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Bosch Colt / GFK600

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by frank1985, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    Hey guys, there’s a good deal going for a bosch gfk600 (‘Colt’ in the states) with plunge base included - just wondering if this would be suitable for profile routing necks and bodies, or is it best suited to smaller jobs like binding, cavities etc.? I need a good all rounder. Budget is around £200/$220
     
  2. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    A Colt will handle most anything you need to do for electric guitar stuff.

    The only consideration is it does not have the power to spin cutters larger than an inch on deep cuts. If you are spinning a large cutter, take small bites in multiple passes.
     
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  3. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the tip. One reservation I have is it’s small base...does it have enough stability for body routing?
     
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Bosch Colt has become enough of a "standard" that several aftermarket devices are designed to its base bolt pattern. Specifically the StewMac floating router jig (which I had do redrill to fit my laminate trimmer which is not a Colt) and I have seen several others. I wish I had bought a Colt instead of the one I have.

    You can and should make a wider base (which ironically my Ryobi laminate trimmer came with)
     
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  5. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    What sort of size would be recommended for an extended base? There’s a universal ‘sub base’ on the market that’s 15cm wide.

    Another thing, for anyone who owns the Colt - can the fence guide that comes with it be used in conjunction with the plunge base? Because I see there’s a 70£ guide on offer to be used with the plunge, which hopefully I won’t need if the smaller one that is bundled with the Colt is compatible with the plunge attached. I’d need it for the truss rod slot mainly. Alternative I guess would be to predrill and use with the standard fence guide.
     
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  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is the big base that came with my Ryobi and it is very handy for guitar bodies where I want to span a fairly wide gap

    IMG_5942.JPG

    This is the small base that would be similar to the Colt

    IMG_6046.JPG

    And here is where I adapted mine to fit the binding jig. The outer set of holes is for the Colt

    IMG_5985.JPG
     
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  7. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    No, unfortunately the edge guide for the standard base won't work with the plunge base :).

    The Colt plunge base takes the edge guide that uses the round rods, similar to the larger routers.

    The Colt's plunge base has a lot bigger footprint than the standard base; it has a lot more stability and has well placed and comfortable handles that improve the control over the standard base.

    I recently picked up a used plunge base for my Colt (cost me $60 bucks U.S.D. plus shipping - a fairly steep price I thought); but it's well made and it operates very smoothly :).



    I'm in the camp that advocates for more power than the Colt puts out for routing out bodies and heavier duty stuff like that.

    Sure, it's possible to push a less powerful router to do some of the bigger jobs, but I don't like doing that.

    I'd suggest that if you do occasionally use a Colt for routing bodies and large cavities, make sure you reduce the router's load by pre-cutting close to the line and/or hogging out as much as you can by drilling out waste with a Forstner or other suitable drill bit. Small or light cuts are the way to go ;).


    Is that model you are looking at the single speed or variable speed one?


    edit: That model number didn't sound familiar to me so I checked it out; apparently it's a European model that runs on 240 volts!!!

    ,

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
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  8. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    Ah ok thanks for clarifying, that’s a shame. I might get the extra guide rail then with the money saved. Or just predrill the truss slot and use the original guide rail with the fixed base.

    And yes I’d absolutely reduce load as much as possible, as advised in another thread - cutting close to the line and even sanding, plus drilling cavities with my fisch forstners.

    I want to ask as well...I was thinking of buying the extended sub base to provide a little extra stability for profile body routing, but do you think the plunge base can perform this function as well with its wider footprint? Obviously that’s not it’s primary function, but maybe the larger footprint will help? I want to minimise any chance of the cutter from tipping as much as possible by giving the router more reach.

    It is indeed fixed speed ...

     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
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  9. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I bought the Porter Cable 620 for my big needs in a router table
     
  10. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    I own Bosch Colt that's a few years old and it is a great one-hand router. I would not recommend it for routing body cavities
    • the base plate is too small to span larger openings like a neck pocket
    • it's a 1/4" collet tool. The longer carbide bits that are good for smoothing bottoms and edges of cavities are much more stable in 1/2" shank. *1/4" shank pattern routing bits can get the job done if you go in small increments and hog most of the waste out first with drill bits.
    • they've recently upped the wattage and it is a very smooth operating tool, Bosch makes great stuff! Putting one in a plunge base doesn't make sense to me unless you're doing very small scale stuff, like inlay perhaps.
    *I think it's good to have a big router and a little router, and use the one that's most appropriate for each job.
     
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  11. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    I took some pics showing the comparative sizes of the standard base versus the plunge base as well as a pic of the over-size auxiliary base I made up out clear plexi-glass.

    But my old laptop went ****-up so I had to buy a new one and I guess I need to find the software disc to match my old camera so I can move photos to this new laptop before I can upload pics to the forum.

    So, . . . . :) . . I'll just give you the dimensions instead -

    Colt standard base is 9.5cm wide X 8.7cm deep (3-3/4" X 3-7/16")

    Colt plunge base is 14.6cm in diameter (5-3/4") considerably larger and more stable; good enuff :).

    One of my plexi-glass auxiliary bases is an irregular oblong shaped gizmo which is about 12-1/4" long and 4-1/4" wide at the end where the router sits, but then it widens out to 8-1/4" at the far end where I mounted an auxiliary handle made out of a golf ball. I put a 1/2" stand-off between the base and the golf ball to make it nice and comfy to grip.

    The auxiliary base is handy for all kinds of different routing operations, but it really shines when doing the edge radius on a guitar body. The base extends most of the way across the body and gives excellent stability, plus it gives me that golf ball handle to hang on to for more control.

    This one of those times where a picture is worth a thousand words, but I hope I've conveyed the idea to you. Clear plexi-glass works excellent for router bases - you can see exactly what you're doing, which always helps.

    Making your own is a pretty easy little project and you can make one that suits your needs instead of settling for someone else's idea of a pre-made base plate :).


    edit: words instead of pics ;)

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  12. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    I've never been too much of a fan of plunge routers, probably because the only one I've owned until recently is a big old beast - a Porter Cable SpeedMatic. It's a production duty, 3-1/4 hp, with variable speeds; a really big and heavy mother-huncher.

    But, since getting the plunge base for my little Colt, my eyes got opened up a little wider :).

    The Colt is a really useful and easy to operate plunge router now, and I find myself using the plunge feature in a lot of situations where formerly I'd drop the bit down and just go to the middle of the route and stab the bit in free-hand -definitely not a recommended practice ;).

    So, who says an old dog can't learn new tricks? (and work safer, too!!) :).

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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
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  13. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks oldwrench for the dimensions. That plunge base will make things a lot easier....however I like the idea of making my own plexi/acrylic base. I’d like to see a picture of yours whenever you manage to get your camera hooked up, or even better a template. :) Otherwise I might just keep it simple and make it circular, with a 10” diameter.
     
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  14. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    Allow me to make a suggestion Frank :).

    Instead of making just one auxiliary router base for your Colt, why not make two of them?

    While you're geared up to make one, making a second one takes very little extra time.

    You could make your !0" diameter one, and an additional offset one, something liked I've described :).

    I've got probably a dozen different bases I made up for my various routers (9 at last count).

    They are all pretty simple but serve different purposes.

    I've got two odd shaped ones that are used to cut various sized circles, like cutouts for speakers in speaker baffles for speaker cabinets.

    Lots and lots of different possibilities ;).



    edit: There are a lot of us who have a router, but don't have a thickness planer, maybe because of a shortage of $$$ or a shortage of space.

    A router sled for surface planing is pretty dog-gone simple and easy to make, and if the right router bit is used, the workpiece is properly secured, and the router movement is properly controlled, that simple setup will yield excellent results :).

    ,
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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  15. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    Good idea - I’ll make myself two for now for different scenarios. What drill bits would be best for acrylic? I’m reading conflicting information on what bits to use.

    With scroll saw blades I imagine something with a high tpi will do the trick
     
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  16. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    I've always used regular twist drill bits or brad point wood bits, although I'm sure there are better bits made for drilling acrylics or plastics like polycarbonate :).

    For cutting plexi-glass, I've used my old worm-drive SkilSaw with a finish blade in it and I've used a jig saw with a good blade made for cutting plastics. A band saw does a pretty good job too.

    I'm not sure about using a scroll saw with a fine tooth blade though, plexi-glass can get kind of gummy when it heats up and can clog the teeth.



    Maybe someone with experience cutting plexi with a scroll saw can point you towards a suitable blade?

    ,
     
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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I took a couple of pictures of my routers just to give Frank an idea of what is working for me. My main router is the Ryobi laminate trimmer in the center. I doubt that I paid a hundred bucks for it 15 or so years ago - it has been involved in building a couple of dozen guitars. When I started making solid body electrics I decided that I needed a bigger one and bought the Rigid on the left. It is fine, handles both 1/4 and 1/2 inch shanks - is micro adjusting as far as depth but is not plunge. Its base is 6 inches in diameter.

    On the right is my dremel in a plunge base. I used to use that for routing rosettes in acoustics but the plunge is so wobbly that I gave up and went to a different setup. I use the dremel with a non plunge base for all of my inlay routing.

    IMG_6639.JPG

    Back to the laminate trimmer. It came with two bases - a 3-1/2 inch square one that is quite fine for doing bindings and small cavities. However the one in the picture is really handy - it measures 8 inches across and will span most cavities and chambering that I would ever want to do on a guitar. One side of the base is cut off 1-1/2 inch from the center of the collet - that is very nice for routing straight lines by just clamping something to act as a fence. (the square base shows in the left side of that picture)

    IMG_6641.JPG

    I like the two handles - that keeps my hands a long ways from the bit. I'll add that since I drill out most of the waste with a Forstner bit before doing any routing that the laminate trimmer is plenty big and powerful enough. Since I'm starting in a partially drilled cavity I have no need for plunge.

    The big base also has holes for 2, 2-1/2 and 3 inch radius circles - I could drill a couple for my rosettes.

    As far as working with acrylic, I make many of my router templates from clear acrylic. I cut it on my band saw with the same blade I use for most wood working (1/4 inch, 6 tpi) and I drill it with normal twist bits on a drill press. I see no reason other saws or bits wouldn't work. You will want to counter sink your mounting screws.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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