Adjusting bit height on router table insert?

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • WTArmstrong
    Forum Newbie
    • Sep 2023
    • 6
    • Washington DC metro
    • BT3000

    Adjusting bit height on router table insert?

    At the risk of sounding dumb... complete rookie question, but I just got the router kit for my BT3000. Never had a router table previously, but trying to determine - how do you actually set the HEIGHT of your router bit?
    I have two routers - one fixed, one plunge, so trying to determine which actually makes sense to mount. 1st project up on the list is some simple rabbets to fit the bottom to a box I'm building, so being accurate on the height of the cut is a little bit important.
  • LCHIEN
    Internet Fact Checker
    • Dec 2002
    • 21082
    • Katy, TX, USA.
    • BT3000 vintage 1999

    #2
    Answering the last question first... the plunge router base is a pain to use upside down because its spring loaded to balance its weight when used right side up. It just doesn't work well inverted. Using the fixed base will work better in a router table.

    When using the fixed base the projection of the router bit above the table is controlled by the depth settings on the base. When the base is mounted to the table, then the same depth control is used to adjust the projection of the bit above the table.

    Many but not all router bases use a rotating ring to adjust the depth of the bit. Others use a thread cut in the motor housing to literally screw the motor into the base. Some use a dial and an elevation screw. Most all the above require unlocking the base to the motor to adjust the height and then locking it into place. You will have to read your manual or go to the internet for you tube videos for your particular router.

    Various setup tools can be used to help dial in the exact height... setup bars.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	image.png
Views:	332
Size:	127.0 KB
ID:	856044
    Height gauge

    Click image for larger version

Name:	image.png
Views:	321
Size:	242.9 KB
ID:	856045Click image for larger version

Name:	image.png
Views:	318
Size:	91.3 KB
ID:	856046
    Or dial gauge (this one home made)

    Click image for larger version

Name:	image.png
Views:	309
Size:	66.3 KB
ID:	856047
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 09-10-2023, 03:38 PM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

    Comment

    • WTArmstrong
      Forum Newbie
      • Sep 2023
      • 6
      • Washington DC metro
      • BT3000

      #3
      Greatly appreciated. Got both routers (Ryobi, fwiw) out and took a hard look at how the adjustment worked normally, and came to more or less the same conclusion that the plunge would be difficult. The fixed looks like it will be somewhat of a pain to adjust, but “do-able”. I’d originally planned on building a router table, so had been looking at lifts, then stumbled onto a NIB kit for my bt3000 and snagged it. Space is at a premium (basement workshop) so hoping that it will address my limited needs adequately enough.

      Comment

      • leehljp
        Just me
        • Dec 2002
        • 8469
        • Tunica, MS
        • BT3000/3100

        #4
        Here are three depth gauges for measuring router bit height. The middle one is new to me - First time I have seen it, but it looks nice.

        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076RL5J4H/ref=sspa_dk_detail_5?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B076RL5J4H&pd_r d_w=ODXSY&content-id=amzn1.sym.f734d1a2-0bf9-4a26-ad34-2e1b969a5a75&pf_rd_p=f734d1a2-0bf9-4a26-ad34-2e1b969a5a75&pf_rd_r=C50TT09RVYYR6SGP3AJS&pd_rd_wg =MChdT&pd_rd_r=6a26f891-856b-423f-b185-60e3d73125ae&s=hi&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9kZXRha Ww

        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BZPC7X7N/ref=sspa_dk_detail_3?pd_rd_i=B0BZPC7X7N&pd_rd_w=BQ cDZ&content-id=amzn1.sym.f734d1a2-0bf9-4a26-ad34-2e1b969a5a75&pf_rd_p=f734d1a2-0bf9-4a26-ad34-2e1b969a5a75&pf_rd_r=475S4DDD3TJ15SBM7KCW&pd_rd_wg =I7Ztb&pd_rd_r=19c7f6c6-b0eb-4a10-9e9d-587f8c5b7785&s=hi&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9kZXRha Ww&th=1

        https://www.amazon.com/Height-Measuring-Router-Aluminum-Woodworking/dp/B087RNSW4G/ref=sr_1_29?crid=6V60VSXWUY9N&keywords=router+heig ht+adjustment+tool&qid=1694384500&sprefix=Router+h eight%2Caps%2C150&sr=8-29


        One bit if advice is - think it through, plan the cuts in your head or at least on paper. If you are a planner, write down the steps in a list and go through the whole set up. Doing this - will allow you to cut all the same height without having to go back and re-set a router bit later. I did that often enough to the point that I finally made a two router table - one set for a specific depth and the other for any other bit I needed to use. Only when finished did I take the one set-up bit out.

        Eyeballing or even measuring, 1/100 or 1/128th off is just enough to mess things up!

        WELCOME WT.
        Last edited by leehljp; 09-10-2023, 05:36 PM.
        Hank Lee

        Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

        Comment


        • LCHIEN
          LCHIEN commented
          Editing a comment
          The middle one is designed to set the drill depth of drill bits. It has a beveled stop and would not be useful for setting router bit depth unless they had a 118 degree bevel.

        • leehljp
          leehljp commented
          Editing a comment
          Loring, Actually if you look at the "operation guide" you can see that it is used in a reverse mode for measuring table saw blade heights on the side; Another version of the same showed the bevel being reversed to the top side if one wants too, and the flat bottom side can be used to measure depth of anything sticking up from a nail to a router bit.
      • LCHIEN
        Internet Fact Checker
        • Dec 2002
        • 21082
        • Katy, TX, USA.
        • BT3000 vintage 1999

        #5
        Originally posted by WTArmstrong
        Greatly appreciated. Got both routers (Ryobi, fwiw) out and took a hard look at how the adjustment worked normally, and came to more or less the same conclusion that the plunge would be difficult. The fixed looks like it will be somewhat of a pain to adjust, but “do-able”. I’d originally planned on building a router table, so had been looking at lifts, then stumbled onto a NIB kit for my bt3000 and snagged it. Space is at a premium (basement workshop) so hoping that it will address my limited needs adequately enough.
        Honestly, the big problem with using fixed base routers in a router table is that they were designed to adjust from the access to the motor and base but they are now facing down and you have to work blind and by feel to adjust them. One day if you keep it up you will realize how a router table mount that can be adjusted from the top is nice to have;

        I think the older Ryobis use a ring and a threaded motor to raise the motor. I have a Bosch 1617 whose fixed base uses a dial and an elevation screw... the elevation screw can be turned using a long allen wrench if the table has a hole drilled in the right place... a cheap solution to above the table adjustments.Click image for larger version  Name:	image.png Views:	72 Size:	92.3 KB ID:	856060

        Don't forget to lock the base, a problem I had more than once! resulting in the cut depth shifting under force and vibration, a bad thing.

        I have a Jessem Rout-R-Lift base holding my Bosch motor, the base which now costs about $200 but makes table router work so much nicer. But it probably would not easily mount to the BT3000 aux table.

        Click image for larger version

Name:	image.png
Views:	228
Size:	149.4 KB
ID:	856267
        Last edited by LCHIEN; 09-23-2023, 02:27 AM.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

        Comment

        • LCHIEN
          Internet Fact Checker
          • Dec 2002
          • 21082
          • Katy, TX, USA.
          • BT3000 vintage 1999

          #6
          Click image for larger version  Name:	image.png Views:	0 Size:	882.5 KB ID:	856065

          Ryobi R161 router​ looks like it adjusts depth with the yellow ring.

          Click image for larger version  Name:	image.png Views:	0 Size:	801.8 KB ID:	856066

          Locking knob in the back I presume?
          Pictures from an ebay listing, not sure if this is your model.
          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

          Comment

          • LCHIEN
            Internet Fact Checker
            • Dec 2002
            • 21082
            • Katy, TX, USA.
            • BT3000 vintage 1999

            #7
            Click image for larger version

Name:	image.png
Views:	307
Size:	375.1 KB
ID:	856068
            Ryobi R163 model uses a dial and elevation screw.
            Loring in Katy, TX USA
            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
            BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

            Comment

            • LCHIEN
              Internet Fact Checker
              • Dec 2002
              • 21082
              • Katy, TX, USA.
              • BT3000 vintage 1999

              #8
              One last advice, make sure you insert your router bit deep into the collet. I generally with the bit up, allow it to hit the bottom of the collet and then pull it up 1/8 to 1/4" so its not touching the bottom as you tighten the collet. A little higher is OK, but you don't want to have your router bit hanging out with just a little bit in the collet... if you need to cut deeper, move the whole motor assembly. The **** bits spin at 20,000 RPM, you don't want to be in the shop when that thing throws a bit! A bit that bends a little is going to go off balance and the centrifugal force going to bend it worse and more off balance and if its not held securely, its going to throw it. That's why I use 1/2" shank bits for all my heavier bits.
              Click image for larger version  Name:	image.png Views:	0 Size:	1.68 MB ID:	856078
              Attached Files
              Last edited by LCHIEN; 09-11-2023, 09:27 AM.
              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

              Comment

              • twistsol
                Veteran Member
                • Dec 2002
                • 2912
                • Cottage Grove, MN, USA.
                • Ridgid R4512, 2x ShopSmith Mark V 520, 1951 Shopsmith 10ER

                #9
                Originally posted by LCHIEN
                One last advice, make sure you insert your router bit deep into the collet. I generally with the bit up, allow it to hit the bottom of the collet and then pull it up 1/8 to 1/4" so its not touching the bottom as you tighten the collet.
                I put a 1/4" or 1/2" plumbing o-ring into the collet first and then drop the bit onto it. It keeps the bit from bottoming out and the o-ring compresses when the collet is tightened. This tip is from Marc Sommerfeld of Sommerfeld tools.

                Chr's
                __________
                An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
                A moral man does it.

                Comment

                • WTArmstrong
                  Forum Newbie
                  • Sep 2023
                  • 6
                  • Washington DC metro
                  • BT3000

                  #10
                  Originally posted by LCHIEN
                  Click image for larger version

Name:	image.png
Views:	307
Size:	375.1 KB
ID:	856068
                  Ryobi R163 model uses a dial and elevation screw.
                  For what it is worth, I appear to have won the "lottery" in that my fixed-base router (a Ryobi 163) does not have a bolt pattern that lines up whatsoever. 4-hole, but doesn't match anything on the template, and is not mentioned in the manual while the 161, 165, etc. are. My plunge router on the other hand, fit perfectly, but yes, is going to be a bit of a pain to adjust.

                  Honestly thinking I may just make my own plate and drill it for the Ryobi 163 base. Found the template posted in the Articles section here on the board, so thinking about it. As mentioned - learned that there IS a key (and ordered one before realizing it didn't fit) that would allow adjustment from the top. I don't feel like drilling the plate included in the router kit. In all honesty, the kits are rare enough, and becoming expensive enough, that after seeing it, I'm thinking I might just build my own router mount for the table using it as a guide and potentially sell it.

                  Comment

                  • LCHIEN
                    Internet Fact Checker
                    • Dec 2002
                    • 21082
                    • Katy, TX, USA.
                    • BT3000 vintage 1999

                    #11
                    maybe this can help
                    Attached Files
                    Loring in Katy, TX USA
                    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                    Comment

                    • cwsmith
                      Veteran Member
                      • Dec 2005
                      • 2745
                      • NY Southern Tier, USA.
                      • BT3100-1

                      #12
                      Great discussion, and I think Loring's instructions are right-on!

                      In my Rockler router table, I use my Ridgid R2900 with the fixed base router (it is the original two- base model that came out around 2003-2005. That router model can be adjusted above the table using the included T-wrench that came with the combo.

                      I also have a set of those brass set-up bars that Loring pictured. Mine were from either Rockler or Lee-Valley, I don't remember exactly; but, I quite ofen just use my vernier caliper.

                      CWS
                      Think it Through Before You Do!

                      Comment

                      • capncarl
                        Veteran Member
                        • Jan 2007
                        • 3575
                        • Leesburg Georgia USA
                        • SawStop CTS

                        #13
                        Make sure that whatever router or fixture you us is fastened properly. Lchien showed a photo of a bent bit, but a router spinning 20,000 rpm’s comes loose and drops out of its mounts you best be finding the door and figure out a way of disconnecting the power from some where else! That thing dances around wildly and makes a mess out of everything. Hopefully it will wind up the cord and cut it and trip the breaker!

                        Comment


                        • LCHIEN
                          LCHIEN commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Yes, it will either make the router shake like a banshee or it'll be thrown free of the failing collet and become a projectile.
                      • WTArmstrong
                        Forum Newbie
                        • Sep 2023
                        • 6
                        • Washington DC metro
                        • BT3000

                        #14
                        Re: universal baseplate. Would that actually support the router suspended FROM the table? I've seen those before, always imagined that they were replacements for damaged baseplates on a standard hand-held, but don't see that it gives anything for the screws through the table to actually HOLD. I realize I may be totally off though.

                        Did see that Home Depot near me has 4x12x1/4 sheets of plate steel for about $12. If I had a tap large enough, I'd be tempted to just cut that to make myself a new plate under the table but I don't have a tap that large... yet.
                        100% agreed on the solidity of the mount though. Just ran a few scrap pieces through with the plunge router, and it convinced me that I want the other router in place because a) MAN changing bits was a pain (I ended up just taking the extension table off the rails to do it), and b) adjusting the height was a PAIN (trying to get to the .1mm range for rabbets on this jewelry box I'm building, and let's just say that doing that upside down on the plunge router was not enjoyable.

                        On the positive side though, that digital depth gauge worked nicely, even though the magnets are wasted on the AL top of the BT3000. .

                        Comment

                        • twistsol
                          Veteran Member
                          • Dec 2002
                          • 2912
                          • Cottage Grove, MN, USA.
                          • Ridgid R4512, 2x ShopSmith Mark V 520, 1951 Shopsmith 10ER

                          #15
                          Originally posted by WTArmstrong
                          Re: universal baseplate. Would that actually support the router suspended FROM the table? I've seen those before, always imagined that they were replacements for damaged baseplates on a standard hand-held, but don't see that it gives anything for the screws through the table to actually HOLD. I realize I may be totally off though.
                          You are correct, what Loring showed would be a replacement baseplate for a router to use in a handheld operation, it could be useful as a template to drill a generic router table baseplate though.

                          For table use, you need something like this

                          https://www.rockler.com/rockler-phenolic-router-plates or https://www.rockler.com/rockler-alum...-router-plates

                          What is nice about a drop in plate is that if you don't have above the table adjustment, you can pop the whole thing out, adjust it and the drop the router, plate and all back into the table and you are good to go. I used to have 4 routers each on separate plates so I could have up to 4 setups at a time and not have to adjust anything.
                          Chr's
                          __________
                          An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
                          A moral man does it.

                          Comment

                          Working...