Routers


bigarm
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I have gotten a lot of good replies from my router table topic (keep those coming!) so I thought I would ask a question about routers themselves.  For use in a router table, what is the most useful power size for the router to be used only in the table?  I hear some people saying they never use a router and others saying they use it all the time.  I seem to use it quite often, not nearly as often as my Domino, but quite often.  I use it for edge treatments, rabbets, dadoes, etc.  I like to make cabinets, drawers etc.

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18 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

The most useful size of router for the table is a bigger one than you already have. Of course.

Like Ross said, the bigger the better.  I have the Porter Cable 7518 which is 3.25 HP and variable speed and I am real happy with that.  As you know there are a lot of things that can be done with the table and so having adequate power makes in more enjoyable and safer because you are not trying to get the motor to do something it is incapable of doing.  Variable speed is something that is important too because of the larger variety and diameter of bits that you may use on a table.

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I use Makita RP2301FC 3-1/4 HP.

If you're going to buy a router lift, then a good option is the Porter Cable 75182, which is the motor only version of the 7518.

If you're not, then a router that lets you the adjust cutting height from above the table is advisable. My Makita can be adjusted from the top. I think there is a Triton with that capability also, but I don't know which model.

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I have the ubiquitous pc 7518 and really like it. You can usually find them on sale or craigslist. Only way I would upgrade is if I found a good deal on the Milwaukee 3-1/4 router with the detached speed control. They currently don't make it anymore so it would to be used. 

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23 hours ago, wdwerker said:

if you want to build Frame and Panel doors you need over 3 hp router.

PorterCable 7518 is what I use. It's in a router lift which makes adjustments much easier. Big bits need to run at a slower speed to be safe. 

Ate you saying if you are going to do it repeatedly?   I've raised a few dozen panels from red oak,  white oak, wenge 《---- don't recommend,  walnut with my craftsman  2.25 hp in the table, slowed way down, and with the right feed rate and sharp bit, it has done great for me. 

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If you are going to make a small batch of doors for an entertainment center or bathroom vanity a large router will suffice. For an entire kitchen you're pushing it a bit . A shaper is a better choice for making the cuts for frame and panel doors.

Realistically you need 3 shapers or large routers to make F& P doors. One for the inside edge of the doors, one for the cope joints and 1 for the raised panel cutter. That way once you get them all set up you can make an extra part or door without doing so much setup and adjusting.

It can be done with just one but it takes longer and the quality can suffer.

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Routers are too underpowered to spin bits, unless you're doing dental work! If you wanna spin a bit and use a table... Get a shaper!

-PB

 

Here's my rule of routing, and my setup....

Table - 3.25hp Porter Cable 7518 for anything requiring table work and a fence
Hand Held - Medium Size 2.25hp Plunge (OF1400, Bosch 1617EVS) for larger profiles, bigger manageable bits, mortising, dovetail jigs, dados, grooves. 
Compact - 1.25hp (Porter Cable 450PK) plunge and fixed base. Used for small roundovers, inlays, flush trimming. 

Large hand held - 3.25hp plunge Festool OF2200 - For spinning large bits that make mortises, and giving you the feeling of badassery when you use it. @shaneymack can attest to this. 

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2 hours ago, wdwerker said:

If you are going to make a small batch of doors for an entertainment center or bathroom vanity a large router will suffice. For an entire kitchen you're pushing it a bit . A shaper is a better choice for making the cuts for frame and panel doors.

Realistically you need 3 shapers or large routers to make F& P doors. One for the inside edge of the doors, one for the cope joints and 1 for the raised panel cutter. That way once you get them all set up you can make an extra part or door without doing so much setup and adjusting.

It can be done with just one but it takes longer and the quality can suffer.

Respectfully disagree.   I'm just a hobbiest but have made 2 sets of kitchen cabinets and my PC 7518 held up just fine.  In fact i still use it in my router table.  It takes a bit longer probably because you have to make more passes but if you're careful I think it will be fine. Perhaps if I was a pro using it heavily 9 hours a day and trying to hog out everything in one pass it may be a different story.

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In a softer wood you might be fine until a knot or much denser board comes along. This is especially true if you are routing multiple parts most of the day. If you work a smaller router to long and too hard they get hot and something fails. Until I got a 3 + hp router I burned up a few routers and learned the hard way. It all depends on what size bit you are using and the volume of work you do.

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3 hours ago, wdwerker said:

In a softer wood you might be fine until a knot or much denser board comes along. This is especially true if you are routing multiple parts most of the day. If you work a smaller router to long and too hard they get hot and something fails. Until I got a 3 + hp router I burned up a few routers and learned the hard way. It all depends on what size bit you are using and the volume of work you do.

My point is say with the new Bosch 15 amp router, it is essentially the same even though they classify it as 2.3 hp instead of 3.25 hp.  Because those numbers are inflated for many ways that horsepower is measured.

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3 minutes ago, ponderingturtle said:

My point is say with the new Bosch 15 amp router, it is essentially the same even though they classify it as 2.3 hp instead of 3.25 hp.  Because those numbers are inflated for many ways that horsepower is measured.

My Makita is suppose to be 3.25HP and it draws 15 amps... It's all marketing I guess.

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If you are going to make a small batch of doors for an entertainment center or bathroom vanity a large router will suffice. For an entire kitchen you're pushing it a bit . A shaper is a better choice for making the cuts for frame and panel doors.

Realistically you need 3 shapers or large routers to make F& P doors. One for the inside edge of the doors, one for the cope joints and 1 for the raised panel cutter. That way once you get them all set up you can make an extra part or door without doing so much setup and adjusting.

It can be done with just one but it takes longer and the quality can suffer.

Respectfully disagree.   I'm just a hobbiest but have made 2 sets of kitchen cabinets and my PC 7518 held up just fine.  In fact i still use it in my router table.  It takes a bit longer probably because you have to make more passes but if you're careful I think it will be fine. Perhaps if I was a pro using it heavily 9 hours a day and trying to hog out everything in one pass it may be a different story.

What do you disagree with? If you read back to wdwerkers first post he has the same router as you!

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

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2 hours ago, shaneymack said:

What do you disagree with? If you read back to wdwerkers first post he has the same router as you!

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

I may have misunderstood but I thought he was implying you need a shaper or even 3 shapers to do a full kitchen frame and panel doors.  My opinion was that the 7518 or similar router is more than capable of doing one.  Perhaps just not all day, every day.  Or as fast

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