hiya BigJim,

yeppers, PC has a lot of em no doubt. In fact, I am leaning towards an 890 if I can't find a Milwaukee anytime soon. The 890 has been a solid performer even with its history of problems. From what i've read, PC is quick and more than willing to resolve any issues you may run across. I do believe that the newer models are more reliable, thinking that PC has corrected any problems with the line.
One thing i've heard and have been trying to confrim is that the (just an example) 890 you might pick up at a local retailer is NOT identical to an 890 you may pick up at say Rockler or woodcraft. In order to put the product on the shelf, the mfg. is given a price point by the seller and the unit is then modeled to meet that price point. Often sacraficing high end quality parts in order to meet the sellers pricepoint..

btw, how goes your own project? where do you stand with it? I've been following your posts and havn't heard much of late?...

how's the 'skeeters' up there this time of year???
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Levon.. your right,,, dead on..

I think it has more to do with two things. First is "does it work".. and if it does, why mess with it. and Second is "feel". We learn how to use a specific router. We learn how it feels, how it reacts, we come to anticipate what the router will do. The operation of a good tool becomes instinctive. We push a lil here, lean this way or that, tilt the head to the left or right, set the speed just right. We get used to the weight, the noise and the kick. Its all good, when it works well and we've spent some time getting used to the tool. Everytime we get a new one, the process starts all over again.
hey Jim...

I see your point about the whole electrical thing. Hate to put money into something that isn't going to be permanent. Since I don't know the EC codes up there. have you considered a electrical generator as a source of power? Minor mods to tie into your shop while you are there, and when your ready to relocate, it relocates with ya and you can keep it as a backup or just sale it outright to recoup some of the expense?..
Lance.. thats exactly what I want to do, everything from the top of the table...

with regards to variable speed control. the heart of the matter lies within the "Electronic Feedback Module". In all of the wiring diagrams I have looked at now, the EFM is a stationary mounted control unit at the base of the router. The speed control mechanism, either a dial or switch level is basically built into the EFM. The EFM gets its signal from the armature. Remove the EFM and you remove the signal, no speed control. Now in the case of the link I posted a while back. The EFM is replaced with an EFM designed for 'remote" control. This EFM looks to be a direct replacement for the factory unit. It almost appears to me that this unit is what might be used on the 05626 Milwaukee that started this whole thing. However, I do not know that to be a fact. Once this EFM is isntalled, its all downhill from there. The orginal creater of that link, a fellow named Casey Puyleart, did a fantastic job. Since the 05626 Milwaukee is no longer available, and I've all but given up trying to locate one, I've put in an email attempting to find out if the parts used in the upgrade as still available..

the saga continues...
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welp, here we go. this is for those of you that have been following this thread or at least have found it to be of some interest. Earlier today, I finally commited to a router. After having considered both the PC 7518 and the Milwaukee 5625-20 I've decided on the Milwaukee. I found a good price or at least a fair price on Ebay earlier today. $250.00 for a new router which included a 1/4" collet. Not a price that will qualifty for deal of the century, but a fair price none the less.
After having spent a considerable amount of time researching and reading on both, mostly reviews and the like. I decided upon the Milwaukee for a couple of reason. First and foremost is the fact that I will be able to convert the unit to remote control. Both on/off and variable speed control will be handled outside of the box. Second was the fact that the Mil. is a bit quieter than the PC. Since I work out of my basement keeping the noise down at night is a plus. Third was the availability of service, should I need it. I found that I have a authorized Milwaukee repair shop, just 20 minutes down the road. I stopped in and spoke with the guys in the repair shop and they were just as helpful as could be. Commenting hightly on the 5625 which pretty much sealed the deal. The few things that I did find a bit concerning was one, it appears that there are models made in the USA and there are those made in china. I've been unable to narrow down which is made where. The unit I purchased is labeled as being Mfg. in US with parts from both china and USA. Just the world we live in I guess. Secondly while in the Mil. repair shop today, I asked if they could give me a price on a unit. (this was before buying the one I did). The guy came back after having made a phone call and said that it would be at least 3 weeks before they could get one which I thought rather odd. Even more so than that, according to the guy on the other end of the line, he wasn't sure if the 5625 was about to be discontinued in lew of new line. I thought about it a while and decided that anything 'new' is gonna be more expensive and that I hoped that if they did come out with a new line, its a good as the old one.
Both the PC and the Milwaukee owners are for the most part extremely loyal to their brand. Pretty much split down the middle in terms of numbers and opinions. What was perhaps even more surprising was the lack of trash talk between the two camps. I found that to be very refreshing. One does not stand out over the other in just about every category for table mounted routing. Now if your looking for a unit to do both above and below table, that reviews and opinions again, are pretty much split. With a slight edge going to the PC side, if only for the fact, the 7518 been around longer.
So now, I can't wait for the thing to arrive. I received my Incra PRLv2 a few weeks back. Man, I gotta tell ya, this thing is one hefty piece of equipment. Solid, well built and crafted. I was very impressed with it. I can't comment on its operation yet, but just out of the box I have to say, if it works half as well as it looks, I'll be very happy. The Wixey digital readout I ordered with it came as well. A no brainer to install on this particular lift since all holes were predrilled and ready to have the Wixey mounted up. It took all of 20 minutes to mount the gauge onto the lift. Setting up the router into the lift and the lift into the table are non issues. Quite simple.
Converting the 5625 to remote control like the one in the link I posted earlier shouldn't be difficult at all. I contacted the sourse for the parts and they were all readily available and will ship out in 5-7 days. As of today, the prices are still current. The tech I spoke with at Charles Day said that in the past few weeks he has had several calls for the parts listed. A half dozen or better. I just had to laugh. I'd like to think the calls were due to the readership of this thread, but who knows. Since the Electronic Feedback Control is a bolt on feature and key to the upgrade, the rest is all downhill from there. Wiring and type of controls to be used are up to the builder. Leaving wide open all kinds of options for fit and finish.
Right now, I've got two head scratches. First is the WonderFence I purchased. My LS positioner's fence mounts dead on 90 to my table top. No if's and's or butt's. when I went to mount the wonder fence, she mounted up with almost a 3 degree pitch from the table top to the top of the fence. The WF 2 piece fence assembly lies flat to the table when not attached to the LS fence. After checking with a known good square it appears the problem is with the "offset" mechanisms. I contacted incra and the replied this was no big deal. I dunno about that... and tend to disagree. especially when doing upright boards. So I'll have to come up with a solid shim set up.
Second is the mounting of the Jessem Mit-r-slide to the LS fence. The jessem unit is a beast. Heavy, and solidly built. Very impressive piece of equipment. Absolutely no slop between the round rail the unit travels back and forth on and the miter assembly. This unit beats the heck out of the factory Incra sled by a mile. Or at best, I would suspect it will.
Since my table is a hefty 28" x 50" and the router opening centers 20"s off the front edge, I'll have alot of table behind the fence to make use of in one fashion or another. I plan on taking and using this part of the table for an assembly area for my pocket hole jig. The LS will eventually be mounted on rails and a base unit that will allow for quick and easy removal, hence leaving the back side of the table open for use. Had I thought of it prior to building my cabinet, I might have even considered building a down draft system into the back portion of the router table and using a portion of the table as the draft cavity. Right now, the cabinet itself stands at about 38"s. Which for some may seem a little high, but I find it a very comfortable work height. Especially since my back ain't what it used to be....
So the saga continues...
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the real deal maker for me on this project was the fact that I was able to find an Electronic feedback control unit that was/is a direct replacement for the factory Milwaukee unit. I can't give you an informed answer to your Bosch question, but I would suggest that you contact your nearest authorized repair dealer. Over the course of the last 3 or 4 months, I've talked with I dont know how many repair guys, inquiring as to what can and cant' be done. by far, the factory trained guys were the sharpest. My router arrived today, so this weekend, she's going in..*S*
Levon.. make no mistake about it, Woodworking Sense is Nick's forum.. the guy is pouring his heart and soul into it. I"m just there to help when I can....Its actually kinda fun getting in on the ground far, a bit slow, but enjoyable..
Levon.. I''m sure ya didn't, and nothing taken....Please, stop in from time to time. I'm just a "lower echolooney". *S*..but its been fun, and they guys thus far are a great bunch..
Hey there John...

Ya gotta start somewhere's eh?.. *S* I'm finally nearing the end of setting up my table so i kinda got a feel for where you are right now. I decided to "buy" my table top, just because I really didn't want to be bothered building one. If you read around this forum, Most of the folks here will tell ya to go ahead and make one yourself. There are some serious advantages to doing this, first and foremost is the fact you end up with exactly what you want. Second is that you get a world of real world experience Building a good table is pretty straight forward and there are plenty of plans available. A very good way to help develope your skills Third is the fact that if ya screw up, which we all do from time to time, your not out a ton of money. I hope you enjoyed researching your setup as much as I did mine. It was a learning curve I completely did not expect....AS for the big router with fixed speed. I think, (and I'm by not means an expert on this) that the industry is quickly moving away from that profile. As bits become bigger and heavier and the router itself becomes a increasingly versatile woodworking tool, having control over your speed is a huge advantage. Personally that was a feature I was dead set on having.
Just a quick update on my table... the two head scratchers I thought I had turned out to be very easy to take care. First was the Wonder Fence having a pitch inwards off of the tabletop surface. Here it turns out that Incra in all of their wisdom provide 6 clear plastic shims with the fence. ALWAYS be sure to check your packaging *L*.. Shims in turn are installed above or below the mounting screws that offset assembly to the backside fence. A couple shims and bang, she was dead on... The Jessem Mit-R-Slide took a bit more thinking.. but in the end, I found that if i mounted the right side bracket to the front of the old incra fence, then mount the left side bracket to the back side of the incra fence I'd have a secure spot to start from. From there, all it took were two short pieces of T-track. Attaching to both the bracket and the assembly. This also allows for a lil laterial adjustment of the rig. Ended up being incredibly rigid. Smoooooooooooth operation and square to the table for the full run.

Just waiting on the electrical components from Chas. Day now... life is good!!!! *S*
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sorry folks, just not real good at quick replies...*L*
none taken.... i think...


how's goes your adventure??
OK.. got the electrical parts from Chas. Day Co. the other day. the install was incredibly easy. Nothing to it at all. Excellent job by the orginal JCBrewing describing what to do. But when it was all said and done. I got ISSUES..*L* should I have expected less *S*..

here's what happens, and Im hoping some EE out there might have a good answer. Once completely retrofitted the router will not run??? UNLESS I toggle the on/off switch several times. Each time I turn it on and then off, the shaft spins a little, then a little more with the next on/off cycle and so on, until after about 5-7 on/off cycle she comes up to speed and appears to run just fine. At this point, the speed control works great. No way to tell just how fast the router is going, but she sounds like she did prior to the retro fit. I did take and undo everything, reinstall the orginal module and wiring and she runs just fine.. no issues at all. I have as yet to put any kind of a load on the router either with the retro fit or OE. (by load I mean run anywood over it) I"ve ohmed out the speed control and i have a nice resistance swing from one end to the other...I'm thinking I have a bad module,,but who know.. anythoughts on the matter out there??? At this point I really don't want to hear I got a bad router...*L* ohhhhhhhhhhh hell no!!!! I guess if it were easy, it wouldn't have been this much fun so far....
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