Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Router Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,003

    Question Router Question

    Anyone done away with a stationary router table in favor of a shaper and handheld router setup? Was just looking at a Festool post on FB that got me to thinking about how I use my router table and honestly Im not sure Id miss it if my handheld router had really good dust collection.

    For any heavy profiles it would seem the shaper with power feed is a better alternative. For simple grooving and round over work it seems a hand held router with track system might be easy enough.

    So, would the Festool routers work on my Makita tracksaw track? Is their dust collection as good as their sanders? Any other reason to not consider parting with the router table in favor of one of the Kreg/Festool type tables and a hand held router?

    thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,319
    Greg

    There are very few things a shaper can't do, that a router mounted in a table can do. For example, very close pattern work. A router bit can simply be must smaller than a shaper cutter can be. That's really about the only example.
    The two examples you cited for a handheld router, simple round overs, and grooving, the shaper can do all day long, and do them better. It can't put a grove in the middle of a field without some simple adaptation, but it can most certainly apply a grove to an edge.
    I have a Festool OF2200 and a Festool OF1400. If the Festool saw will work on a Makita Track, the routers also should. The dust collection is not 100% with the Festool's,
    But it's pretty good. Edge work is probably the worst, but it would be for any router hooked up to a vacuum, and profiling an edge.
    It takes 10 minutes with a light duty shaper, and a mediocre fence, to realize just how superior a shaper is to a table mounted router. I do not have a router table in the shop any longer, It's been converted to a work bench.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 05-09-2019 at 7:32 PM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,869
    I own two Festool routers and they are my go-to for hand-held and track guided work, even though I have a another available to use, too. I also have a heavy PC7518 under a table with a lift. Router table vs Shaper is an exercise in compromises...neither completely replaces the other for everything as has been noted. Routers can work well with smaller cutters because of available RPM but have an upper limit to what they can swing and power through on the larger size jobs. Shapers can take a big bite, but work at lower RPM...and shaper tooling is generally a lot more expensive than router tooling. Shapers are nice tools to have if your work flow will keep them reasonably busy and your work is better supported by the larger tool. The average woodworker is probably going to be better served by a router table for both cost reasons and because of the ability to do "smaller things" more effectively.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,003
    Thanks for the feedback. In my case the Felder saw has the shaper built in so it’s sort of a freebie in my eyes. Mine doesn’t have ability to mount a router spindle unfortunately. I already have the router table but can’t say I’ve used it for much so far. But as I’ve been pondering things through my shop restructure and refinement the router table is one I keep coming back to as it seems most things could be done on the shaper or by hand. Only thing I see off hand is that the Leigh RTJ400 jig wouldn’t be of use without a router table.
    Last edited by Greg Parrish; 05-10-2019 at 5:16 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,319
    Greg
    Have you used the shaper option that came with your saw? If not, invest in a straight cutter, or maybe a tongue and groove set, and give it a go.
    The power feeder is a fairly big investment, and for many years I did without one on a shaper, feeding by hand, but I've come to see just how important one is to shaper use.
    I personally would not want to go back to a table mounted router unless I had a specific need. That's just me though.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,003
    Not yet Mike but I did put a power feeder on it. I picked the saw up earlier this year but unfortunately have had so much going on with work that I’ve not managed to finish getting my shop shuffle finished. I’m hopeful to get the last few steps pinned down over the next two weekends though. Made lots of changes in layout and tool improvements this past year and now that I’ve got a layout pinned down that fits my fixed small space, I’m finishing up duct runs, power connections, and initial tool alignments and setup.

    That’s how the router table came into focus. It really doesn’t have a great location but I can make it work i think if I leave the fence off when not in use. We will see. Will leave it for now but the comments have given me the confidence to consider selling it if I decide the space is more valuable. Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler View Post
    Greg
    Have you used the shaper option that came with your saw? If not, invest in a straight cutter, or maybe a tongue and groove set, and give it a go.
    The power feeder is a fairly big investment, and for many years I did without one on a shaper, feeding by hand, but I've come to see just how important one is to shaper use.
    I personally would not want to go back to a table mounted router unless I had a specific need. That's just me though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,869
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. In my case the Felder saw has the shaper built in so it’s sort of a freebie in my eyes. Mine doesn’t have ability to mount a router spindle unfortunately. I already have the router table but can’t say I’ve used it for much so far. But as I’ve been pondering things through my shop restructure and refinement the router table is one I keep coming back to as it seems most things could be done on the shaper or by hand. Only thing I see off hand is that the Leigh RTJ400 jig wouldn’t be of use without a router table.
    You have the best of both worlds then, Greg. I forgot you had the saw/shaper combo. That's what I really wanted "way back", but I didn't have the funds for the combo but did have a "smoking deal" on the slider. You can also do something similar to what I did which is to cluster your router table with your saw/shaper if you want to free up space elsewhere. While mine is (literally) bolted onto my saw, just putting the router table at the shaper end of yours (with matched surface height) might be a thought.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •