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I need to buy a router but there are so many good ones to choose from and so many models. The ideal workshop should have at least 2 routers but I can't afford 2 since the average cost of a good router in my country( Trinidad & Tobago ) is in excess of $3000.00. I am leaning towards the Porter Cable 3 1/4 HP - Model #7539 Plunge Router with 5 speed. I need the horse power for panel cutting/ door making but I'm wondering how well will a plunge router work mounted on a table. Is it a good idea? I also need the plunge feature for portable routing. Any good ideas guys? What are the pros and cons of doing this?

the angler
 

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Welcome to the forum. It is a common practice to mount the PC 7539 to a table. To do so you must remove the plunge springs. If you check out the PC website you will find downloadable .PDF files of the owners manuals. You can view an exploded parts illustration so see what is involved in removing the springs. You are right about needing the 3 1/4 HP to drive the large 3 1/2" diameter panel raising bits. There is another way to go about this. Check out Ebay for vertical panel raising bits. Instead of the familiar umbrella shape of traditional panel raising bits, the vertical panel raising bits look more like a bullet shape. The outside diameter of the bit is more like 1 1/2", and using this smaller diameter to cut the same shape requires less horsepower. The cutting edges are spinning faster since they are not spanning as great a distance and cuts are supposed to be smoother, less vibration. Cost is lower on these bits too. You might consider the Bosch 1617 router combination pack. This comes with both fixed and plunge bases. The bases switch very easily, The fixed base is ideal for table mounting leaving the plunge base free for more usefull jobs without having to unmount every time. This router is 2 1/4 HP and rated a best buy by Wood magazine in the November 2004 issue. I have been using mine for a couple years and am very pleased.
By way of price comparrison, here the PC7539 sells for about $350, the PC7518 fixed base sells for about $300, and the Bosch 1617EVS combo kit sells for about $190. Hope this helps.

Mike
 

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I bought a Porter Cable 890. It came with a Plunge base and a fixed base. It also came with a raising attachment that works great on the router table so you don't need a separate raising mechanism. You need to check the Porter Cable Website as the 890 comes with different base/configurations. I use the fixed base in the table.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
THANKS mike and murray......a great deal of information there... i am wondering what level of difficulty is there in raising 'curved panels' like for a cathedral style doors USING vertical panel raising bits. I am thinking with the vertical bits a jig to hold the panels and slide it along the fence might be a good idea. what are your thoughts on this?
 

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If you are looking at working with large panels, perhaps you would be better off to build yourself a horizontal router table? This way your panels can lay flat and be supoported better. I saw a design for a horizontal table that was very simple. The table was a quarter circle of 3/4" plywood with the router mounted in the middle. A pivot point was made by drilling a hole in the 90 degree corner for a lag bolt to be run into the end of a workbench. A groove was cut about an inch inside the radius of the curve. A bolt installed in this groove will set the height of the bit above the bench.

Mike
 

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My husband and I are new router users. It seems that our very old ryobi router which was given to us. Won't hold the bit. we attached it to a table, (the mastergrip from costco) and the bit keeps sinking as I push the wood throught. we tighten it down, but it keeps sliding we are thinking it needs a router? If price is an issue, which one would you go with? We are weekend warriors, so it dosen't need to be the best.
 

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laferg said:
My husband and I are new router users. It seems that our very old ryobi router which was given to us. Won't hold the bit. we attached it to a table, (the mastergrip from costco) and the bit keeps sinking as I push the wood throught. we tighten it down, but it keeps sliding we are thinking it needs a router? If price is an issue, which one would you go with? We are weekend warriors, so it dosen't need to be the best.
When you put the bit in push it in all the way and back off just a fraction. Be sure you are tightening the collet tight enough. You may need a new collet. Look at the end of the bit that goes in the router if it's chewrd up it's been spinning in the collet. . I don't know how close to a Home Depot but they're selling the PC 690 for $99 its just a basic router with no frills and it's 1 1/4 horsepower which would probably be enough power for you. If being able to adjust the bit height from the top of the table you'll probably have to spend more. I would look at PC, Bosch, Milwaukee, DeWalt they all offer high quality routers and you can't go far wrong with them.
 

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I've been looking at the green machines. I have a C10FS compound sliding miter saw that I just love so I thought I'd see how the routers stacked up. Does anyone know the difference between a KM12VC and a KM12MC? How easy are the Makita base changes? BTW the case color is an indication of my WW experience so get ready for more silly questions.

Thanks
CB
 

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Laferg, read through the many posts and you will find lots of good advice on choosing a new router. The best thing to do is visit your local woodworking tool vendors and get them into your hands. See how the adjustments are made, what you feel most comfortable with. I would strongly urge you to get a copy of Wood Magazine, the November 2004 issue. There is an article where they show the differences between a $100 Skil router and a Bosch that costs about twice as much. They even cut the cases open so you can see the bearings and motor parts. Further back they have a discussion of the top brand combo kits, which means motors with both a fixed and plunge base. For table mounting you cant beat the Bosch 1617 fixed base, or the Bosch built Craftsman 26620 fixed base which includes an LED worklight that illuminates around the bit. (Why is Craftsman the only company that puts worklights on their machines?) All that having been said my old Craftsman router I bought for $49 new is still running strong. I only use it for sign making. The adjustments require constant watching, but it works. I use my Bosch 1617 for most jobs, and if something heavy duty comes along I have my Porter Cable 7518 to power through with.
 

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CB, Makita makes good quality tools. I swear by my five 9.6 volt cordless drills and sabersaw. When looking for a new router I did a hands on comparison test and thought they fell behind other brands. I havent heard any complaints about them, and I know there are a lot of them out there. A friend bought a Makita clone and is very happy with it. By the way, Hitachi is also green.
 

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aniceone2hold said:
CB, Makita makes good quality tools. I swear by my five 9.6 volt cordless drills and sabersaw. When looking for a new router I did a hands on comparison test and thought they fell behind other brands. I havent heard any complaints about them, and I know there are a lot of them out there. A friend bought a Makita clone and is very happy with it. By the way, Hitachi is also green.
OOPS! :eek: My bad. I meant Hitachi not Makita. After more checking around I think I'm going with the Hitachi KM12VC. It looks like some pretty good bang for the buck, its quiet, and 2 1/4 HP should keep me happy for years.

Thanks aniceone!
CB
 

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aniceone2hold said:
... Further back they have a discussion of the top brand combo kits, which means motors with both a fixed and plunge base. For table mounting you cant beat the Bosch 1617 fixed base, or the Bosch built Craftsman 26620 fixed base which includes an LED worklight that illuminates around the bit. (Why is Craftsman the only company that puts worklights on their machines?) All that having been said my old Craftsman router I bought for $49 new is still running strong. I only use it for sign making. The adjustments require constant watching, but it works. I use my Bosch 1617 for most jobs, and if something heavy duty comes along I have my Porter Cable 7518 to power through with.
How did they compare the Bosch 1617 to the Porter Cable 895? Why is the Bosch so much better than the PC 890 for table mounting? Everywhere I look it seems like the PC 890 is the standard for the 2-1/4 HP range of routers. Also can anyone compare the noise-factor of the PC 890 with the Bosch or other routers?
 

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In the review the PC 895PK tied the Bosch & Craftsman for ease of switching bases, but if you use the dust shroud or the guide bushing sub base then the spindle will not lock. Noise levels are very close; the 895PK was 89db, the 1617EVS was 91db, Makita was 88db. The reason I like the Bosch best for table mounting will be obvious when you turn one upside down in your hands. See how easy the large and small depth adjustments are made. Then try it with a 695. Even mounted to the table the Bosch adjustments are lightning quick. I feel the above the table adjuster is not warranted and is just something else to misplace. There is no question that all the units they tested were very good quality. So based on the fact that the PC is $75 more and has the spindle locking problem with guide bushings I lean towards the Bosch. Add to that my first hand knowledge of durability for the Bosch and it was an easy choice for me. I own several PC products and am very happy with them. I just felt this was a better choice for me.
 

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I bought the Bosch 1617 Kit and very happy with the way it works. I am new to this work and this router has a good weight to it. About table mounting you can buy another fixed base from bosch but you have to call as when I emailed them for information the person who responed wanted to sell me plunge base. The model for the the undertable base is RA1164 it comes with an adjustment rod the number for bosch is 1 877 267-2499 :D . With this base you don't have to change your fixed base to fit into the table. I hope this is helpful
 

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Hey Angler, I hope you see this. I was in Rockler yesterday and picked up the December 2004 issue of The Woodworkers Journal. They have plans for building a horizontal router table to attach to your bench. I bought a copy, it just looks too handy.

Johnny, thanks for the tip about the other base. I have 2 motors so I just mounted my fixed base on the table and left it. Anything I have done freehand I can do with the plunge base.
 

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aniceone2hold: Thanks for your post on the review. You wrote about the PC 895PK and then later mentioned the 695. I would agree that the PC 690 does not complete with the Bosch 1617 so I assume that we are talking about the 890. I had not heard about the spindle lock issue with the guide bushing - that is with the 890? I'll have to look into that. I honestly like the feel of the 895PK fixed base (handles and balance) over the Bosch (I just don't like those wooden handles).

What is most perplexing to me is why the PC 895 has become SO popular. Can you or anyone explain why this router is so heavily purchased over the competition? Thanks, Shawn
 

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Shawn, looking at my post I saw 695 and that was an oops. The problem is listed with the 895. As far as the handles are concerned, I'm guessing you plan to mount your router to a table. Once mounted there would be no good reason to remove the fixed base from the table, you just pull the motor and slide it into the plunge base. That change is one of the top rated reasons for using this combo, ease of switching bases. The fact of the matter is my handles are in the case; no reason to use them under the table. You could even order the table mounting base Johnny mentioned and just buy the 1617 plunge by itself.
Plain and simple the reason Porter Cable products are so popular is they perform well, are long lasting, and have been around a long time. The fact that they sponsor both the New Yankee Workshop and The Router Workshop is no accident. Advertising pays off. If its good enough for Norm, Bob and Rick, it must be what I should buy! Further proof of this is Norm's router table. Norm used it for 10 years and was very happy with it. It had a Rousseau mounting plate which makes for easy adaptations for larger bits or mounting guide bushings to the table. Enter Rockler Woodworking. All of a sudden its time to "Improve" the table. A Rockler aluminum mounting plate, a Rockler switch, Rockler accesories. The Woodworkers Journal is highly read for the free plans. Every issue is packed with good tips & tricks of the trade. Always ad's for PC & Rockler. Did I mention the magazine is owned by Rockler? Add to all this the urge to buy American Made products.(Robert Bosch is an American company) Are you begining to see why the PC product line is so popular? The 795 is PC's answer to the 1617, which has been around a while. I'm not dissing the 795, it's a quality tool. It's just not my tool.
 
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