08-03-2010 12:03 AM - last edited on 03-02-2011 01:30 PM by Marlen_at_WOOD
Hi everyone. I am looking at building a new router table since I fear raised-panel bits won't work with my dad's benchtop Craftsman with plastic fence (bought before I was born and I turn 31 in December). The problem that I am having is deciding on what hp to go with. I keep looking at the 3hp routers and wondering if this is really overkill. My current thoughts are that I could use my 2 1/4 craftsman w/variable speed, but I worry that may burn the motor out. It has 1/4 and 1/2 shank collets, so that is not an issue. I know with light passes I could use the raised-panel bits without issue, but I am concerned about the rail and stile bits overworking the motor. Any suggestions would be appreciated. And I am looking at buying the rockler kit that includes the fence and pre-drilled router plate. Thanks again
08-03-2010 12:12 AM
if you were to run a production shop where router is used all day, full week, that's another thing.
For peridical use 2 1/4 hp is enough, me thinks.
I have Bosch 1617 EVSPK dedicated to table for the past few years. Not a moment of concern.
It performs today as it did the day I bpught it.
Wood magazine found it to be the top of the line.
You can also read this http://woodworking.about.com/od/routers/gr/Bosch16
When building new table do make sure you allow for larger projects.
08-03-2010 05:02 AM
I'm not a great fan of Craftsman routers. That being said, for limited use, a 2 1/4 hp router should work fine. If you were to be making many raised panels, I would suggest getting a larger router motor.
Some things to consider about raised panel bits. A vertical raised panel bit puts less strain on your router motor - so a 2 1/4 hp router motor can handle it better. Because you are holding your work vertically (unless you mount your router horizontally), you need a beefier, taller fence. You also need to stack your feather boards. If you choose to go with horizontal raised panel bits, most smaller ones should work okay with your 2 1/4 hp router at lower speeds and lighter cuts. If you want to go with the larger bits - please consider a larger router motor.
08-03-2010 06:51 AM - edited 08-03-2010 05:29 PM
I have a 3-1/4 horse router (Hitachi) in my table and never need any more power. Don't see why not, if you can. Hitachi is as inexpensive as they come for that size. I am thinking of replacing it with the Milwaukee fixed model so that I can free up the plunge cut for other things. IMO, older Craftsman are fine, but if you're buying new, I would go another direction. As far as the HP goes...if you're going to use cabinet door bits, then I would go bigger on the router just because. Why not?
08-03-2010 07:19 AM
Tom. In my opinion if you are turning a panel raiser especially with a backcutter you will want the 3 HP and you do need to slow those large bits down a lot. I have the Porter Cable 7518 in a router lift, I would not want to use that locomotive hand held as you would need the arms of a blacksmith to be able to use it all day. That said you can save about $100 by getting only the motor without the base the motor mounts directly into several router lifts and gives you a little more depth of cut.
08-03-2010 10:58 AM
I'd disregard the "HP" ratings, and focus more on the amp ratings. I use both a 13 amp 2-1/4hp Freud FT1700 and a big Milwaukee 15 amp 5625 in my router table. The FT1700 sees most of the action because I really like the above table features. It'll spin the big bits when called on, but it struggles more than the 15 amp, which just hogs through everything with ease. If you can squeeze a decent 15 amp router into your budget, I'd highly recommend it...it'll handle the task more easily, and likely last longer. Closeouts and refurb deals can help keep the cost down.
08-03-2010 01:42 PM
I have the 2 1/4 Bosch 1617EVS and I've spun the raised panel bits also. It did a very good job bit I found that I had to take small bites for each pass. I tried a big bite one time and the router was straining very hard. It ended up that I had to run each side of the panel thru the bit 6 times moving the fence in a little bit at a time.
The end result came out just fine but it took longer to get there.
I ended up buying a Freud FT 3000VCE when it went on sale at Rockler. Never regreted the spent money. I now have a dedicated table router that will spin just about any bit I need and will have the power for the big bits.
Some of the nice features I like are the longer motor shaft the allows above table access to change bits, and the shaft is locking so you only need 1 wrench. You can also adjust the height above the table using the included adjuster or use a Metric Allen key in a speed wrench to change heights quickly.
One bad thing about my router is you can't mount it in the different mechanisms used for raising or lowering the router such as Kreg, Incra or Benchdog. If you have plans to do something like that, then you might consider the Porter Cable, Milwaukee, or other routers that has a detachable base.
That's my 2 cents worth
08-04-2010 02:20 PM - edited 08-04-2010 02:29 PM
this is my thoughts. i have and use 2 bosch 1617evs routers and have used large diameter bits. multiple passes but that is not unusual, i generaly make multiple passes to prevent tearout. if i were to start making a lot of large diameter profile i would get the bigger bosch 1619evs
09-10-2010 07:21 AM
I recommend going with the largest router you can get or afford. I have three, a Hitachi 3-1/2 HP in my router cabinet to make raised pannels, stile and rails and the like, I have a Porter Cable 3-1/2 on my legecy mill and I have the Porter Cable 2-1/2 for every day use. i find that between the three I can handle most everything that is thrown my way. Also make sure you have variable speed. Also take a look at router cabinet plans. Sommefeld has a set that are real good I have his older cmt style set up and Rockler has a decent top also. Once you mount this in a cabinet it opens up a realm of possibilities for your woodworking. Another thing to look at is a Router quick change chuck. I use one on my Legecy and it makes changing the bits a snap.
09-10-2010 08:48 AM
I'm not a big fan of tools craftman.
(Bad experience with these tools)
I have a Porter-Cable 1-3/4 HP 693LRPK = (to make dovetail)
and a Porter-Cable 894PK 2-1/4 HP = (For hand held)
and a Porter-Cable 3-1/4 HP = 7518 (for the router table and legacy mill)
Porter-Cable was known for its quality (since the Porter-Cable was sale to stanly) we'll see if stanly wants to keep Porter-Cable branded high-end or let it die.)
Porter-Cable routers seems to keep their quality compared to cordless tools.
Now for cordless tools. I turn to Bosch and Milwaukee.
This is just my opinion.