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There was a recent post by squidzilla asking about mounting his router with toggle bolts. Instead of answering through the thread I thought I'd start a new thread and let others comment on my thoughts. . I wouldn't do it. Not because it wouldn't work but because it would not be necessary. I'm of the opinion that a router should be mounted on a table and only removed as a last resort. The first time I used a router was in the early 60's. I was trying to make a wooden dash board for a Triumph TR3 and it turned out to be a disaster. Knowing what I know now I understand that if I had it mounted on a table it would have turned out like I expected it to. There are very few things that can't be done safer and easier on a table. Sign making would be an exception. Of those things probably some of them are are work arounds using the router for something another tool is designed to do but you don't have the correct tool for the job. Flattening a board or making a mortise come to mind. My suggestion would be to mount it permanently and report back in a year on how many times you needed to take it off the table. If I had to report back for this year it would be zero buy hey there are still another 10 days to go. So let December 21st be the beginning of a longitudinal study, mark it on your calendar and report back in a year.
 

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If I only had one router, it could not stay mounted in a router table all year. Yes, you can make dovetailed drawers with a router mounted on a table, but I much prefer to use my Leigh jig. I usually wait until after assembly to round over edges, and cabinet boxes are just too big to wrestle onto a router table.

Over the years, I've kept adding to my tool collection until my router count now stands at six. The big Triton lives in the router table most of the time, except when it is ousted by the big Porter Cable which has one half of a rail/stile combo correctly adjusted and ready to go when I drop it in the table. A Porter Cable plunge router holds the other half of the rail/stile combo. So I change routers instead of changing bits and fussing with the height adjustment. I have two D-handle fixed base routers that stay set up for dovetailing. And the little Bosch Colt keeps a round-over bit in it's mouth already set for quick duty.

Not saying it can't be done if you're building small stuff, but my routers go in and out of the table quite regularly.
 

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If I only had one router, it could not stay mounted in a router table all year. Yes, you can make dovetailed drawers with a router mounted on a table, but I much prefer to use my Leigh jig. I usually wait until after assembly to round over edges, and cabinet boxes are just too big to wrestle onto a router table.

Over the years, I've kept adding to my tool collection until my router count now stands at six. The big Triton lives in the router table most of the time, except when it is ousted by the big Porter Cable which has one half of a rail/stile combo correctly adjusted and ready to go when I drop it in the table. A Porter Cable plunge router holds the other half of the rail/stile combo. So I change routers instead of changing bits and fussing with the height adjustment. I have two D-handle fixed base routers that stay set up for dovetailing. And the little Bosch Colt keeps a round-over bit in it's mouth already set for quick duty.

Not saying it can't be done if you're building small stuff, but my routers go in and out of the table quite regularly.

Andy,it sounds to me like the routers that you take in and out of the table are mounted on router table plates and set up to just exchange. I think what was meant was that to have one router and use the same router hand held.
The solution is to have a router dedicated to the table another,or more to handheld operations.
I have two router tables and both have dedicated routers and then I have one dedicated to the pantograph and 3 others set up with bits and one fixed/plunge router for other handheld operations.

Herb
 

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Doug
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Lots of different solutions....

I use a drop in plate for my table, it also makes a great baseplate outside of the table. Held in just by gravity, working perfectly for over 20 years that way.

My newer routers have multiple baseplates. The "fixed" baseplate is pretty much used only in the router table, as it has a microadjuster. The plunge baseplate sits on the shelf and waits until I need to use the router out of the table.

Best part, I have multiple routers of the same model, so often times I change motors instead of bits. This also lets me have one fixed base attached to a large diameter baseplate (for panel raisers, lock miter, other monster bits) and one to a template guide sized opening. The second plunge base is mounted to a Milescraft universal plate for using their sign jig (very handy little tool) and spirocrafter --->which I must admit I have never really played with<
 

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The proper solution is to invest in a second router. One to mount permanently in a table, and the other for those jobs you need a handheld router for. An even better solution is to have 3, or 4, or 5 routers. One for each bit you own. ;)
or even a few more than that..
 
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My routers also just sit in the table and pop out too. Like Doug says, the base plates make good offset plates so that you could get by with just one router if that is all you had. The only time the plates would get in the way of handheld routing is if you were in close quarters to something or using it on a jig like the Leigh D4R. But if you can afford a D4R then you should already have extra routers. Even if you did have to table the table insert off it's only a 2-3 minute job at most and would only happen occasionally.
 
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Andy,it sounds to me like the routers that you take in and out of the table are mounted on router table plates and set up to just exchange. I think what was meant was that to have one router and use the same router hand held.
The solution is to have a router dedicated to the table another,or more to handheld operations.
I have two router tables and both have dedicated routers and then I have one dedicated to the pantograph and 3 others set up with bits and one fixed/plunge router for other handheld operations.

Herb
Exactly! I have plates mounted to the 3 routers that work in the table and they never come off. I never put plates on the 3 that I use hand-held. I think sooner or later we all end up with multiple routers if we stay with it. The alternative just takes too much time away from making sawdust.
 

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I switch my router motor between the fixed base attached to my router table and the plunge base for freehand routing. It stays in the plunge base when not being used because my router table folds down out of the way to save shop space.

It takes less than 2 minutes to raise the table, remove the motor from the plunge base, and install it in the fixed base attached to the table which suits my needs.

I find the place where multiple routers would be helpful is in sign making where I may need to change bits as many as four times. The Musclechuck makes that pretty quick but still isn't as fast as reaching for another router ... kinda' like a New York Reload.
 

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My table saw has a cast iron router table. To mount a router to it, the fixed base is attached to the table using three bolts/angle pieces which in effect, clamp the base to underneath side of the cast iron top. I guess that would be an example of toggle bolt usage.

I haven't used that router option in a couple of years. Due to lack of usable floor space, the router table is hard to get to. The dust collector is against the right side. Then there is a trash can, UGH! And to think, I thought it was going to be a great deal.

I have since built the adjustable height work table with two routers mounted in it. This contraption has worked great. I have also accumulated several routers so two can remain in the table and I still have one in a plunge base for hand held operations.
 

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All good replies, shows there is as many ways as there is routers. The ones I have in tables don't remove easily, so I have hand held ones to do the mobile operations.

Herb
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So far (if I'm reading thing correctly) removing the router from the table is the exception. Like others I have three routers. Two are mounted on an identical plate so they are easy to exchange when needed as in the case of doing rail and stile work. But... and this is the point, I seldom very very seldom reach for the hand held one. So when squidzilla asked about temporarily mounting his router my thought was why bother? Permanently mount it with screws and be done with it. If you only have one router then make the most out of it. I do plan on keeping track on how many times I do any hand held work over the next year. It would be interesting to find out the same from other members. So far the hand held uses listed seem to be for signs and dovetails.
 

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So far the hand held uses listed seem to be for signs and dovetails.
I think the biggest driver for when the router is out of the table is the size of the project. If cutting larger circles and arcs, It's out of the table. If breaking the edges on a piece of furniture, it's out of the table. Flush trimming, usually out of the table. Dados for shelves, probably out of the table.

Sometimes it's just a matter of convenience... do I want to clear off all of the stuff I have piled on top of the router table....
 

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I think the biggest driver for when the router is out of the table is the size of the project. If cutting larger circles and arcs, It's out of the table. If breaking the edges on a piece of furniture, it's out of the table. Flush trimming, usually out of the table. Dados for shelves, probably out of the table.

Sometimes it's just a matter of convenience... do I want to clear off all of the stuff I have piled on top of the router table....
A machinist cousin of mine pointed out to me once there is 2 ways to do machine work. You either take the tool to the work or take the work to the tool. If what you are working on is large it's usually easier to take the tool to the work and if it's small it's usually easier to take the work to the tool.
 

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Rule #1 Do what you can with what you have.
In 78 when I got and used my 1st router I knew nothing of router tables, all work was hand held. In the mid 80s I bought a 7537, used mostly on jobsite work, (decks). In 97 I began constructing the RT shown on NYW via plans from a 1995 copy of American Woodworker. I put my new 7539 in the table, it was a PITA adjusting heights, I refused to remove the springs, (as suggested by the Rosenthals) because I was still using it for HH work jobsite and shop. It was also a PITA to remove from and reinstall to the RT. I had and used the 7537 for perimeter profiles, but the plunge's versatility is overwhelming, eventually the 7537 sat out more on single runs. Once I bought the Benchdog lift and put a 7518 in it as a dedicated RT I was happier than a PIS. Now all of them have set tasks, they may not be thrilled but I am.
 
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Once again, nobody has mentioned using a router in construction, especially finish work, cabinet installations, stairs/railings, and especially laminate installs.
All freehand jobs, not that some of it couldn't be done on a table.
 

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Once again, nobody has mentioned using a router in construction, especially finish work, cabinet installations, stairs/railings, and especially laminate installs.
All freehand jobs, not that some of it couldn't be done on a table.
I agree we used them extensively on the job for Doors, Cabinets,counter tops, stair treads, framing cutting out window holes in the sheathing,and decks etc. but we didn't have a shop on site. If we needed a table type set up we drilled a hole in a piece of plywood and fixed the router to it,turned it upside down and laid it across a couple of sawhorses,.
I am sure all you guys have done that.
My first router table was a tabletop model and the router was thru bolted to the underside of the table and was a real chore to remove so didn't get used much. Then the company tool yard had a broken base in the scrap pile I found and took home and bolted it under the table and was able to remove the motor and put it in the good base for handheld use.
But that was when there were only a couple of brands of routers,Stanley and Porter cable were the most popular.
Then came the router boom as the imports showed up.

Herb

Herb
 

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I did use the 7537 and the 690 kit for decks, (caps, balusters and railing), I didn't have much call for int. trim work while framing for GCs and builders, they prefer dedicated crews, they're set up for it and faster. But I did get my own int. work, however most of that work was in restoration which required the use of my molder/planer more often than the RT, even so the RT came with. I built a new table top for the shop RT and modified the original RT top to take the BD plate for jobsite work. My jobsite table set up for int work is 2 horses an 8' sht of 3/4" CDX and 2/10', 1/12' 2X4s to support the ply. The setup allows me to have the TS and RT flush to the ply at opposite ends of the table with the Mak LS1214L on top and in between.

The pic is of the jobsite top, it doesn't get much use anymore.
 

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