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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all!

As my handle implies, I'm a newbie router-man in the Metro Baton Rouge area. I am currently involved in a year-long flood reconstruction project on a building owned by a non-profit organization to which I belong. It's been slow going with all volunteer labor (weekends and some nights), but we are coming up on the final stretch, cabinets and trim. Although I have a general knowledge of woodworking, I have never used a router before, so I have several basic questions.

1. I have been evaluating different routers and looking at router tables, with the main goal being to construct raised panels for the cabinets. Would a 2 1/4 hp such as the Bosch 1617EVS be sufficient for this, or should I look at a 3 1/4 hp like the Hitachi M12V2?

2. for the windows, I'm planning to use a bull nose bit to create a rounded sill with no lip on 1-inch stock. However, since 1-inch stock is actually 3/4", should I use a 1-inch or a 3/4-inch cut diameter bit?

3. What should I look for in a router table? Right now, I'm leaning toward the Bosch RA1181 table. Any other recommendations?

This is probably more information than anyone cares about, but I wanted to let you know a little about the situation. I am by no means a carpenter by trade or hobby, just a guy trying to do the right thing for a good organization.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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John
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Hello and welcome to the router forum.Ray
Use the Community search Engine, lot of info on router tables
 

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Welcome Newbie from Baton Rouge.

As far as which router and table to consider I'd think you want to get a pretty big router since you're wanting to do panels and thick stock but I'm just a novice, I'll leave the advice to the more matured router users.

Just welcome.
 

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Welcome aboard.

About those routers. I have used both horsepower routers to cut raised panels for cabinet doors. The Bosch 1617 worked OK. What I did was run it at the slowest speed and make several passes adjusting the fence a little each time until I got the desired result. I ran all the pieces by the cutter, then adjusted the fence and ran them again. It turned out just fine. Note that the Rockler insert plate I was using didn't have a hole in it big enough for the big cutter (3 1/2 inch diameter) to pass through. What I wound up doing was screwing an aux bed to the table and installed the cutter from above the table (see pics). Then I had to make a temporary fence so I could space the fence away from the cutter for clearance. All said and done, they turned out nice.

The next run of doors on another project, I use the Triton 3 1/4hp router. With it set at a slow speed, it just loafed along. Definitely better tool for the job.

Regardless of which router you choose, make sure it has an insert plate with the hole pre-drilled in it so the bit depth can be adjusted from above the table. The Triton only requires one wrench because you raise the cutter with the supplied hand crank to it's highest position and it locks in place. Also, the insert plates can be lifted out for bit changes if needed. I don't secure them to the table.

Note that I have switched to the Kreg insert plates with the pre-drilled holes for the adjustment key/crank. My current router table has two routers, one Triton and one Bosch, both mounted to the Kreg insert plate. And the opening is big enough so the cutter fits through it without hitting anything.

I don't know if you have the funds or resources available but the big box stores sell stair treads (4 feet long) that are 1 inch thick...or maybe 1 1/8th thick. Just food for thought.

Good luck. I hope this helps.
Mike
 

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Ray; welcome!

For your first table, just make a really simple one yourself. There's a ton of You Tube and other helpful advice out there; no need to lay out serious cash until you know what YOU need in a router table.
A carpenter buddy has been using a piece of plywood and a clamp-on wood fence, for a very long time...he sees no need to change. He doesn't even have a router plate! His base plate is routered into the plywood from below, and clamped into place. His setup works just fine for him; he does really nice stuff.
 

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Hi Ray and welcome. What Mike said about the horsepower difference. The 1617 is a fine router but in heavy cutting you should notice the hp difference. I have both an M12V and a V2. Both have been very good. The M12V2 was, at least in my opinion, designed for adaptation to the router table. It makes removing the plunge springs very easy and it can be adjusted from above the table. For some reason Hitachi did not promote these design changes, especially the above the table adjustment. The M12V2 also has a wider throat opening to make it easier to use large bits.

If your bits have a 1" cutting height then look at the profile it makes and either subtract 1/8" off both top and bottom or 1/4" off either one and that is what profile you'll have on a piece 3/4" thick. If that doesn't work or is not to your liking then look for one with a 3/4" cutting height but be aware that that bit may leave slight ridges at erither top or bottom that will need to be trimmed off. This is because wood is rarely that uniform that it will be perfectly 3/4" thick from one end to the other.
 

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Ray; welcome!

For your first table, just make a really simple one yourself. There's a ton of You Tube and other helpful advice out there; no need to lay out serious cash until you know what YOU need in a router table.
A carpenter buddy has been using a piece of plywood and a clamp-on wood fence, for a very long time...he sees no need to change. He doesn't even have a router plate! His base plate is routered into the plywood from below, and clamped into place. His setup works just fine for him; he does really nice stuff.
There is also a thread on here on homebuilt router tables. Mine is a tad more complex than a piece of plywood, but not much, I'm on probably version 5 now. Personally, I would never buy a router table, they aren't complicated to make, and you get what you need, at lower cost. And always practice on scrap wood first, not your good wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the replies.

Maybe I'm expecting too much, but after looking at many tables and reading the reviews for most, it seems as though there are few good, quality mid-price range tables out there. They are either cheap pieces of crap or excellent tables priced way above my budget. So, I'm leaning on making my own. That way, I know it will have the features I need or want.

I'm leaning toward a Portamate PM-P254 3 1/4 hp motor, and I have been conjuring a picture in my mind of how to build the table. I'll check out the home-built table forum to get more ideas. I'll document the progress and let ya'll know how it goes.
 

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So far as routers are concerned the BIGGER the better, because it will be capable of completing any task asked of it without stress or over-heating.
Regarding raised panel bits, in spite of having used routers since 1974, I'm scared stiff of using horizontal raised panel bits, I consider vertical ones to be safer and just as efficiant.
 

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Thanks for all the replies.

Maybe I'm expecting too much, but after looking at many tables and reading the reviews for most, it seems as though there are few good, quality mid-price range tables out there. They are either cheap pieces of crap or excellent tables priced way above my budget. So, I'm leaning on making my own. That way, I know it will have the features I need or want.

I'm leaning toward a Portamate PM-P254 3 1/4 hp motor, and I have been conjuring a picture in my mind of how to build the table. I'll check out the home-built table forum to get more ideas. I'll document the progress and let ya'll know how it goes.
Check out Steve Ramsey on you tube. He built a simple table top and a cabinet.
 

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Ray, since you are looking for a table to build raised panels with MLCS offers a horizontal table that excels at this task. Priced at $180 it won't break the bank but it will make your job easier. Using a horizontal bit is a good idea like Harry said. Lower cost and less mass in motion = less power required. The Bosch 1617EVSPK would work fine. Mount the fixed base to the table and use the plunge base for other jobs you run across in the renovation.

You can view the table here: https://www.mlcswoodworking.com/sho...er_table.html#horizontal_original_text_anchor
 
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