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What do you use to cut MDF rings?

  • Electric Dremel/Rotary Tool

    Votes: 51 8.7%
  • Router

    Votes: 319 54.7%
  • Hand jig saw

    Votes: 45 7.7%
  • Electric jig saw

    Votes: 134 23.0%
  • Air powered rotary tool

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Buttknife

    Votes: 15 2.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 17 2.9%
  • Extra Space

    Votes: 1 0.2%
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def a router only way to make em perfect
 

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Depending on size/thickness I use a router with a simple custom made jig, my router table or my drill press with a custom made jig and with a little experience ;) you can even make them like this :eek: :

 

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^^^ nice man... those look great
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those of you who use router, do you mind posting up what make and model and price if you're comfortable with it. I have been thinking about buying one because everytime I use a Jig saw the mounting hole looks like crap. I was going to try using a dremel with a cirlce jib but that sounds like a small bandage for a large wound. :)
 

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I use a Porter Cable (893PK). Got it at Lowes for $199 - currently running around $240. Comes with both plunge and fixed base. Has a means of adjusting bit depth/height through the base when used in a router table (have to buy the adjusting wrench separately). This feature was a must for me, it's the only time practical way to get precise depth of cut.
 

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zfactor said:
^^^ nice man... those look great
Thanks (18 years as a cabinetmaker gives me a bit of an advantage :))

For the last 18 years I have strictly used Porter Cable routers (and sanders). The one I use for rings is actually a laminate trimmer (model 7310) with a simple jig I made. I like this one for baffles because it is not much bigger than a dremel tool making it easy to handle but it's a lot more powerful.
 

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porter cable.. ive been thorugh a few now and these seem to hold up the best imo.. ive used makita, hitachi (which i really liked also), dewalt and others ive always went back to my porter cable
 

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Mr Marv said:
Thanks (18 years as a cabinetmaker gives me a bit of an advantage :))

For the last 18 years I have strictly used Porter Cable routers (and sanders). The one I use for rings is actually a laminate trimmer (model 7310) with a simple jig I made. I like this one for baffles because it is not much bigger than a dremel tool making it easy to handle but it's a lot more powerful.

hehe cheater, yeah i just made our kitchen cabinets fot the first time they came out pretty darn good imo .. ill have to post some pics.. very time consuming i never thought it would take so much time mostly all the finish work..hey you ever do reapir on finishes?? i have a "pickled ash and burl dining table that needs a small spot repaired but im not sure how to start remaking the pickled finish? any suggestions??
 

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a sandwich
they cut the rings for you
works quite nice
 

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Over the course of years, I've used a jigsaw, Rotozip, and router to cut speaker baffle holes. If you are doing sub enclosures, and your hand is reasonably steady, a compass + jigsaw is really all you really need. I've done some really nice larger holes (8" or larger drivers) with a jigsaw in 3/4" MDF. If you are doing smaller rings, then some other tool would be better since most jigsaws aren't going to be great at tight (small) radii.

I used to use my Rotozip to cut holes in fiberboard and MDF, and it's not a bad choice of tool, though I hardly use it for this purpose anymore. I pretty much only bring it out when doing drywall work (cuts that like butter). The circle cutting attachment to it (and for little tools like the dremel, etc..) is not super robust, so you have to work slow, cut shallow depths (multiple passes) and use a really steady hand. If you are cutting like 1/4" fiberboard, I think the Rotozip is fine, but thicker material is tough.

I think a router is the best choice of tool. Come to think of it, a larger router is overkill if you just want to cut holes here and there, so I'd probably think a trim router would be the ideal tool for just this purpose. It offers a stable base, ample power and manueverability. I want to replace my Rotozip with a trim router.

Just sold my old Craftsman router on this board and upgraded recently to a Bosch 1617 EVS. Great tool, but overkill just for hole cutting. Check Craigslist for used tools, that's where I've bought lots of mine from. The advantage being that most power tools are quite heavy and cost alot to ship, so ebay isn't always the deal it's cracked up to be. Craigslist, local sellers, and little patience = good deals on tools.

Come to think of it, if you want to try out a Rotozip, I'd be willing to dump mine cheap (has circle cutting attachment) since I'm looking for an excuse anyway to buy a trim router too! :D PM me if interested.
 

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02bluesuperroo said:
What do you guys think of this?

http://www.cumminstools.com/browse.cfm/4,1405.htm

I know its reconditioned but I'm on a budget here. That is alrady more than I really want to spend. (I'm cheap, I know) Would a trim router be able to do things like rounded edges?
Personally I prefer not to skimp on a tool that spins a very sharp bit in excess of 20,000 rpm. :eek: A trim router can do small roundovers etc however as with any tool it must be used within it's limits to be safe (which IMO is most important)
 

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zfactor said:
hehe cheater, yeah i just made our kitchen cabinets fot the first time they came out pretty darn good imo .. ill have to post some pics.. very time consuming i never thought it would take so much time mostly all the finish work..hey you ever do reapir on finishes?? i have a "pickled ash and burl dining table that needs a small spot repaired but im not sure how to start remaking the pickled finish? any suggestions??
I have several guys that do finishing for me and they are even tighter lipped than I am about giving up "tricks of the trade" so I can't help you on that one!
 

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shinjohn said:
Check Craigslist for used tools, that's where I've bought lots of mine from. The advantage being that most power tools are quite heavy and cost alot to ship, so ebay isn't always the deal it's cracked up to be. Craigslist, local sellers, and little patience = good deals on tools.
Yeah craigslist is a great place to find bargains on tools :) . If you really want to "overkill" I'll be posting a Delta shaper with a couple of grand worth of knives up on the SF site this week ;)
 

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I use that Ryobi router and I think it's great for the money. Porter Cable definitely makes an outstanding router, but since I don't do commercial work and generally use my router for small household projects the Ryobi works just fine. It has all the features you'll find you need. It is well built, so it's not bargain basement. Also, the circle jibs you get on Parts Express fit it perfectly. ;)
 

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MiniVanMan said:
I use that Ryobi router and I think it's great for the money. Porter Cable definitely makes an outstanding router, but since I don't do commercial work and generally use my router for small household projects the Ryobi works just fine. It has all the features you'll find you need. It is well built, so it's not bargain basement. Also, the circle jibs you get on Parts Express fit it perfectly. ;)
I sometimes forget I'm not the "average DIY'er" :D so I'd have to agree that as long as it is used within it's limits it should be fine for someone that doesn't use a router daily for several hours as I sometimes do :) .
 

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If you have a cheap jigsaw you are going to have a tough time cutting accurately. When I upgraded to a nicer one it was much easier to cut circles out. I really only break out the router to do really small circles, and for flush cutting and roundovers. The jigsaw I bought was a $60 Skil on sale at Lowe's for $30 last year. Works great for me, way better than the generic $20 piece of crap I had before. I also now have a older Porter Cable which is also nice, but I like the Skil a bit better. Make sure to buy good quality blades too, they help a lot.

Mr. Marv, what's the best way to make angled rings like that? Do you just sand them down or is there a better trick? Sorry for the hijack!
 
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