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vossiewulf

Precision router base for Dremel 4000 etc.

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Being new, not sure this has been mentioned before, I searched and didn't see it.

 

This is a luthier's tool for doing inlay, which ship modelers don't do much. However, any router base that precisely controls depth can be flipped over and turned into a router table. I haven't gone so far as to make a real table, but I have used it on small pieces while clamped upside down in a vise, and it works great. It operates very smoothly and the depth can be adjusted with really minute accuracy.

 

9IkPNkQl.jpg

 

Precision router base for Dremel

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Thanks for the Heads Up - This looks to me to be a very attractive alternative for finishing frames to size using it mounted upside down with either a router or sanding drum. I note its made by a Guitar builder and the video appears to show some pretty fine adjustment for the cut. Included a screen shot from the video just need to counter sink the attachment screws for what I need.

 

post-21889-0-74649200-1484528472.jpg

 

As I'm setting up a workshop from scratch being a long time plastic modeller the up front cost is pretty steep but this at US$55 looks pretty attractive. I've been lucky enough to buy a used Byrnes Table saw from a member in Canada but the freight was 50% of the purchase price so for the time being I've decided to buy a VandaLay Mill which uses a dremmel as well which I hope will take me through till I can afford something better.

 

Don’t want to hijack your post so I'll post a separate one for the VendaLay – thanks again for the Heads Up very much appreciated– Cheers Pete

Edited by PeteB

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Hi PeteB

 

I found this one on the Bunnings website. Not as good as the one above but once you add shipping to the $55 US price tag of the Stewart MacDonald version I think it would be about 1/3 the price.

 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/dremel-plunge-router-attachment_p6373700

 

I found a YouTube clip as well

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oqu-Ni12oic

 

Cheers

Steve

Edited by hornet

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The StewMac Router base is a pretty versatile item.  I have a friend of mine that is a guitar maker and does a lot of beautiful inlay work using this.  It is also adaptable to the Foredom, using their handpiece, which is threaded to fit the router guide.  There are a lot of router guides available out there that are superior to these but much more costly.  You just need to determine how much you will use it to justify the cost.

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Hi PeteB

 

I found this one on the Bunnings website. Not as good as the one above but once you add shipping to the $55 US price tag of the Stewart MacDonald version I think it would be about 1/3 the price.

 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/dremel-plunge-router-attachment_p6373700

 

I found a YouTube clip as well

 

 

Cheers

Steve

Thanks Steve - The construction of the StewMac one looks pretty sturdy and adjustment more precise and easier but will certainly give the Bunnings one the Mark 1 eyeball test - Thanks again - cheers Pete

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Have the Dremel Plunge Router attachment and it works well within its limitations. It will not handle close tolerance. I tired to run a rabbit on a keel and it would not consistenly hold aline. However I do use it on Doll House furniture where tolerance is not so critical. With the router (Dremel 4000) in place and the base on a flat surface you can "wiggle" the drill .010 -.020 laterally and .010 front to back. I've tried to order the Stewart McDonald tool but it seems to be out of stock everywhere. Sent an availability request to maker and waiting for response.

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Thanks for the Heads Up - This looks to me to be a very attractive alternative for finishing frames to size using it mounted upside down with either a router or sanding drum. I note its made by a Guitar builder and the video appears to show some pretty fine adjustment for the cut. Included a screen shot from the video just need to counter sink the attachment screws for what I need.

 

 

Welcome to you and everyone else :) I'm a guitarist also, I started doing my own work when a so-called luthier ruined the neck on my 40th anniversary Strat by stripping the truss rod.

 

Luthier supply houses are an excellent place to find ship modeling tools. I'm going to post another thread with a few other things I have that people might find of use. You know those $20k custom guitars with inlay up and down the neck? Chances are it was done with this tool. It really does work extremely well for minute adjustments, and with a little time invested in designing and building a table for it, you should have a very flexible precision tool. I need to do the same, I've had it for a while but except for some pretty thorough tests, I haven't used it in a project yet. I have all the supplies and materials and hardware for a really sweet Strat-type guitar with my own body design, it just hasn't made it to the top of the queue yet. Mostly because ship models are interfering.

 

More places you should spend some time checking out what they have:

 

LMI

 

Philadelphia Luthier

 

Also, if you have the Byrnes table saw or another capable of small scale work, you can get some good prices on wood of most domestic and exotic species by buying fingerboard blanks. They're typically 5/16" x 2.5" - 3" x 21"-25". LMI has good ebony fingerboards in this size for $20-$25, a single one could be resawn (with a nice .03 slittling blade) into quite a lot of ship scale timber.

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Response from StewMac;

 

Thank you for contacting us.  We are waiting on some machine parts from our production facility, before we can list this item as "in stock".  We hope to have all items available later this week. You can always sign up to receive an email when this item is ready, by clicking the "email when in stock" link under the item number.

If you have any other questions or comments, please contact us.

Best regards, 

Jayme Arnett
Customer Service Manager
Stewart-MacDonald

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Hi Vossiwulf

Thanks for your heads up I just ordered mine today - Anyone else that was interested they are in stock and shipping now.

 

Cheers Pete

 

Great! Really shouldn't need too much other than a plate it could be screwed to with a 9/64" bur shaft hole and you have a very good mini router table, but I'm sure the members here can come up with something cool and unnecessarily complicated and precise. One of my favorite reads was of a guy who spent I don't even know how long, weeks of work at least, turning a standard good quality 7x12 mini-lathe into an insanely precise device over its entire operating range so he was pushing out past .0001" in accuracy for no other reason than he could. I love that guy, I laughed the whole time I read it. I can't quite be him, but I understand the mindset.

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I have the Stew Mac Dremel base.  I bought it for routing out inlays in guitar necks.  I used it for a while but in the end it found its way to the dust shelf.  I didn't like the depth adjustment feature.  And the dust blower didn't work too well either.  I ended up buying the Micro Fence plunge base.  Expensive but a world of difference from the Stew Mac base.

 

MicroPlunge_02.jpg 

With the LED lights and dust extraction, I was able to clearly see where I was routing to some very fine points.

MicroPlunge_03.jpg

 

A few months ago I got a flyer from Lee Valley.  They now have a plunge base that looks very similar to Micro Fence and a lot cheaper.

05J6501s14b.jpg 

05J6501s10b.jpg05J6501s12c.jpg

 

The base alone is $85.  Had their base and attachments been available a couple of years ago, I would have gladly gone that route.     

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I have the Stew Mac Dremel base.  I bought it for routing out inlays in guitar necks.  I used it for a while but in the end it found its way to the dust shelf.  I didn't like the depth adjustment feature.  And the dust blower didn't work too well either.  I ended up buying the Micro Fence plunge base.  Expensive but a world of difference from the Stew Mac base.

 

 

Looks good too thanks for the heads up on that for the future - I bought the StewMac specifically to be a poor mans mini Router Table for frames and that sort of work that won't take up a lot of bench space and I don't see me having to alter the depth during use so think it should do the job for a while - Cheers Pete

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A few months ago I got a flyer from Lee Valley.  They now have a plunge base that looks very similar to Micro Fence and a lot cheaper.

      

Hi Julie - Just had a look at the Lee Valley site and downloaded their catalogue - some very nice goodies there - thanks for the mention. cheers Pete

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Here's just a quick note about using Dremel bits.  For depth of cut, don't exceed 1/2 of the bit diameter in a single pass, because chip clearance problems and breakage are much more likely to occur.

 

Other than that, I've always thought that Dremels were pretty weak.  But for fashioning very small parts they may be acceptable.  I've always wanted to try a Foredom shaft-driven tool or a pencil/micro air grinder.  However, a quality 1/8" pencil air grinder is not inexpensive ($100s), and the cheap $27 grinder at Harbor Freight gets poor reviews from experienced persons.  

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Pete, I should have added that for what I was doing at the time, the Micro Fence base was far better than the Stew Mac base, for me.  But I know many luthiers are completely happy with the Stew Mac base.  It was simply a personal choice rather than a hands down overall better choice.  I wanted the plunge feature to the point I convinced myself I needed the plunge feature.  That kind of convincing oneself can be costly.   :rolleyes: 

 

FWIW, before I got the Micro Fence base, I removed the Stew Mac base plate and made a larger plate out of lexan so I could see what I was doing better and to span the side rails I made for the inlay routing.  That helped a lot but I had already sold myself on the plunge base as a "necessity".

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for any Brits that are watching this thread then the StewMac router base is available from Woodworks Craft Supplies for £46.40

 

http://www.woodworkscraftsupplies.co.uk/stewmac-precision-router-base-p-1336.html

 

They say they're having a closing down sale so might be worth a look to see what else is available.

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Got this tool today: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/132022884833?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Do not buy it. The height adjustment is crap, it floats by itself due to the vibration, so you need to carefully hold the height adjustment knobs. That makes the depth not very accurate, if that is important. 

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Got this tool today: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/132022884833?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Do not buy it. The height adjustment is crap, it floats by itself due to the vibration, so you need to carefully hold the height adjustment knobs. That makes the depth not very accurate, if that is important. 

Thanks  Mike

Mine is already on the way :-(  I am only going to use it as a fixed router table so it should still fit the bill for what I want - but a good heads up for others with more ambitious uses in mind - cheers pete

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for any Brits that are watching this thread then the StewMac router base is available from Woodworks Craft Supplies for £46.40

 

http://www.woodworkscraftsupplies.co.uk/stewmac-precision-router-base-p-1336.html

 

They say they're having a closing down sale so might be worth a look to see what else is available.

 

Oops.  Seems they've already closed down!  Website's not working any more.

A search on Google for the Stewmac router base took me to www.luthiertools.co.uk.   Looks like a one-man band - Garry Hallam - and he's selling the Stewmac (re-badged as Luthier Tools) for £38.   Unfortunately his website simply doesn't work.  At all.

However, if you zoom in on the pic of his router base, it gives his [uK] phone number as 0161-339-3317.

Might give him a try tomorrow!

 

[edit 27 Jan:   Actually no.  On closer inspection it's not a rebadged Stewmac base.  It's a copy.  Even so, it looks to be a rather better copy than PeteB's Ebay one.]

Edited by probablynot

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Got this tool today: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/132022884833?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Do not buy it. The height adjustment is crap, it floats by itself due to the vibration, so you need to carefully hold the height adjustment knobs. That makes the depth not very accurate, if that is important. 

Hi Mike

Had a look at the one you bought off Ebay and it looks a bit different from the StewMac base. The first thing that struck me was in the appearance the StewMac item is polished Al with Decals etc. which made me look a bit further and if you compare the two photos below you can see that the beam that holds the Dremmel is a different shape  - StewMacs is an oval shape at either end and the Ebay one is more square -  It could be its a knockoff and not machined to the same spec as the reviews of the StewMac base are all very good.

 

First the StewMac base

post-21889-0-37033100-1485472824.jpg

 

Next the Ebay photo

post-21889-0-85984800-1485472863.jpg

 

also just noticed the milling on the Ebay adjusting screws is pretty basic as well. 

 

So your warning is still timely don't buy the Ebay one .- for what its worth - cheers Pete

Edited by PeteB

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Got this tool today: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/132022884833?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Do not buy it. The height adjustment is crap, it floats by itself due to the vibration, so you need to carefully hold the height adjustment knobs. That makes the depth not very accurate, if that is important.

That was my experience, Mike, and with the Stew Mac base.  The height adjustment is fiddly.  The springs are applying pressure and as you try to make adjustments, racking occurs.  So you have to go back and forth, from one side to the other and then lock it in place tightly, then run a test cut.  If it's not right, you have to repeat the process.  I found it frustrating.  

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That was my experience, Mike, and with the Stew Mac base.  The height adjustment is fiddly.  The springs are applying pressure and as you try to make adjustments, racking occurs.  So you have to go back and forth, from one side to the other and then lock it in place tightly, then run a test cut.  If it's not right, you have to repeat the process.  I found it frustrating.  

 

I only adjust it inverted, usually with the dremel in a vise so I have both hands, and lubed the main posts, and I really don't have much difficulty getting it to do what I want. I tried adjusting it while on its base with the weight of the dremel on it, but found that it was wracking more than I wanted. Try adjusting it as I do, see if that works better for you.

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I wish Stew Mac was here to answer the comments.  It's kind of crazy to have to spend a lot of time or create quicker methods (like putting it in a vice) to make depth adjustments in a tool that is sold for being adjustable.  The Stew Mac base was designed for instrument work where depth adjustment is critical.  If you're doing inlay and you are even .01" too deep, it could ruin the piece.  

 

For anyone wanting a simpler and more accurate way to adjust the depth, the Micro Plunge base by Micro Fence will give you pin-point accuracy but for a price.  It's beautifully engineered though.  You get what you pay for.  Lee Valley's new Dremel plunge base looks like a good alternative but I have yet to hear any reviews on it.  At about 1/4 the price of the Micro Plunge base, it would have been my choice if it was on the market when I needed better depth adjustment accuracy.   

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