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Thread: Old huge router - keep? Or look for something else?

  1. #1
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    Old huge router - keep? Or look for something else?

    Hi. Complete noob here. Getting ready to retire in less than a year and I want to start playing around with woodworking. I had never used a router until this weekend so I really mean NOOB. I have a nice little trim router that I recently bought, and I am just learning how to use it - it's pretty cool. :-) I mentioned to my BF that I was looking at router tables online and that I might build one. He said if I was going to do that I really should just use a full size router and leave it in the table, and he had a router that I could have. I thought - hmm...nice. Well he went out to the barn and finally dug out this big case and brought it out to me. We opened it, and yup it's a router. He has never used it - I think he may have loaned out out once or twice but that's about it. He isn't into woodworking (he's more of a car guy) but someone gave it to him as a gift, many years ago, and he just kept it. But here is the thing - this router is HUGE. And I think it is pretty old. So I am just wondering if it is worth even trying to use. I mean, would it make sense to spend the effort to build a table for this thing? Or should I just say thanks but never mind and give it back, and get my own router, when I am ready.
    I'm not sure what features may be missing on it - I don't think this is one that the base comes off of, so not sure it can be used as a plunge router. But I think a fixed base is what I would need for a table mounted one anyway.

    This is the router (I found a couple of them for sale on eBay) so that you can see what I am talking about.
    eBay item# 265028771055

    Appreciate any advice or thoughts.
    Last edited by Bruce Page; 04-20-2021 at 1:20 PM. Reason: Removed ebay link per TOS

  2. #2
    Not all routing is done on a router table. Bigger routers are good for removing wood to make dados, rabbeting ,and spinning large bits. And can also be used on a
    router table. Iím guessing the router you show is just 1and 1/2 horsepower , and they go up to 3 horse, at least.

  3. #3
    If the size of the plate is standard, why not start with that one. Later, if you want to swap it out with a newer model, it will not be difficult to fit.
    Life is too short for dull sandpaper.

  4. #4
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    A 1 1/2 HP is not that big. That's about a good starting position for a router table and it's still small enough to use hand-held.
    Dave

    Nothing is idiot-proof for a sufficiently ingenious idiot!

  5. #5
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    Sometimes I want a big heavy router. More mass means it’s less likely to kick back. I have a 3hp dewalt that was in my router table for years. I upgraded to a Jessem lift and one of those Milwaukee routers with the external switch and speed control (awesome) and I kept the dewalt. I use it from time to time.

    I agree that that craftsman router is sort of mid-size. I would politely pass on this router for two reasons:

    1. The thing that holds the router bit is called the collet. Your trim router probably only handles 1/4” bits. Most mid-sized routers today come with collets for 1/4” and 1/2” bits. You are going to want to use half inch bits, particularly if you use the router in a table. I found the manual and it appears that this router only takes 1/4” bits. The collet is built into the end of the motor shaft.
    2. Most routers today are variable speed. This router appears to be fixed at 25,000. I don’t usually run my routers full speed to avoid burning. Big bits like panel raising bits definitely go slower.

    But I already have three hand held routers. This router will give you more mass than the trim router. If you take it, remember to always store it with no bit installed. There are threads about folks with stuck bits. Some folks put a little o-ring at the bottom of the collet. If the bit gets stuck, a little tap with a block of wood will break it loose.
    Last edited by Roger Feeley; 04-20-2021 at 8:03 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Dockstader View Post
    A 1 1/2 HP is not that big. That's about a good starting position for a router table and it's still small enough to use hand-held.
    It is larger - WAY larger - than any router I have ever seen. I am not referring to the motor size, I am talking about the physical size. It's not "small" by any stretch of the imagination.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Wilson View Post
    If the size of the plate is standard, why not start with that one. Later, if you want to swap it out with a newer model, it will not be difficult to fit.
    What is a standard size plate?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    Sometimes I want a big heavy router. More mass means itís less likely to kick back. I have a 3hp dewalt that was in my router table for years. I upgraded to a Jessem lift and one of those Milwaukee routers with the external switch and speed control (awesome) and I kept the dewalt. I use it from time to time.

    I agree that that craftsman router is sort of mid-size. I would politely pass on this router for two reasons:

    1. The thing that holds the router bit is called the collet. Your trim router probably only handles 1/4Ē bits. Most mid-sized routers today come with collets for 1/4Ē and 1/2Ē bits. You are going to want to use half inch bits, particularly if you use the router in a table. I found the manual and it appears that this router only takes 1/4Ē bits. The collet is built into the end of the motor shaft.
    2. Most routers today are variable speed. This router appears to be fixed at 25,000. I donít usually run my routers full speed to avoid burning. Big bits like panel raising bits definitely go slower.

    But I already have three hand held routers. This router will give you more mass than the trim router. If you take it, remember to always store it with no bit installed. There are threads about folks with stuck bits. Some folks put a little o-ring at the bottom of the collet. If the bit gets stuck, a little tap with a block of wood will break it loose.

    Thank you very much!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chess Baloo View Post
    It is larger - WAY larger - than any router I have ever seen. I am not referring to the motor size, I am talking about the physical size. It's not "small" by any stretch of the imagination.
    If the link is taking us to the right place this may be a matter of perception based on experience.

    The-Mil-Crew.jpg

    The router in the middle is about the size of the one in your link. The one on the left is a 2-1/4 HP and the one on the right is a 3HP with the handles removed to fit in a table. A 1-1/2 HP router is pretty light for table work but, it is what I started with. Many people find a 2-1/4 HP table router to be fine.

    Starting with a free router for a table is certainly a windfall and I would take advantage of it. If nothing else you will get some time with it to see what you do and do not need in a table router for your work. I got a Ryobi router for free (or darn near IIRC) way back and I learned from that experience. It taught me that a router that vibrates that much is pretty useless. Seriously though, the time spent with it was well spent.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 04-20-2021 at 9:29 AM.
    I always forget . . . Is it the letter "S" or the letter "C" that is silent in the word scent?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I got a Ryobi router for free (or darn near IIRC) way back and I learned from that experience. It taught me that a router that vibrates that much is pretty useless. Seriously though, the time spent with it was well spent.
    I was doing some freehand routing once and there was just a little bit of vibration. I found it sort of handy. I was able to move the router with more precision.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chess Baloo View Post
    What is a standard size plate?
    Darned if I know.

    For a long time I made my router table plates from plexiglass. I canít really recommend that because the plexiglass tends to sag so I would take the router out when I was done. Even a little bit of sag will drive you nuts if you need consistent depth. But thatís assuming that your board is dead flat. I know...pros and cons.

    Now my plate is aluminum. I got my present setup 10 years ago and havenít paid attention since.

    Chess, have you considered adding your general area to your profile? You never know,there might be creekers right next door...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    Darned if I know.

    For a long time I made my router table plates from plexiglass. I canít really recommend that because the plexiglass tends to sag so I would take the router out when I was done. Even a little bit of sag will drive you nuts if you need consistent depth. But thatís assuming that your board is dead flat. I know...pros and cons.

    Now my plate is aluminum. I got my present setup 10 years ago and havenít paid attention since.

    Chess, have you considered adding your general area to your profile? You never know,there might be creekers right next door...
    I will do that now. This was my first post - I have only been a lurker until now.

  13. #13
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    I had a router like the Ebay listing, that model has 2 issues. One is that the cooling fan on the motor shaft tends to shed blades which causes lots of vibration. The second issue is that it doesn't have a collet in the usual sense. Most routers have a removable collet that can be replaced when it wears. The collet fits into a machined socket on the end of the motor shaft. The collet may wear, the motor shaft doesn't The Sears router has the collet formed into the end of the motor shaft. There is no way to replace it except to replace the motor shaft which is impractical. I think most would recommend a fixed base/plunge base combo as a first router. They're typically 2.25 h.p. and can do most routing jobs. That size router can also be used in a router table though people that use a table a lot or heavy use like raised panels prefer a larger more powerful router. I'd recommend a trip to a couple home centers and put hands on some different models, see which ones feel good to you.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    If the link is taking us to the right place this may be a matter of perception based on experience.
    I suppose it could be. I only know the routers that I have seen in HD or Lowes. This thing is a beast compared to those.

  15. #15
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    Chess - that is a lousy router for use in a table.

    Besides the drawbacks mentioned , I don’t think it accepts a 1/2” collet. It’s also single speed, ugh. The spindle lock is a pain to engage under a table. The on off trigger is not ideal for switching in a table setup. And , height adjustment is a real faff table mounted. Don’t believe it will fit any lift plates either . So, it’s a bad choice for table work.

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