Quantcast

Yet another 'which router' question

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Neil

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2003
Messages
1,016
Reaction score
0
Location
Ireland
Hi everyone,

This is my first ‘new topic’ post so Hello! Its a great forum...

A couple of years ago I was given a 1/4" Power Devil router (a T3 clone) which has provided a useful introduction to routing, but I'm starting to find it a bit underpowered and generally frustrating, so I've decided to get something better. I want something suitable for mounting in a table, but I will also need to use it as a handheld.

I have pretty much decided to go for a Makita 3612C as I have other Makita tools which have been excellent and it will be so easy to get spares (in Ireland), but I was wondering if someone could tell me what size the opening in the base is? Also could someone tell me if there is a lock on the switch for use in a table.

I don't want to ask for recommendations on other 1/2" routers as I've read plenty of discussion on this in other topics, but if anyone has any comments on the Makita I would be very interested to hear them. I think I spotted one mounted in the new SawDustAlley router table so maybe James has some comments. Also if anyone knows somewhere cheaper than Axminster (£220 with a case) please let me know. I would also consider the Porter Cable 7529 but it will be £275 inc delivery to Ireland from Rutlands so it is getting pretty expensive.

My question about the opening in the base leads me to a horrible confession :oops: - at the weekend I got the cheap 1/2" JCB router from Argos (£37.49 at the moment) just to see what it was like as I thought if it was OK I could make do with it for a while. I was actually quite impressed for the money (although bear in mind I am comparing it to a Power Devil) but the big downside for me is that the base opening is a paltry 37mm. I need to be able to put 1" radius round-over cutters in it, so it will be going back tomorrow. If anyone is looking for a very cheap 1/2" router for hobby use in a table, it might be worth looking at if you don't want to use big cutters, especially as you can guarantee it for three years for about £10.

Thanks for your help,

NeilCFD
 

Newbie_Neil

Established Member
Joined
27 Jul 2003
Messages
6,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Nottingham, England

Neil

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2003
Messages
1,016
Reaction score
0
Location
Ireland
Hi Neil,

Thanks for that - I had worked it out (eventually) myself having almost ordered the single-speed model from Screwfix by accident!

NeilCFD
 

sawdustalley

Established Member
Joined
7 Sep 2002
Messages
601
Reaction score
0
Location
Guildford,Surrey,UK
hello, and welcome from the UKW staff!

I am soon going to review the Makita 3612CX on my website Sawdustalley, I have been using it for a month and a half now.

Excellent router, good choice in my view - it is really worth the money. PLENTY of power, a great electronic brake. Everything about it cries quality!

Keep your eyes peeled on www.sawdustalley.co.uk/tools/reviews.php It should be online within the next 2 weeks.
 

Midnight

Established Member
Joined
11 Oct 2003
Messages
1,805
Reaction score
0
Location
Scotland
Neil..
Welcome aboard...
Canna comment re the Makita.. but felt I should say somethin re your 1" rad cutter. Strictly speaking, you should keep bits that size solely for use in a table mounted set up. You need to keep the tool avsolutely stable and have the motor speed cranked wayyyyyy down with that much metal spinning...
Form what I've read re specs of other routers, your apperature seems in the ballpark for "normal".
 

Neil

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2003
Messages
1,016
Reaction score
0
Location
Ireland
Hi Mike,

Thanks for that - don't worry - the 1" rad will be used exclusively in the table. I have to disagree that the JCB aperture is ballpark for normal for a 1/2" router though - I would say it is more like the normal for 1/4" machines. Even my little Power Devil can take up to 30mm diameter bits. I just had a look at the CMT roundover bits in Axminster - the 1/2" radius roundover bit which I would consider to be a pretty standard bit measures 38.1mm outside diameter and so wouldn't fit in the JCB. I think the JCB would be way too restrictive because of this, especially for table-mounting. James has checked the Makita for me and the opening measures about 70mm which is much more like it, although not quite as impressive as the massive 3.5" opening in the Porter Cable!

I saw Norm using a 1.5" radius(!) roundover bit in a handheld router when he made his flagpole, but it looked VERY scary. Luckily the work I need to do with the 1" radius will be much easier in the table anyway.

Neil
 

Scrit

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2002
Messages
3,872
Reaction score
0
Neil":1aktjh9k said:
... although not quite as impressive as the massive 3.5" opening in the Porter Cable!
Yes, but how many bits are you EVER going to see or use which are that size? We have over 100 router cutters in the shop and the only one that size is the trepanning cutter used on the CNC for surfacing spoil boards, etc.
I saw Norm using a 1.5" radius(!) roundover bit in a handheld router when he made his flagpole, but it looked VERY scary.
Which is why the god of woodworking gave use spindle moulders (or in US parlance "shapers"). But then I wouln't expect Norm to worry about shop safety, after all he's invincible! :lol:

Scrit
 

Neil

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2003
Messages
1,016
Reaction score
0
Location
Ireland
Hi Scrit,

Yes, but how many bits are you EVER going to see or use which are that size?
I agree totally, which is why I think the Makita is completely sufficient at 70mm opening. I know that I won't be able to use the horizontal-type panel-raising cutters which are 3.5" diameter, but I can't see myself wanting to anyway.

The only really big cutter I expect to use is the 1" radius cutter, but this does mean that I need an opening of at least 63.5mm.

The point I was trying to make about the opening is that the JCB's 37mm is way too small for a half-inch router, as it won't allow the use of a lot of bits which I would expect to be very standard kit, like 1/2" roundover, the smallest size CMT 45 chamfer bit on a 1/2" shank @ 45mm OD, CMT stile & rail cutter etc. etc. Even if they had just made the opening 40mm it would have been a lot more useful.

Is everyone trying to talk me out of buying the Makita? The JCB hasn't gone back to Argos yet!

I know what you mean about Norm though - his fingers seem to be getting closer to danger every time I watch (which isn't very often I have to say...)

Neil
 

Scrit

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2002
Messages
3,872
Reaction score
0
Neil

I agree that 37mm is a bit restrictive on a 1/2in router, although it would be perfectly good for straight and mild profiles. I was merely commenting along the lines of "size is not (that) important":lol:. In any case, it's probably not a bad idea to go for a heavier trade router for large cutters - the better quality machines have longer collets and the quality of machining of those collets is superior so the chances of a cutter working loose will be minimised. One thing I would say is that if you are going to use cutters of the size you are proposing, you'd be well advised to build yourself a set of Shaw guards or the like and some push sticks. That's what we have to put onto spindle moulders (by law) and you're into making the same size of cut I'd normally take on a static machine.

Have fun

Scrit
 

Neil

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2003
Messages
1,016
Reaction score
0
Location
Ireland
Hi Scrit,

Thanks for the advice. What is a Shaw guard? I was going to make some substantial featherboards, and make the cut in several passes.

I'm also wondering about a suitable fence - I want to make something substantial as I don't want the whole thing lifting up, so I was going to use some angle-iron for the 'spine' of the fence, with wood cheeks attached. I can then bolt the fence down and hopefully it won't move at all. What do you think?

NeilCFD
 

Scrit

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2002
Messages
3,872
Reaction score
0
Shaw Guards are a combination of pressure and safety guard (called a SUVA guard in some European countries after the Swiss Insurance organisation which developed something remarkably similar). They are typically hung from the back of the fence on spindle moulders (although table mounting of horizontally acting pressure feet is also utilised) and comprise in their most basic form of two hardwood blocks held on leaf springs in such a way that they cannot be detached, one to provide vertical pressure onto the top of the workpiece onto the table, the other to provide horizontal pressure of the workpiece against the fence. Should the workpiece be too tall or too wide to be accomodated then at least one spring guard should be used. They serve two purposes, to keep the workpiece pressed down onto the table and against the fence and to provide some form of protection against accidentally coming in contact with the cutter. Wood is deemed better as in contact with metal cutters it will not result is shards of metal or sparks being generated (which means that those nifty metal springs some tables have are NBG (i.e. no good at all). Elu did used to supply these with their router tables more than 20 years ago and DW might still list the components.

After that longwinded explanation, take a look at page 2 of this document on the HSE web site and you'll see an example of what I mean http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/wis18.pdf. Whilst this page is aimed at spindle moulders, there are some useful tips to be picked up for the safe use of router tables.

For a fence why not make up something from 19mm plywood (L-section) with an opening for the cutter. This can be drilled at one end and pivoted using a coach bolt passed through the router table top and at the other end held by a G-cramp. Voila! Highly adjustable fence. This arrangement also permits you to screw or nail on an auxilliary (sacrificial) faceplate and plunge through for zero clearance by simply pivoting the fence slowly into the cutter whilst the router is running (just remember to "bite" slightly deeper than you need so that the cutter will have chip clearance). Just like on a hand plane, this can give cleaner cuts on awkward woods, like sapele, which can go hairy or stringy in cut.

Scrit
 

DaveL

Established Member
Joined
19 Oct 2002
Messages
4,674
Reaction score
0
Location
Sudbury, Suffolk
Neil":en7tccqt said:
I agree totally, which is why I think the Makita is completely sufficient at 70mm opening. I know that I won't be able to use the horizontal-type panel-raising cutters which are 3.5" diameter, but I can't see myself wanting to anyway.
Neil,
The panel cutters could be used by making a false top for your router table.
That what I am doing for my Trend table, I can't take the credit for this idea, it's in the Trend blurb (somewhere). I am using 3/8 mdf with a clearance hole to match the panel cutter. The only problem with this is a router with a short spindle, the cutter may not reach the top of the false top. Axminster do an extension that can be used, I had checked and don't need one.
I have fitted the mdf to 2*1 battens which bolt to the ends of the table, the false top is wider than the Trend table, to give better support to the panels. I cut slots and holes to match the fixings for the fence and just had to find longer coach bolts to fit. It works a treat :p
 

Neil

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2003
Messages
1,016
Reaction score
0
Location
Ireland
Thanks Scrit. I've downloaded the HSE info sheet and I must admit the Shaw guard arrangement in Fig. 3 looks much safer than using featherboards - thank you!

The fence suggestion sounds good too - well within my budget :wink:

DaveL,

Thanks for the suggestion - which Trend table do you have, as I think I can download the manual from their website?

NeilCFD
 

Scrit

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2002
Messages
3,872
Reaction score
0
Neil

I've just hd to download something off the HSE site. I found a very clear illustration of the Shaw guard here http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/wis16.pdf on page 3. Makes it easy to figure out how to make one.

Regards

Scrit
 

DaveL

Established Member
Joined
19 Oct 2002
Messages
4,674
Reaction score
0
Location
Sudbury, Suffolk
Neil,
I have a Trend Craftsman router table, Mk1. It is quite old now, is seen quite a lot of use with my equally old Bosch 1/4" 500 watt router. I now have a Performance Power 1/2" 1250 watt router that almost lives in the table.

If you don't have a table but have some time to spare then build a table. There are lots of plans around which you could use or adapt. I think the table size of the Trend is too small for many of the things I am now looking at doing so I think the false top may get an insert made for it, to allow smaller cutters to be used safely.
 

Neil

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2003
Messages
1,016
Reaction score
0
Location
Ireland
Scrit,

Thanks, thats a much better picture of the guards. I should be able to manage something along those lines...

DaveL,

I think I will make rather than buy a table and I've found plenty of good info, but I've also downloaded the Trend manual for your table and there is some useful stuff in it...thanks!

Neil
 

Latest posts

Top