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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an old Bosch 1700 plunge router. Would this router be suitable for table routing? or do i have to buy a fixed base router.

If i do need a fixed based router, any advice re, which and what type, would be greatly appreciated, especially as I've never used a router.

Also, would a raizer type lift system be good for a router table.

Thanks to everybody.
 

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I have an old Bosch 1700 plunge router. Would this router be suitable for table routing? or do i have to buy a fixed base router.

If i do need a fixed based router, any advice re, which and what type, would be greatly appreciated, especially as I've never used a router.

Also, would a raizer type lift system be good for a router table.

Thanks to everybody.
There's really no reason why you shouldn't be able to mount the plunge router in a table, you certainly don't need to buy a fixed base router for that.

You may need to find a suitable mounting plate, or drill holes in an existing one, so that you can position the router exactly where you want it.

We're all different, but for me a table without a raising mechanism would not be good, unless the table top was of the flip-over type, so that you can change router height and change bits whilst standing upright. A Router Raizer for your plunge router would possibly work well for you, although you do need to check with Router Technology that the particular Router Raizer is suitable for your model of router.

If you're thinking of going more sophisticated with a router lift, then you may have to change the router, as many plunge routers are an odd shape and simply won't fit the lifts.

Lifts are not essential, but they do go a long way to ensuring personal comfort, especially if your back is prone to pain from bending.

You might also want to take a look at the WoodRat plunge bars, which can also be used in conjunction with a table:

WoodRat PlungeBar
 

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I use a plunge base Bosch 1617 and I have it attached to an table insert that I lift it out to change bit and get set close to the right height then I lower it back into place . Then to make minor adjustments I unlock the plunge and raise or lower and lock it in place I have made a crank to clamp over the adjustment knob and I can raise or lower as much as needed . Those raisers cost a lot of money and is not needed unless you have some extra cash . My base plate is fastened to the router and not to the table . There is one type of plunge router that has a place to insert a long tee handle Allen wrench with hole in the insert as well and that works quite well also . But I don't have that kind and my way works just fine . Good Luck Gene
 

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Although I'm not really familiar with the 1700, I think a table mounted router is usually a good idea, safer to use, allows for great precision. A lift really saves the back and knees from having to look and reach under the table to adjust height, and allows for very precise positioning of bit height. You have to check with the lift maker for whether it will fit the router you have as many lifts were built around the most popular configurations. You will be using only the motor, not the base, with most lifts.

The Bosch fixed base can also be used as a lift, although I haven't tried it. I know you have to have a hex key to set height properly.

For my second, in table router, I purchased a motor only, which saved a little money. But really I got it because I was tired of removing the motor from the lift every time I wanted to use it free hand. Old back, old knees.

If you have to purchase a router, there are many good ones, most notably the Porter Cable, Bosch and DeWalt in the big box stores. But if you check the site, you'll find many other brands have fans as well. I own two Bosch 1617s, which is 2.25 hp, has speed control and fits most lifts. It handles everything I've run through it so far.

Lifts come mounted on a plate, which you will have to recess into your table, including drilling for blunt ended, fine threaded screws to level the plate with the top, so you'll have to do a little free handed rabbiting on a home made table. Not too difficult, but it needs to be pretty precisely cut as gaps have a way of catching the edge of work pieces as you're pushing them through.

You'll also want to cut and place miter slots near the front edge of the plate for feather boards (to hold workpieces firmly against the fence, and possible a miter slot above the fence for hold downs or vertical feather boards. I admit that when I was starting a few years ago, those tasks looked a bit daunting so I bought a top, lift and fence instead from Rockler (there are lots of other sources, its just that Rockler is the only woodworking source within driving distance). The commercial fence also came with a dust collection port that fits behind the fence but you can buy that for a home made fence.

There are many others on the forum with more expertise and different opinions who are likely to give you different recommendations, and you can search the threads for more specific answers. I'm just sharing my own experience and preferences.

If you are just beginning, take care to be exacting about measuring and tool setup. Learn to read the grain of wood as you want to feed it into bits on the uphill grain to lessen tearout. Also, it is a good idea to add a sacrificial piece at the end of the work piece, I use blocks of MDF for this purpose and keep cutting them square until they're too small to be useful. You can add a push block device on top of this to keep your fingers safe. This sacrificial block will also help you control endgrain cuts. Short pieces are really dangerous to cut as they can easily get caught on the fence opening or on the edge of an imperfectly aligned plate. Many an injury has been caused by that very thing, so take care with leveling the plate and table top.

You'll want to make sure you have a small measuring device to set bit height with precision, my favorite depth gauge has three legs, two that span the bit and sit on the plate, the third is a short steel ruler that slides up and down with a pointer to set height. I also find a set of brass precision setup bars helpful, which allows making precise grooves, say in drawer bottoms at exact distances from the edge.

There are a number of good books on routing which will be helpful as well. I found "Woodworking with the Router" by Bill Jylton especially helpful. I found it used on Amazon.

Enjoy your new hobby. Nothing like it to unjangle nerves. Tom
 

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You'll want to make sure you have a small measuring device to set bit height with precision, my favorite depth gauge has three legs, two that span the bit and sit on the plate, the third is a short steel ruler that slides up and down with a pointer to set height.
FWIW Wixey also make a digital version of this. I have the version that you have (from Trend) but a digital version would be more fun. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to Tom, Gene and Alan for your advice. I am going to try and use my old Plunge based router and try and fit it onto a home made router table. Short of money, now i am unemployed.

Wish i lived in the USA or Canada. More space, better choice of everything and cheaper.
 

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I have 8-routers mounted in tables (all home-made) and all with plunge routers. I seldom change the bits or the heights so I don't need a way to change the bit height. I have single, double and triple (holds 3 routers) tables.
 

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I use brass set up bars for adjusting my bit height. They are inexpensive, work great and a real time saver.

I just got my second and third plunge bars from Woodrat, I will set them up this weekend.
 

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