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Old 12-20-2016, 02:38 PM   #31
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Re: Router for a Beginner


I have a 30+ year old Sears craftsman that I can mount in $25 table should I so desire....and I've never needed anything else.....a dim constantly building something for myself or others. For me the two keys were 1/2" bit capacity and buy GOOD bits, not the crap ones. More HP means bigger bites of your material...but small bites work just fine for me. For his, I mostly rely on my Freud basic 1/2" set. Ron
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:46 AM   #32
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Re: Router for a Beginner


I'll piggy back onto this thread as I'm also looking to pick up my first router. I almost picked up a Makita compact router yesterday for about $100. Then I read somewhere that it was a laminate router so I was worried it wouldn't work for me.
I'll mostly be using it for rounding/decorative edges on lumber, cutting some circles or cutouts out of plywood and MDF, etc. I know people also use it for making doors and such but that is not on my to do list.
Is the compact router powerful enough for this?
One more question: one option was to get a kit that came with a clear plastic disc or base plate or something. What's that for?
Thanks again!


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Old 12-21-2016, 01:45 PM   #33
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Re: Router for a Beginner


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Originally Posted by RRH View Post
No problem. And with the one handed compact I feel you have more control.
And again you will use it more since you can hold the project with the other hand.
If the O P values his fingers you may have trouble convincing him of that method.
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:11 PM   #34
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Re: Router for a Beginner


if youyr just doing very basic things like round overs and shallow mortises a trim router is all you need. i use them all the time on the jobsite.. for larger profiles which need more power for the bit to cut clean


i just reviewed the bosch colt variable speed over at
http://www.toolboxbuzz.com/power-too...outer-pr20evs/
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:11 PM   #35
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Re: Router for a Beginner


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Originally Posted by woodworkbykirk View Post
if youyr just doing very basic things like round overs and shallow mortises a trim router is all you need. i use them all the time on the jobsite.. for larger profiles which need more power for the bit to cut clean


i just reviewed the bosch colt variable speed over at
http://www.toolboxbuzz.com/power-too...outer-pr20evs/
Is this any better than the Dewalt 611 or it just one's delight ? I'm looking for just to do round overs 3/4 or 1/2 inch wood an round overs on knee wall self and window sill, an some draws that have to be redone on a cheap dresser.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:29 PM   #36
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Re: Router for a Beginner


what tool you use is entirely your choice. the review i gave is objective.. as the colt has stayed compact,, the newest dewalt is much bigger and borders on being considered a mid size router as oppposed to a trim router.. same with teh porter cable as they are pretty much the same motor and base just the dewalt has some extra bells and whistles
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:08 PM   #37
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Re: Router for a Beginner


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If the O P values his fingers you may have trouble convincing him of that method.
Clearly you have never used one. That is what they have been designed for.
And they have been around for over twenty years that I know of.

Like saying he should never use a circular saw. and cut a 2 x 4 while holding with one hand on saw horses.
And actually that would be more dangerous than the router.

But soundds like you are the type that would use a helper to hold the 2 x 4 steady on saw horses so you could use two hand on the saw.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:17 PM   #38
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Re: Router for a Beginner


[QUOTE=bcemail;3814297]I'll piggy back onto this thread as I'm also looking to pick up my first router. I almost picked up a Makita compact router yesterday for about $100. Then I read somewhere that it was a laminate router so I was worried it wouldn't work for me.
I'll mostly be using it for rounding/decorative edges on lumber, cutting some circles or cutouts out of plywood and MDF, etc. I know people also use it for making doors and such but that is not on my to do list.
Is the compact router powerful enough for this?
One more question: one option was to get a kit that came with a clear plastic disc or base plate or something. What's that for?
Thanks again!

Yes, plenty power for that.
Don't really need the kit unless you get much more advanced. One of those things that does not hurt to have but may never use the attachments.
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Old 12-24-2016, 03:21 PM   #39
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Re: Router for a Beginner


I just bought a compact router at Menards. Half price if you send in the rebate. Has the high end features, soft start, lots of metal, variable speed. The warrentee is good for 2 years, goes bad just hang on to your receipt in the tool bag it comes with.

Could have gone with the big name brand compact at about 3 times the price, maybe next time.
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:34 PM   #40
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Re: Router for a Beginner


When you start adding on projects and asking things like "Can I do stuff with drawers, etc." then I start to lean towards saying you really need a full size 1/2" shank option. They can do everything.

Now, it is true that a compact trim router is much easier to handle. And very useful. But the simple reality is that a full size router can do everything a compact can. But a compact can't do everything, (not even close), to what a full size can.

Also, as mentioned I believe, you'd need an additional investment in bits if you get an additional size. Right now, I've got a nice relatively new DeWalt for my main full size router, an older Craftsman and a Bosch for the compact. The compact is GREAT for quick trim work, small round overs, laminate / edge banding trimming and similar. For anything even slightly heavier or for large runs on large size projects I wouldn't even think about using it. It just doesn't have the power and would heat up too much.

If you start building real fine furniture and contemplate using dovetail joinery at all, then it's full size. CAN you get away with the small version? Maybe. But probably not. You're going to struggle with larger size dado grooves as well. If you get more and more into woodworking, you'll find you end up getting multiple routers. Probably a full and a compact and maybe multiple full size depending on what your doing. (Because set up is a hassle and sometimes you need two bits.) It's similar to owning multiple drills and having two different drill bits in two typical drills and then two different driver bits in two impact drivers. If you're building a lot, the $$$ is worth it to not be wasting time switching bits.

The Router is a tool a lot of folks don't need at all. For typical DIY / home maintenance, etc., it's mostly unneeded. Unless you start actually making stuff. Then it becomes used so much more than you would have expected. As for router tables, if you're into serious DIY, you can build your own. But if you just want something that's precise out of the box, get a full size table from Kreg or JessEm or wherever. Expensive. Yes. But you'll be in business immediately. The most important thing here is - same as with table saw - the fence working well to keep things square. Also be aware that with a good router table, you can kind of use it as a jointer for reasonably sized boards. And yes, as others have said, tables are really for full size.

Final notes: Don't cheap out on bits. And be careful with them. They're tough for cutting, but also kind of brittle in a way. One bad drop and gouge and it's going to be mess up your workpieces until you get it probably sharpened. And don't bottom them out in collet. They get inserted and then back them out 1/8" or so before tightening down. Otherwise, they can heat up too much and warp things.

Great book: Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Router by Lonnie Bird. All tools and power tools especially can be dangerous. But the router - I think - can also be one of the more dangerous. Maybe some would argue the table saw or whatever. But used improperly the router can skip in really odd ways or fling workpieces with unexpected force. Practice on scrap first with the all the usual safety gear. Especially hearing protection. This is one of the loudest tools in shop.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:21 AM   #41
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Re: Router for a Beginner


Will guy's I made my choice and found a use router on ebay and won the bid for $123. I went with a full size Bosch maybe later this summer will get a table, now to hide it from my wife. I could not past up a good deal now to get a guild an maybe a under the table mount next couple of months .
Want to thank you for your inputs , it help out a lot an maybe help others as well .
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BOSCH-1617EV...p2047675.l2557

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Old 12-31-2016, 07:03 AM   #42
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Re: Router for a Beginner


Good choice

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Old 03-09-2017, 07:45 PM   #43
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Re: Router for a Beginner


I just put my router away for the day after rounding off the edges on a few dozen arched brackets so yeah...they can be useful tools.
The Colt is a great trim and roundover router. Small and easy to handle and not too intimidating for the beginner.
For bigger projects I'd definitely recommend the DeWalt 618. There's a great value kit for it that includes both the plunge and fixed bases for $179 and occasionally on sale for less. I think I paid $159 from CPO last time.
http://www.cpooutlets.com/dewalt-dw6...efault,pd.html
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:53 AM   #44
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Re: Router for a Beginner


You made a good choice, the Bosch 1617 is a 2.25 hp mid size machine that will give you years of service.
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