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New Router, and carving tools

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  • New Router, and carving tools

    My son is interested in buying a new router. He is just new to the area of woodworking and carving. I have always just went and bought my routers, I have had 3 of them. I have always wondered what the difference is between a plunge router, and just a plain router, and what are the advantages? Also am inquiring about a good starter set of carving tools? We are not sure whether he has the talent and will stick with it? Anybody have any advice?

  • #2
    Re: New Router, and carving tools

    Beginner's Carving Set at Little Shavers

    I would start here, good people, fair and honest. Plus everything comes nice and sharp.



    • #3
      Re: New Router, and carving tools

      In a plunge router, the base has "rails" attached to it that slide up and down in the motor body, so you can pre-set the depth you want, and with the correct bit, you can "plunge" the bit into the wood.

      For what it's worth, I bought the Porter-Cable Model 694, which comes with both bases, plunge and fixed. I've been happy with it.

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      • #4
        Re: New Router, and carving tools

        There are 4 routers in my shop and a trim router. When I first got into woodworking there was no such thing as a Worldwide web and not nearly as many good magazines as there are now. My first 3 are fixed base routers, one is installed in a router table.
        They are good if your working on the edges of a stick, board etc. The Plunge Router is really the thing to have if you want to make signs or any cuts in the field of a board or panel or for machine cutting joints like Mortices. Claude mentions getting a unit with both fixed and plunge bases. Excellent choice then you have one motor that will do it all, simply by switching bases. Also while they may cost a bit more than a fixed base unit, it is far less expensive than buying both a fixed base and a plunge router. Claude chose the Porter Cable and I chose the Dewalt DW618 with both bases on my last one, so I think we're pretty much on the same page there. Trot down to the book store or Magazine rack, there are loads of magazines on Woodworking you can research before buying. Researching the benifits and advantages of each tool before buying is a REAL PART OF THE HOBBY.
        Two wood working magazines I highly reccomend are Wood Magazine and Woodsmith Shop tips(you might check your local public television listings Woodsmith has a very informative program on every Saturday right after New Yankee Workshop here in Iowa, and I don't know if national stations are carrying it). and of course Woodcarving Illustrated and SCROLLER Magazine(another facet of the hobby I enjoy.
        I could go on and on but the main thing is woodworking and carving is not a race, once bit by the bug it will be a lifetime journey. Relax and enjoy the Journey!

        As Dave said you can't go wrong with the Little Shavers starter set, wish it had been available when I first started.

        Uh Duh! I just looked at your web site! Forget what I just had to say! I should be taking advice from you!


        • #5
          Re: New Router, and carving tools

          Personally, I'm sold on Bosch routers, which is a switch from my usual love affair with Milwaukee tools. Probly stems from having a 15-year-old fixed base Bosch router that I have abused very badly on some jobsites and it just keeps on cutting smoothly.

          Perhaps your son could think about it this way - what does he intend to do with the router?

          If he's going into the finish carpenter trade (not that he should, if I'm any example), he might do well to look at small routers and laminate trimmers of less than 1 hp with a 1/4" collet. I get by just fine with mine, it's light and easy to fit in tight spaces in cabinets and such, but I don't make any of my own moldings.

          If that's his big idea, or if he wants to do furniture joinery or build cabinets, he'll be looking for a larger, more powerful router that he can build or buy a table for, and he probly wants a 1/2" collet. Almost set up as a mini-shaper, so to speak. Cabinet work especially requires big heavy routers with big bits to cut the rails and stiles and cope joints.

          As Jim mentioned, sign carvers use plunge routers for lettering and shape cutting.

          I, uh, I guess I could go on and on also, but different routers are good at performing different functions, so that's how I'd approach it.



          • #6
            Re: New Router, and carving tools

            Thank you everyone for all of your input. The replies I got I now look at routers in a whole different way. I like Claude's porter cable with both attachments, (fixed or plunged).
            You pay me a pretty high compliment at the end of your statement, I THANK YOU FOR THAT. (I tried to send you a private message concerning that, but your set up would not allow private messages to be delivered to you.) Maybe you need to click on something. I have been in the craft for many years, doing things without really thinking about them. Buying routers is one of those things. All I literally wanted was something to do the job. That's the way we did it in the old days, sometimes we invented our own contraptions.
            Happy Carving to ALL!..............Dave


            • #7
              Re: New Router, and carving tools

              DLCARVER: Thanks for advising me on that. My not being set to recieve private messages was an oversight on my part. I have corrected that.


              • #8
                Re: New Router, and carving tools

                Jim, I just tried that private message to make sure it worked and again I was rejected.... twice. Dave


                • #9
                  Re: New Router, and carving tools

                  Sorry I think I have it fixed now.