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Books/info on using routers?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Todd Stout, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Well-Known Member

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    Can you recommend any books or perhaps online resources that cover the use of routers? I am especially interested in their use for cutting out the holes and recesses for speaker drivers. I am guessing that they are not too difficult to use (I do have experience in the use of most other power tools) but I would like to read up on them a bit before I get to work on my speaker kits.

    Thank you.
     
  2. MarkRoberts

    MarkRoberts Well-Known Member

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    There really isn't a need to do so IMHO. I had never used a router. I just read the setup and operation section of my craftsman router. If you want to do the peaker cut outs with it. Get a jasper jig it makes circle cutting a no brainer. I find these bits to be my favorite:
    1/4" straight
    1/2" Rabbeting
    3/8" Rabbeting
    1/2" roundover

    I would say the straight bit and the 1/2" Rabbet are a must for speaker building.
     
  3. Christpher_S

    Christpher_S Well-Known Member

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    Try this site. Pat Warner is "Mr. Router".

    http://www.patwarner.com/

    FYI, most people don't realize how well a good jigsaw can work for cutting holes. I have a nice Porter Cable router mounted in a table and a Bosch router with fixed and plung bases plus a jig for circle cutting. I didn't even turn on a router while building a sealed box for my Shiva recently though. I cut all the holes in the internal bracing and for the driver with a jigsaw. Depending on what else you may need your tools for, a jigsaw might be a better investment than the router.

    I think most people have tried a Craftsman or similar quality jigsaw at some point, discovered they couldn't even come close to following a line with it, and decided the jigsaw isn't a useful tool. Using a high quality model like the Bosch I have will change your mind. It makes cutting a nice square hole for a plate amp a breeze as well. The only time in speaker building where I would consider a router and Jasper jig to be clearly superior to a jigsaw is when it comes to flush mounting drivers. The jig will get you the precision needed when the edges of the hole are going to be visible. A quality jigsaw will get you pretty darn close to that level of precision though.

    Anyway, not really sure why I went off into this subject but maybe it will help someone. I'm certainly not knocking routers...

    -Chris
     
  4. Mitch N

    Mitch N Well-Known Member

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    A spiral-up cut bit is a must. I think that is what is meant by a straight bit?

    A round over is also good to make some pretty recesses for your speakers.

    I'm kind of curious as to the uses for the rabbiting bit, I may pick one up for my next project coming up. :b I guess channeling two sides would be one good reason in aiding the joining of the two pieces.
     
  5. MarkRoberts

    MarkRoberts Well-Known Member

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    Yep, Mitch is right I meant to say 1/4" upspiral bit the 1/4" cut dia. is the size needed for a jasper jig.I use the rabbet bits to flush mount the drivers. I don't get fancy with my joints just good ol' butt joints and gorilla glue. I mainly use the roundover for cabinet edges and for flaring the entrance and exit of my pvc ports. There is an excellent tutorial on that at www.speakerbuilder.net.
    Christopher, If you don't mind me asking how much was the bosch jigsaw? I have seen very nice jigsaws but they can get exspensive, then again so can routers.
     
  6. Christpher_S

    Christpher_S Well-Known Member

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    I think I paid around $150.00 for the Bosch at Home Depot or Lowes. You can get them cheaper if you shop around and especially if you catch a good sale. Many people consider the Bosch with the barrel grip to be the best jigsaw available, but the Makita or Porter Cable in the same general price range are also good tools from what I hear. I don't have the barrel grip but wish I had bought it instead. You just have a better control since you are gripping the tool down lower.

    Try the site below for Internet prices at some of the popular tool suppliers.

    http://www.toolseeker.com/

    -Chris
     
  7. MarkRoberts

    MarkRoberts Well-Known Member

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    I think I paid 60.00 for my router at sears its the 2HP (peak) plunge and an additional 70.00 for bits (3) Router bits aren't cheap! Plus the cost of the jaspers I bought both the big one and the little one. I have yet to cut a hole smaller than what the big jig will do.
    While I don't doubt a good jigsaw can cut accurate holes. I don't think you can do roundovers for ports and outside of cabinets and recess mounting for the drivers with it. Not trying to start anything[​IMG] IMHO if a budding diyer is on a budget and had to choose I would go with the router everytime. That said my router is by no means a great router, I don't even know if it is a good one. It does what I need it to. I would however like one of those sweet dewalts 3HP plunge with the vac attachments and all that but that thing is big $$$.
     
  8. minhG

    minhG Well-Known Member

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    well if i had to choose between a router or a jigsaw, well i;d choose a jigsaw--i think it's a little more multi-purpose.

    and it's perfectly legitimate to rough cut the circle with a jig saw and then rounding it over/clean it up with a router good way to justify both tools!
     
  9. Cam McFarland

    Cam McFarland Well-Known Member

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    Cutting holes for a speaker or for the bracing can be done
    with a jigsaw, the holes are not TOO critical, but I was never able to get a good enough cut to make a smooth seal when building my sonosub.

    I purchased a Sears Craftsman router, which is actually made by Ryobi (found this out when I called the help line!) & their circle cutter jig. It does not have actual sizes marked on it, but only cost ~$13.00 & cuts up to 24" holes.

    These are the best things since sliced bread! Never used a router before in my life & didnt even waste any MDF, lol.
     
  10. Cam McFarland

    Cam McFarland Well-Known Member

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    How do you smooth/round over the edges of a hole with a router AFTER the hole has been cut??

    Do you do it free-hand?
     
  11. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Well-Known Member

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    Wow you guys! I stop playing around on the Web and get back to work for a few hours and you guys give me a wealth of information. I'll take a look more closely at your posts as soon as I get home.

    Thank you!
     
  12. Christpher_S

    Christpher_S Well-Known Member

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    Cam,

    You just gave me another example of where I believe a router would be superior to a jigsaw. Cutting the end cap for a tube sub would be much easier with a router and Jasper jig. You could do it with the jigsaw, by cutting a tiny bit oversize and trimming to a final fit with sandpaper, but the precision of the router would make it much easier in this case.

    Mark,

    I'm not trying to convince you to give up your router. As I wrote, I own two high end routers but I chose to use the jigsaw instead since I knew I could get the accuracy I required for my purpose and get the job done in a shorter time. I also have a nice floor standing drill press I could have used to cut the vent holes but chose the jigsaw over that as well. One reason I chose not to use a router was the cost of bits. MDF and plywood can be pretty rough on cutting edges and I would much rather wear out a $3.00 jigsaw blade than a $20.00 carbide router bit.

    Again, I'm not knocking routers. Just suggesting people consider what they might do after building that subwoofer box. While routers are one of the most versatile tools ever invented, what are you going to do with it after cutting some holes for your speaker box? What are you going to do with the jigsaw?

    -Chris
     
  13. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Well-Known Member

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    Before i got my PC 960 i never used a router, i now have several bases, an amazing table for it, and several jigs for it. I considered getting a jigsaw, but seeing that time wasn't an issue for me and the limitless possibilities for the router, i opted for the router and I love it.

    Take your time don't rush it, take many passes, think about every aspect of the cut before you do it, and wear ear/nose/mouth/eye protection at all times.
     
  14. MarkRoberts

    MarkRoberts Well-Known Member

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    Christopher,
    You could never convince me to give up my router, never I tell you!![​IMG]
    I was just trying to put into perspective the cost. For some I am sure the multiple/limitless uses of a router may be the deciding factor. I have 2 jigsaws and hardly use either,ever. Not because of my router, my sliding/compound miter saw ,table saw ,circular saw usually got me covered[​IMG] I actually wish I had more of a need for my jigsaws. Don't get me wrong I have needed them and like them allot. Just don't find myself needing to make long curved or odd cuts very much. Yeah what he said!
     
  15. Steve Elias

    Steve Elias Well-Known Member

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    Todd,
    If you don't already have a router and just want to make a couple of holes, I can stop by with my router(s) as I live a few miles away in Claremont. Likewise, your welcome to bring your front panels by my hovel if you'd rather cut them here. If you wish, I can let you cut one hole with a jigsaw and one hole with a router [​IMG]

    Steve
     
  16. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Well-Known Member

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    Hi Steve,
    Thank you very much for your gracious offer. I may just take you up on it. I do have access to my dad's fixed base Craftsmen router but I hear the job is easier with a plunge router.

    I have been so busy working on a BSIS degree at the University of Redlands the past 2 years that I have been having difficulty finding the time to build the 5 cabinets for my speaker kits. I have 3 Adire Audio Kit-281 and 2 Kit-81 speaker kits that are just sitting around in need of some cabinets to put them in. Hopefully I can get to work on them when I have a week off from school in September (I'm in a year round accellerated degree program that doesn't give me much time off).
     
  17. Steve Elias

    Steve Elias Well-Known Member

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    Just let me know via email if and when you are interested. I should have my Jasper jig back in the next few days.

    -Steve
     

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