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Thread: Trim Router Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    Trim Router Advice

    For those who frequent multiple forums, my apologies for duplicating... I need a quick answer (so this is also posted on a more active forum) but I have more respect the answers here (if they come in time).

    I need to fix a mess up... and the rush is that I should have delivered this project some time ago. The easiest way seems to be a pattern bit in a router... but I need to get into a corner (or darn close). So small router, i.e. trim router, comes to mind. I only have big plunge routers.

    Searching the vendors on the internet suggests that I will have to spend $100 for a basic unit (PC, DeWalt, Bosch, Ridgid) or up to $200 with accessories. Bosch drops off the list because I haven't found a local dealer, and I need to buy it immediately. DeWalt loses points because my regular DeWalt router died recently - after having already been rebuilt for the cost of a new unit.

    Since this isn't the last project (or my last screw up), if I am going to have to spend $200, is it worth jumping to $500 for the Festool MFK700? Does it provide enough features over a plain trim router to be a good investment? Or will I find a $100-200 unit sufficient (since I have lived without any trim router for over 50 years)?
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    ozarks
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    are you asking about the offset base routers charlie?
    http://www.amazon.com/Porter-Cable-9.../dp/B0000222Z7
    http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-PR20EVSN...KNZND3TBMKSHXB

    these will spin small bits to within about 3/4" of an inside corner but they aren`t designed for bits much larger than 1/2-5/8" od and will only accept 1/4" shank....don`t expect super high quality from either of these set-ups as they`re designed to power laminate trimmer bits...but they`ll work in a pinch.

    never used the festool set-up.......do they offer an offset base?
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    810
    I work part time in a cabinet shop these days. We do mostly commercial cabinets (offices, schools, daycares, stores), and coincidentally, I use these two (above) exact trim routers. I have one set up with a straight bottom-bearing flush cutter and the other with a 15' bottom bearing bevel cutter. The do a marvelous job on laminate, but can be used for just about any other job that takes a small 1/4" shank router bit.

    cheers

    John

  4. #4
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    Tokiwadai, Japan
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    You can always talk to Bob (Marino), who is very knowledgeable about Festool tools. Great guy!

    http://www.bobmarinosbesttools.com/p...af2&pid=574288

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    Harbor Freight has their little trim router on sale for $25. I have two of them and reach for them more often than the PC I have. I've seen several in use in commercial shops and lots of people on these forums have them.

    There appear to be two stores in Austin. Here's the router.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  6. #6
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    Villa Park, CA
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    This isn't a router answer, Charlie, but what I've done in a pinch (in a situation like you described) is cut the profile as far as I can with the router, then use carving tools to continue it into the area where I couldn't get with the router. It's slow but with a bit of sandpaper over the tool marks, it came out looking good.

    Of course, I don't know how complex your profile is.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    Reporting on the results...

    First describing the problem... an inside corner of cantilever shelves of 3/4 inch plywood, with another 3/4 in the middle, for various braces and wiring, and a 1/4 inch bottom. The bottom wasn't even with the primary shelf (oops) so the unit wouldn't fit together.

    With your help, I finally understood that I needed a router with offset base to do probably 90% of the job. A plain trim router (whether Bosch or Festool or Harbor Freight) would only do, perhaps 60%. Nobody locally had a trim router with offset base in stock. Therefore I did 30% with a regular router (guided on the primary shelf), then attacked the remaining 70% with bare hacksaw blade, Japanese saw, sandpaper, and chisels. A couple hours later it was all together. I figure that with the trim router, it would have been a few minute job, rather than miserable hours. The furniture will be delivered tomorrow.

    Since my wife is always frantic for Christmas gift ideas, she was pleased to get the specs for the Bosch Colt Installer's kit.

    Thanks for your suggestions and "training."
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  8. #8
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    Let us know what you decide upon and how it works for you.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  9. #9
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    Location
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    It wasn't clear whether the Swiss army knife from Festool had an offset base, so I went to Woodcraft to take a look at it... but they were out of stock. I have dealt with Bob Marino - great guy - but neither he nor Amazon have facilities in Austin, and immediate access was a requirement (the furniture is being delivered today).

    Both local and on-line recommendations were very strong for the Bosch, and fondling the basic unit (without accessories) at the Borg was impressive, so now I have to wait for Santa Claus before I can give a report. But I have a happy wife that I wanted an affordable Christmas present rather than a Martin shaper or something.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    It wasn't clear whether the Swiss army knife from Festool had an offset base, so I went to Woodcraft to take a look at it... but they were out of stock. I have dealt with Bob Marino - great guy - but neither he nor Amazon have facilities in Austin, and immediate access was a requirement (the furniture is being delivered today).

    Both local and on-line recommendations were very strong for the Bosch, and fondling the basic unit (without accessories) at the Borg was impressive, so now I have to wait for Santa Claus before I can give a report. But I have a happy wife that I wanted an affordable Christmas present rather than a Martin shaper or something.
    martin shapers are good!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

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