Monday, April 07, 2008

Call Me Imelda

I bought my fifth router on Saturday. Its not that I’ve worn out 4 routers, and so I went out and bought my next one. No, I just bought another router. I now own 4 working routers. One I burned up, and it was such a piece of crap, so it wasn’t worth fixing.

The one I bought on Saturday is a fixed base router with a half inch collet. I have a half inch plunge router, but I don’t really like it. I bought that one when I first started buying routers and it too is a piece of crap. I bought it at Harbor Freight, and I swear it actually started falling apart on the drive home. The motor is fine, and it still works, but the knobs and guides are junk.

My first router was also a piece of crap. That came with the router table. I think I paid about $80 for the router and router table. This was a Craftsman combo set, on sale, and then an additional 10% off for something or other. I’m a sucker for the “something or other”. The table is OK and the router was never really OK, but it worked. The switch broke and the brushes were going. I also never liked the way you adjusted the height. I figured it would cost more to fix than I paid for it so I spent a day taking it apart and then threw it away.

After that I bought the Harbor Freight POS. I then bought another Craftsman plunge router. It is a nice router, but a plunge router is not an everyday tool, so I keep it mounted to the router table. Mounting a router to the table is not the easiest thing in the world. In fact, it’s a pain in the ass, so I really needed a second working router.

So I then bought another fixed base Craftsman router at a garage sale for $8.00. I love that router. It is really old and I just really like it. I can’t say why, but it is easy to adjust. It is easy to change bits. I like the weight and the balance. It’s a really nice tool.

Even though the $8.00 garage sale router is nice, it only has a quarter inch collet. I’ve decided I’m going to try and reproduce my Victorian baseboards, so I need a router with a half inch collet. So Saturday I went and bought my forth working router. I need four bits to reproduce the base boards in the house.









Above are the four bits I will need, and router bits aren’t cheap. The second one down is close, but not quite right. I’m still looking. All told, that is about $130 in router bits. If I can get the right bits though, I can make all of the baseboard I want for just the cost of the wood. If I went to mill they would charge $75 just to put the bits in the router.

I don't think the baseboards are going to be ready for the laundry room by this weekend.

4 comments:

Nancy said...

Isn't there a machine that's kind of like a planer to make all those cool mouldings? Hmmmm!!

Derek said...

I bought a bosch router that has both a fixed and plunge base. It's 1/2" collet, but I mostly use 1/4" so far. It was expensive though, and I still don't have a router table. It came with a lot of extra stuff, guides, vacuum attachments, and a circle guide. And it's so much smoother than the old Black and Decker I was using.

Greg said...

Nancy,

Yea, they do make those kinds of things. Low-end ones start at around $1000 and then you need blades cut. Really, those are for molding an entire piece of wood, like door casing or cornice. With the baseboards only the top few inches have a profile and the rest is flat.

Derek,

Totally what I should have bought 5 years ago.

darazzberry said...

I really heart those profiles; especially the second one. I think in the long run, having your own bits would work out for the best.