View Full Version : Relooking at Routers

20th November 2008, 02:25 PM
I have had a Hitachi M12V for years and have found it satisfactory for the purposes to date. However I have been using it on a Leigh jig and it has highlighted an issue that I will need to resolve, surrounding free lateral movement in the plunge mechanism(small, but an issue). As stated, for the past uses this hasnt not caused me concern.

Now however, the nature of using a process where one of the cuts eg cutting the mortices requires the use of the plunge and the cutting the tennons generally doesnt, using the plunge, this free movement will generate a varialable clearence/interference fit between the mortice and the tenon because the bit moves ever so slightly within the guide bush.

Is there a way around this. If not, is there a router that by way of it's design or manufacturing tolerance reduces this "variable side float" to a level that is acceptable.

I have looked at the Festool and it seems to have the same issues. That is not to say that I would spend the $1200 to sort the problem.


Donald (on the Rock)

20th November 2008, 02:32 PM
For around $1,300 a Festool Domino sorts out these issues. (beat ya Groggy :q )

20th November 2008, 02:37 PM
I can't feel any movement in my triton, but it's near new and there is nothing to say it'll stay that way. Of course you can use a fixed base router and pre drill a pilot hole but I asusme you don't want to do that.

The bush system is one of the many issues I have with the leigh system. Never used it, but everytime I look at it I see problems. I'm sure they are all fixable...

20th November 2008, 03:54 PM

Not sure by what you mean about the Festool Domino being the answer. I am chasing a router not a "biscuit jointer". and the $$ are an issue unless it really does solve the "float". I am surprised that this issue has not been raised before, as all the routers I have picked up in the shops do seem to have the "side slop". I assume that I will just need to continue picking them up until I find one without it.

I do have the option of replacing the bronze bush (which is not a service item) on the one side of the router and reaming it to size. However the side with the thumb set depth stop does not have a bush (just the alloy housing), and this would be more of a challenge.


20th November 2008, 07:51 PM
do they have side slop when you lock the plunge mechanism?

20th November 2008, 10:50 PM
There are two issues.

When the plunger is locked the bit is probably slightly off centre, probably a "bees dick" off, but clearly constant. However when you do the plunge cut, you put downward pressure to keep it down and depending on how much pressure you apply, the bit will be in a different spot.

As a rule I use both hands to control the router with my fingers stretching between the handles and the base to guide the router. The pressure varies and so the bit moves either to the right or the left of centre. This is to a dgree exacerbated by the adjustable stop mechanism only being on one side. It thus cocks ever so slightly. But in these things it results in a varing interference/gap.


Donald (On the Rock)

9th December 2008, 06:30 PM
A fixed base unit as suggested by Damian may not solve the problem as these rotate the motor housing relative to the base when adjusting the depth. If the motor housing and base are not exactly concentric with the shaft (and it seems that few are), making a multi stage mortise with depth increases between stages tends to result in visibly stepped walls. The steps can be more than .25mm. If the plunge router has that sort of movement between the motor and plunge columns then replacing the plunge bushings may be the way to go.

9th December 2008, 08:01 PM
Can you use the router in a router table? then once the bit depth and fence distance are set you plunge the wood onto the bit.


10th December 2008, 08:47 PM
I get caught out when using a Leigh Jig, doing the mortices, as I need to plunge into the timber. When the cutter is at the lowest point, the depth stop, as it is on one side, cocks the router minutely. Doing the tenons is not so much of a problem as the router is locked in its cutting height for the whole cutting process.


Donald (off the Rock).