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...