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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm probably right in thinking that routers were invented in America, and like so many countries that have been first to embrace new technology, America is no different in ending up with outdated routers. Americans keep telling me that Porter Cable style template guides are the standard, and if this is so it's plain stupid! Firstly, fixed base routers appear to be more prevalent than plunge routers, the latter being far more versatile than fixed base ones. Plunge routers can do EVERYTHING that a fixed base one can plus LOTS more. This is a FACT, so why aren't plunge routers being promoted. I'm aware that there are "combo" units that have a fixed and plunge base but there really is no substitute for a tool specifically designed for a purpose.
Back to the present design of American routers, most have a magnificent BIG opening in the base but then fit a sub-base with a tiny opening, sheer madness! It's madness because only the P.C. style template guides fit and these restrict the internal diameter such that one is left with the use of a smaller selection of bits, also with smaller guides it isn't possible to SEE what the tip of the bit is doing, and most importantly, with most of your routers the collet will not pass through the guide, restricting the depth of cut, also if the operator plunges too far, the collet rubs on the guide which can unscrew the guide, I know, it's happened to me on two occasions when I used the PC style guide because I didn't have the exact size in a sensible one piece guide for my Makita.
America isn't the only country ending up with outdated technology that it was the first to introduce. The UK was the first country to introduce television in about 1937 using the 405 line system and in the meantime when TV was re-introduced after the war, other countries opted for the higher resolution 625 system and only started the changeover in the mid 60's and instead of the five year envisaged changeover period, it took something like 20 years.
Another example is America where colour television was first introduced using the NTSC system whilst most of the rest of the world commenced broadcasts using the far superior German developed PAL system with a few, including France opted for an in-between system known as SECAM.
So my fellow routologists in America don't you think it's time to start a revolution, ASK for PLUNGE routers with BIG template guides (and whilst you're at it why not go all the way and ask for METRIC) if retailers keep getting such requests they are bound to eventually talk to the manufacturers.
There, I feel better now!
 
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Hi Harry

In order to have a revolution you must dislike something I for one like the way the guides are setup in the states and if you want to use the bigger ones you can by drilling the hole out for the 1 1/2" guides ,that's almost the same as your funny 40mm guide that you like to use all the time..many times I need to use a smaller guides for dovetail jobs for just one of them..

So to say no need to fix it if it's not broke..

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Routologist? (ROTFLMAO!)

I'm sort of on the edge of this fence on this and I don't know if an answer from me is even a matter.

I don't use guides and bushings often. When I do, I usually am following something of detail, so a smaller bushing. I've used with larger bits and yes, then you are not seeing the cut, but still you are following your pattern.

To Harry, reading your post - before reading Bob's response, I too wondered why you didn't machine out your base. I've wondered the same of mine, just for using large bits in a table or bottom cleaning bits in planing jigs.

But for larger bits when using guides and bushings? Don't you loose that detail with each larger bushing you go to? It is so for me.

I know with both your experience (Harry and Bob), that I am in homage and not telling either of you anything new. There is a point with me, that I change from bushings in a guide/edge of pattern below the router to the sub-base/baseplate as the bushing inside an external guide beside the sub-base/baseplate in my jigs. Of course then the pattern is locked to that sub-base/baseplate size instead of to a particular size of bushing... And yes, at that size, there is no detail. And I've also used accessory baseplates with oversized so-called bushings.

So I can see both sides of this, but for your side Harry-- Why are you so passionate about it? I've heard you say this numerous times in different ways, in different threads. I guess I am in the dark on that and I just don't understand that yet. Please explain for me why you feel this as an important feature.
 

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Fixed base routers are more stable than plunge routers, they have less side flex. I think Makita's new quick release lever for guide bushings is a great design but... Nobody makes brass guide bushings in this style. Bosch is the only company that has a plunge lock out for easy table use without removing the springs.(1619EVS) Triton makes a nice dedicated table router that is terrible for freehand use. Nobody has everything right.

No question the math is easier with metric guide bushings and bits. Many people have a rough time working with fractions and this is the obvious solution. Everyone can make change for a dollar. The problem with this is companies that have metric bushings available in the rest of the world do not offer them in the US which is the largest market. They are afraid that the metric items will not be accepted.

When the companies wont listen we have to take action to improve things. Whiteside has developed and released the metric 460 bit set at my request. Freud metric bits are now available. In a couple of weeks I will have the prototype metric brass guide bushing sets in both PC and the larger Oak Park/Lee Valley styles for evaluation. We are making progress.
 
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It almost sounds like you've just asked for a Festool router...
Hi Tom

Or a deWalt DW625 (originally a German Elu), a deWalt DW621 (also originally an Elu) or any number of other European or Japanese routers inspired by the original Elu plunge routers of the 1950s and 1960s. I'm with Harry - plunge routers make much more sense for 90% of woodworking tasks, metric makes even more sense! If it ain't broke, don't fix it? To most of us furriners it is! :blink:

Regards

Phil
 

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Hi Tom

Or a deWalt DW625 (originally a German Elu), a deWalt DW621 (also originally an Elu) or any number of other European or Japanese routers inspired by the original Elu plunge routers of the 1950s and 1960s. I'm with Harry - plunge routers make much more sense for 90% of woodworking tasks, metric makes even more sense! If it ain't broke, don't fix it? To most of us furriners it is! :blink:

Regards

Phil
I agree, Phil!


The problem with this is companies that have metric bushings available in the rest of the world do not offer them in the US which is the largest market. They are afraid that the metric items will not be accepted.
Festool, for one, sells metric, snap-in copy rings for their plunge routers in North America. They also support PC bushings.

Stanley may have bought almost everything after B&D dumbed-down the designs but they don't own the entire market. At least not yet...


Tom
 

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If there is anything that we know about Harry it is that he is experienced and wise. Mike and Bob, a large opening does not prevent you from using a small bushing but a small opening does prevent you from using a large one. Mike is right. A fixed base router is nice for some jobs but a plunge router will do those too. I still use my fixed base routers for some jobs but I don't need to.

Anybody in the US that doesn't think that they will eventually change to metric is deluding themselves. Most, if not all, of the US's foreign trade is in metric measure already. When I work on my vehicles (supposedly North American made) I take imperial and metric tools with me. I have made the decision not to buy any more imperial sized tools. I think they are about to be a bad investment with poor chances of a decent return on my money should I decide to sell them unless I do it soon.

There are many reasons for a country not to want to change. Not having to admit that someone came up with a better idea, purchasing patent rights, and sometimes its just politics.
 
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The U.S. was suppose to go metric back in the 70's... remember? About all we got out of it was the 2 liter bottle. I believe Jesus will be on a white horse comng down from Heaven and the U.S. will be using fractions and feet to determine when and where he will land. :)
 

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Metrification of the US

I recall that one of the arguments in the 70's against going metric was that all the factory tooling would have to be changed. Modern CNC tooling doesn't care one way or the other and almost all the machinists I know use both metric and Imperial. I also believe that the US school systems are teaching metric anyway. We have 10 fingers (most of us anyway) so we can count to 10, not 16 or 32 so we can do Imperial fractions. I am personally very comfortable with metric measures and see a gradual shift (operative word = gradual) towards metric going forward. Once an inch was standardized to 2.54 centimeters exactly most of the conversions became almost easy to do in my head.

One thing, though, I never quite figured out why tenths, hundredths and thousandths of an inch, being decimal in nature, never was discussed much in comparing Imperial measurements versus the metric system. Machinists seldom use fractions, only decimal measures. Woodworkers seem to use fractions, say so many 64ths of an inch, and not so much decimals. Seems to me if woodworkers would use decimal inches they would have much of the utility of the metric system. Who cares what the base number is one inch or 2.54 centimeters or 1 centimeter versus 0.3937 inch. If it's in decimal format just add or subtract the numbers.
 

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If this was a metric/imperial consideration alone--

I think this was said here before- unbeknownst to most Americans, we have shifted to the metric system. Bearings are measured here in millimeters. Most of our manufacturing is done overseas and is metric. Tires, autos all metric.

Except for some bits, which are also available in metric, some blades, which are also measured as metric, router chucks/collets, which some are also available in metric, router bushings, which are also available in metric... what exactly is left here as imperial besides some tape measures and how we figure out our measurement references?

EDIT-- Oh, I forgot. Gallons of milk and gasoline. So I guess we need to convert our cows over and we're almost there?
 
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I recall that one of the arguments in the 70's against going metric was that all the factory tooling would have to be changed. Modern CNC tooling doesn't care one way or the other and almost all the machinists I know use both metric and Imperial. I also believe that the US school systems are teaching metric anyway. We have 10 fingers (most of us anyway) so we can count to 10, not 16 or 32 so we can do Imperial fractions. I am personally very comfortable with metric measures and see a gradual shift (operative word = gradual) towards metric going forward. Once an inch was standardized to 2.54 centimeters exactly most of the conversions became almost easy to do in my head.

One thing, though, I never quite figured out why tenths, hundredths and thousandths of an inch, being decimal in nature, never was discussed much in comparing Imperial measurements versus the metric system. Machinists seldom use fractions, only decimal measures. Woodworkers seem to use fractions, say so many 64ths of an inch, and not so much decimals. Seems to me if woodworkers would use decimal inches they would have much of the utility of the metric system. Who cares what the base number is one inch or 2.54 centimeters or 1 centimeter versus 0.3937 inch. If it's in decimal format just add or subtract the numbers.
That's correct and we also use GD&T and ISO standards to set geometric and tolerancing parameters based on datum's and datum references found within feature control frames. Both CD&T and ISO are international standards.
 

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One thing, though, I never quite figured out why tenths, hundredths and thousandths of an inch, being decimal in nature, never was discussed much in comparing Imperial measurements versus the metric system. Machinists seldom use fractions, only decimal measures. Woodworkers seem to use fractions, say so many 64ths of an inch, and not so much decimals. Seems to me if woodworkers would use decimal inches they would have much of the utility of the metric system. Who cares what the base number is one inch or 2.54 centimeters or 1 centimeter versus 0.3937 inch. If it's in decimal format just add or subtract the numbers.
Because although tenths, hundredths and thousandths are base 10 they still are based on decimals of inches not meters.
 

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I recall that one of the arguments in the 70's against going metric was that all the factory tooling would have to be changed. Modern CNC tooling doesn't care one way or the other and almost all the machinists I know use both metric and Imperial. I also believe that the US school systems are teaching metric anyway. We have 10 fingers (most of us anyway) so we can count to 10, not 16 or 32 so we can do Imperial fractions. I am personally very comfortable with metric measures and see a gradual shift (operative word = gradual) towards metric going forward. Once an inch was standardized to 2.54 centimeters exactly most of the conversions became almost easy to do in my head.

One thing, though, I never quite figured out why tenths, hundredths and thousandths of an inch, being decimal in nature, never was discussed much in comparing Imperial measurements versus the metric system. Machinists seldom use fractions, only decimal measures. Woodworkers seem to use fractions, say so many 64ths of an inch, and not so much decimals. Seems to me if woodworkers would use decimal inches they would have much of the utility of the metric system. Who cares what the base number is one inch or 2.54 centimeters or 1 centimeter versus 0.3937 inch. If it's in decimal format just add or subtract the numbers.
You are quite right Larry. Working to 1/10ths of an inch would be much easier. But I am guessing that the current system is based on the fact that you can take a line and with a compass split it in half, which can then be split into half again, and so on. Which would form the current system of imperial fractions. Fortuneatly we have surpassed that fairly antiquated system with accurate measuring tapes and rulers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Harry

In order to have a revolution you must dislike something I for one like the way the guides are setup in the states and if you want to use the bigger ones you can by drilling the hole out for the 1 1/2" guides ,that's almost the same as your funny 40mm guide that you like to use all the time..many times I need to use a smaller guides for dovetail jobs for just one of them..

So to say no need to fix it if it's not broke..

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My dear friend, I well remember that you had a similar opinion when I started to promote the router skis, and look at you now!
I understand that when a person becomes familiar with doing things a certain way they become loathe to try change. I'm in a similar situation with Windows XP, I'm loathe to change to Windows 7, like I prolonged the use of Windows 98. All my friends are challenging me to change to Apple Mac. Next time I have a major hdd crash I'll decide which to change to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Routologist? (ROTFLMAO!)

I'm sort of on the edge of this fence on this and I don't know if an answer from me is even a matter.

I don't use guides and bushings often. When I do, I usually am following something of detail, so a smaller bushing. I've used with larger bits and yes, then you are not seeing the cut, but still you are following your pattern.

To Harry, reading your post - before reading Bob's response, I too wondered why you didn't machine out your base. I've wondered the same of mine, just for using large bits in a table or bottom cleaning bits in planing jigs.

But for larger bits when using guides and bushings? Don't you loose that detail with each larger bushing you go to? It is so for me.

I know with both your experience (Harry and Bob), that I am in homage and not telling either of you anything new. There is a point with me, that I change from bushings in a guide/edge of pattern below the router to the sub-base/baseplate as the bushing inside an external guide beside the sub-base/baseplate in my jigs. Of course then the pattern is locked to that sub-base/baseplate size instead of to a particular size of bushing... And yes, at that size, there is no detail. And I've also used accessory baseplates with oversized so-called bushings.

So I can see both sides of this, but for your side Harry-- Why are you so passionate about it? I've heard you say this numerous times in different ways, in different threads. I guess I am in the dark on that and I just don't understand that yet. Please explain for me why you feel this as an important feature.
Mike, for answers to your questions may I respectfully suggest that you spend time going through my uploads which are all fully illustrated most with explanatory text.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Fixed base routers are more stable than plunge routers, they have less side flex. I think Makita's new quick release lever for guide bushings is a great design but... Nobody makes brass guide bushings in this style. Bosch is the only company that has a plunge lock out for easy table use without removing the springs.(1619EVS) Triton makes a nice dedicated table router that is terrible for freehand use. Nobody has everything right.

No question the math is easier with metric guide bushings and bits. Many people have a rough time working with fractions and this is the obvious solution. Everyone can make change for a dollar. The problem with this is companies that have metric bushings available in the rest of the world do not offer them in the US which is the largest market. They are afraid that the metric items will not be accepted.

When the companies wont listen we have to take action to improve things. Whiteside has developed and released the metric 460 bit set at my request. Freud metric bits are now available. In a couple of weeks I will have the prototype metric brass guide bushing sets in both PC and the larger Oak Park/Lee Valley styles for evaluation. We are making progress.
Mike, the only plunge router that I've owned that had side flex to the extent that in my table I had to fit shims to tilt it slightly forward so that as pressure was applied I was able to achieve a vertical cut, that router my friend was a 1/2" variable speed Bosch that I purchased in the year 2000, I forget the model number.
I appreciate the effort that you have put into the introduction of metric guides and bits, one day members will appreciate this thread of mine as so many members including yourself and Bobj3 have embraced router skis that I've promoted so heavily. I'm fairly patient!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Harry, you are talking about evolution not revolution.
Had I called the thread "evolution" hardly anyone would have taken a look Marcel!
 
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