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Old 7th December 2007, 02:50 PM   #1
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Default Do I need a router?

I've seen posts suggesting that a router is one of the most important tools for speaker building, but I'm still very reluctant to buy one.

I'm thinking of building a sonotube powered woofer to save some money, but if I must plunk down another $100 to $200 for the router then the savings will be minimal. I generally do all my woodworking with a drill, a pull saw, and a hand plane. I also have a jigsaw so i can cut a circle, and I have a circular swa, but I rarely use it.

I guess trimming up the inside of a cutout will be challenging, but how tight do the tolerances need to be?

What do you think, can this job be done without a router?

thanks!
mark
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:07 PM   #2
cuibono is offline cuibono  United States
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routers are very very handy. I got by without one for a while, but now consider it necessary. You could get by without one for a simple sub box, but having one makes it look much nicer - for instance, were you planning on mounting the driver flush on the box, or rabbeting it in?

A cheap knockoff from harborfreight.com would probably be perfect. I believe their tools have a pretty good warranty, actually.

http://search.harborfreight.com/cpis...uter&Submit=Go
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by cuibono
for instance, were you planning on mounting the driver flush on the box, or rabbeting it in?
I was thinking that I could layer thinner (i.e. 1/4") MDF ontop of the 3/4" MDF to produce something like a rabbet. I have not looked up how deep the recess needs to be so I don't know how realistic this idea is.


Quote:
Originally posted by cuibono
A cheap knockoff from harborfreight.com would probably be perfect. I believe their tools have a pretty good warranty, actually.
Wow, those are cheep. The problem is I am somewhat of a quality fanatic. If I buy a tool, I like it to be a good one. I'd rather suffer through not having it than struggle with a sub par one. It doesn't have to be top of the line, but I do generally stay above Crapsman. I'm not saying harborfreight is bad because I don't know anything about them. I was looking at the Bosch trim router as a cheaper/smaller possibility, but then it wouldn't plunge, which I assume can be very useful. I certainly don't ever want to have to buy a second router.

-mark
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:28 PM   #4
MaVo is offline MaVo  Germany
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i think you can build boxes with just wood, saw, screws, lime, jigsaw. router will be good for making things pretty around the corners. i owned one, but since it died i build a few boxes without it. but no sonotube, so maybe i am wrong here.
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by curiousburke


I was thinking that I could layer thinner (i.e. 1/4") MDF ontop of the 3/4" MDF to produce something like a rabbet.

The problem is I am somewhat of a quality fanatic. If I buy a tool, I like it to be a good one. I'd rather suffer through not having it than struggle with a sub par one.

Hi,
Strictly speaking, you don't need a router to build speakers, as long as you are willing to improvise and/or spend a little more time.
Layering to achieve the recess for the driver is better than cutting it with a router IMO. It makes for a stronger baffle. For subs, a recess is for cosmetics only.

I have two routers - a large Bosch with a 1/2" collet and a small Makita trim router that has a 1/4" collet. I almost never use the large router for speaker building. The Makita does it all and was cheap ($70.00 on sale). You can buy a variety of bits to do most of the things you'll want to do.
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:35 PM   #6
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Default 1/4 vs 1/2

so if all I'm ever doing is edges, circles, and some slots would a 1/4" trim router do the job?

It would be nice to be able to get a plunge base for a trim router.

-m
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:42 PM   #7
John L is offline John L  United States
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If you are looking for a good cheap router, you can check out Sears for their sales. I haven't looked there for quite a while, but they always have routers on 1/2 price sale at one time or another.

Also, you can usually find a router on the cheap at a garage sale. But remember, it is in the bits and attachments that are expensive, and that is why Sears usually has their routers on sale.

If you think a router a bit too much, you should see we folks who have more than one. I currently have three: one mounted on my table saw extension(I use it as a router table); Craftsman 1 hp hand held; and a Craftsman 2hp plunge router. I could always use a fourth one. That way you won't have to change out bits all that much, and the bits, once set up are perfect, so why move them?

Oh, I am going to get a fourth one, a dedicated trim router.
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:44 PM   #8
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Since my Bosch broke down, I only have two, and I really miss the third...
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by John L
If you are looking for a good cheap router, you can check out Sears for their sales. I haven't looked there for quite a while, but they always have routers on 1/2 price sale at one time or another.

When you say Sears do you mean Sears brand or just routers at sears? So how do you think the Sears routers compare to the Dewalt/Porter Cable/Mikita/Bosch routers?

I hate waiting, but if I can really get one for 1/2 prince that would be a pretty good deal.

Another reason for only have a limited number of tools is that I live in a 2 bed apartment with no garage.

thanks,
mark
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:50 PM   #10
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I have 2 drills, corded and cordless. I think I even have several saws, but I only use one ... actually 2.
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