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Thread: Fixed base or plunge router question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Catalunya
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    Fixed base or plunge router question

    Hi there.

    I have a fixed base router, and I'm thinking about purchasing a plunge accesoire for it, but my question is:

    What are a fixed base router and a plunge router made for?

    I understand that a plunge router allows you make mortises in a much safer way than a fixed base router, but apart from that, is there any other feature that makes one different or more suitable for a specific job from the other?

    Any info or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Toni, I have four routers now, two plunge based and two fixed base, they all have specific jobs.

    If it were down to just one router, I'd have a plunge base, as you can do more with it, IMHO, so I'd say get the plunge base and I bet you will find all kinds of uses for it that you never dreamed of.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    One thing I've found helpful is when you're doing something that requires making several light passes I can set the depth at the lowest point of the turret and then use the turret to take ever deeper cuts till I get to where I need to be.

    Boy, I didn't explain that very well.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    One thing I've found helpful is when you're doing something that requires making several light passes I can set the depth at the lowest point of the turret and then use the turret to take ever deeper cuts till I get to where I need to be.

    Boy, I didn't explain that very well.
    You must of did something right cause I understood it!

  5. #5
    Well, it's one of those things that, once you get it, you don't know how you got by without it. I'm avoiding that trap. I've been into woodworking for over 20 years now and still don't own a plunge router. Not saying they wouldn't be handy sometimes, but I've always figured out an alternate solution when I needed one. Fact is, I'm to cheap to buy one retail, and I've yet to find a bargain on a used one. If you don't already have one, a table mounted router is a far more useful rig IMO.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Floydada, Tx
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    Yep what Rennie said. The plunge ones has a post that allows you to set a final depth, then you can make a pass, turn the stop which lowers the cutter untill you reach the final depth. They are great for making dados in the middle of boards, makeing shelf supports holes on case sides. OK next person.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Kansas City, Missouri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    Yep what Rennie said. The plunge ones has a post that allows you to set a final depth, then you can make a pass, turn the stop which lowers the cutter untill you reach the final depth. They are great for making dados in the middle of boards, makeing shelf supports holes on case sides. OK next person.
    Good for setting depth on inlays too. Can place the material that will be the inlay in between the stop and plung post to set the exact depth for that material.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    If I could have only one, it would be a plunge. I have only one plunge base but I have a couple of routers that fit it. A fixed base unit is often more compact so having each type is desirable. I have a few routers but find that I now use the small and large Milwaukee motors that fit the various plunge and fixed bases 99% of the time.

    As to which one is for what (in my shop):
    - fixed = edge treatments, dados, inlay.
    - plunge = mortises, stopped cuts.

    At one time there were a lot of so-so combo plunge bases that would bind or were excessively hard or easy to plunge. This kept dedicated plunge routers popular and indeed they are still a quality product. There are several good combo kits around now for about $200 (I obviously favor the Mil).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The-Mil-Crew.jpg  
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 04-28-2009 at 03:10 PM.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    If I could have only one, it would be a plunge. I have only one plunge base but I have a couple of routers that fit it. A fixed base unit is often more compact so having each type is desirable. I have a few routers but find that I now use the small and large Milwaukee motors that fit the various plunge and fixed bases 99% of the time.

    As to which one is for what (in my shop):
    - fixed = edge treatments, dados, inlay.
    - plunge = mortises, stopped cuts.
    Bob Rosendahl on the Router Workshop has said many times he wouldn't be buying many routers that were not plunge type. I have nine routers and feel the same way now.

    Regards

    Jerry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
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    158
    Hi Toni,

    I know this doesn't answer your question directly but I do hope it helps. A plunge router can do everything that a fixed based router can do just by securing the plunge (assuming your router has that feature). A fixed based router can't plunge, at least not safely and securely.

    The last router I purchased has both a fixed and a plunge base. It mainly stays in my router table with the fixed based but I did pull the plunge base out last weekend and use it when I cut angled dados for some shelves in a shoe rack I made for my wife.

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