Only A Few Dollars More

I just finished reading your article on routers and your recommendations. Unfortunately, I feel that you made a mistake in choosing to reveiw only those routers that were under $200, and in excluding plunge routers.

Under these parameters, both the Ma-kita and the Ryobi plunge routers were not reviewed. They're both available for under $200 from local discounters.

I have used many types of routers over the years and have seen the problems associated with bit changing and depth adjustments. I now have a Makita plunge router and ha ve found it a dream to use.

Richard Herzog Exeter, New Hampshire

When we were researching the article on routers in Woodsmith No, 31, we decided to limit the price range of the routers to under $200. We felt there had to be a limit somewhere, and this price range would include all but a few of the heaviest industrial models. We also decided to use full suggested retail price because it was the only way to make fair comparisons.

As for plunge routers, we exclude them from our first review because there simply wasn't room to review their special characteristics in the same article with the standard routers. We are planning to do a follow-up article on plunge routers (Makita, Ryobi, and the new Black and Decker) in an upcoming issue.

ALMOST AN INCH

Recently we received a letter from a reader who had been having problems finding two 12" rules with identical calibrations. After checking dozens of rules against each other at a local hardware store, he finally found two that actually matched.

We had the same problems in our shop until we purchased a 12" rule manufactured by the L.S. Starrett Co. This rule is designed to meet engineering standards, and like all Starrett tools, it has been a benchmark for excellence for years.

The 12" StaiTett rule is square at both ends, which makes it exceptionally handy for all sorts of measuring tasks. (It's the only rule I would use to set the rip fence on a table saw.) The calibrations are etched onto a high-quality, satin-finish steel, and are very easy to read. Even my tired old eyes can easily read the 'An" scale. {Each edge has a different scale: Vk", Vw", V32", Yvt'.)

Unfortunately, StaiTett rules are hard to come by, and expensive (prices range up to $20 for the #(504r 12" rale we use). None of the wood-working catalogs carry it — but it can usually be found at engineering supply stores.

We did come across a less expensive rule that appears to be a good substitute. Garaett Wade has decided to carry a 12" rule in their 1985 catalog (stock #39N08.01) that's almost identical to the Starrett rule in accuracy and clarity, yet it's only $9.95.

Although we still highly recommend the Starrett rule (if you can track it down), the best alternative we've found is the rule Garrett Wade is carrying. To order the rule, check the new 1985 Catalog, or contact Garrett Wade, 161 Ave. of the Americas, Hew York, New York 10013. Telephone: 1-800-221-2942. (Note: Lee Valley in Canada is also carrying the 12" rule. For information, contact Lee Valley, 2680 Queensview Dr., Ottawa, Ont. K2B 8J9.)

ROUTERS

I agree that the Sears' idea for changing bits on its new router is seemingly a good one. Unfortunately, the actual part that "locks" the shaft after the router has stopped is made of an inferior alloy. This part fractured on my router rendering the total mechanism for changing bits useless, and the shaft now spins freely.

Fortunately, I removed the malfunctioning part before it completely broke apart sending a shard of metal into the router's motor and possibly destroying it. I now usé a t wo wrench system — vise grips to hold the shaft and the cheap stamped steel wrench to loosen the collet nut.

Robert Balcom Rensselaer, New York

We've had the same problem with one of our Sears routers, and it's aggravating to say the least. It's problems like this that make us recommend buying a?) industrial quality router if at all possible. ■ industrial routers are built with heavier duty parts, and they'll last much longer than home use versions. And they're really no more expensive in the long inn, if you take into consideration having to replace a home version after it goes bad.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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