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Routers, Routers everywhere, but which one should I pick?
Author
Post
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 452
Hi all. I was at my local Home Despot today(intentional typo) and saw this Ryobi router.Ryobi 1.5 Peak HP Router with Bag
Model # R163K Internet/Catalog # 100485419
Store SKU# 530076

The price is right, but I also saw the P600 mentioned here. The P600 also would require that I buy the charger and battery so it ends up being more expensive, but I could still use the same batteries and charger with other Ryobi 1 plus tools, so its not that bad in the long run.
Has anyone compared these two models, and if not, would you all recommend the laminate trimmer vs. the router? Any help would be appreciated.

Aug 08, 09 | 8:46 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
Finding a router is a personal choice. Ryobi are fair routers and a big step ahead of harbor freight. A laminate trimmer is very useful in this hobby. A full sized router is good also . Cordless is handy in that you don't have that in the way.
If you are using this for binding . Most jigs use a laminate trim router. Find one that fits your hands the best and feel good . Some tend to be top heavy and cumbersome . Also if you can get variable speed can be a plus.
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
CF Martin Authorized Repair Center

Aug 09, 09 | 4:05 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Thanks John. I appreciate the info.

Aug 09, 09 | 6:09 am
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Which laminate trim routers have the finest control over depth adjustment? Looks like the Bosch Colt has a fine depth adjustment screw......how do you guys like it? Seems this is the critical adjustment on the router to cut binding slots correctly. Ususally an adjustment on a jig controls depth in the other direction.

Any other router have a fine depth adjustment that works as well as the Colt? I've had a full size Bosch router for years and it seems to be good quality.

Aug 09, 09 | 7:51 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
porter cable 7310 has a nice accurate depth adjustment

Aug 09, 09 | 8:37 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
So it would seem that a variety of tools will do the trick, its simply a matter of preference as long as you have a decent router.
Thanks for the info everyone.

Aug 09, 09 | 5:17 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
I have two of the harbor freight trim routers. One is already worthless as the chuck cross threaded on me.....still don't know how that happened. The other one is fine and works great. I now have two bases; one set up with the Cory binding jig so I can swith the bases easily to use the router for other tasks. For $20 for the router to gain the extra base, it is still worth it.
Down the road I may spring for a better one though, but for now, it works just fine.

Kevin

Aug 09, 09 | 7:43 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
I have both the PC 7310 and Bosch Colt. The PC does have a fine adjustment, but the base must be buttoned down tight to accurately measure the cut depth. Setting the cut depth on the PC is a bit of a trial and error process--set the depth, tighten the base, measure, loosen the base, adjust, tighten the base, measure. Easily done, but the Bosch Colt is a little more user friendly. I also understand the Colt has a bit less runout, though personally I haven't measured it or noticed much given my applications and usage.

I agree Ryobi is a step up from Harbor Freight, but I it is a few notches below the PC and Bosch. I come from the school of buying the best tool one can afford. I'm a firm believer doing so saves money in the long run, either via replacement or upgrades later on.

Ken

Aug 10, 09 | 6:33 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
I have a Bosch Colt, a Ryobi cordless, and a couple of Harbor Freight guys. They all work okay, though the Colt has a better "feel" than the HF ones.

The Ryobi is actually the one I like to use for routing the very thin and very shallow fineline purfling, since it has no cord. The only thing I don't like about it is that it is pretty top-heavy with the battery attached. Overall, though, it is my favorite. $100 with battery at Home Depot.

just my penny's worth
Bill

Aug 10, 09 | 7:14 am
John S.

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 94
I have a 2 1/4 hp router and a Bosch Colt and find that I use the laminate trimmer for guitar building much more often. Just much more easy to control.

John

Aug 10, 09 | 7:46 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
I also had a makita that I liked. I agree buy the best you can afford . You soon forget the price but you always remember the quality.
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
CF Martin Authorized Repair Center

Aug 10, 09 | 8:42 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
We have many Porter cable in the shop trim and otherwise 3 - 3.5 HP size --- they run forever! Also, several Craftsman, three Ryobis one is three HP, and a few Harbor Freight that are set up in our binding machines. I have zero complaints with any of those brands. I do plan to purchase a cordless Ryobi and the next corded trim router will be a Rigid --- I am very impressed with their package and for $99 we plan to give one a try --

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Aug 10, 09 | 8:46 am
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
I have a deWalt trim router that will do what's necessary, but adjustments aren't the easiest.

Aug 10, 09 | 12:08 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
I didn't get to look at it closely, but Home Depot had a small, short Ryobi that looked interesting. My wife was in a hurry so I didn't get to check it out closely. The squat design appealed to me......but I don't know anything else about it.

What is the minimum HP you would recommend for routing the binding/purfling channels? I see some trim routers have more power than others.

Aug 10, 09 | 4:11 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
That might have been the cordless model, without the battery attached. That's how they display them at the Home Depot here.

Aug 11, 09 | 6:38 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
I would say 3/4 HP, there's nothing I can think of in a guitar that might require more....unless you try to route your truss rod channel in one shot.....a no no anwyay.

Aug 11, 09 | 10:15 am
Mike R.

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 97
Tony,
Save your money and buy a good router. A good tool will last longer and work better. I would not use a cheap router on a good guitar for fear it would cause a problem or damage the piece, Many years ago I tried cheap tools, and always ended up buying the better tool when the cheap one broke. Power tools need to be reliable and well built in order to use them safely and correctly to produce a quality job. Bosch, Porter Cable, etc. You can scrimp on the hand tools. There are lots of great ideas on this forum how to save on hand tools. I have taken advantage of many myself. I have the Ryobi laminate trimmer and it is a fine router. It doesn't cost that much more and you will be glad you bought it. I have some routers that are almost 20 years old. You can replace the bearings and brushes, and keep them working forever.

Aug 11, 09 | 6:25 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Funny you should post this tonight. I was at Home Depot again today pinking up some things and I looked at the routers again. I was thinking I should just get the Porter Cable one since it is a quality tool. They say you get what you pay for, right? But I was also thinking some of them look a bit large for routing a channel for binding at purfling though. I would think I would want good control over the tool. Damn...the build has not even started yet and I am having a tough time!

Aug 11, 09 | 7:27 pm
Mike R.

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 97
Tony,
You want something you can hold onto and that is not heavy. There are many references to the Ryobi Colt on this forum. You can do a search and read them. It may cost a little more, but it is probably more proven and widely used, and would be a safe investment. Not that Porter Cable is bad, but I haven't seen any small laminate trimmers made by them. You can also buy online. Some sites offer free shipping and you usually pay no tax. Also, if you find one cheaper than Home Depot, they used to meet or beat that price. Just print out the ad and take it with you to the store. Ask for the manager.

Aug 12, 09 | 4:23 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Thanks for the info Mike. I appreciate all of the help you all have given me. I am probably not going to be buying anything for a little while, so I have time to weigh my options. In the mean time, I am going to attempt to put a custom inlay on my Takamine G series. Which reminds me, I have been meaning to start a new thread about sound comparisons on home built guitars....I better search first.
Anyway, I am using a Dremel for the inlay job. I bought the inlays from Andy Depaule and I could not be happier with his service. He was courteous and professional and even offered some tips on working with his multi piece inlays, which happen to be on his site, but I did not see until he pointed them out. Great guy. He even said if there were any problems with the inlay, even if I just changed my mind, to feel free to send them back. Thats not the type of service you usually get these days. At least not here in Brooklyn, NY where I live!!
Just wanted to give him some kudos as they are well deserved.
Again, thanks to everyone who weighed in on the router issue. I have my work cut out for me!! Heh heh. Sorry... couldn't resist writing that!

Aug 12, 09 | 4:36 am
Mike R.

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 97
Tony,
Andy is a fine inlay artist. I recently took a one week inlay course so I could do my own inlays. I went to Custom Pearl Inlay in Malone NY. I drove from south Florida. It was well worth the trip. I also took the guitar course. The school itself was a learning expierence like nothing I have ever expierenced. And since I took the classes, they support me with all the supplies I need, at a good price. Dave Nichol's is the owner of the school. They build custom guitars and mandolins also. They are probably the premier inlay business in the country, or maybe the world. You would not believe the stuff they do there. There are a couple of young guys doing the inlay. You can see some of their work on their website.
Inlay is not that hard to do, it just takes a lot of patience and a steady hand. I had to get special glasses made so I could see. I have cut several sets of vintage Martin style inlays out in the past two months. For me, I find that routing out the cavity is harder to do than cutting the pearl.
Good luck with your inlay work.

Aug 12, 09 | 5:01 am
John S.

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 94
Tony,

Where on Andy's site are the tips for dealing with multi-piece inlays?

John

Aug 12, 09 | 5:41 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
When you go to the "Products" page and scroll all the way to the bottom, there is a link that says "How-to" Page using our products. Here is a link to it. Sorry, I do not know how to post a link so you can just click it, but here it is if you want to see it:
http://www.luthiersupply.com/howto_page.html

I am certain I would have screwed up my inlay and I would have had to put the pieces together again. I ordered the 3-D stars and each star is 10 pieces. Once I install them, I will let you all know how it goes. I'll try to post some pics too.

Aug 12, 09 | 9:57 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Mike, I had a feeling routing the pocket for the inlay would be harder than cutting the pearl! It makes sense because if you break a pearl sheet while sawing, you just start over, but if you screw up the pocket when you are routing, well...you are going to have to buy a new fret board. I am (perhaps foolishly) attempting to do this on my 6 string that I play all the time. I would not even think about doing it to my 12 string. Maybe I should use my wife's old classical beater that she has not touched since High School to practice. I wonder how that will go over!

Aug 12, 09 | 10:01 am
Mike R.

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 97
Tony,
It may be a good idea to buy a couple of fret boards and practice first. You don't have to glue the inlay in, just practice cutting the pockets. The way I was taught, is to trace around the inlay onto the FB with a fine pencil (we used .03 Pentel pencils. Then you have to make sure no pencil marks are showing when you are done. Make sure you cut your inlays straight up and down so they will fit into the pocket. If they are cut at an angle, they may not fit well. If you are buying the inlays from Andy, you won't have to worry about that. Definitely practice first. And working on a guitar that is already built has it's challenges. The frets will be in your way, and you will have to compenstate on your depth adjustment for the height of the frets. You can buy unradiused, un slotted FB's to practice on. It takes awhile to get good at it. Working with black wood (ebony) allows you to hide some mistakes, but big ones will still be obvious. If you are using Rosewood, you need to be as close as possible. The mistakes will show. If you need any help. PM me and I will be glad to pass on what I know. As far as your completed guitars, you may want to consider letting a pro do it. I mentioned one in an earlier post that is fairly close to you. You may be surprised how resonable they are. They have been doing most of the intricate work for Martin since the late 60's.

Aug 12, 09 | 11:27 am
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Quote: "Maybe I should use my wife's old classical beater that she has not touched since High School to practice. I wonder how that will go over! "

That's the perfect solution......since you are doing it "just for her", she will like it if it looks good.......and if it turns out uh, ugly, shw won't say much since you were doing it special for her! Two thumbs up!! <smile>

Aug 12, 09 | 3:04 pm
xavier

Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 3
Well I was looking around and saw a Ryobi Miniature tool 40 PCE CHT 40K (to quote all the stuff on the box) and in the store I was the guy told me that it would accommmodate perfectly any of the attachments that the Dremel multipro would. Anyone got any info or opinions? Seems a heck of a lot cheaper. Cheers.

May 05, 10 | 6:04 am



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