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Author Topic: Router, the wood kind  (Read 5300 times)

Bob Leonard

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Router, the wood kind
« on: December 08, 2017, 10:20:03 pm »

Anyone versed in the proper use of a router?? Always wanted to make my own amplifier cabinets, so I'm pretty sure Santa is bringing me a Porter Cable router and 12" dovetail jig. I've owned and have been using a router for basic stuff for many, many years, but nothing fancy. Any tips will help.
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Art Welter

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Re: Router, the wood kind
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 10:59:07 pm »

Anyone versed in the proper use of a router?? Always wanted to make my own amplifier cabinets, so I'm pretty sure Santa is bringing me a Porter Cable router and 12" dovetail jig. I've owned and have been using a router for basic stuff for many, many years, but nothing fancy. Any tips will help.
Bob,

Yay, the kind of router I understand!
Ever since trying out Steve Raitt's (R.I.P.) Porter Cable "D" handle "Speedmatic" router around 1978, it was my favorite.
I think mine dates back to near that time, still working fine after hundreds of cabinets, though no dovetails. The "soft start" circuit died a few decades ago, rather than replacing it, just wired the handle switch directly, the 15 amp 21,000 RPM motor start up does take some concentration to hold steady...
I use lighter/cheaper routers for rounding corners, the Speedmatic is kind of a beast.

If you don't have one already, make sure Santa also brings you a "Jasper Jig", so you can cut perfect circles for your speakers. Using a "spiral down" bit will direct almost all of the sawdust below the wood circle, preferably into an air intake.

Cheers,
Art
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 11:03:27 pm by Art Welter »
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Rob Spence

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Router, the wood kind
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 11:53:32 pm »

I have a classic Porter Cable from the early 70s with a D handle attachment and a plunge attachment. It lives, however in the lift base of my router bench. No soft start but still works like new.

I have an Incra jig that I love for box joints and dovetails.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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Tom Bourke

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Re: Router, the wood kind
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 12:08:59 am »

Anyone versed in the proper use of a router?? Always wanted to make my own amplifier cabinets, so I'm pretty sure Santa is bringing me a Porter Cable router and 12" dovetail jig. I've owned and have been using a router for basic stuff for many, many years, but nothing fancy. Any tips will help.
I only have a small Bosch Colt.  I use it mostly for rounding over edges and following patterns with a strait bit w/ bearing.
All I have to offer is don't skimp on the bit quality.  But then that applies to every one of my cutting tools.
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Router, the wood kind
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 12:46:41 am »

I've done 3 dovetailed solid pine cabinets with Craftsman routers.  I have both a 1/2" and 1/4" ones.  For cutting into pine, I've not had issues with the lighter unit.  You do want to play around making some samples to get the cut depths were you want them for a good fit.  But other then being a tedious set up, it's not that hard.  Makes for nice "alive" sounding boxes.  Have fun.
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John Halliburton

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Re: Router, the wood kind
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 09:31:24 am »

Anyone versed in the proper use of a router?? Always wanted to make my own amplifier cabinets, so I'm pretty sure Santa is bringing me a Porter Cable router and 12" dovetail jig. I've owned and have been using a router for basic stuff for many, many years, but nothing fancy. Any tips will help.

I'll have to say that I am qualified.  Currently own four, a 25 year old Craftsman "Industrial", a classic Porter Cable 690(twin knob handles), a DeWalt 618 with both fixed base and plunge base, and a Freud FT300 3/25hp plunge router. I've also used inverted pin routers way back when I worked for a while at R&R Cases.  15hp wonderful beasts that use templates.  Now of course superseded by CNC based machinery like my friend uses in his company.

My go to for most work is the DeWalt with the plunge base attached, hooked up to my shop vac, as it has a built in port for dust collection.

Be forewarned-a lot of dovetail fixtures are notoriously bad at keeping the work piece securely held.  The old Porter Cable Omni jig was probably the best unit out there.

I assume you are making a cosmetically nice amp cabinet with nice wood and not covered in tolex-Fender cabinets use finger joints, not dovetails, and these can be done on a table saw with a fixture built to use with the miter gauge.

Buy good carbide tipped bits whatever you do, and use the 1/2" shank versions. Onsrud makes some very good ones, but Freud and Whiteside are good too.

Best regards,

John
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Frank Koenig

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Re: Router, the wood kind
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 11:54:33 am »

I find straight cutters with a TOP follower bearing (adjacent to the shank) extremely useful. For some reason they don't seem all that popular. I now have a collection of templates for cutting all sorts of pockets. Rubber feet (bumpers), for example, are made much stronger by installing them in a shallow pocket. I agree that the 1/2 in. shank cutters are preferable -- stiffer and less likely to come flying off and hit you if something goes terribly wrong. Enjoy making sawdust for the holidays. -F
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Router, the wood kind
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2017, 02:17:18 pm »

Outstanding, and thanks to you all for the replies.

My wife ordered the dovetail jig and it arrived yesterday. She also ordered the router which will come in next week. She's hidden the jig, and says not until xmas. I also put some accessories on the list for Santa and maybe my daughters will check the list and make an old guy happy.

I hope the router has enough balls to do what I ask of it. I also read some bad reviews concerning quality. I don't put much faith in them though as most of the reviews where from a Bosch users site, the rest not enough to concern me. I've always thought of Porter Cable routers as being high on the list for toughness and compatibility with after market accessories.

I've given thought to a nice table, but that's in future, and the router is equipped for above table adjustments, so no need for a lift.


The router;

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Porter-Cable-2-1-4-HP-Multi-Base-Router-Kit-with-Router-Kit-Table-Height-Adjuster-895PK/203162813


Dovetail jig;
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Porter-Cable-12-in-Deluxe-Dovetail-Jig-Combination-Kit-4216/203054741

And this base;
http://www.m-powertools.com/CRB7-MK3-combination-router-base.htm

Opinions please. Anything can be sent back.


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BOSTON STRONG........
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I did a gig for Otis Elevator once. Like every job, it had it's ups and downs.

Art Welter

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Re: Router, the wood kind
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2017, 02:41:14 pm »


I hope the router has enough balls to do what I ask of it. I also read some bad reviews concerning quality. I don't put much faith in them though as most of the reviews where from a Bosch users site, the rest not enough to concern me. I've always thought of Porter Cable routers as being high on the list for toughness and compatibility with after market accessories.

Opinions please. Anything can be sent back.
The router you selected should have plenty of power.
My only suggestion would be going for a "D" handle, much easier to handle, and even go "one handed" for some operations.
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Ned Ward

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Re: Router, the wood kind
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 04:00:00 pm »

Bob - congrats and you'll find lots of use for it. I used mine with a round over edge to make my 3 bay x 3RU studio rack less rough around the edges...

Shop vac - have one there to be sucking up the sawdust while you're making it vs. after - with a router, it goes everywhere. Many routers have a vacuum hose out on their base.

Runout - if you're adding grooves into a board (like a dado for a speaker baffle or a cabinet back), you need to be mindful of the router bit at the edges of the wood, where the bit can tear out chips. Solution is to have a sacrificial scrap piece butted up at the end, or start with a longer piece, rout the dado or end length you need, and then cut to measure.

Good luck and enjoy. I had an Omni Jig and then sold it as I realized without a shop I wasn't going to get into finger-jointed cabinets, although I do use the router occasionally.
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