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Thread: A trim router....

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Canton, MI
    Posts
    485
    I've had this add-on base from Pat Warner forever. Allows you to work one or two-handed and really stabilizes the router. I don't know if anyone took over his website or business since he passed, or if anyone else makes them, but they really do add safety and functionality to hand routing. If I needed one today, I'd probably make it on the CNC.

    IMG_0365.jpgIMG_0366.jpg

    I also have a Festool trim router, but leave that set up for flat trimming. It would not be my go-to router for edge routing. The small trim routers like the Bosch, Makita or Dewalt are really handy. If I were buying new today, I'd look for a cordless trim router...I don't need dust collection for it and not having to work the cord would be a big benefit.

  2. #17
    Look on eBay for a Porter Cable 310. Those were the best of the best in trim routers. They've been out of production since DeFalt/Black & Decker gobbled them up and ruined the brand

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Central Missouri, U.S.
    Posts
    1,192
    I have a couple of the Pat Warner offset bases. Wish they were still available. The ones I see for sale now are usually not as thick, so they tend to flex. Either that or they're not clear Plexi, so you can't see through them to see what you're doing.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    405
    Pat Warner’s bases were really nice and I have a couple of them. I purchased thicker acrylic I believe sheets from either Grainger or McMaster Carr to make any bases I need now. Sure won’t have as nice of a finish as Pat’s but will be functional.

    I also picked up the battery powered Makita and it sure is nice. While I love the dust collection on my Festool routers I just find it so much more enjoyable not struggling with power cords and dust hoses as I work.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Decker View Post
    I have a couple of the Pat Warner offset bases. Wish they were still available. The ones I see for sale now are usually not as thick, so they tend to flex. Either that or they're not clear Plexi, so you can't see through them to see what you're doing.
    Pick up a book called Router Magic by Bill Hylton. He shows you how to make these bases for yourself including many clever ones for different purposes. It's surprisingly easy. Plexi, Polycarbonate, and Phenolic are all available online in various sizes and thicknesses.

  6. #21
    I have a big Bosch but I bought a smaller dewalt to use on my last project. It sure is nice for smaller stuff. I’ve decided to leave the Bosch in my router table and use the dewalt ‘out in the open’ unless I need the bigger one for a larger cut.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kuhlman View Post
    I also picked up the battery powered Makita and it sure is nice. While I love the dust collection on my Festool routers I just find it so much more enjoyable not struggling with power cords and dust hoses as I work.
    We do an 1/8" roundover on the top edges of our drawers, I've been kicking around buying one of those. Sure would be nice to be free of the cord.
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  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Williamstown,ma
    Posts
    849
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Wasner View Post
    Look on eBay for a Porter Cable 310. Those were the best of the best in trim routers. They've been out of production since DeFalt/Black & Decker gobbled them up and ruined the brand
    I have one, and have used it for 25 years after buying it new. It is a great machine BUT..... The bit collet assembly is a pain in the neck. No self release on those.
    Still after 25 years, loosen the nut, then use the wrench to whack the side of the nut/spindle housing to vibrate the collet loose.
    Wish there was another way, but there isn’t.
    All of the new machines I have tried have either the power switch, or the spindle lock, or both right where you want to grab them, another pain.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,012
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    I have had 3 or 4 full sized routers since I began woodworking but I had never had a compact trim router. I am working on a project that has to be done by Wednesday night and it has a small narrow piece that needed routing. I was uncomfortable doing it freehand with my 2 1/2 HP P/C 8529 or doing it freehand on my router table. So I went to the local HD about 7:00 p.m. last night, looked at the two compacts they had and chose the Makita RT0701C. I also bought a cheap set of 1/4" shank round over bits as all the ones I own are 1/2" shank.

    Using some turners tape, I taped the piece to the top of my t/s outfeed table, routed it, flipped it over, retaped it and routed the other side. What a pleasure it was to be able to use 1 hand to hold and guide the router while using the other hand to manage the power cable. I should have bought one a long time ago!
    Ken, I came to the party late with trim routers, about 18 months ago. I had purchased an older Makita at a swap meet with an eye to using it to remove the waste of hand sawn half-blind dovetail sockets. It did this job superbly. Previously I had used a mid-sized Elu router, which felt cumbersome. This little Makita works with one hand (two are better) and is jus so nimble and controllable. I then purchased another trim router, like yours, and added a sub-base ...



    This is the fence/depth stop I made for this purpose ...





    I have since made a bunch of sub-bases. The current one for dovetails does not have knobs. They are unnecessary as the router is easy to hold on the body. The base is simply to create a wider registration ...



    The bases are easy to make. The off-set one can fit large and mid-size Elus ...



    This one now has a permanent 1/8" round over bit ....



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    3,199
    I have two toolboxes full of trim routers from various manufacturers. One just holds those dedicated to roundover bits, from 1/16 through 3/8's, a champhering one, and a couple for Formica edges. Most require an arrow that indicates the point that needs to be held to the workpiece, because the depth of cut is different all around the base, which might leave a shoulder, or require extra sanding. I think the Bosch's are worst for that. It's nice to be able to just grab one, and run the edge like I want to.

    For a while, Porter Cable gave away a trim router when you bought a 690. The numbers grew fairly fast then. Don't ask how many trim routers I have, because I have no idea.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    668
    Tom says: “Don't ask how many trim routers I have, because I have no idea.”

    Bill answers: “I know how many I will soon have: One!”

    This is happenening too frequently after reading threads like this one. Ordered a trim router off Amazon yesterday.
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by peter gagliardi View Post
    I have one, and have used it for 25 years after buying it new. It is a great machine BUT..... The bit collet assembly is a pain in the neck. No self release on those.
    Still after 25 years, loosen the nut, then use the wrench to whack the side of the nut/spindle housing to vibrate the collet loose.
    Wish there was another way, but there isn’t.
    All of the new machines I have tried have either the power switch, or the spindle lock, or both right where you want to grab them, another pain.

    I like the profile of them, and I like the longevity of them. The base is pretty solid and holds adjustment well also. All of the others aren't worth repairing, the 310 is.


    I don't think I own a router where you don't have to whack the collet with the wrench to get the bit loose, but we've got mostly older Porter Cable routers. I do wish it had a spindle lock, but you're right, theres no ideal spot, they're always in the way.
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  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Punta Gorda, FL
    Posts
    2,657
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    I have had 3 or 4 full sized routers since I began woodworking but I had never had a compact trim router. I am working on a project that has to be done by Wednesday night and it has a small narrow piece that needed routing. I was uncomfortable doing it freehand with my 2 1/2 HP P/C 8529 or doing it freehand on my router table. So I went to the local HD about 7:00 p.m. last night, looked at the two compacts they had and chose the Makita RT0701C. I also bought a cheap set of 1/4" shank round over bits as all the ones I own are 1/2" shank.

    Using some turners tape, I taped the piece to the top of my t/s outfeed table, routed it, flipped it over, retaped it and routed the other side. What a pleasure it was to be able to use 1 hand to hold and guide the router while using the other hand to manage the power cable. I should have bought one a long time ago!
    No doubt, Ken, trim routers are so easy to work with you wonder how you got along without them. Maybe some day you will find yourself with a Dremel in hand that has a plunge base and wonder the same. I consider mine just another addition to my routers.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

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  14. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    3,199
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Wasner View Post
    I like the profile of them, and I like the longevity of them. The base is pretty solid and holds adjustment well also. All of the others aren't worth repairing, the 310 is.


    I don't think I own a router where you don't have to whack the collet with the wrench to get the bit loose, but we've got mostly older Porter Cable routers. I do wish it had a spindle lock, but you're right, theres no ideal spot, they're always in the way.
    The "new" self-releasing collets fit on the older PC routers. I replaced the ones on my old PC, and Rockwell routers. When they came out with the self-releasing collets, I thought it was one of the best inventions ever in woodworking.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Lafayette, CO
    Posts
    431
    the ridged has a clear plastic guard on the bottom so that you can safely put direct down-force on the bottom plate. My ridged has done far more than it has any business doing and never missed a beat.

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