Author Topic: How do people use their routers?  (Read 13679 times)

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Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 696
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
How do people use their routers?
« on: February 12, 2008, 10:25 PM »
Greetings!!

 Ok, so I have a few router questions: How many routers do you have, and what do you use them for?

Here's the reason for my question: I currently own a Bosch 1617EVSPK kit, which includes the plunge and fixed base. I also own the Bench Dog ProTop Contractor portable router table, with an extra Bosch fixed base permanently mounted inside. I don't have a shop (heck, I still live in an apartment!!!), so all of my projects need to be constructed on-site, which is partially what makes Festool equipment so desirable to me! I work full-time as a carpenter for a higher-end residential remodeling firm in the metropolitan area of Minnesota. I do a lot of work on weekends working on my girlfriend's parents' house, a big Victorian house a little over an hour away. Right now, my Bosch has worked reasonably well for my needs, which up until now have been mostly just simple edge-routing operations and dadoes, both on the router table and free-hand.

Well, I've been playing around with the OF1400 at my local store, and I'm very impressed!! I particularly like the plunge action. When using my Bosch, I often end up using the plunge base because I feel it is somewhat more safe, after each cut I retract the bit so as to not have an exposed bit spinning at high speed, and to avoid potentially marring my work. So, anyways, I'm impressed with the OF1400.

Here's another consideration. At my girlfriend's parents' Victorian house, approximately half of the original six panel, raised panel oak doors are no longer in the house, and I'll probably be making new doors in the next six or seven months. I've been looking around, and the  Freud FT3000VCE seems ideally suited for table applications for a user (myself) who can't (or cringes at the thought of) spending $350 for a router lift plus the price of the router motor, and just wants a plunge-base router that will allow for above-table height adjustment AND bit changes.

So, really, I would love to hear what people use their routers for, and I'm looking for input as to how I can expand or improve my router usage? Do I get the OF1400 and use my Bosch 1617 as a dedicated router-table motor? Is the Bosch (2 1/4 hp) going to be too wimpy for making raised panel doors? If I do get a 3 hp-class router for table use, can I get by with the newest Freud? Do I need a router lift and PC motor? Would the OF2200 be well-suited to table use? Remember, for the time being we're talking about a portable router table... Heck, for that matter, can I accomplish making raised panel doors with a portable table? For OF1400 users (or OF1010 users, for that matter), do you solely use your Festool router for all of your free hand or edge routing operations, or are there applications where you still find a place for a traditional, fixed-base router (ie, a Bosch 1617).

I've never built a door before. I'm going to start a Woodcraft class next Monday that demonstrates how to construct a raised panel entry door, so I suppose some of my questions will be answered there, but I wanted to get input here as well!

I apologize for this wandering rant, I've just got all of these thoughts zinging around my head, and few of my coworkers do much with woodworking, most don't even own a router, and if they do they use it maybe twice a year to put a round-over edge on a cleat or something. So, anyways, I appreciate your patience and I look forward to hearing from you!!
CT-MIDI, C-18, RO-150, RO-90, OF-1010, OF-1400, MFK-700, MFK-700EQ/B, EHL-65, DTS-400, LS-130, MFT/3 (x4), MFT/Kapex (x3), KA 65 Conturo, endless Systainers

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Offline fidelfs

  • Posts: 527
  • Houston, TX
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2008, 11:08 PM »
I am with you!  I am not a PRO this is my hobby but I had to make a decision to use my money wisely.

I had a Dewalt 618 with 3 bases and I bought the OF1400.  I had the Dewalt for use with my woodrat and my mobile table router.  The OF1400 was for hand held applications.

I had so many issues with the woodrat making dovetails so I decided to buy a dovetail jig.  Making the story short, I had some guidelines to select my jig.  I choose the Incra JIG because it was more versatile than a simple jig.   I needed a new table router for the INCRA.  I could use my router and my current rosseau insert but I needed a better quality.  I could buy the Freud 3HP with above the table bit changes FT3000VCE. That required a more substantial insert to handle the router weight so I had to add aprox. $100 for the new insert.
I said to myself I have my Dewalt 2 1/4 and It is working fine.  I don't need another router so I can still using the Dewalt.  I bought the Jessem lift and a converter for the small motor.  My plan is to use the Dewalt until dies and then buy a 3 1/4 HP router.

You can make doors with a 2 1/4 but you require patience.  It will require several incremental passes in a slow speed to handle the massive bit.  In the long run I think I choose wisely because I don't need 3 routers.  You can ask yourself how many doors you are going to make vs other uses for table router use.  In my case I plan to use my table router for doors but I will use it more for other purposes.  One other thing is with a lift you are not limited to one specific router, you can have a different brand vs. using the freud and drilling the holes in the insert for that specific router.

In other words, I use the Festool for hand held and the dewalt as my router table.   

Have Fun!
There is never a situation where it can't be done with the right hand tool - even though it may be a lot more work.

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2008, 11:16 PM »
Tom,

Some thoughts on your router questions (first I guess I should admit that I don't own a single Festool Router, but you'll see why in a moment)

I use routers a lot, in table and above, the bosch 1617 is a great little router, don't know that I'd try to do raised panel with it though.

I think I read somewhere that festool routers are not intended for table use and are not particularly practical for that purpose (of course someone will pop up within two responses and dissagree with me). (But then again, most on here seem to think the router template from Festool is ideal for making square cuts, despite the fact that it doesn't cut and apparently ain't square, go figure)

I have nothing against the Festool routers, I just have so many routers already I can't justify the investment because they don't offer me enough that I can't get from the current set - note by definition this comment applies to me, ignore the fact that someone will leap to the defence of Festool routers and explain why they stand head and shoulders above all inferior products yada,yada (and probably add that I'm talking through my hat).

For large raised panel work, don't bother buying the whipped cream, makes great coffe too, bright red or blue are whatever fabulous router lift, you're going to set the right height for your panels then spend a while churning them out, if the thing can be reset up 2 thou within seconds without reaching under the table does not make the expense worth it. Instead put your money into a good powerfull table ready router, big PC or something. (it will make life easier when raising those panels)

Festool makes great tools, if your going to spend hours a day using a hand held router, get a Festool (I try to at least pay attention to what the tool is designed for, Festool makes very good, specialised tools, they have to specialise to BE good at something (in most cases the best)

Also don't waste your money on some wizzbang fancy looking router table, folks seem to miss the point that a router table is basically a board with a large hole in it (to stick the bit through) and three or four smaller holes (to put screws in to mount the router under it), and some kind of fence (which works just as well if it's a piece of scrap clamped to the tabletop (or even screwed, for  single job like raising a bunch of panels)

Oh, don't buy the new freud for table use, It's a great 3 1/4 HP router (for the price), (I have one) but don't plan on using it in a table, it is not good for that job (Single pillar clamping plunge routers never are)

The woodcraft demo/class is a good idea, but bear in mind they sell woodworking tools, especially the bright red or blue anodized aluminum stuff - as a general rule if it looks really bright, it's for impressing your neighbors, not real carpentry (boy, that should get a reaction from some of the tool collectors on this board :)

(I'm going to get a rise out of someone, if I keep pushing)

Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 696
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2008, 11:25 PM »
Hey fellas, thanks for the feedback so far! But, unfortunately, I'm even more conflicted than before!!   :'( In a perfect world, I'd love to have an OF1400 for freehand use, my Bosch 1617 for... I don't know, let's call it "utility use", and a big 3 hp router in a nice lift for table use, I'm just having a hard time deciding in which order to make the purchases! I'm going to withhold judgment for a few months, but I'm excited to read your posts in the meantime!!
CT-MIDI, C-18, RO-150, RO-90, OF-1010, OF-1400, MFK-700, MFK-700EQ/B, EHL-65, DTS-400, LS-130, MFT/3 (x4), MFT/Kapex (x3), KA 65 Conturo, endless Systainers

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 696
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2008, 11:31 PM »
By the way, as far as router lifts go I was eying the Bench Dog Pro-Lift, since it would most easily match my table, and I heard rave reviews of it from all of my local retailers. Has anybody here used it, or have any impressions of it?

http://www.benchdog.com/prolift.cfm
« Last Edit: February 12, 2008, 11:37 PM by Tom Gensmer »
CT-MIDI, C-18, RO-150, RO-90, OF-1010, OF-1400, MFK-700, MFK-700EQ/B, EHL-65, DTS-400, LS-130, MFT/3 (x4), MFT/Kapex (x3), KA 65 Conturo, endless Systainers

Offline fidelfs

  • Posts: 527
  • Houston, TX
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2008, 11:43 PM »
I agree with Steve.  The table does not have to be fancy.   I made mine with birch plywood and mdf.  You could use any fence but that depends what you want to do.  I see the router guys in PBS and they use the most simple fence you can imagine. 

The expense for a lift is not for how fast you can set the height, it is for convenience.  I used my router table without a lift for so long and now I have to the lift and I love it.  It does not do anything else that move the router up and down.  That its function but I wasted to many time finding the right height and that is the reason I bought it.

I bought the INCRA because It fits my woodworking style and what I want to do with it.  I am not recommending you buy the fence that is a personal choice. 

Yes, you can buy the 7518 PC that will set you back a couple of hundred dollars and it is so heavy that you will wish you bought the lift.

The festool routers are not set for table use but you can do it if you want, but remember use the right tool for the job.  Think about your woodworking style.  If you are going to use it more for construction/building things, I wouldn't invest in anything fancy, if you want to do more sophisticated work and want to make your life easier then it is up to you how much you want to invest.
There is never a situation where it can't be done with the right hand tool - even though it may be a lot more work.

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 696
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2008, 11:51 PM »
Hmmm, good points fidelfs! Here is my current router table:

http://www.benchdog.com/protopcontractor.cfm
CT-MIDI, C-18, RO-150, RO-90, OF-1010, OF-1400, MFK-700, MFK-700EQ/B, EHL-65, DTS-400, LS-130, MFT/3 (x4), MFT/Kapex (x3), KA 65 Conturo, endless Systainers

Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1741
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2008, 12:05 AM »
Hey Tom,
Interesting question!  Steve almost got a rise out of me, but not quite.  Here's my story....

I'm a hobbyist who makes furniture.  That means one of a kind pieces and short stays (1-2 hours at a time) in the shop.  What's crucial for me is that the router should be quick and easy to set up.  That's the main reason I bought a Festool OF1400.  For a complicated task involving collet change, bit change, template guide (copy ring) change, multiple depth sets, fence settings, etc. I can get my Festool up and running about half an hour quicker than my other brand routers and save another 10-15 minutes on the other end because cleanup is so trivial.  When you only have an hour to spend, thats a huge advantage.  Here's what I own and how I use them:

OF1400 - I use it with the MFT and guide rail, mainly for stopped dadoes or sliding dovetails.  Also for the VS600 for dovetails, but I find it a little too big and awkward.  An OF1010 just came thru the door, I have high hopes.

Bosch 1617 - pretty much dedicated to a mortising jig.  Now that I have a domino, I haven't used the Bosch in a while.

PC7518 (?) - big ass router for the table.  Enough HP to hog out raised panels all day. PITA to set up and adjust.  Always come away with scraped knuckles.  I think Festool is missing an opportunity by not having a good, inexpensive router for table work.  Many of the features found in Festool routers aren't relevant for table work, but a good, powerful router that is easy to adjust and amenable to dust control would open my checkbook in a hurry.

Bosch Colt laminate trimmer - POS.  Had high hopes for it.  PITA to adjust, poor visibility for freehand work.  I bring it out of the box every now and then and wind up cursing it.  Have high hopes for the new Festool lam trimmer.

As you can see, I have a love/hate relationship with most of my routers.  Also, I do very little edge work, so my choices would be way different if that was a big need (pc 690 worked fine when I was doing that kind of thing.).

With hindsight, I really admire those who have picked a brand and stuck with it.  I have a couple of boxes full of attachments that go with some damned router, but who knows which one.  Lots of duplicate investments and lots of clutter.  If Festool had a good router for table work and a good little router for freehand and small hinge mortises, it would make my life a lot easier.  Hint. Hint. Hint.  Are you there Christian O ??

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2008, 12:42 AM »
Another thought, I suspect the reason I haven't even considered the Festool route on routers (scuse pun) is that I know when (and if) I do, it won't be just the router, the MSF, Dovetail jig, shelf hole system etc will shortly follow....

However, since you're at the start or your router collection, I feel oblicated to point out that if I was in your situation (not having the vast collection of routers along with the assorted collection of accessories that Jesse mentioned) I would go for the Festool system.

if you're going for the router lift, you can save by buying a dedicated table router, I know PC sells a "motor only" version of their big routers (which I assume is cheaper because you're not buying a base you're not going to use), I assume other manufacturers do too.

the point brought up by fidelfs (The Incra jig) even though he didn't push it, I use one on my main table and love it, the ability to make micro adjustments to the fence is very handy. (I guess I should listen to my own advice since the Incra does in one dimension what a lift would do in the other, hmmm).

Jesse:  pack up all your useless accessories that do not fit anything in your shop and I'll do the same, we'll exchange the stuff, I bet I we both come out ahead, what do you think?

Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Bob Childress

  • Posts: 121
  • South Carolina, USA
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2008, 07:37 AM »
For table use, take a look at the Triton routers. When my PC 89X dies, I will be getting a big Triton for the table. I use the OF1010 for hand held.
TS-55, RO-150, ETS-150/3, DX-93, LS-130, CT-22, OF-1000, DF-500Q, C-12

Offline Dan Clermont

  • Festool Dealer
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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2008, 09:42 AM »
I absolutely love my OF 1400. I use it both freehand and for Dado's and rabbet's. It is my only router at this time. You need the edge guide and guide stop for this router as they are very handy.

If I were to do raised panels though I'd look at buying the Milwaukee, Triton or PC 3+HP router with above table height adjustment. Amazon has the Milwaukee's 5625 on sale for $200 right now. No reason to buy a lift.

The OF2200 is supposed to work in the table but I can't really comment on that cause very little info has been released

I've used your Bosch and it is an excellent router as well. I'd get the Festool for handheld use, sell the Bosch on Craigslist or another Forum and pony up the small change it would take to buy the Milwaukee

Dan Clermont
LARGEST FESTOOL SELECTION IN BC!
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Offline Brice Burrell

  • Posts: 7371
  • Remodeling Contractor
    • The Green and Dark Blue blog
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2008, 10:38 AM »
Tom, I do the same kind of work as you so I think I understand your needs a little better. Plus I have the same table as you. Below are two quotes of mine from this thread, read the whole thread to better understand the context of the posts or just the quotes here, I think you will find this helpful.

  I have the Milwaukee 5625. This is a good router, the 3 1/2 HP motor can handle almost anything, the fine adjuster allowed me to forgo a lift, and with the included T-wrench you can make adjustments above the table. It is very easy to set bit height plus the router runs smooth and is built like a tank. Now for the bad, if the designers at Milwaukee would have talked to the end users a little more, the 5625 could have been a great router. However, the lock button for the course adjustment must face your access door in the table, but the power switch, variable speed control and a RPM legend are on the other side of the router, facing away from the door. This makes it harder to get to the controls and make adjustments. This could be a deal breaker for some of you, bits can not be changed from above the table, The routers motor housing must be removed to install/change bits, this isn't hard to do, but, you shouldn't have too. For me these things are a fair trade off for not having to buy a lift and the tank-like build quality of the Milwaukee, this is based on my somewhat limited needs.





  Mark, a few more thoughts on the Milwaukee 5625. Not being able to change bits above the table bothered me at first. But the motor comes out so easily it's a non-issue for me now. Plus while the motor is out I set the speed. I have also installed on the router table a switched receptacle and wired to it an extension cord to control the routers power. Of course you can buy these types of switches too, but I decided to make my own.

  I opted for the Milwaukee 5625 and the Bench Dog portable table because I wanted, well a portable table. The 5625's "tank" construction and without a lift I knew the setup would be able to take the punishment of transportation and on-site use. So far so good.

  If you can find a place that has both routers (and other too) so you can look at them side by side, that would be best.
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline JayStPeter

  • Posts: 366
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2008, 11:06 AM »
I have the same Bosch kit, the OF1400, and a big 3HP Hitachi hooked to a woopeck plungelift in the router table.  At least, these are the 3 routers I use regularly  ::).  I like the Bosch for some things and the OF1400 for some things.  Both are used handheld these days, but I still have a plate to mount the Bosch in the table.  I think the Bosch is underpowered for raising panels.  It can be done, but takes many passes and really strains.  The big Hitachi powers right on through.  I still do 2 passes, but the second is really just a cleanup pass to make sanding quicker and easier.  I hog off the majority of the material on the first pass.
If you had to make me decide between the Bosch and OF1400, I think I'd choose the Bosch.  It's just more stable on edges and easier/cheaper to accessorize since it fits all the accessories made for PC routers (it has a PC plate screw mounting pattern under there).  I really like the tool-less nature of the DC fittings and such on the OF1400, but the slightly more difficult to use DC fittings available for the Bosch are just as effective.  There are a lot of things I actually like about the OF, so I'm glad I don't have to choose  ;D.
My vote is to get a big beast for your table first. 
Jay St. Peter

Offline tvgordon

  • Posts: 501
  • Springfield, Ohio
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2008, 04:52 PM »
Dan,

I just went to Amazon and the Milwaukee 5625 was over $268, when did you see it for $200???

Tom.

Offline Markus K.

  • Posts: 58
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2008, 05:44 PM »
I got four Routers, the first one is a nearly 20 years old Bosch POF 500, for 6 - 8 mm Shanks. 500 Watts. I use this light Router for edge roundover and small circle cutting. The OF 1010 is mostly in use for Dado's, Templates, Jigs and on the Leigh. For heavier work on tabletops, Kitchentops and also on the Leigh I use the Bosch GOF 1300 CE. A Freud FT 3000 with 31/4 HP is mounted in the Routertable. Height adjustment and Bit change from the  upper side.
I'm from Grafenwoehr , Germany

Offline Dan Clermont

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2008, 06:02 PM »
Dan,

I just went to Amazon and the Milwaukee 5625 was over $268, when did you see it for $200???

Tom.


Hi Tom

I see they have changed it to 20% off accessories and not the tool although the deal last Saturday was 20% off the router itself.

Trust me it was there and it might be worth a call to Amazon to clarify everything. I actually managed to get 20% off and then another 20% off cause of a mixup  ;D

You will see a section called "Special Offers Available" right below the "You Save". Click on that and it will give you a promo code which you enter for 20% off on checkout.

I wouldn't wait too long if you are thinking about purchasing one. The sale has been on for the better part of a week.

Dan Clermont
« Last Edit: February 13, 2008, 06:14 PM by Dan Clermont »
LARGEST FESTOOL SELECTION IN BC!
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Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 696
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2008, 08:13 PM »
Wow, again, this is really fun to read all these posts!  ;D

Brice, I'm particularly interested in your post, as, like you said, we seem to have very similar working styles. That would be great if, for the time being, I could avoid the cost of a lift (the Bench Dog ProLift runs around $320 on amazon) and just get a rugged and accurate 3hp router that I could pop into my table. By the way, what are you using for an insert plate? Are you using a Phenolic plate, or an Aluminum? Any suggestions? Do you know if the Milwaukee 5625 is a Group 1 or Group 2 hole pattern? Or would you just go with an undrilled plate?

I'm particularly interested in the Milwaukee now after chatting with my local retailer. He said that he has a 15 year old PC 7518 that he very much likes, but that PC changed the design slightly a few years ago, something about a thermal overload switch or something. Anyways, he claims that he has a lot of customers coming in with problems with that newer version. One customer has 3 PC's and 1 Milwaukee, and claims that the PC's have been giving him a hard time but that the Milwaukee seems to be a very strong, reliable performer. This of course is not meant to belittle current PC owners out there, it's just the feedback I got from a reliable retailer whose opinion I hold in pretty high esteem.

So, anyways, I suppose that maybe for now I'm probably looking at a Milwaukee 5625 and probably an Aluminum plate. I'll probably continue to utilize my Bosch 1617 for freehand use, but I will be spending the $15 for the dust extraction accessory kit. Later on (once I have the Milwaukee paid off) I'll most likely get the OF1400, then later still I'll look into the ProLift. What do you folks think? Any huge holes or faults I'm missing? Again, I'm VERY MUCH a novice at routing, so I'm mostly flying blind here, just what I've heard from you folks and my own research and common sense.....
CT-MIDI, C-18, RO-150, RO-90, OF-1010, OF-1400, MFK-700, MFK-700EQ/B, EHL-65, DTS-400, LS-130, MFT/3 (x4), MFT/Kapex (x3), KA 65 Conturo, endless Systainers

Offline Brice Burrell

  • Posts: 7371
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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2008, 09:29 PM »
  Tom, when I got my table in was missing a hinge, I called Benchdog for a replacement, while on the phone with them I asked why plates for some of their other router tables were predrilled for the 5625 and not the contractor model. They sent a one of the plates that fit the 5625 along with the missing hinge, for free. That's what I use, its the same as the one that comes with our table, MDF with laminate on both sides. It wouldn't be hard to drill your own holes in the palte you have now. I remove the router motor when the table is not in use so the weight won't cause any sagging over time.

  When your wallet recovers remind me to tell you what I think of the OF1400, here's a hint, I like it. Good luck and let us know what you decide on and how it works out.
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline brandon.nickel

  • Posts: 241
  • Currently Peoria, IL - Eventually back to CO
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2008, 09:53 PM »
We've had this discussion a few times.  I agree with Steve on most points.  I personally like having a router lift, but other than speed/convenience it doesn't make much difference.  The consensus has always been that the OF1400/2000 aren't the best choice for tables.  Many people have put in positive comments for the Freud 3.25hp router.  I've got the PC 7518 and I love that I can raise 3/4" panels in hardwood in one pass without burning.  I spent my money on the lift and the router motor.  I made my own table and fence.  A sheet of 3/4" MDF and some scrap pine made a table for almost nothing.  I probably spent about $50 in parts for the fence and T-tracks.  I'm not thrilled with it.  I've been considering picking up a different fence that would have better dust collection.  For ~$100 I think I can get something better than what I made (like this).

I don't think you'd ever be sad that your router had too much power.
TS55, MFT1080, Domino, OF1400, LR32, RO150E, DTS400, Trion, CT33

Offline Dave Rudy

  • Posts: 771
  • Coloroda Front Range, in the lee of Pikes Peak
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2008, 10:54 AM »
Steve, maybe I can get a rise out of you -- let's stop reviewing tools we don't have and don't use, ok?   ;)   The 1400 is a dream to use.  It puts all my other topside routers (about 6) to shame, for balance, grip, smoothness of plunge, ease of changing bits, dust collection -- you name it.  If I had bought it first I wouldn't have the other 6.  For table, I use PC 7518 which used to be the standard.  I know some have had complaints, but it has never given me any problems.  I think 200- 250 is well worth it for the lift and ease of above-the-table bit changes.  It's one of those tools I thought was a waste of money until I bought mine (Jessem) and then wondered what I did before I had it.


Offline brandon.nickel

  • Posts: 241
  • Currently Peoria, IL - Eventually back to CO
Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2008, 10:42 PM »
Dave,

If the PC 7518 "used to be the standard", what's the standard now?

-Brandon
TS55, MFT1080, Domino, OF1400, LR32, RO150E, DTS400, Trion, CT33

Offline honeydokreg

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2008, 11:44 PM »
i am a pro and therefore have a router for almost every bit....... plus one more for the next bit I am going to buy.

I have 3 bosch colts for round over, flush trim and ogee.  just grab and route mo messing with bit changes.

I have 5 tables... makita, pc 690 hitachi and the triton 2 1/4 I just put on the new sommerfeld table that I really like, the triton 3 1/4 sucked and did not turn to adjust right, it now sits on a shelf.

have the festool 1400 for the hole jig and for fluting, I need to buy another one so I do not again have to change bits, becuase I use these 2 features a lot doing custom bookcases etc.

I also have another 10 routers just sitting around that I have used before but don't now.  I had the pc set up for the holes for bookcases till I went with festool.

I also have a bosch plunge with a flush trim bit.

several makitas laying around collecting dust.

also have an old craftsman, my first router I bought back in 86  i think.  oh I also have the milwalkee.

I am a router nut.  but almost all of my work I do routing on them.  round overs, ogees, making cabinet doors trim pieces etc.  I love to add the extra touch that routing does.

I used to go to the woodworking shows and still go.  every time I go I bring back some new router bits that look really cool,,,,, then I open my storage case (festool systainer) and lord and behold I already own that same bit several times over!!!!  i must have 5-6 of the same type of designs.

my next set is the sommerfeld doormaking set for shaker type doors, and the festool set for making doors.  and then that is about it for now.

I think I have enough don't you?

OH, i FORGET I also have 2 of the pc battery routers set up for hanging doors.  the batteries can handle approx 9 doors before a charge.  one is set up for the hindge templetes and the other for the latch.  this way I do not have to mess with the alignment each time.  have used them for 6 years+ and have had great success.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2008, 02:40 PM by honeydokreg »
pay attention to the details.... they make the difference... festool does
www.builtinking.com
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Offline SRSemenza

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2008, 10:24 AM »
Hi,

    What, no OF1010!     Maaann,  what a slacker  :)



Seth

Offline Frank Pellow

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2008, 11:18 AM »
1) A Festool 1400 for hand-held use and for use on a guide rail.

2) A Triton 2.25 hp for use in my home made router table.  This has all the power you will ever need.  There is absolutely no need to move up to the Triton 3.25 hp.  The 2.25 hp that I have supports above the table fine adjustment and very easy router bit changing.

3) A Bosch Colt trim router is on my wish list and I will proably be buying one at the Toronto Woodworking show at the end of this month.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2008, 04:41 PM »
1) A Festool 1400 for hand-held use and for use on a guide rail.

2) A Triton 2.25 hp for use in my home made router table.  This has all the power you will ever need.  There is absolutely no need to move up to the Triton 3.25 hp.  The 2.25 hp that I have supports above the table fine adjustment and very easy router bit changing.

3) A Bosch Colt trim router is on my wish list and I will proably be buying one at the Toronto Woodworking show at the end of this month.

Hi,

   If the Festool 700 trim router is coming soon you may want to wait on that colt :)


Seth

Offline Frank Pellow

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2008, 05:31 PM »
1) A Festool 1400 for hand-held use and for use on a guide rail.

2) A Triton 2.25 hp for use in my home made router table.  This has all the power you will ever need.  There is absolutely no need to move up to the Triton 3.25 hp.  The 2.25 hp that I have supports above the table fine adjustment and very easy router bit changing.

3) A Bosch Colt trim router is on my wish list and I will proably be buying one at the Toronto Woodworking show at the end of this month.

Hi,

   If the Festool 700 trim router is coming soon you may want to wait on that colt :)


Seth
I didn't know that there was such a product.  But, as with any Festool product being available in North America, that's a very big IF.  I will do some research and keep it in mind if ithe 700 looks good -thanks.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline honeydokreg

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2008, 06:58 PM »
the little bosch colt is a great little router for round overs and roman ogee bits.  quick and simple.  the new festool when it comes out will be a good set up, but will have to wait to see.

the colt you can usually pick up for 100 bucks or so, which is a great deal.  also flush trimming formica it works great also
pay attention to the details.... they make the difference... festool does
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youtube channel:  builtinsbykreg

Offline Dave Ronyak

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2008, 08:28 PM »
Tom,

I have been a hobbyist and DIY remodeler for >30 years, trained by reading and making my own mistakes - lots of them.  I have 5 routers.   In order from oldest to newest they are:

1) Craftsman 1/4" fixed base 6.5A with nice pistol grips.  It's currently mounted in a poor man's table - an old birch veneer pine core plywood cupboard door.  I used it with a fence made by jointing a piece of 2 x 4 and cutting out a semicircle with a hole saw to fit my shop vacuum.  I used that setup to bevel all edges of >400 sq ft of 7/8"Th x random widths and lengths oak flooring I made from rough lumber.  I also used it to make many raised panels using HSS bits ground to profile starting with over the counter profiles.   A handy, lightweight, stable little router, but no dust collection.  I also have an 8" plastic dovetail jig from Craftsman that is surprisingly versatile and works well after a little fiddling.  It still runs OK but doesn't see much use.

2) Stanley 10A Industrial with fixed base and 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2" collets. (This product line and factory was later bought out by Bosch, I believe).  Very well made with HD armature, switch, bearings and collets, and the edge guide and copy rings are sturdy and precise compared to Craftsman.  Punished it severely cutting PVC while commercially making vacuum tanks for milking machines.  Still running excellently, but again, no dust collection and it jumps from torque reaction when switched on.

3) Festool 1400.  I use this one whenever I can because it is by far the quietest router I have ever used.  Bought many accessories for it including the adjuster guide for use with the guide rails, hole drilling jig and hole drilling guide rail, and edge guide, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 and 8 mm collets and several copy rings.  But if Festool's 1010 could accept 1/2" shank bits, I would have bought a 1010 instead.  I was torn between my large collection (read high cost of investment) of 1/2" shank bits and the smaller, lighter, sports car-like maneuverability and controllability of the 1010.  I still want a 1010 that can accept 1/2" shank bits!!  Although I use the 1400 for mortising door hinges, including on existing old door frames, I find its weight and relatively high center of gravity and relatively small base make it rather tippy compare to the 1010 I've played with in a store and my old Craftsman router.

4) Freud 1700 ?VPS? 13A.  I bought this one a little over a year ago at a sale at Hartville Tool for ~$150 including coupon for a plunge base following direct communication with FestoolUSA's applications specialists who made it clear that Festool did not then offer any routers in USA that were designed for use in a table with or without a lift.  Festool also discouraged me from removing the plunge return spring, which I still think is a bit too strong.  This Freud router came with 1/4 and 1/2" collets, and dust collection nozzle that is relatively difficult and cumbersome to attach.  I have never installed it yet.  This Freud router is today one of my workhorses.  It is installed into a JoinTech table mounted as the left side extension of my table saw which I equipped with a JoinTech SawTrain/Cabinetmaker system.  This JoinTech system is much like those produced by Incra.  This router can be adjusted from above or below the table, and when fully raised, the shaft is automatically locked to enable bit changes with a single wrench.  I use it a lot for edging, dados and dovetails.  It came with a 5 year guarantee.  I think it a very good value, a lot of router for its price.  It was a pain to mount accurately centered in a JoinTech router insert plate because there were no templates for it, and some of the holes in the fixed base (the one designed for use inverted in a table) are not bored all the way through.  If I had to start from scratch to mount it to another insert or table, I would purchase 4 extra screws that fit the threaded mounting holes in its base, cut off the heads of those screws and point one end of each with a file, then thread them into the base, mount a centering bit, and carefully position the whole assembly on the blank to be drilled for mounting.

5) PC 7518.  Long the industry standard for serious, all day long commercial work.  Cost $300 plus taxes at recent Columbus, Ohio Woodworking Show exhibit.  I plan to mount it in the JoinTech table extension on the other side of my table saw.  I have a JoinTech lift to for it, and that lift does not fit a Milwaukee "big boy."  After I get this set up with an enclosure and table reinforcements, I'll decide whether or not to keep the Freud.  I considered 15A Makita, Hitachi, Triton and others before going back to the PC.  I might have chosen the big Milwaukee router if it would have fit my lift and most others, but when I was looking around a couple of years ago, it did not, and the dealers I visited did not have a "big boy" in stock for me to play with.  If you're planning on getting a lift, make certain that you choose a router that will be compatible with that lift.

If I was starting from scratch today,  I would again choose a Festool router 1400 or 1010 due to superior quality, features and especially dust collection, and either a Freud, Triton, PC or Milwaukee for table use (assuming Festool doesn't come out with a product for this installation), and a trim router.  I have been considering Bosch's Colt unit, but plan to wait to see the new Festool product which I presume will have dust collection designed in as well as other unmatched features.

If you don't already know, Freud and others now make bit sets specifically designed for making passage doors.  These bits are capable of deep/long T&G cuts to provide plenty mechanical strength (M&T joints) and glue surface area.  Of course, you don't have to buy one of those sets (at a cost of ~$200 per set); you can make your own jig for the mortises and then make your own loose tenons as taught by David Marks and Norm Abrams on their TV programs.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2008, 11:41 PM »

"I didn't know that there was such a product.  But, as with any Festool product being available in North America, that's a very big IF.  I will do some research and keep it in mind if ithe 700 looks good -thanks."


Take a look at this post with pics-   http://festoolownersgroup.com/index.php?topic=2082.0

    Seth

Offline Frank Pellow

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2008, 06:49 AM »
Thanks Seth.  I have not been looking at this forum for about nine months  :-[ and a loit has happened while I was away.  I am going back over the archived threads but it will be some time bfore I am up to speed again.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Dave Rudy

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2008, 09:57 AM »
Dave,

If the PC 7518 "used to be the standard", what's the standard now?

-Brandon

Good point Brandon.  I just meant that when you're on top for a long time, competitors get to micro-analyze your product and shoot at coming up with an improvement here and there.  Some people say that Milwaukee or Triton have improved upon the 7518, especially for in-table work.  That's what I was referring to.

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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2008, 11:44 AM »
  If I remember correctly someone, I believe it was Jerry Work, had issues with the Triton routers in a table. Over time dust made its way into the router causing problems. Sorry, I don't remember any more of the details than that.
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline Dan Clark

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Re: How do people use their routers?
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2008, 06:15 PM »
Bill did a review of the Triton TRC001.   The original ones had a problem with the power switch.   The new ones have a dust boot.   Take a look at the very bottom of this page: http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com/reviews/tritonrouter.htm.  Third and fourth pics from the bottom.

Dan.