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I started this in response to an old string started in 2012 by Harry which was recently reactivated but I decided to just start a new string. Opinions are still coming in so I'll throw my 2 cents worth in. Isn't it interesting that people throw their 2 cents worth in but others are only willing to give a penny for your thoughts? But I digress. I won't touch on the metric topic but will say that an inch is an inch no matter what you call it. I have three routers, two are plunge 3 1/2 hp which are way to heavy to use by hand, and one smaller fixed base one that I haven't used in about 3 years. The plunge routers are mounted on plates to use in a table and the springs are removed. So I guess that tells the world that I don't have much use for the plunge feature. As for guide bushings, the ones that I got with the router have never been used. If I need to make something like a curved edge I make a template and use a pattern bit which by the way doesn't require accounting for an offset calculation which can easily cause a mistake. The bigger question that I raise all the time is why does one use a router not mounted in a table? A handheld router certainly isn't as safe, accurate, or easy as a table-mounted when doing edges or doing grooves which is what a router is made for. I know the argument that you can't do mortises with a table-mounted router. Okay, how many mortises does the average person make? More than one a day? a week? A month? If your work requires mortises then buy a mortising machine. Do you make hinge cutouts? If so the buy a small 1/4" router and the correct setup. Do you make carved-out things like bowls? Then buy a lathe. I'll give you this you can't make signs with a table-mounted router. How many out there have ever used a wrench to drive a nail? It sounds crazy because a wrench is not the best tool to use although it does work. How about a screwdriver as a chisel? You see the questions on the form all the time. Can I use a router to cut a board. ( yes but use a table saw) How do I make a dado for a shelf (use a table saw) how do I make a series of holes 2" in diameter (use a hole saw) How do I make dowels (buy them) the list goes on. I have zero use for a handheld router and I use the router almost once a week. I can't imagine that the type of work I do is much different than the average person does yet I get by without ever having to take the router off the table.
 

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Most I suspect that have "too many" tools acquired each when what they had couldn't do the job at hand. I started with a little Skil router. A Christmas or maybe a birthday gift from my dad. My Dad's toolbox was the extent of all the tools he owned, and included a small hammer, two screwdrivers, plyers, a putty knife, and small hand saw. It took me a day to find a cheap folding MDF topped table to mount that router into, and each trip to my local hardware store for anything always came back with a new/different router bit. While I learned to solve many woodworking challenges with that router, it's limitations meant many of those jobs should have could have been done more efficiently/more safely with a dedicated tool. I now approach retirement and contemplate my tool assortment. Among them are some originals like that Skil router. I have a craftsman router in a plywood table tucked under my lathe. Neither of these have been used in 20 years. The big tools all still get used frequently as they all are excellent at that unique thing they were bought to do. I do have "too many" tools but the many are redundant earlier versions of prime tools I still use today. I should yard sale them for a few pennies maybe, but I'd give them free to any kid that expressed a true interest in owning/using them.
4D
 

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I can't imagine that the type of work I do is much different than the average person does yet I get by without ever having to take the router off the table.
Who is the average wood worker? Or the average hobbyist? The type of project, the specific details of the project, the person's preferred methods, all make a difference.

I make stuff for cats, so some work pieces are smaller than for human furniture, but some 8'+ long too. Sometimes it is easier to take the router to the work than the work to the table. Sometimes the project is fine with wood that isn't all that straight, if I want to do a round over it's a lot easier to follow with a hand held than make the wood bend down for the table router. Plunge? Bushings? Yep, use them often.

One size does not fit all. It's great how many different ways a router can be set up and used for a multitude of situations. Makes it confusing to get started but then you find what does/doesn't work for you and your projects. Sure most wood workers will only use a fraction of what a router can do, but there are plenty of people using the other router features.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Who is the average wood worker? Or the average hobbyist? The type of project, the specific details of the project, the person's preferred methods, all make a difference.

I make stuff for cats, so some work pieces are smaller than for human furniture, but some 8'+ long too. Sometimes it is easier to take the router to the work than the work to the table. Sometimes the project is fine with wood that isn't all that straight, if I want to do a round over it's a lot easier to follow with a hand held than make the wood bend down for the table router. Plunge? Bushings? Yep, use them often.

One size does not fit all. It's great how many different ways a router can be set up and used for a multitude of situations. Makes it confusing to get started but then you find what does/doesn't work for you and your projects. Sure most wood workers will only use a fraction of what a router can do, but there are plenty of people using the other router features.
"Work pieces smaller than human furniture" it's safer then to use a table a mounted router. Small pieces should never be hand done. Wood that's not straight... again not safe so it really shouldn't be routed at all. An average woodworker is a person that does average things. Making cat furniture is what an average woodworker does, Making cabinets or bookshelves, making molding, making window frames or picture frames. Making fences or benches, Making birdhouses and bird feeders. Making workbenches and jigs to make more things. The below-average woodworker starts out with a few tools and stays below average because his or her tools limit them or they aren't interested enough to move up to the level of average or because they are using a wrench for a hammer end up losing interest because it's just too hard or takes too long to do something. Then there is the fanatic that does everything by hand or thinks that everything has to be complicated which makes that person either very good or that person just gives up. There is nothing wrong with the fanatic it's just a different level of patience and mindset.
 

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I started this in response to an old string started in 2012 by Harry which was recently reactivated but I decided to just start a new string. Opinions are still coming in so I'll throw my 2 cents worth in. Isn't it interesting that people throw their 2 cents worth in but others are only willing to give a penny for your thoughts? But I digress. I won't touch on the metric topic but will say that an inch is an inch no matter what you call it. I have three routers, two are plunge 3 1/2 hp which are way to heavy to use by hand, and one smaller fixed base one that I haven't used in about 3 years. The plunge routers are mounted on plates to use in a table and the springs are removed. So I guess that tells the world that I don't have much use for the plunge feature. As for guide bushings, the ones that I got with the router have never been used. If I need to make something like a curved edge I make a template and use a pattern bit which by the way doesn't require accounting for an offset calculation which can easily cause a mistake. The bigger question that I raise all the time is why does one use a router not mounted in a table? A handheld router certainly isn't as safe, accurate, or easy as a table-mounted when doing edges or doing grooves which is what a router is made for. I know the argument that you can't do mortises with a table-mounted router. Okay, how many mortises does the average person make? More than one a day? a week? A month? If your work requires mortises then buy a mortising machine. Do you make hinge cutouts? If so the buy a small 1/4" router and the correct setup. Do you make carved-out things like bowls? Then buy a lathe. I'll give you this you can't make signs with a table-mounted router. How many out there have ever used a wrench to drive a nail? It sounds crazy because a wrench is not the best tool to use although it does work. How about a screwdriver as a chisel? You see the questions on the form all the time. Can I use a router to cut a board. ( yes but use a table saw) How do I make a dado for a shelf (use a table saw) how do I make a series of holes 2" in diameter (use a hole saw) How do I make dowels (buy them) the list goes on. I have zero use for a handheld router and I use the router almost once a week. I can't imagine that the type of work I do is much different than the average person does yet I get by without ever having to take the router off the table.
I have 3 PC routers. 3 HP mounted in a table, laminate trimmer and the 690 with plunge base accessory.
I disagree with you on several points, did you ever round over an edge on a large table? Have you ever cut sheathing on a window ? Try dados in the router table or table saw when the shelf standard needs dados 3'-0" from a top or bottom. More likely to have an accident when dadoing with either the saw or router. Much easier and safer to clamp a straight edge and rout with a handheld router.
When I was working as a carpenter since 1962 I sheathed over window and door openings, then cut them out afterwards. At first we used a sawzall, then one day a new carpenter cut them out with a PC 3 HP router and a 1/2" bottom bearing cutter. Been using that method ever since.
I have used routers since about the early 70's. 95% of my use is with handheld routers.
When I hung slab doors that needed hinge cutouts, strike plate cutouts overhead concealed closers etc the hand held router was the perfect tool to use. When a deep mortise was needed in a door with a mortise lock the PC router mounted in a mortising jig with a 5" straight bit made this an easy job. I do not recall the exact name of this jig , we called it a "hurdy gurdy".
I realize some of what I described is in the professional carpenter area, but most is in the regular woodworkers realm.
Not to be controversial but I think you are in the minority as far as hand held router use.
mike
 

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Mike, yours is the only post that I totally agree with. I have been on this forum for many years and have stated on many occasions that while a router table is useful for some jobs, the hand held router is capable of so much more. I suppose it depends if the newcomer wants to be what I call a ROUTOLOGIST and do wonderful things with a router then the tutorials and PDF's that I've posted over the years will achieve that. Here are just a few examples.
 

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If you do residential cabinetry , commercial cabinetry or furniture you find yourself doing it differently in each field..
 

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Routerforums never was intended for woodworking professionals. the name ROUTER is to the best of my knowledge what has, in the past , attracted new members, the majority who wanted answers to routing questions and/or to learn about routing. As a hobby, routing can be very enjoyable. Some of my many projects like routed bowls that I presented as PDF's stated that I could have made the item in a fraction of the time on the lathe BUT, this is/was a ROUTER forum.

Here are the PDF's that were missing in the first post.
 

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Routerforums never was intended for woodworking professionals. the name ROUTER is to the best of my knowledge what has, in the past , attracted new members, the majority who wanted answers to routing questions and/or to learn about routing. As a hobby, routing can be very enjoyable. Some of my many projects like routed bowls that I presented as PDF's stated that I could have made the item in a fraction of the time on the lathe BUT, this is/was a ROUTER forum.

Here are the PDF's that were missing in the first post.
Are you sure? "A forum community dedicated to router and wodworking professionals and enthusiasts"

This was brought up on Woodworkingtalk. If they don't want professiomals, they shouldn't invite us...
 

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I see no issue with professionals on here.
It's all been about the learning for me, and without the valuable experience of others I would in turn not be able to help
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have 3 PC routers. 3 HP mounted in a table, laminate trimmer and the 690 with plunge base accessory.
I disagree with you on several points, did you ever round over an edge on a large table? Have you ever cut sheathing on a window ? Try dados in the router table or table saw when the shelf standard needs dados 3'-0" from a top or bottom. More likely to have an accident when dadoing with either the saw or router. Much easier and safer to clamp a straight edge and rout with a handheld router.
"When I was working as a carpenter since 1962 I sheathed over window and door openings, then cut them out afterwards. At first we used a sawzall, then one day a new carpenter cut them out with a PC 3 HP router and a 1/2" bottom bearing cutter. Been using that method ever since.
I have used routers since about the early 70's. 95% of my use is with handheld routers.
When I hung slab doors that needed hinge cutouts, strike plate cutouts overhead concealed closers etc the hand held router was the perfect tool to use. When a deep mortise was needed in a door with a mortise lock the PC router mounted in a mortising jig with a 5" straight bit made this an easy job. I do not recall the exact name of this jig , we called it a "hurdy gurdy".
I realize some of what I described is in the professional carpenter area, but most is in the regular woodworkers realm.
Not to be controversial but I think you are in the minority as far as hand held router use.
mike
Mike, we can disagree on this but if you go back to my original post I said the average woodworker. I'm not aware of any average woodworker that would prefer to stand on a ladder12 feet off the ground trying to hold on and cut out the window opening with a router vs. going inside and using a reciprocating saw on the inside on a clearly defined opening. But this is a good example of why women live longer than men. As for a mortise on a door I haven't seen a door that needed a mortise cut since the early 60's and that door was done at the mill shop with the proper equipment. door hinges? I mentioned them as an exception but using the correct router and not some 3 1/2 hp monster. Edging a large table?
If it's a large round table then probably the handheld router is the easiest way to do it. But now we are into exceptions. If making 4-foot diameter tables is your business then keep a handheld router handy because you'll be using it daily. If 75 percent of your work is done on a handheld router then so be it but let me know what these things are that can't be done on a table. There is always an exception and there is always a workaround. Harry uses the router for some amazing unique things but again these aren't the average router tasks. Look at the bits available for a router and decide if the router is made for edging type work or plunging type work. Round over, Ogee, rail and stile, glue joint, slotting. window the list goes on. Now, what about the ones made for plunging. Straight and ?????
 

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I have absolutely nothing against professionals being on the forum, my objection is that I don't recall a single project made by a professional that shows HOW it was made. I've always assumed that it was a case of not giving away trade secrets .
With very few exceptions all my projects have been made specifically for the forum, and other than the few that I've kept have been given as presents to members in several countries, and I have paid for the freight and have no regrets, except for one that I sent a Makita switch to and didn't even get a thank you.
Whilst it wasn't me that introduced the router skis, it was ME that promoted them and presented PDF's showing how to make them plus of course many projects using them.
 

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I've been showing processes for 20 years on the forums. You must have blind eye to processes other than your own...Did you not see the HD3D router table...

PATRIOT Woodworker
Lumberjocks,
WOODNET,
POKER CHIP FORUM,
WOODWORKINGTALK
WOODTALK


I'm on many forums.

Where were you when I did about 30 pictures on cabinet installation with discriptions in early 2000 or how to build cabinets?

install10.jpg.4015e6f4284fba096603bb8b4a88bd75.jpg

1492563081_sinkbase1.JPG.387d3c0646c8b7358c65a9ca38356d37.jpeg


How bought exterior picnic tables...
IMG_0838 (1).jpg
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28951753_1761800880548400_1883204354542927872_n.jpg
 

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Mike, we can disagree on this but if you go back to my original post I said the average woodworker. I'm not aware of any average woodworker that would prefer to stand on a ladder12 feet off the ground trying to hold on and cut out the window opening with a router vs. going inside and using a reciprocating saw on the inside on a clearly defined opening. But this is a good example of why women live longer than men. As for a mortise on a door I haven't seen a door that needed a mortise cut since the early 60's and that door was done at the mill shop with the proper equipment. door hinges? I mentioned them as an exception but using the correct router and not some 3 1/2 hp monster. Edging a large table?
If it's a large round table then probably the handheld router is the easiest way to do it. But now we are into exceptions. If making 4-foot diameter tables is your business then keep a handheld router handy because you'll be using it daily. If 75 percent of your work is done on a handheld router then so be it but let me know what these things are that can't be done on a table. There is always an exception and there is always a workaround. Harry uses the router for some amazing unique things but again these aren't the average router tasks. Look at the bits available for a router and decide if the router is made for edging type work or plunging type work. Round over, Ogee, rail and stile, glue joint, slotting. window the list goes on. Now, what about the ones made for plunging. Straight and ?????
I've been showing processes for 20 years on the forums. You must have blind eye to processes other than your own...Did you not see the HD3D router table...

PATRIOT Woodworker
Lumberjocks,
WOODNET,
POKER CHIP FORUM,
WOODWORKINGTALK
WOODTALK


I'm on many forums.

Where were you when I did about 30 pictures on cabinet installation with discriptions in early 2000 or how to build cabinets?

View attachment 398720
View attachment 398721

How bought exterior picnic tables...
View attachment 398722 View attachment 398723 View attachment 398724
No, I have only seen you on ROUTERFORUMS. Whilst the photos above are very nice, they do not show HOW you actually made them, step by step so that a beginner is able to emulate them.
 

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I've been showing processes for 20 years on the forums. You must have blind eye to processes other than your own...Did you not see the HD3D router table...

PATRIOT Woodworker
Lumberjocks,
WOODNET,
POKER CHIP FORUM,
WOODWORKINGTALK
WOODTALK


I'm on many forums.
No, I have only seen you on ROUTERFORUMS. Whilst the photos above are very nice, they do not show HOW you actually made them, step by step so that a beginner is able to emulate them.

Doesn't take much to see why there is a lack of partisipants on this forum...

I guess I'm a lil more advanced in my teachings. Considering I train professionalls, I require them to know the difference between a wood router and an intenet router. Some come on here from the beginning to get answers and others want answers after they have started and want to know why they have problems..

I guses im the Adanced Teacher....

Remember I took 3 years of wood shop in high school. We were in a book most of the first year....

Step by step.... I'm not going to do a long essay on a procedure. I will offer advise on a particular subject and demonstrate in a picture but I'm not going to spend a lot of time writing a bunch of words which I find just confuses the OP..


You can find me on ,any forums as BillyJack, Rebelwork Woodworking, Rebelwork, JackDuren
 

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Unlike you, I have always made it clear that I'm just an amateur with a lifetime of experience in general woodworking but have been using routers since 1974 and have been taught the finer points of routing by Australia's routing guru, Tom O'donnell, well known as TEMPLATE TOM. We lived close to each other and for several years spent lots of time in each others shops. As for wood turning, a late forum member convinced me to buy a wood lathe and many members gave me lots of help and encouragement.
What I post as PDF's I've always made it clear that it was the way I made the project on the day, because there are other ways to do things.
 

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I'm a professional during the day and a hobby woodworker at night.This has always been clear, but I'm not going to hide because I have a professional background. I was taught routing by professionals before me.

I was once a Profesional working in the shop 8-10 hours a day and at night offering my time on forums at night and weekends as help for those in need. I have also offered my shop to those who wanted to use it.... I'v

I didn't use computers for woodworking but do use the software and computers to design and layout cabinets.

Buy like many on the forums trying to learn woodworking I spend my time now tryin to be a better fisherman...

In 1974 I was 11 years old but as a professional I logged in way over 80,000 hours over 37 year career.

A lot of professional don't spend a lot of time on forums because there trying to make a living. I know many who could care less if they help you, as they don't need more competition in an already underpayed field.....

Remember your just a participant in the forum like I....
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2126120243_WoodnetJpg.jpg.6d262e6ee013f8829a69ac6b26b9911c.jpg
 

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The main difference between us is that I show pictorially HOW I made the item. Not just a show and tell. I do believe that a picture is worth a thousand words so imagine what a PDF with lots of pictures is worth! It's nice to converse with you.
 
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