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View Full Version : Initial experience with Dewalt DWP611PK router



trjohnson
03-21-2013, 03:29 PM
A lot of folks on this forum recommend the Bosch Colt trim router. It clearly gets lots of good reviews elsewhere as well and has a lot of add-ons that can help when making instruments. However, recent reviews note a number of quality issues. The newer Dewalt DWP611 was also getting rave reviews with many saying it finally topped the Colt. It comes in a kit with a carrying bag, and both a fixed and plunge base, so I decided to try it. I haven't seen much about this router on here, so I thought I would post my initial impressions.

One caveat here is that I have never used a powered router of any kind until now. I have used hand routers quite a lot, but those are, of course, completely different beasts. The Dewalt is heavier than I expected, but I found it easy to control and guide. I found that I had to read the instructions to understand how to set it up, but that was largely due to my inexperience. With the fixed base it has a very nice ring for smoothly and precisely controlling depth of cut and then locking that in. I have not used the plunge base, but it looks like that has many of the features of larger routers.

I installed the StewMac binding bit with the flush cut bearing and took a test cut on some stock that I had glued some overhanging mahogany to that was about the same thickness as a uke top. I started with the slowest speed. Despite having a soft start the router does twist a little on startup. My test flush cut did well, but I noticed that the bit cut a very shallow channel into the wood below the mahogany. The wood may have been off a bit, or (more likely) I tipped the router a bit. To help minimize this, I adjusted the depth of cut so that the bit was just slightly lower than the bottom of the top of the uke.

I had already trimmed the top of the uke by hand so there was only an eighth inch or so to trim away. I followed the instructions for making four climb cuts followed by a single pass in the opposite direction. To hold the uke I put it on a small piece of carpet as in the StewMac video. I also held the router as shown in the video--with the front side of the router facing toward the uke body, one hand on the router barrel and then two fingers holding the baseplate down to the top. Once again, I used the slowest speed. There was about a 5 inch long edge where the bit left a very slight groove, otherwise it looked good--no chip out, not much dust either. It took me a few minutes because I kept taking small cuts and then checking at first.

I'm not at all sure how well this will work on the arched back. I'll post an update once I try it.

Here are some photos so you can see the relative size of the router and bases next to the soprano body.

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Michael Smith
03-21-2013, 07:24 PM
Looks like a good unit. How is the micro adjustment. I am using the Rigid on my binding set up and hate the depth adjustment. Why do this kind of routing on the lowest speed? I would think the highest speed with a slow router motion would produce the best result.

trjohnson
03-21-2013, 08:04 PM
Looks like a good unit. How is the micro adjustment. I am using the Rigid on my binding set up and hate the depth adjustment. Why do this kind of routing on the lowest speed? I would think the highest speed with a slow router motion would produce the best result.

There is just one ring for depth adjustment with the fixed base. The instructions say to use the ring to set the depth until the bit just touches the work surface, then you rotate a plastic ring with a depth scale so that 0 on that scale matches a pointer on the depth adjustment ring. Now you can rotate the depth adjuster ring to point the desired depth on the plastic scale ring. Turning the depth adjuster ring 1/4 turn changes the depth by 1/8 inch. Once it is set, you lock the router in place to prevent the depth from changing.

As to the speed, the slowest produced good results on my test cut so I never tried to increase it.