Using A Bauer Compact Router

Being the cheapskate that I am I decided to go with a Bauer instead of the Makita. Something to note is the Bauer is not 65mm in diameter but 64.6 so back to Harbor Freight it goes and I’m getting a Makita.

The Bauer was $63 after a 10% off coupon.

I just automatically assume anything from Harbor Freight is low end. That is not always a bad thing but often it is. I think in the long run you’ll be happier with the Makita.

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I’ll go ahead and share another learning about “saving money”.

Once you have a handle on your machine and can operate it confidently and consistently - don’t bother trying to save on stock materials. I bought some (not even cheap, annoyingly) questionable 1/2" plywood because it was all Home Depot had and I needed it in a hurry. The stuff is utter trash. It cuts horribly, jagged edges, tear out like you wouldn’t believe. Heck, even the dust shoe bristles are strong enough to tear out the veneer.

90% of the time and work is in the design and CAD/CAM phase. As long as you get that right, and your machine is setup up consistently, you definitely want to spend a bit more on good material. A Swedish buddy of mine liked to say “If you don’t have time to do it right, what makes you think you have time to do it twice?”. Cheap stock (in quality or price) almost always costs me more in time and frustration.

-Jeff

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@jwoody18 Completely agree, Jeff. I was a hobbyist woodworker long before buying the Mill. I’ve bought more than my share of crap wood. No more.

I like your friend’s saying. I spent 34 years in the Canadian Federal Public Service. We had a similar saying. Ours was “Management will never give you enough time to do the job right, but they will always give you the time to do it again.”

Home Depot plywood has become garbage. Ultra thin veneer to make it look good with chip board maybe cheap OSB on the inside.

I agree. I’ll definitely be checking the layers from now on. The other frustrating thing, at least here in Canada, is that you basically never seem to get the same thickness twice. I’ve had 3/4" that was 19.05mm, 18.8, 18.5, 18.3 and 17.9ish. Half inch has been 12.3, 12 and 11.6.

Even a work bench I made a while ago at the Makerspace recently surprised me. It’s in two pieces and I could never get quite them level, even though they were both 25mm Baltic Birch from their stock. Turns out the main bench is 24.6mm or so and the extension I did is exactly 25mm. Very frustrating.

-Jeff

Yes, looking closely at the veneer (on both sides) when buying and when setting things down on the table is a must. I was milling something yesterday and noticed the veneer was about 1/3 or 1/4 as thick on one side (although both had very nice finishes) and I made a mental note to put the thick side up… and then promptly got distracted, came back 30 minutes later, and started the job on the thin side.

-Jeff