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Author Topic: [Q] Dremel Router Table — Experiences & Opinions?  (Read 4294 times)
von Corax
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Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« on: May 14, 2013, 06:38:32 am »

Does anyone have any experience with the Dremel Model 231 Shaper/Router Table? Specifically, is it "good enough" for light-duty work under strict space and budget constraints, or is it an unspeakable abomination worth avoiding?

Please note that I will give far greater consideration to the opinions of those who have actually used one, and at present I cannot justify the purchase of a larger shaper on any grounds.

Much obliged,

Prof. D. P. von Corax, Chief Artificer
The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 07:08:02 am »

What are you planning on working with it?  Balsa wood?  Styrene? Thin softwoods? That would probably work.

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von Corax
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 08:32:51 am »

What are you planning on working with it?  Balsa wood?  Styrene? Thin softwoods? That would probably work.
Is it seriously that limited? That's one of the questions I was hoping to have answered. What are your experiences with the tool?
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 07:10:26 pm »

What are you planning on working with it?  Balsa wood?  Styrene? Thin softwoods? That would probably work.
Is it seriously that limited? That's one of the questions I was hoping to have answered. What are your experiences with the tool?
I haven't used the Dremel router table, but I used to use the old-model Dremel "drill press" attachment. Not happily. It's hard to clamp a Dremel tool rigidly enough for heavy routing. The clamping setup for the router table looks weak. Even Dremel says it's a "light duty" device.

I've known people who tried to use a Dremel tool as part of a CNC milling machine.  It doesn't work well. Dremel tools don't have the bearings for big side loads, are hard to clamp, and slow way down under load. In comparison, a Bosch router in the US$100 range can do that job for years. TechShop has some Bosch routers on CNC machines grinding away wood and aluminum every day without problems.

Dremel tools are quite useful, but they're for light hand work. If you want the router table to do more precisely what you could do by hand, that's fine.  But it won't make a Dremel tool into a heavy-duty cutting machine. 
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von Corax
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 08:10:16 pm »

What are you planning on working with it?  Balsa wood?  Styrene? Thin softwoods? That would probably work.
Is it seriously that limited? That's one of the questions I was hoping to have answered. What are your experiences with the tool?
Dremel tools are quite useful, but they're for light hand work. If you want the router table to do more precisely what you could do by hand, that's fine.  But it won't make a Dremel tool into a heavy-duty cutting machine. 
That's pretty much what I had in mind at this point. I've heard/read other first-hand accounts of what a poor tool the drill press is, and that's why I was hoping to elicit some first-hand accounts of using the router table.
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Mrs.EP
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 06:40:17 pm »

Does anyone have any experience with the Dremel Model 231 Shaper/Router Table? Specifically, is it "good enough" for light-duty work under strict space and budget constraints, or is it an unspeakable abomination worth avoiding?


I have no experience with the Dremel router table either, but I've had my eyes on this little beauty for a while: Proxxon 38568 MOF MICRO Router
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von Corax
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 02:41:13 am »

Proxxon tools have a good rep, as I understand it; in particular, Hack A Day rave about their benchtop drill press.

Along with impressive credentials comes an impressive price tag, though, and I'm still getting a feel for what I want, need and enjoy doing. I already have a Dremel 4000, and Rona stocks the Dremel router table attachment for <$60.00 CDN.
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hardlec
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2013, 10:11:04 pm »

the attachment that turned my dremel to a router worked well for light but precise work.  the dremel drill press did a great job making small, precise holes in light material.

I have made pine shelves using my dremel/router to put a nice edge on the shelf faces, but I wouldn't use it to make a 6 panel door. 
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churchjw
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 02:09:29 pm »

I am not sure you are still looking into this since it has been a month but I did just get a chance to use one of these.  One of my students had it in the lab and since I have seen your post before I took some time and looked it over.  First off everything is plastic and plastic flexes. The way the dremel is attached is week and I could not find a way to true it to the table.  Cutting some pine, the bit and fence moved around a lot.  I could not get what I consider an accurate cut.  I think you could do about as well hose clamping the dremel to a flat board.  The other big problem is I could not find a .250" collet for the dremel. There may be some out there but a quick web search didn't find one.  So that means you can not use any of the preshaped router bits out there to cut details on your edging.  I guess it comes back to what you want to do with it.  A big point of a shaper/router table is to do edge detail so that lets this out.  If you are looking for something small look for laminate trim routers.  They will have the .250" collet to let you use the more available cutters.  Dewalt makes a good one thats around $75 but you can get an offbrand full size router in that same price range.  I would just make your own table for it.  Other than production shops all my woodworking friends made their own.  There are lots of DIY plans on the net for them.  The other two ideas I would put out there:
Do you have a table saw?  If so think about adding a table extension to it that incorporates the router table.  That way when you are not using it as a router it gives you more surface area for your saw and you can use the rip fence for both the saw and the router.  This is the option I went with.  If you don't have a table saw there are some great plans out there for making your own table saw using a circular saw.  With a little thought you could build one that would include a router table. If space is a big issue this is the route I would go. 

Hope this is of some help,
Jeff
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VonDan
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2013, 02:34:32 pm »

I'm not sure about the router table and drill press.  I have managed to burn out three standard dremel tools cutting and polishing on metal.  I was never working or pushing it hard but for long times.   I don't think the dremel is meant for any thing more heavy than soft woods and metals and not for to long a time per cut

Now for polishing metal I use sand or cloths wheels on a power drill.  I just ordered a Dremel 4000 series and will see how that does for leather and deburring some metal edges.  For any times you want a Dremel type tool that can take heavy use i'd recommend a pneumatic die cutter.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 02:38:56 pm by VonDan » Logged

hardlec
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2013, 12:29:20 am »

Indeed a dremel is a hobbiest tool.  A mini-grinder with a good air compressor will hold up better for heavy use.  The oscillating tool is better for medium work.
I used a dremel to slice off a piece of 12inch PVC water main.  I melted the main housing and bearing mounts. 

If you need light duty or a small project, a dremel is good.  I have one, I like it, but it is not the only tool in my box.
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Drew P
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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2013, 03:26:59 am »

A hacksaw probably would've been easier and faster.

Just sayin'. Wink
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von Corax
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2013, 02:45:46 am »

Just to be clear, here, I'm not asking about alternatives to the Dremel itself. I already have a 4000, the 4000 is what I have, and the 4000 is what I will be using now and in the forseeable future. I really just want to know if the Dremel-brand router table accessory (which I can afford to buy now) is solid enough to let me learn how to do some basic, light-duty stuff, or if I should not waste my money on a piece of useless flimsy ghosa but should wait (a year or so) until I can afford something from Bosch or Delta or whoever.
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churchjw
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 01:32:54 pm »

The Dremel 4000 is great but I would wait and get a different router table or build your own for the dremel.

This persons video
Pt 1 of 4 How to build a router table for your dremel tool
looks better than the one made by dremel.

Jeff
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Wirecase
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2014, 11:17:29 am »

Hi Hi!

I have plenty of experience with these router tables and have one myself.... I've used it on wood from MDF the really tuff tropical woods... for the harder wood types you do need more patience but it does work!

The worst thing about these tables is though that the sawdust tends to get into the  Dremel, especially older types of Dremels, which will make the bearing run hot and, in my case, even melt the bearings plastic setting ruining the Dremel.... So my lesson learned: always use a vacuum cleaner at the underside of the table...

Just my 2 pennies...
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Keith_Beef
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« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2014, 01:11:34 pm »

I also have one of these, and think it's great. I mostly use it with the little rubber drum tool for holding short tubes of abrasive paper, rather than with a router bit.

It's great for shaping thin metal stock, too; brass, copper, steel.

Just remember to work barehanded, so you can feel the heat. If it's too hot for your hands, then it's too hot for the rubber drum.

I mounted mine on a piece of timber that I then clamp in a bench-mounted vice, so that I can swing it out of the way when it's not in use.
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