Messages Archive

Re: Plunge Routers.....uses of.....

jesse cloud
I can remember only very few projects over the last couple of decades where I haven't used a router. It's the way I roll.

I use both fixed and plunge based. Many of my routers have optional plunge bases, which I find ideal.

You can do stopped grooves with a fixed base, by leaning them into the workpiece, but that's awkward and error prone. Definitely an application for plunging.

You can build simpler jigs for plunge routers, not needed to allow for 'approach room' needed for fixed.

My main nit with plunge based routers is that the depth control devices don't seem to me to be as reliable as the fixed devices. After dozens of repeated plunges, the depth often drifts, leading to the need to check and recheck depth every so often. The depth also seems sensitive to the amount of pressure used to hold the machine down. These may just be my own personal shortcomings in technique.

Fixed routers tend to be lighter and more compact. Better for jig work where you have to lift the darn thing often. I love my monster Festool OF2200, a wonderfully balanced 3 HP plunger, but at the end of the day my arms get pretty darned tired from lifting the beast, so my PC690 gets much of the jig work.

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