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Old 9th October 2012, 11:30 PM   #31
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: St Louis, Mo
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangus View Post
I disagree on the second-hand router thing . . .
I have mixed feelings on this. As a hobbyist, the only power tool I have legitimately "worn out" (i.e., without damaging it from accident or abuse) were my first two routers - mid-grade models from Sears, late 1970's/early 80's. Based on that experience I'd be reluctant to put any money into a used tool regardless of how tight and smooth the bearings seem to be.

On the other hand - I have a Black & Decker professional router, circa late 1980's, that I got when a cabinet shop went out of business. The model number might be "444". I'm VERY pleased with that investment in a second-hand tool.

(It was pretty dirty and caked with contact cement, and the cord had been chewed up by a router bit or saw blade. But the bearings seemed tight and I couldn't hear or feel brush drag. As I recall I got it for $10 or $15 in the mid 1990's - I think the damaged power cord scared off the other bidders. I have replaced the cord and power switch (twice), and the brushes, but I'm still using the tool quite regularly almost 20 years later. It's not as tight as my Porter-Cable 690 as far as collet runout and holding settings, but a heavy cut that makes the PC say "I'm gonna die!" is no problem for the B&D - it says, "Gimme more of that!".

Much of the time I use whichever machine is most convenient. When I'm making a jig or pattern where I want to hold dimensional tolerances to 0.010" or better I use the PC, at least for the finish cut. If I want to make a lot of sawdust in a hurry, like a speaker cutout in a single pass, I grab the B&D.)

I'd have to think about that "only tool you need" statement. Certainly the most versatile tool, and probably the tool I'd put the greatest time and money into. I can't imagine doing speakers without a circular saw. An inexpensive one will do, if you you're willing to make final cuts with the router, but a good one will save a lot of time. And yes, the driver drill.

Dale
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