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JordanPatterson

Routers Failing in Router Table

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I have had a Incra router table and lift with an enclosed dust collection box around the router. I had this setup with a brand new Bosch 1617 for over a year and then suddenly the router max speed was limited to a very low speed. I replaced the Bosch with a dewalt 618 that was already a few years old and within 2 months it is experiencing the same symptoms.

I am still in the process of troubleshooting this but has anyone experienced this type of "failure" before. Also what routers are you using in your tables?

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I run the PC 7518 in my table and haven't had any issues.  However, mine isn't enclosed so, not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

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I mounted a router underneath my bench in a crude sort of router table arrangement. I have had 2 no-name routers fail this way. The first went up in flames, presumably due to dust getting in the motor. The second lost speed the way you describe. At the time I attributed the latter failure to me trying to take off too much material in one pass and stressing the motor. I am now on my 3rd router and I am taking smaller bites each pass, but I have not used it enough to know if this will improve things.

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I have the Incra Super System LS table with the same dust box that you have.  I have the PC 7518 in my lift and haven't had any problems in over two years.  I also use the CleanSweep MagLock rings in my lift.  I think to start with, if I was you, I would contact Incra because you have their table and dust collection box.  When I first received my equipment from them I had a problem and found them to be super helpful and really willing to help work through a problem.

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Dust and heat ! If inclosed high air volume suction is the cure.  Before I hooked my 2 hp dust collector to my router table I used 2 shop vacs. 1 to the cabinet with air inlet holes for cross ventilation and the second to the fence. Of course inexpensive routers die young anyways. 

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Ever since I ran the first piece through one of these, I haven't wanted to use anything else.  It really does get 100% of the chips and dust with just a shop vac.  Notice that the 7518 still looks new, and that's after some number of hundreds of feet of parts have been run over it.

It might seem like it would take a lot of extra time to set up, but it really doesn't.  Details are in the pictures on my "windows" web page.  The "table" is scrap synthetic bowling alley material that has stayed dead flat for years.  The PVC pipe is the air intake around the bit to keep chips from getting projected out, and to protect fingers.

 

No dust ever touches the router.windows3_0052.JPG

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I guess I need to establish more ventilation across the router and periodically blow the whole case out with compressed air. I have a 1.5 Hp dust collector hooked up and it is excellent at dust collection.

 

Do the $300 routers typically have a lot better life?

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I have the Porter cable router that preceded the 7518, it's over 28 years old and going strong. Had to get a 7518 cause no one makes a lift that fits the old one .  Being able to change speeds for big bits is important .

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I bought some "reconditioned" 7518's from CPO for a good price.  They looked like the boxes had been opened, and then sent back.  I figured that the people who ordered them, opened the box, got scared, and sent them back.  I could tell absolutely no difference between any of them and a new one, other than the boxes had been opened.

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On 4/6/2017 at 8:11 AM, JordanPatterson said:

I have had a Incra router table and lift with an enclosed dust collection box around the router. I had this setup with a brand new Bosch 1617 for over a year and then suddenly the router max speed was limited to a very low speed.

Do you have any above-table dust collection?  or is it all through the enclosed box under the table?

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Cross ventilation is important in the box/enclosure . If you have it hooked to your dust collection a wye is the best way to hook up a hose to the fence and the box below.

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19 hours ago, JordanPatterson said:

I guess I need to establish more ventilation across the router and periodically blow the whole case out with compressed air. I have a 1.5 Hp dust collector hooked up and it is excellent at dust collection.

Do the $300 routers typically have a lot better life?

I don't know if it is the price but, I have run a couple of Milwaukee 5625's, one of them for a decade in a router table / enclosure.  The thing does nothing but work.  I do adjust speed to optimize the cut so its not like the controls don't get used.

As for how to kill a router . . . there are so many ways . . .

  • If dust is collecting on the router your DC definitely needs attention. 
  • Letting about as much air in as you take out is a given. 
  • Flow path can be part of your issue.
  • Throat inserts have to balance between stock support (close to the bit) and airflow (not too close to the bit). 

Tom King's rig looks awesome for edge work.  IME a shop vac often works better than a DC for high velocity systems like routers, miter saws and drill press stations. They are just a little impractical for high volume.  I have a 4" hooked to a 6" main heading to the cyclone for the enclosure.  I use a 2-1/2" at the fence or upper area either shop vac or DC depending on the setup.

I have a flexible arm that mounts in t-track to hold the upper hose when starter-pin routing.  I also have a gym sock full of marbles that I use as a flexible weight to hold the upper hose (and all sorts of things) in position to optimize pickup.

P.s. I do get some 'snow drifts' of spoil in the lower cabinet.  I just ignore them as they make an automatically "better" flow path for the spoil.

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If your router is in an enclosed box (as mine is) make sure you always have a dust collection running when the router is running. The airflow, in addition to taking away the dust/chips, will also keep your router from over heating.  I have a 12 year old Bosch 1617 in my current table which I build 3 years ago.  The table is setup for collection both below the router and above through the fence.  My previous table used the same router, but the bottom was completely open.

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