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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TedO, Mar 24, 2002.
Is a plunge router a must or can you get away with a regular router?
It makes it a harder process, but anything's possible.
A regular would be a pain in the arse, get a plunge router.
you can use a regular but you have to drill a piolt hole
Unless you're experienced, I wouldn't recommend "getting away with" certain tools. A router can be dangerous, and I'd really recommend a good plunge model. That's my overall philosophy, anyway, as a woodworking novice...the right tool for the job.
Number 2 suggestion is to get a router with a dust collection port. Routing MDF makes a cloud of fine dust that coats everything nearby - a real cleanup headache. Unfortunately, there arent' very many routers with dust collection built in, so your choice is limited.
I've also had sinus sensitivity persist for weeks after MDF routing, and I hardly use the stuff. The combination of excellent plunge routing and dust collection leads me to recommend the model I went with, the DeWalt 621. Worth every cent of its $200.
I agree with the rest of the guys here.. a plunge router really makes things simpler, but I wanna tell you about the other aspect of routers.. the bits.
if you already know all about them, then just ignore this post, but it may be helpful for others.
When I first bought my router (precisely for the purpose you're buying yours for), I decided to save some money, so I got one of the cheaper plunge routers.. a black and decker for $100 (and I'm very satisfied with it)... but then I looked at bits and it's like $20 -$25 per bit! .. needless to say I was confused.. I'm used to buying drill bits and other tools and whatnot, and it was strange that a little bit (no pun intended) can cost so much .. so I bought a 5 pack of bits for about $30 ... it had 5 different bits w/ different shapes and I figured it would do the job... well after cutting the first circle, the 1/4" straight bit was shot.. I was burning wood left and right .. at that point I realized that price reflects quality and went and bought a carbide tipped $21 straight 1/4" bit and could not be happier.. it lasted me through the rest of the project and will probably last me for years to come.
that's my rant
All good points guys!
I would like to add one more-get a good circle jig. My B&D plunge router came with one. I recommend one for every DIY speaker builder. Also, I would like to add that on top of wearing a good dust mask when cutting MDF, also wear a hood to cover your head. It sounds funny, but you will have MDF dust in your ears and hair for a week. Good luck!
I bought cheap router bits at first also. After burning out my 2nd 1/4" bit, I bought some better carbide bits. My wife came down to my basement workshop and asked what I did to quiet the router down.
Don't buy cheap bits, there just not worth it.
What's the difference between a regular and a plunge router?
A regular router has a fixed base. You have to adjust its depth and then find a way to drop it in of you are cutting out holes (usually by cutting a pilot hole)
A plunge router lets you adjust the depth but then "spring" the bit up above the base and then plunge it slowly down into the wood.
Visit the router of my dreams to see since it comes with a fixed and a plunge base.
The plunge base is on the left in the picture, the fixed is attached to the motor. Hope this clarifies a little.