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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:35 am 
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After milling a saddle slot yet again with one of my Bosch Colts yesterday I decided I'm not doing another slot until I get a better router that has decent height adjustment and, hopefully, less runout. I seem to remember a lot of recommendations for the Dewalt DWP611. Before I pull the trigger on this I wanted to see if anyone has any new information - anything better out there?

I have also considered getting a Foredom Power Tool like the ones StewMac sells but would probably try to find a used one.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:47 am 
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I use the 611 and the plexiglass jig from SM and the whole setup feels pretty solid. The things I did in addition to make it feel more stable:

1) Added a foot switch to the power. This helped because I kept tipping the router slightly when powering it off because the button is on the top. You wouldn’t need a footswitch specifically, I just had one already. You could just unplug instead of using a footswitch.

2) I made a small platform that the clamps that hold the jig in place are clamped to. Rather than clamping the jig directly to the body of the instrument.

It was a big upgrade for me from the Dremel setup I had before. You would need a collet reducer for the smaller bits. I think I got it from amazon IIRC.

Not a Collins saddle mill by any stretch. ????



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:58 am 
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I use a Makita with plunge base and fine depth adjustment in a shop made jig.
Very happy with the results.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:07 am 
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Thanks Brad - Glad to hear the 611 is working for you. I've already got a footswitch, good idea.

Colin, that's a nice looking jig. Looks like the Makita lets you adjust the plunge depth in small increments.

I suppose I need to find a store around here that has these and go check them out.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post (total 2): bcombs510 (Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:14 am) • Colin North (Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:35 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:57 am 
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The Ridgid laminate trimmer has a great built-in height adjustment.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:09 pm 
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For me, using a Bishop Cochran router base and Think & Tinker replacement collet adapters helps the Bosch Colt work pretty well. I feel like I would have to really spend some money to get anything better at this point.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:17 pm 
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+1 on the Makita.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Honestly I can't think of any "decent" trimmer I've used (three different PC's, Rockwell, Makita, Bosch, Virutex, Ridgid, DeWalt and Ryobi) where runout was so bad they couldn't cut a saddle slot. Some worked better than others (smoother running , easier to adjust, more ergonomic) but for laminate work they all needed to hold fairly tight tolerances.
Harbor Freight trimmers were the exception - complete junk!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:15 pm 
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+1 on the Rigid. I bought one to replace a dead Bosch trimmer, and went right out and got a second. Along with it's other nice features, the noise output is 3dB less; that's half the power. It's still 'loud' but noticablly less so.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:20 pm 
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I use Rigid laminate trimmers for all rough work. Have a bunch of them. Cheap, better depth adjustment than PC or Colt. The Colt is horrible! Bought 2 and could not get rid of them quick enough. I recently bought the Makita compact router shown in a previous post. You can get it in a kit with both a fixed and plunge base. Very nice router. I like it a lot. Bought mine on Amazon.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:30 pm 
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Thanks all, I've got a Ridgid Along with the two Colts so I'm familiar with them. I do like the Ridgid. I'll check out the Makita along with the DeWalt.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:26 pm 
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The height adjustment on the DeWalt is much more accurate and easier to adjust than that on the Ridgid. I use a DeWalt in my binding jig and I like it much better than the Ridgid that I used to have, largely because of the ease of setting the target height.

I had a Colt that burned up its bearings after a year of intermittent use. Just after the warranty ran out. YMMV, of course.

I check the runout on any laminate trimmer that passes through my hands, so far including Ridgid x3, DeWalt x3, Bosch x1, Porter-Cable x2 and (shudder) HF x1. DeWalt has been the best so far. The same may be true of the new Porter-Cable that appears to be common sourced with the DeWalt. Also, there are aftermarket collets and collet rings for the DeWalt that improve runout over the stock parts. Runout matters for precision and life of bits. The DeWalt is good enough to use as the spindle on my CNC router, like a couple of thousandths measured an inch from the collet with precision equipment.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Saltytri, thanks for the info on the DeWalt. I was thinking of getting one of the collets from Precise Bits.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Clinchriver (Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:41 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:01 pm 
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SteveSmith wrote:
Saltytri, thanks for the info on the DeWalt. I was thinking of getting one of the collets from Precise Bits.


Yep, Precise Bits is a great resource for both bits and reliable information.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:44 am 
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DeWalt DWP611. I ended up getting two motors and 3 bases for different stuff. Soft start, good depth adjustment (I was surprised at the accuracy of the ring), good power for a "compact router", easy to change bits, not really loud per se, and those LED lights! I've not only replaced my laminate trimmer with them, but also my router that I used for the Mortise and Tenon neck jig.

I was looking at the Bosch Colt which always seems to have good reviews, but somehow ended up with the yellow one. . .
The Ridgid seems to have great reviews on the depth adjustment.

You can hear it in action here (with the dust collector going of course):


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:44 am 
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SteveSmith wrote:
Saltytri, thanks for the info on the DeWalt. I was thinking of getting one of the collets from Precise Bits.


Steve you have a buddy with a Collins saddle mill, your more than welcome to use anytime. It has a Dewalt 611 with a Precise Bits collet and a very precise height adjustment



These users thanked the author Clinchriver for the post: SteveSmith (Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:59 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:12 am 
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doncaparker wrote:
For me, using a Bishop Cochran router base and Think & Tinker replacement collet adapters helps the Bosch Colt work pretty well. I feel like I would have to really spend some money to get anything better at this point.


Didn't they stop making collets for the Bosch?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:44 am 
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Colin North wrote:
I use a Makita with plunge base and fine depth adjustment in a shop made jig.
Very happy with the results.


I want one pleae . [:Y:]


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:01 am 
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Clinchriver wrote:
SteveSmith wrote:
Saltytri, thanks for the info on the DeWalt. I was thinking of getting one of the collets from Precise Bits.


Steve you have a buddy with a Collins saddle mill, your more than welcome to use anytime. It has a Dewalt 611 with a Precise Bits collet and a very precise height adjustment


Greg, I appreciate that, the Collins saddle mill is probably the best jig made for the purpose. If we lived a bit closer to each other we'd probably be in and out of each other's shops a lot more than we already are.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:06 am 
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Aaron, having multiple bases is a good idea. I did that for my full size router, not sure why I didn't think of it for the little guys. Rick's jig is nice and simple but I have been routing my saddle slots after the bridge is attached to the guitar on new ones and, of course, have to route them on the guitar for rework. Amazing how many guitars are built with the saddles ofvf by a tenth of an inch.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:04 am 
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One frustration I have had is that I cannot get the Bishop folks to produce a jig for the DW611. I think their continued support of the Bosch is shortsighted. The quality has gone down. Precise Bits does not support it (tinker). The Bishop guy told me I could probably use the bosh stand with a wrapped shim. I may give that a try. By far, the 611 is my favorite right now.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:13 pm 
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Colin North wrote:
I use a Makita with plunge base and fine depth adjustment in a shop made jig.
Very happy with the results.


that shop made jig looks strangely pro :)

Colin, help me out please, do you have only the plunge base or do you also have the trimmer base for that makita? can you tell me if the router would fit in jigs made for the colt (OR GKF600 in Europe)? specifically i use a garry hallam binding jig that is tailored for the colt. love the jig, not so much the colt. I've been postponing buying a new router for too long.

thanks,
Miguel.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:37 pm 
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If Think & Tinker has stopped selling Bosch Colt collets, that’s a shame. The stuff I have is good.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:34 am 
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mqbernardo wrote:
Colin North wrote:
I use a Makita with plunge base and fine depth adjustment in a shop made jig.
Very happy with the results.


that shop made jig looks strangely pro :)

Colin, help me out please, do you have only the plunge base or do you also have the trimmer base for that makita? can you tell me if the router would fit in jigs made for the colt (OR GKF600 in Europe)? specifically i use a garry hallam binding jig that is tailored for the colt. love the jig, not so much the colt. I've been postponing buying a new router for too long.

thanks,
Miguel.

It was bought originally as a trimmer, which has a quite coarse (rack and pinion) depth adjust mechanism.
The plunge base is large and a fair weight with the router fitted (28.4 x 8.4 x 9.6 cm), doubt it would fit.
I use a GKF600 in my binding jig, so know what you mean!
P.S love your binding jig!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:40 am 
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Mike OMelia wrote:
Colin North wrote:
I use a Makita with plunge base and fine depth adjustment in a shop made jig.
Very happy with the results.


I want one pleae . [:Y:]

It's just some aluminium plate and strips, brass screws, and knurled screw things with the plunge base screwed to Perspex.
Quite simple to make, just elongate the holes in the 1" strips to be able to adjust them back and forth.
Inspiration came from the Collins, but not so fancy (or expensive!)

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