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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posed the following question in my introduction, and whether or not "my first router" questions are appropriate there, it's just buried in too much text there, and I just realized I can't edit:

Based on reading around here, I'm looking at the Bosch 1617 (tried-and-true though it is, its German-market version was discontinued more than 18 months ago) and the badly-partnumbered family of MRF23EVS, MRP23EVS, and MRC23EVSK (which were released to the German market after more than a year of delays).

I'd prefer the MR_23 for more power, certain other details, and also likely way more remaining market lifespan.

But I'm really unclear on the height adjustments. Common to the 1617 and MR_23, it appears that you always have to unclamp, adjust, and clamp again, except for the turret and the additional fine adjustment on the plunge base which are independent of the clamped part.

But what happens when it's upside-down?

I assume that the 1617's table base lets you crank up or down once unclamped, with no need to push the router up against a stop, since it's meant to be hanging.

But is this true for the fixed bases (1617 as well as MRF23)? Or does the adjustment there simply move a stop on which the motor rests when upright, but against which it must be pushed when hanging to see the result of the adjustment?

That's my biggest question, because the only reason I'd prefer the 1617 is its table base if the MRF base under a table is less convenient than that.

Additionally, I'm unsure about the plunge base adjustment. I'm still not convinced that I'd have that much need for the plunge ability initially, except for the additional layers of fine adjustment you get - more reproducible after bit changes because you can zero the scales after lowering the bit to the table surface?
Can you use the post-clamp fine adjustment while the plunge mechnism is locked all the way down (if that lock is even possible), so as to fine-tune with test cuts, or is the idea purely to adjust the stop numerically before plunging?

Before I pull the trigger on the MRC23, I'm just wanting a sanity check that I won't end up wishing I'd gone for the 1617 fixed/table combo because the MRF is a pain under the table while the MRP on top is floppy for no additional benefit.
 

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Benedikt, the 1617 fixed base and the MRF23 operate the same way. There are three rough height adjustment tabs and the fine adjustment knob. Both bases can be adjusted from above the table although why anyone would want to is beyond me. Once the clamp is closed you are locked in position. Neither plunge base is designed for table mounting; this means do not do it, period. The MRP23 has an after lock continuous fine adjustment that is not available on the 1617.

The 1617 fixed base and the table base are identical excpt the fixed base has provision for knobs. Leave the knobs off for table mounted use. Both current versions have the through the base height adjustment feature. Early 1617's do not. You must unclamp the toggle lock to make height adjustments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When the height adjustment clamp on a fixed base is open, how well is the motor supported (both up and down?) by the height adjustment? Does it sit loosely enough to droop off-axis? I gather it's loose enough that the clamp is required for operation.
 

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I can't speak for the MR23, but on the 1617 you'll want to close the clamp to rout. It's "sloppy" in the base with the clamp open, but the height is right. I mounted my base so that the clamp is at about 30 degrees to the left of right in front of me--so that when i open the door my left hand hits that spot blindly. I've drilled an access hole in my plate, so the right hand puts the hex key in the adjustment screw, quick turn, flip the clamp closed. Pretty quick and simple.

Some of the veterans here would have been able to analyze how they work and come up with a placement, but mine was not planned--just pure good fortune when i marked the plate for drilling. Dumb luck.

From Mike's descriptions of the MR23, i'd guess it's similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MRC23 with free edge guide

So I decided on the MR 23.

I found that acme tools dot com not only has the MRC23 fixed/plunge combo slightly cheaper than anybody else ($280, free shipping, and the $25 off Bosch orders applies), but they also have it incl. a free RA1054 edge guide. "While supplies last".

This may be because Bosch has discontinued the guide in the US, even as it comes free in the (bigger) box with any MR23 in Germany.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Benedikt, the 1617 fixed base and the MRF23 operate the same way. There are three rough height adjustment tabs and the fine adjustment knob. Both bases can be adjusted from above the table although why anyone would want to is beyond me. Once the clamp is closed you are locked in position. Neither plunge base is designed for table mounting; this means do not do it, period. The MRP23 has an after lock continuous fine adjustment that is not available on the 1617.
This afterlock adjustment makes the plunge base much much better for hand routing than the fixed base, even though the plunge is quite sticky (both when it was new and clean, and now that it ought to be frred up from use if it needed it). Since I use it almost exclusively, using the fixed base in a router table is not an inconvenience.

However, also due to the afterlock adjustment, the plunge base would seem to work much nicer also in a routing table than the fixed base.

Why should it not be used thusly? Have Bosch ever stated why, or is it obvious?
Will the adjuster tear off with the weight pulling in the wrong direction?

thanks.
 
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