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Silverfox2306

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Thank you for welcoming me to the Forum.

I am looking for advice about a good basic router to make half lap joints for building gate frames. I would like the router to at least come with the bit that will cut a nice clean joint. I may at some point wish to use it to create more advanced joints but in the meantime as long as it can cut 25mm out of the end of a length of 100mm x 50mm timber then I will be delighted.

Does anyone have some advice re current makes/models that would be suitable for my needs.

Thank you very much

J 🙂
 

Silverfox2306

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Hi Trevanion,

Given that I will be using it initially for one purpose I dont see much reason to spend an awful lot. Thinking somewhere in the region of £100-£120. However, I will need to be able to easily and competently make a decent half lap joint. If I gain enough confidence, I may have a go at Mortis and Tenon joints 😓😂

Thank you

J 🙂
 

sunnybob

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Welcome Silverfox. Do you have routing experience at all? Do you have a bandsaw or a table saw? Both can make half laps much quicker than the time it takes to set up the router.
give us some idea of your woodworking experience and what tools you have and we can offer more advice.
 

Silverfox2306

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Hello sunnybob,

I have used a router a couple of times. I dont have a table saw or a band saw. I do have a sliding mitre saw and I have seen these used to cut half laps but I think I would find that tricky especially when having to cut one on lengths of timber up to 4' in length. I just thought if I made up a jig and clamp it to the end of the timber, it would give more stability and ultimately a better joint. I want to make my joints as accurate as possible as this will give strength and squareness to a gate frame?

J 🙂
 

Trevanion

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£100 is a very tight budget for any kind of router, a decent bog standard straight router bit alone would set you back around £20. Cheap routers are OK such as the Erbauer offerings but once you upgrade to a nicer machine (and you will) you will realise quickly what you were missing out on.

If you're dead set on not breaking the budget, I'd say pick up one of these: Erbauer ER2100 2100W Electric Router 220-240V

It's got all the things that would tick the box for me such as a soft start motor (ones that start instantaneously are a pig to control on startup), Variable speed, decent fence and a big plus is that it comes with a couple of router bits to get you started.

You know, I bought my Makita RP2301FCXK about four years ago for about £220 new, the going price for one now is over £300. It doesn't get used a hell of a lot but I'm glad I bought it back then.
 

DBT85

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I was going to suggest the Erbaur too as a good starting point for all the reasons you mention. I got mine refurbed on Ebay for about £60.
 

city17

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Have you looked at the Bosch POF 1400 ACE? It works quite well for an affordable router, and it's even got good fine adjustment. It's got variable speed too, a usable fence (it's not the best), and it's quite powerful. I got it second hand, but quite happy with it.
 

sunnybob

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Youre on the right track, making sure the router is supported securely and squarely. But you would need to clamp a piece of wood as a fence on both sides of a central cut to stop the router just running away from you.

The thing with all power tools is that you start out with a small budget, then spend to the top of it, and within a year realise you should have spent more. But having said that, for the job youve specified, even a palm router or edge trimming router will cut half laps around 3/4" deep. If you are planning on heavy cuts (for example over 1 1/2" deep, then you are going to need a 1/2" router to take that sized bit, and now your budget really is too small for new and you will have to look for second hand.
On a farm gate for example with 2" deep cuts, a router isnt going to get that far down.
 

bjm

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I used an Erbauer router in my router table for years. For the money they are a good buy. The only downside to them is the noise - mine was very loud, until it died!!
 

Linwoodjoinery

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Use the mitre saw all day long. Set the depth and go with that. Quicker and easier than a router.
 

Oddbod70

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If that is all you are going to be doing with it I cant see it having too hard a life so I think any router would probably do. I‘d stretch to a 1/2 inch one if you can.

I‘d spend any saving on a bottom cutting TCT bit from a good manufacturer (say Freud, CMT, maybe trend). if you are flush perhaps a diamond slip stone for touching up the edge (the back only!).

I wouldn’t say you are doing this the conventional way, but I’m pretty sure your idea will work.
 

Silverfox2306

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Youre on the right track, making sure the router is supported securely and squarely. But you would need to clamp a piece of wood as a fence on both sides of a central cut to stop the router just running away from you.

The thing with all power tools is that you start out with a small budget, then spend to the top of it, and within a year realise you should have spent more. But having said that, for the job youve specified, even a palm router or edge trimming router will cut half laps around 3/4" deep. If you are planning on heavy cuts (for example over 1 1/2" deep, then you are going to need a 1/2" router to take that sized bit, and now your budget really is too small for new and you will have to look for second hand.
On a farm gate for example with 2" deep cuts, a router isnt going to get that far down.
Youre on the right track, making sure the router is supported securely and squarely. But you would need to clamp a piece of wood as a fence on both sides of a central cut to stop the router just running away from you.

The thing with all power tools is that you start out with a small budget, then spend to the top of it, and within a year realise you should have spent more. But having said that, for the job youve specified, even a palm router or edge trimming router will cut half laps around 3/4" deep. If you are planning on heavy cuts (for example over 1 1/2" deep, then you are going to need a 1/2" router to take that sized bit, and now your budget really is too small for new and you will have to look for second hand.
On a farm gate for example with 2" deep cuts, a router isnt going to get that far down.
Thanks for the advice,

You are right. I always end up buying better quality tools. I bought a cheap B&Q Mitre saw years ago. I was on a site recently where a joiner was also working. He had a Dewalt mitre saw. I asked him if I could have a go cutting the timber for a gate frame. The result was perfect cuts resulting in perfectly square frames first time. I went out and bought a £400 Dewalt saw the next day 😂
 

Silverfox2306

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Thanks guys for all the helpful advice. I think I will dig deeper into my pocket and go for a decent half inch router. As sure as anything I will end up needing to make deeper cuts.

John 🙂👍
 

ey_tony

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Amazon currently have an offer on a 1/2", 2100 watt TREND 7EK for £119.99, a good brand which might just fulfil your needs. I'm not sure if it's just a re-branded Erbauer but it has a decent fence etc and there should be better parts backup if it is a re-brand and it has a decent spec though the plunge depth is a max of 50mm to it will be limited.
 

MikeJhn

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I was going to recommend an Hitachi router, but when looking for a decent price for one I found this: Precision 1/2 Router | Next Day Delivery at the price may be worth a punt, if only to get you started and realise that maybe a router isn't the best tool for making half lap joints. :unsure:

Making a half lap joint with a decent jig in the middle of a piece of timber is fine, it's when you try to make one on the end of a piece of timber with a router that problems start with the router tipping, much easier to have an over length piece of timber and cut it to length after forming the half lap trench.
 
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recipio

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Of all tools a router has to be well built. They can get up to 30,000 RPM after all. I believe that the cheap routers are built to last but a few years before breaking down. In fact, I bought a cheap 1/4 " router at the end of a trade show and if I put a large ( 20mm + ) bit in it I can't hold it due to vibration. So save up your pennies and buy a Makita .😄
 

MikeJhn

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A Router has to be fit for use, but using a 20mm dia bit in a 1/4" router is pushing your luck, and you will not get a new Makita for under £100.00 as the Rutlands 1/2" posted above.
 

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