Seeking practical router advice

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Richard Moose

16 Oct 2023
Reaction score
Hi Everyone,
I'm new here and also pretty new to my woodworking journey.
I have picked up a bargain router from FB as a starter tool. It's a Bosch POF 1200 AE in case that matters.
The problem I have is that the vendor had misplaced what I would call the depth gauge (Bosch think it should be called the guide component).
Does anyone have any practical ways to use the device without this guide? I know I can get a part easy enough, but purchasing appears to almost quadruple the price I'd have paid to get the router. This price difference would be better served getting more tools. :)
I look forward to learing from you all.
It's hard for an silly person like me to be sure, but I think it's #814


It's the "long" bar with the measurement gauge that can be set to limit the plunge level. (some terminology may be severely incorrect)
I use the rod as a stop, but in 40 years I've not ever used the scale. It's only a bit of steel.
Agreed regarding scale. I generally set depth of cut by plunging down so the cutter touches the surface then lock off the depth stop with something equivalent to the required plunge depth between the base and the depth stop (often a drill bit).
I have that exact router (now upside down in my table), but I've never used that gauge to set the depth - I always used a little depth setting gauge like this one, which only cost a few quid (works when using the router the normal way, or when mounted in a table:
Screenshot 2023-11-02 at 09.31.23.png

The rod is useful for referencing against the stepped depth collar so that you can do your cut in a couple of increasing depth passes, if it's deep without adjusting anything, but you could use any old bit of rod for that.
Last edited:
A sliding combination square will get you pretty close setting the cutter stick out.
The built in scales on routers are rarely accurate enough to trust so don't worry about it.

You do need a replacement rod. Just go on ebay and buy a 30cm length of "silver steel" in the diameter to fit the hole in the router. It is cheap, strong and accurately made. Then cut to length.

My most common way to set depth is to loosen the rod and plunge the router cutter while stationary to depth taken by sitting it on the mating part. Lock the plunge at that depth, move the router away and then tighten the knob holding the rod so that it sets the max depth. Don't force the cutter down too hard when taking that reference from the mating part or you might go a little deeper than you intended. It is very easy to increase the depth afterwards but you can't put the wood back :)

In use, i'll normally take multiple cuts at increasing depths guessed by eye to work down to the full depth where i'm stopped by the rod. As @Sgian Dubh recently commented on another thread, increasing depth by half a diameter of the cutter on each pass is a rule of thumb as you learn the sound of your router and the feel for different timbers and sharp vs blunt cutters.

To increase a cut by a small controlled amount, plunge to the stop, lock the plunge, release the rod and move it up a little (you can slide a piece of beer can or a feeler gauge in if you want a tiny controlled amount) and lock. Then just plunge again to the new stop position.
Thanks to all for the great advice, I have taken bits and pieces from you all and have a working solution.