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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Hobart, Tas
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    533

    Default Do you plunge your trim router?

    Iím going to buy the cordless Makita trim router, but am in two minds as to what to buy.

    They offer two kits, the basic kit, which contains a base and fence, and another with an additional angled and plunge bases. The full kit costs an extra $100.

    My immediate need is for the basic kit, but donít want to forgo the extra two bases if Iím going to kick myself in a couple of months, and then pay over the odds to buy the plunge base.

    My need is routing channels in box lids for inlays, and am keen to give Derekís half blind dovetail technique a whirl.

    I already own a large plunge router that is mostly mounted under the table, but need something smaller and easier to handle for fine tasks.

    Thoughts from those who are old hats at little routers would be greatly appreciated.

    Ta,
    Lance

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Alexandra Vic
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    Default

    The standard trick for plunging a fixed base router, where depth of cut is fixed before starting was to position over the start point and incline the router so that the base has an edge on the material and the bit is just clear of the starting point. The router is then switched on and you slowly return the router to having full base contact with the material and start to move the router in the required direction. This results in a radiused ramp at the start of the cut that is fixed either by chisel or a very minor bit of back routing.

    With a trim router, I suspect that the small base may make that process more difficult because of the smaller base area and contact edge, but I have never tried to do it so cannot comment at first hand.

    While I accept that cordless will give you freedom from a lead trying to influence your tool path, the tool will be limited in both power and run duration. The mains router that I suspect provides the basis of the kit you are interested in is rated at 750W and is a small router rather than a trimmer and can work at that level for considerable periods. In contrast battery unit uses an 18V 3-5AH battery, giving 50 -70WH of battery capacity. This implies that a single battery doing the same work as the mains equivalent at full load is limited to a 5-6 minute run before depleting the battery and needing to change. Of course for basic trimming, you would longer run times because you are not working the machine overly hard, but for blind DT's etc, I suspect it could be an issue.

    I use battery tools and appreciate them, but find that a lot of the time a mains tool is more suitable. If you anticipate some plunge work, the plunge base kit would be a better option to my mind.
    I used to be an engineer, I'm not an engineer any more, but on the really good days I can remember when I was.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
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    29
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    5,029

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by malb View Post
    The standard trick for plunging a fixed base router, where depth of cut is fixed before starting was to position over the start point and incline the router so that the base has an edge on the material and the bit is just clear of the starting point. The router is then switched on and you slowly return the router to having full base contact with the material and start to move the router in the required direction. This results in a radiused ramp at the start of the cut that is fixed either by chisel or a very minor bit of back routing.

    With a trim router, I suspect that the small base may make that process more difficult because of the smaller base area and contact edge, but I have never tried to do it so cannot comment at first hand.
    Yep, didn't do it often but it works just fine. Just make sure you don't try to plunge to fast or it might grab.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Nsw
    Age
    60
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    587

    Default

    I have the cordless Makita router and it is fantastic, I only got it in standard form as that suits my needs but there is a very cool offset base you can get that would be worth considering

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tas
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    Default

    Thanks for your thoughts all.

    For the extra $100, I think I'll just spring for the full kit.

    Lance

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Perth WA Australia
    Posts
    530

    Default

    Looks like you've made up your mind already but i was in a similar mindset not that long ago and went the opposite direction. I got around the no plunge by simply drilling to the depth that i wanted with a drill press and commenced routing, it adds an extra step in the process but i figured i hardly use my trim router for plunge applications it wasn't required.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Sunshine Coast
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    60
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    196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LanceC View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts all.

    For the extra $100, I think I'll just spring for the full kit.

    Lance
    I bought the complete battery kit. I actually do use all the different parts & attachments.
    I would use it a lot less if I didn't have all the extra bits & bobs, which come in a complete carry case.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Perth
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    9,134

    Default

    Lance, I have the Makita plunge base. It seems to be well thought out. There is also an add-on dust guard/collector I purchased on Amazon (still awaiting its delivery), which would be essential if using the router for inlay.

    For removing the waste from half-blind dovetails, I would concentrate on the fixed base. It has excellent dust control, and there is no need to plunge - just move the router inside the socket. It must use a wider base for support.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Albury
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LanceC View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts all.

    For the extra $100, I think I'll just spring for the full kit.

    Lance
    I'd be very surprised if you live to regret that decision.
    Forum members PM me for a discount on all my products - https://www.ebay.com.au/str/aldavsstore

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