Router bit extensions.

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by NotAnotherHobby, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

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    Any opinions?

    I have this gianormous, 3 1/2 HP plunge router that I've been trying to use in a table setup not for a couple of years. The thing is too unwieldy for most top-routing work, so it's being targeted for a table.

    But the weight and size (girth?) on this thing is also causing problems there was well. I can either buy an expensive table plate (and I don't think it'll be wide enough for the width of the thing), or make my own. Making my own means using thicker material for stiffness. That means I get less cutting depth with my bits.

    Right now I fabricated a plate using plastic cutting board material. That bends under the weight of the router. I'd use phenoic or aluminum, but my concern is that it'll either crack or bend over time, unless I go with thicker material. Thicker material means I somehow have to extend my bits.

    I'm a little leery of doing that, but I know that shaft extenders for router bits exist. So I'm throwing this out there. Any of you use shaft extenders? Are they relatively safe? Or should I just look to using my smaller router for a table setup?
     
  2. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    I'd use an extension only as a last resort. Any run-out in the router shaft or imbalance in the router bit will be amplified or exaggerated when using an extension.

    I've got a big old herky Porter Cable router (model 7539, 3-1/4 h.p.) which must be similar in size and weight to your router, that I run in a table. I really like the power and variable speed of the 7539; it'll run any router bit that I'm likely to use. My table top is pretty stiff, so I don't encounter any noticeable deflection problems, but if I was going to make a drop-in type plate I'd probably use aluminum.

    There are all different kinds of alloys and degrees of hardness with aluminum. Whatever "they" use for larger road signs is the type I use most often for jigs and plates (I'm certainly not suggesting anything here! ;)). It's tempered to resist bending and tearing.

    Another helpful thing when using a wood product for a router table top is to laminate both the top and the bottom with Formica or WilsonArt or whatever you're using. It helps to stiffen it up and greatly reduces the chance it'll warp.

    I've never tried it, but I believe one of the forum members uses a wood product similar to BB Plyform (for his router table tops), which is designed to be used as facing for reusable concrete forms. I've used it for forming purposes and can say it's definitely very stiff and durable :).




    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
  3. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Go to a machine shop with a diagram of what you want and have them fabricate it from steel plate. When I built my router table I got a place to cut a hole in the middle of the plate which I let into the top and drilled the small mounting holes on my drill press myself. For a router lift I mounted a scissor lift under the router (cost $5.00 ) from an Auto wreckers.......perfect! Here's a pix of it completed in someone else's thread.
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/lets-build-router-table.390190/#post-4914481

    DC
     
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  4. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Man, I understand the temptation to make that machine work...

    But you can get another ryobi for $70 for the 1.5hp one.

    that said for that price there might be a guy at a local fab shop that would be willing to build you a steel plate...
     
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  5. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have never seen a router but extension, and I can see where it might be useful but i don't think I'd want to use one without a face guard, chain mail gloves and a flak jacket.
     
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  6. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    The router bit extension that I've seen is the one from the Eagle America catalog. It chucks into a 1/2" collet and extends it 2-1/4". It has a regular 1/2" collet on the end. It looks fairly stout and well made, but . . .

    I don't know anyone who has actually used one.

    It's probably maybe safe ;)?



    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd invest in a lower hp router which will allow for a simpler set up. You shouldn't need that much power for guitar work. You aren't machining hand rails. 1.5 Hp is more than you'll need.
     
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  8. Artslap

    Artslap Tele-Afflicted

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    Avoid the extension bit.

    Routers are barely domesticated wild beasts. The tool in the shop that demands more respect than any other.

    +1 for the (reinforced?)road sign.

    +1 for the scissor jack. Great idea.

    CP.
     
  9. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Poster Extraordinaire

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    To NotAnotherHobby............What brand and model is the large router?

    Thought it might be useful if you can control the speed ( Either built in to the machine or speed control box) and what plunge depth does it have?

    I take it that it is a 1/2" chuck? I think it could be OK in a table if the speed is variable..........shame to shelve it if it goes OK.

    If you build it into a router table put it in the middle and then you can make an overhead frame and turn it into a pin routing system and then the world will be your oyster and Bob will indeed be your Uncle! :lol:

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/288873-overhead-router-system.html#post3536069

    DC
     
  10. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

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    It's a Craftsman. Variable speed, slow start, incremental depth, depth stop, 1/4" and 1/2" chuck, and so on. It has pretty much anything you'd want on it. It just weighs more than my car. And, I just can't see letting the thing sit...especially when my wife (who bought it for me - HINT! HINT!) asks, "well, what about the router I bought you?"

    I've had it for over 20 years. It's a great router, aside from the fact that if moved to quickly from one spot to the other, it could throw the earth out of its orbit.

    (Only kidding about the earth / orbit thing...kinda…)

    The other option is to go back to my old router table that has a steel plate, but less room to rest my workpieces. But I thought I'd investigate other options first.

    I have a DeWalt 1.5 HP that I do most of my work with. The other just sits.

    Stumpy Nubbs mentioned using some of those acrylic trivets can buy at Menards (and I have one) as a router plate.

    https://www.menards.com/main/kitche...46-c-7251.htm?tid=-2838755783518277454&ipos=1

    I have one, and it may be wide enough if I mount the router diagonally (roughly 16" of length along the hypotenuse). However, I still lose some 3/8" of cutting depth (height). I could use a top-bearing bit with a 1/2" shank, but might mean that I'm playing with a 2 1/2" cutter, which is a scary frickin' piece of steel. And I can't do incremental cuts, meaning I can't use a bottom-bearing bit with the template down on the table, shape roughly an inch off the body, then remove the template and finish the job. I'm dealing with the whole width of a body on a single pass.

    Anyhow, that's some of the machinations going on in my head, and why I'm asking.

    I mean, I am also open to alternatives (that use the "The Beast" as I call it).
     
  11. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    The router needs to drop in from the top and bolt in.
    Bottom would be flush with a countersunk table opening.
     
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