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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:00 pm 
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Hi,

I am reaching out to the forum for some advice. You guys have served me well in the past and I'm hoping you can again!

I am looking to upgrade my plunge router. I have found two models which look good on paper for my purposes:

1. Triton 1400W Duel Mode Precision Plunge Router MOF 001 (http://www.tritontools.com/en-GB/Produc ... ers/MOF001)

2. Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router (https://www.bosch-do-it.com/gb/en/diy/t ... 199905.jsp)

They both have the main things I am looking for:

1. Depth adjustment
2. Micro adjustment
3. 50mm plunge depth
4. Soft start
5. Variable motor speed
6. Ergonomic design
7. Constant electronic feedback circuitry
8. Spindle lock

What are your thoughts on these, is there one that sticks out above the rest or should I be looking at another brand / model?

I am also looking for options for a router table (nothing plastic, but I don't want to break the bank either!) and a set of new bits (either carbide tipped or solid carbide), any recommendations?

Many thanks in advance for your help!

Stophen


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:10 am 
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They are both only 1/4 inch collets. Is that what you are looking for?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:05 am 
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The comment about chuck capacity (actually 8mm, not 1/4in) should possibly be a concern to you because 8mm shank cutters may limit the range of work you can undertake. My first router in a table was a 600 watt Elu MOF96 in a miniscule Elu router table but that did a lot of work for me at home before I outgrew it. I suppose it depends on what your end game is, and what your budget is as well

Stophen wrote:
I am looking to upgrade my plunge router. I have found two models which look good on paper for my purposes:

1. Triton 1400W Duel Mode Precision Plunge Router MOF 001 (http://www.tritontools.com/en-GB/Produc ... ers/MOF001)

2. Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router (https://www.bosch-do-it.com/gb/en/diy/t ... 199905.jsp)

Of the two routers the Triton is the one which has very obviously been designed for under table use with the facility to install a rise and fall control accessible from above the table top (seen at 2:54 in this video - sorry about the poor quality pic, it was grabbed from the video) - something the Bosch doesn't have.
Attachment:
Triton Above Table Rise and Fall Control 001_01.JPG
Triton Above Table Rise and Fall Control 001_01.JPG [ 25.18 KiB | Viewed 900 times ]

If you do go the Triton way an obvious candidate for a compatible router table insert has got to be Triton's own TWX7RT001 router table module:
Attachment:
Triton TWX7RT001 Router Table Insert 001_01.jpg
Triton TWX7RT001 Router Table Insert 001_01.jpg [ 33.33 KiB | Viewed 900 times ]

because straight out of the box this is designed to support that through the table depth control. That insert doesn't come cheap (it costs about the same as the router) but it delivers everything that you need without the need to modify anything at all to use the Triton with it. Whilst Triton do sell a module basis table (not unlike the Festool CMS module base) to accommodate their modules:
Attachment:
Triton TWX7 Workcentre Table Modular System 001_01.jpg
Triton TWX7 Workcentre Table Modular System 001_01.jpg [ 76.17 KiB | Viewed 900 times ]

they are pretty expensive at around the £300 mark. Unless you absolutely need that swap-out capability I'd be tempted to just make-up my own table or even let the Triton insert into the top of an existing workbench.

In terms of the routers themselves I've only ever used a Triton (the bigger 1/2in one) once. It had enough power, but I found in hand held mode that it was a bit tippier than my day-to-day router back then, the deWalt DW625. Under the table, though, it seemed to be very well adapted and was a lot easier to use than a "conventional" plunge router mounted beneath the table. I don't know much about the POF1400 other than to say that there have been complaints in the past about the router not locking acceptably during plunging (it might have two columns, but only one of them has a guide bush, the other one can move when pressure is applied to the handles even when the depth is locked). Given that the router budget looks to be in the £150 to £200 area the may be other routers to consider such as the 1/2in Hitachi M12VE
Attachment:
Hitachi M12VE 1_2in Router 001_01.jpg
Hitachi M12VE 1_2in Router 001_01.jpg [ 12.37 KiB | Viewed 900 times ]

- but that model will require a lot more work to adapt it for under table routing. I think the Triton looks like a pretty good choice if you intend do do a lot of table routing and the collet size isn't going to limit you too much. It isn't a trade-rated tool, but I suspect that you aren't looking for that level of durability (or cost)

Stophen wrote:
I am also looking for...
...a set of new bits (either carbide tipped or solid carbide), any recommendations?

Firstly solid carbide cutters are expensive and they tend to be restricted to specialist designs and applications where extreme duty and long life are required, e.g. spiral straight cutters (for production template routing in MDF), laminate trimming, routing of extremely hard materials such as Perstorp, etc) so you won't be able to buy a set of them. So carbide tipped is where you need to be looking. Secondly I'm always wary about recommending sets which other people have selected. If you are a routing "newbie" then a cheap set of cutters may well help you get to grips with the router and learn about what you want or don't want in an edge profile, but in general I reckon that buying specific cutters as and when required is a more productive approach. In other words let the project drive the tooling requirements and avoid the tendency to use a cutter simply because you have it (or "when you have a hammer everything else is a nail" :roll: ). If you really need a starter kit for projects I'd suggest 2 or 3 straight cutters (say 6, 10 and 18mm), a couple of round-overs with bearings say 1/4in and 3/8in radius), a 45 degree chamfer with bearing and maybe a core box or coving cutter will get you started. One source of tooling I'll recommend (from 20 odd years of buying from them - satisfied customer, no other connection) is Wealden Tool - order before about 2:30pm and nine times out of ten you'll have it next morning.

Good luck with your routing

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For this message the author Job and Knock has received gratitude : Stophen
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:10 pm 
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i would ask what you are hoping to acheive with the upgrade
what you would like to acheive will determine the advice given
also what router you all ready have

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For this message the author big-all has received thanks - 2: Job and Knock, Stophen
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:20 pm 
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Hi,

Many thanks for all your help so far (especially 'Job & Knock'), it is greatly appreciated!

I use my router in my business but am by no means a carpenter / joiner. I use it to cut large circles out of 18mm plywood (22.5" - 42") which then have their edges rounded over. These discs are a product I produce to protect drum heads. My second use is to round over edges of Padauk & Rosewood bars measuring roughly 300mm (L) x 50mm (W) x 20mm (D). I have been performing this process by hand but am pretty sure it will be a lot easier using a table.

I don't really have a budget, I am looking for a quality tool that tick the majority of my boxes and can be easily fitted to a table.

I like the idea of idea of creating my own table which I could insert into my workbench (this is a solid beech construction that measures 3000mm (L) x 1000mm (W) x 50mm (D) held on a frame of 48mm scaffolding). I was searching the web and found the 'Kreg Routing Solutions' (https://www.kregtool.com/store/c8/routing-solutions/). I like how you can buy the individual parts to create your own table. The down side if that they are based in the US, is there a way of getting them in the UK or is there a British version?

As you can see I don't actually require that many router bits for my operations, but as I am upgrading my router I thought I would do the same for my bits. A couple of years ago I upgraded all my taps and dies from the cheap B&Q / Screwfix versions to the Presto brand, it was one of the best metal working investments I have made to date. 'Job & Knocks' website recommendation looks great although it does make me think that maybe I do need to look for a router with a 1/2" collet?

Oh, and so far to cut my circles I have been using a home made compass cutter. It has performed ok but I was wondering if anybody has any recommendations for something a little sturdier?

Many thanks again,

Stophen.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:28 pm 
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in general router to work is the easiest
roundovers dead easy with a bearing on a cutter
table has few benefits if simple moldings are what you are doing
if its cumbersome then router mat and and hand held
if your moldings are fairly light then a hand held[palm ]router is the easiest

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:42 pm 
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as for cutting accurate circles
roughly cut to within about 3mm off a line with a jigsaw/bandsaw and use a follower bit in a router to duplicate an accurate pattern
attached the blank to the patern the bearing runs on and copies it :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:34 pm 
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Stophen wrote:
I use it to cut large circles out of 18mm plywood (22.5" - 42") which then have their edges rounded over. These discs are a product I produce to protect drum heads. My second use is to round over edges of Padauk & Rosewood bars measuring roughly 300mm (L) x 50mm (W) x 20mm (D). I have been performing this process by hand but am pretty sure it will be a lot easier using a table.

As B-A says, reduce the amount of work that the router does by roughing out with either a jigsaw or a small bandsaw then finish with a router and cutter. That way both the cutter and the router will heat-up less and last longer. I'll make a specific recommendation about a cutter in this case - go for a solid carbide spiral cutter for your straight cuts, the same size as the collet and ideally the biggest (diameter) your router can holdbiggest your router can hold (8mm - quite a bit stronger than 6mm or 1/4in), and make sure that you have dust extraction (at least an old vacuum cleaner hooked-up to the router hood - for the rosewood and padauk this is important as dust from both of these can cause long terms respiratory problems). Spirals cut faster and cleaner and they will last far longer if appropriately sized and well treated.

Attachment:
Wealden SC Spiral Upcut Cutter 001_01.gif
Wealden SC Spiral Upcut Cutter 001_01.gif [ 10.34 KiB | Viewed 814 times ]


To produce your circle you don't really need a router table at all. A better arrangement might look something like a record table onto which the rough-sawn plywood blank could be fixed (4 screw points or possibly a vacuum holder) and could be rotated against a fixed position router cutter. The router could be mounted at the appropriate distance from the centre axis of the turntable and plunged in to start the cut or it could be on a pivoting arm which could be swung-in and locked to make the cut. There would be less friction to overcome for the operator (i.e. you) turning the blank as there is no router table beneath it. There's also no need to get involved with templates, bearing cutters, etc. I'll try to put together a Sketchup drawing or two tomorrow to illustrate what I'm on about. What I will say, though, is that neither of the routers you initially mentioned are trade rated, so I'll caution that they wouldn't last overly long in a production environment.

The Kreg stuff is very nice, and there are places on eBay/'t Interweb that sell some of it here, but for what it is it is I find it tremendously expensive (did I mention that my meanness is genetic, being a cross-breed of Scottish, Welsh and Yorkshire stock with all the hybrid vigour that can result in?). If you'd like to look at a more home-market option then take a look at both Axminster Power Tools (their UJK range includes cast iron router table tops, for example, as well as lots of components for "home-brews") and Trend Machinery & Cutting Tools who are rightly regarded as a leading distributor in the field of routing.

As it happens I'm just starting to put together a new router table for myself. It will be a home-brew done on the cheap :roll: :lol: The router going into it is an old fixed base industrial Bosch which has just had new bearings, brushes and collets. I've actually ordered an aluminium router insert plate from some guy in Hong Kong at under £20 on the basis that with a wee bit of work I can build a better router table.

Attachment:
HK Router Table Insert - Small 001_01.jpg
HK Router Table Insert - Small 001_01.jpg [ 114.75 KiB | Viewed 820 times ]


The fence is still giving me headaches, but I have a few ideas about what I'll get in the end - in the short term a piece of 3 x 2 PSE redwood bolted down loosely at one end to the top of the router table (and acting as a pivot) plus a G-cramp at the other will work just fine as my adjustable router fence :shock: The table top is going to be a piece of 25mm birch ply, laminated both sides with Formica (unless it finds a home in a paying job first). See, told you about the meanness

Attachment:
Very Basic Router Table Fence 001_01.JPG
Very Basic Router Table Fence 001_01.JPG [ 19.14 KiB | Viewed 814 times ]


You are right about the round over probably being easier to do in a router table where a router with a bearing round over cutter could be left semi-permanently set-up (see below)

Stophen wrote:
'Job & Knocks' website recommendation looks great although it does make me think that maybe I do need to look for a router with a 1/2" collet?

Thanks for the compliment :oops: TBH in your case if the budget would stand it I'd consider getting a lower cost 1/2in router to do the circle cutting, the extra power would pay dividends in both router life and cutting speed/ease, with a second smaller router set-up permanently in a router table to do the rounding-over. Providing the round-over isn't too extreme (say up to about 6 or 8mm radius) even a small trim router would be able to handle it. Variable speed, though, is a must as the 30,000rpm these trimmers can go at tends to cause vibration in all but the smallest cutters - so 20,000 to 24,000rpm I find far more comfortable. As trim routers go the Makita RT0700C is very nice, but there is a low cost Chinese copy of it, the Katsu (sold by AIM Tools in London) which is an absolute bargain. I've been running a 110 volt version of it side by side with an RT0700C since the beginning of 2017 on trade work and it hasn't missed a beat. In every way it's a match for the Makita, it's just not as polished round the edges. And at £30 odd if/when it goes poof! I think I'll have had my money's worth, don't you?

Whatever else you do, make sure that you get some form of dust extraction on your router(s) - it will save you lots of issues in the future! It will keep your cutters cleaner (so they'll run cooler and stay sharp longer), it will help cool the router motor, it will reduce the router's work load by clearing waste promptly (which also helps with cutter edge life) - but most of all it will protect your lungs. Sorry to bat on about this.....

I know this post is a bit of a change of direction from what I said, but the tasks you wish to perform, on reflection, seem a lot more specific and I feel that they would benefit from a more production-oriented approach

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:16 pm 
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Hi,

Thanks again for your input and recommendations.

I am definitely going to look into a 1/2" router, perhaps the Triton TRA 001 as it has the easy table height adjustment (it's also on special offer at Screwfix) but if I would appreciate any other recommendations..?

Thanks for your concerns regarding dust but be well assured ever since I began working with wood, metal, paints etc. (over 20 years ago) I have always worn a mask (Portwest Half Face Mask) and have a good dust extraction system in my workshop. I'm actually looking to add to my filtration system, possible opting for the Jet AFS-500 Air Filtration System.

I like your ideas concerning my circle cutting. I used to use the jigsaw method finishing with a router but I'm looking to save a bit of time hence why I started using just the router.

I think I am defiantly going to opt for the 'Home-brew' table option, embedding a metal insert plate into my workbench and then building from there. I like the sound of what you are planning, you defiantly have put a lot of thought into it!

Once again I would just like to say a huge thank you for taking the time putting your posts together - it has been a massive help!!! :huray:

Cheers, Stophen.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:03 am 
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other options
if you have a table saw you can pin the blank to a guide that bears on the edge away from the blade
pass it through the the blade at 90degrees at a time then 45 degrees then22 degrees then 11 degrees then pin to the guide on the table then rotate against the pivot to give an accurate and very level circle :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:11 am 
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Here's a couple of quick Sketch-Up views to show roughly what I was referring to:

Attachment:
Arc Routing Jig 001_01.JPG
Arc Routing Jig 001_01.JPG [ 29.12 KiB | Viewed 741 times ]

Attachment:
Arc Routing Jig 001_02.JPG
Arc Routing Jig 001_02.JPG [ 33.54 KiB | Viewed 741 times ]


On the left is a plinth fixed onto a bench. A square of plywood would be ideal. Atop the plinth is a lazy susan bearing. Google it, but basically it's something like this:

Attachment:
Lazy Susan Bearing 001_01.jpg
Lazy Susan Bearing 001_01.jpg [ 30.21 KiB | Viewed 741 times ]


Various sizes are available, but the bigger the better, really. On top of the lazy susan a turntable is fixed (ply or MDF). The roughed-out workpiece is placed on top of the turntable for edge routing. It can be held in place by various means, e.g "sprigs" (screws through the turntable with the points just sticking out and sharpened with a file), anti-slip matting, double-sided carpet tape or vacuum hold down depending on volume of production. For one offs or very short runs d/s carpet tape would probably be your best bet - for runs of tens or twenties you can get longer run d/s fixturing tape for use on CNC routers as well (Google All Star Adhesives in the USA). The thing about these is that you don't want the router having to plough through lots of material because the "push back" from the cutter, especially if the cutter is a bit blunt, can potentially unseat the workpiece from the turntable. Hence the need for a trim limited to about 3mm.

The router is mounted on an arm which is pivoted on a block. The block is also fixed onto the top of the bench. The reason for pivoting the arm is so that you can pivot the router into the cut to start it (the roughed-our circle will be slightly oversize). That means you'd need to have some means of locking the pivot in position once it had been swung into the cut. A simple pin arrangement would work well, I feel.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:12 pm 
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Hi,

Thanks to both of you for your ideas and thoughts, I will definitely give them a go when I get a chance!

Cheers,

Stophen.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:26 pm 
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look on youtube for "cutting a circle with a table saw"for exact method :lol: :thumbright:

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