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Mikegtr

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Soon I shall be buying my first router. Advice most welcome.
I would be requiring a small'ish one--mainly for guitar making--no heavy woodwork. What size motor would I require?---freehand and router table use? (Just to mention I have a Dremel I have had for many years, used for inlay work.)

What would be a good makes to buy?
Is it a safe bet to buy second hand?
 

Pete Maddex

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Just how small?

The katsu trimmer with all tha bases is about £80 and I find mine very handy.

Pete
 

Peptidoglycan

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I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this lately, but the caveat is that I am likely one of the least experienced folks on this board. Anyway, the Triton family of routers get awesome reviews more or less everywhere for both table mounting and hand use (the big TRA001 one gets knocked a bit on hand use because it is so big). But the middle one MOF something or other, gets good reviews for both uses. In fact I think I watched one long review by a guitar maker specifically about how much he loved it.
 

Droogs

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For the size of work you intend to do then a "Trim Router" would most probably fit your needs. Arguably the worlds favourite is the Makita 700 series of palm routers. They are of high quality and have various options as to the type of base you can fit. The other high-end or high-street names also produce something similar.
However over the last decade a knock off of the makita 700 has been made and sold under the KATSU brand and although not as high quality in terms of internal motor components or in expected life expectency in use they are excellent value for money for what they are. I have both, in fact my Katsi(?) out number the Makita 3:1. They last about 2/3 the lifetime of the Makita but cost a 1/3 of it and all the Makita accessories fit.

I also have the Tritons you mention as well as various others, yes the TRA001 is a "little bit big" for delicate work (IMHO) but is fantastic as a table based router or one used for larger joinery. My preferred machine is the MOF001 (the mid sized one) this is in my main router table all the time and is fully adjustable from above and has plenty of clout for table work but has the bonus of coming with (in my case) 3 different collet sizes 1/4", 8mm and 1/2" giving plenty of versitilaty if needed, especially if i want to do some small radii work while being light enough to lug around for the day if needed.

As a supplement I also have several Dremel type tools two of which are mounted in Veritas plunge router bases one is wired and the other btty they allow me to use down to 1mm radius bits if I want. But are used for special inlay/pietra dura work.

hth
 

harryc

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Similar to Droogs I have had the Triton MOF router in my router table for over 5 years and it’s served me well.
The router is still the one tool that scares the dung out of me so if I can I will use the table over free hand every time.
 

sunnybob

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I'll add the warning as well. Routers are wonderful but strong willed things, if they want to go off at an angle, you aint gonna stop it no way no how, and flesh doesnt slow it down. :shock: :shock:

Think of it as a barely trained attack dog, absolutely superb for its purpose, but dont get complacent around it. :roll:
 

mr rusty

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You mention freehand and table work. These really require two different solutions.

I use a trend craft pro table with a Trend T11 router. One significant thing to think about is adjustment - you need to be able to tweak the cutter height from above the table, so a router designed for table work is best (like the T11) - makes it easy to adjust to even .1-.2mm with a digital gauge.

For hand use you probably don't want a 3HP router. I have the predecessor to this https://www.axminstertools.com/bosch-po ... 1-4-212272 for lightweight hand held, and between this and a heavy duty router in a table you would have the bases covered IMHO.
 

Bod

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Get yourself a copy of "Mastering the Router" by Ron Fox.
ISBN 1 86108 194 4
Will tell you all regarding routers.

Bod.
 

MusicMan

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I have four routers, which I feel is a complete set. From big to little

1. Dewalt 1/2" router, always mounted in a router table, Axminster raise/lower mechanism adjustable from top. Excellent tool. Collect adaptor for 1/4" bits also.

2. A Clark 1/2" hand held router. Far too heavy for most things, but I got it for a job where I wanted to straighten and flatten 7' x 14" x 2" boards of yew (with a 2.5 m straight edge, for jointing), and I couldn't pick them up to put on the table. Worked fine. Used occasionally for heavy work that cannot go on the table. BTW the straight edge was one made by Rufina for cutting carpets and it worked very well.

4. An old Elu 1/4" job but fitted also with 8 mm collet (easily available). My goto router, not too heavy, but strong and precise. It's obsolete, if I had to replace it I'd probably look to deWalt, Triton or Trend.

5. A Katsu trimmer, and I'd echo the comments above.

Most valued bit: an up/down shear bit from Wealden:

https://www.wealdentool.com/acatalog/On ... m_871.html

which gives a clear cut both top and bottom of the work, and can be roller guided from either the top or the bottom. Marvellous for following a template.
 

Lons

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Like Musicman I have 4 routers but also use a Dremel and am lucky to have an old Foredom flexi drive for fine work.

Have a 1/2" can't remember the make, brand new on a shelf, must have been really cheap or I wouldn't have bought it, :roll: A Dewalt 625 which spends most of it's life in the table, there's an Incra plate and a router raizer fitted which are excellent, an ancient Elu Mof 96e which I absolutely love and a Makita 700 CX2 kit which is my most used router as it's so light and controllable. I was pleasantly surprised at how powerful it is.
Unless you're doing heavy freehand work, I cut a lot of kitchen worktops, a 1/2" is probably a bit heavy I'd suggest.
I have no experience of the Katsu equivalent but it gets decent reviews on here and it's a lot cheaper.
 

MusicMan

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Very similar to mine, Lons. Oh, I forgot my Dremel!
 

DBT85

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Just remember that if you're using it in your hands, a router can in my opinion one of the tools more capable of forcing underpants changes. If it decides to bite you it can get wrong quickly. More than anything add an extra bit of careful to your usual dose.
 

Lons

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MusicMan":wlgcxncu said:
Very similar to mine, Lons. Oh, I forgot my Dremel!
I've just remembered where I got the new one Keith, he is a guitar maker called Paul Richardson and I think it had actually been used but only a handful of times, he wouldn't take any money for it, I bought an almost new DeWalt thicknesser from him as He'd got himself a CNC.
I really nice young man, could have spent many hours talking with him.
http://www.prguitars.co.uk/index.html
 

Phil Pascoe

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harryc":1br58j2o said:
The router is still the one tool that scares the dung out of me so if I can I will use the table over free hand every time.
Everyone has their pet hates - routers and chainsaws don't worry me a jot, but I hate 7. 1/4" circular saws with a passion. I knew three people who'd amputated their toes with a Flymo. :D
 

Mikegtr

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Having not yet used a router and having read all the scary things about them--anybody wear gloves when using one--chain mail gloves come to mind!
 

Trevanion

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Gloves are possibly the worst thing you could wear when operating any kind of equipment with a spinning, sharp object. If you accidentally catch your ungloved hand with a router bit it will take a chunk but you'll mostly be alright, a gloved hand will get entangled and you'll end up with a far worse injury because of it.
 
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