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I just finished a router table with a rockler router lift. I have never done cope and rail joinery before but a project I plan on making for my wife requires it. Therefore, I puchased a freud adjustable cope and rail set and this calls for about 18,000 rpm's. My porter cable (1-3/4 horse power ) router, which I own now, does not have variable speed and is set at 23,000 rpm .

Which brings me to the possibility of purcahsing a new router ( with my wifes input, ok approval of course). I could purchase a variable speed controller for my existing router which is only 1-3/4 hp and save money or purchase a 2-1/4 hp router that would fit in my router lift.

In the future I plan on doing some raised panel work.

So I have a couple questions.

1- Is a 2-1/4 hp router what I need if I go to raised panel or will my 1-3/4 hp router be adequate.
2-If I need to go with a new router vs. a variable speed controller. Which router would you suggest? Porter Cable or Bosch? Thee two will fit in my router lift with no shimming required.

I appreciate any feed back.

Rick

Rick
 

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There's very little difference in power between a PC 1-3/4HP (690?) and 2-1/4HP (892?), I have both. Keep in mind that if you use an aftermarket speed control, that you'll lose power at lower rpm's, when compared to a variable speed router. You should have any trouble running the stile and rail bit at 23,000, but if you'll be routing raised panels, the you'll definitely want a variable speed router. The ideal router for a table with a lift is the PC 7518, but it's big, heavy, and expensive. But it also has a lot more power.

if you already have a Porter Cable, then I'd stick with Porter Cable. The collets and wrenches are interchangeable, which can be quite convenient. I have 4 Porter Cables right now. A 690, 690 plunge, 892 VS, and 7518 VS.
 

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I have run my stile and rail set many many times with a pc 690 under the table, no problem
that being said I have 4 pc 690's and what do I put under my newly completed router table, a variable speed 2 1/4 hp bosch, lol, no real reason, just wanted to try something diffrent.
 

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There is no difference in the circuitry for aftermarket speed controls or the speed controls that manufacturers build into the variable speed routers. As far as I know, they all use triac phase control (translate - light dimmer). You'll experience the same loss of power in each.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for the quick response. After hearing that I could run those bits on my porter cable 690 I ran some test pieces and is was sweet. First time doing stiles and rails.

Thanks for the help. This site is really helpful.

Rck
 

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Its really handy having a dedicated router in the table, plus it allows you to buy a router that's well suited for that application (ie: powerful, VS, with good above table features). Since you've already got a nice router for hand use, I'd take advantage of this opportunity buy a big 15 amp router that'll loaf thru just about anything, and will never work too hard, meaning that a good one should last a long time.
 

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I have used a PC-690 to do cope/stick and raised panels in my router table.

I would suggest using a vertical panel raiser (requires a fairly tall fence on the router table for support) and taking mutliple light passes. The horizontal panel raiser is a lot of steel and carbide spinning under the work-piece, and I doubt a 1.75hp motor will give you as good of a result as the 3+ hp routers.
 
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