This is my first post so I hope I don't mess this up! I am going to build a new saddle slot mounting rig to upgrade my current dremel based setup. I will most likely build a fairly simple jig as I usually only cut a few saddle slots a year. I would like to buy a trim router that has good visibility of the bit during the job.... some routers/bases seem almost impossible to view the cut. I noticed a few have an open on one side "horseshoe" shaped base that looks like it would have better visibility. I would love to hear any advise and/or photos of fairly simple saddle slotting setups - hoping to knock this out in the next few days.

Thanks - love this site as well as!

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The Proxxon plunger router base is not big. I put the saw into it and opened it up to make it easier to see what I'm doing, I also bought the long neck version of the Proxxon for the same reason. As it is now it's OK, but I think the old Stewmac router base has better visibility (but is a pain to adjust).

Everything else is better on the Proxxon than the Dremel, but any Dremel jig needs to be tweaked.

Thanks again Roger. I already have a Stew Mac router base (probably 8 or 10 years old). Can I use the Proxxon with it, or will I need to modify? I'm not necessarily against a little modifying but would prefer to not get neck deep trying to make things work! 

I just ran into an old thread where you explain how you modified your Proxxon base.

I haven't made a thread of that as far as I know (did I?). Did a search and got some new ideas how to improve my router base, the topic is not new. One good thing to know is that the Proxxon uses metric measures on screws and holes, the Dremel the alternative USA ones ;-)

Sorry Roger - I had you mistaken for Robbie Collins! Appreciate the insight on the Proxxon - sounds like a really good option for what I'm after.

I use a German Proxxon rotary tool. No slop, better motor. The router base is aluminum and I used the bandsaw and files to open one side like the StewMac dremel base. Then I screwed plexi to the base to fit the StewMac slotting jig.

The Proxxon sounds like a really good way to go - I love how you opened up the base for better visibility. It seems like some of the laminate routers have bases that make it tough to see the cut as its happening.... Thanks a bunch for the advise and pics!

I have a trim router made by Ridgid. Priced between consumer and contractor grade tools. It's been pretty damn fantastic so far. Very easy to use/adjust, and Ive put it up against some larger material removal tasks and never had an issue.

I started out with a StewMac base on a Dremmel and made some other accessory base plates for it. I was able to fix the run-out problem with my Dremmel by taking it apart and wrapping the business end bearing with one wrap of electrical tape. The pockets molded into the Dremmel I bought have too much play and allow for some vibration, the tape fixed it.

I never liked this set up for more than inlay work though and found it inadequate for most other jobs. I had a Porter Cable 310 laminate trimmer with some miles of laminate trimming on it and found plunge bases by Bishop Cochran that would fit it. A bit pricey but it has been money well spent, I use it frequently. The very well made base has been a real workhorse for all kinds of plunge or thicknessing projects. I like the weight also with the combined router/ plunge base, helps keep the bit steady in the hole and the combo runs very smoothly.

Since I bought the Cochran base, Porter Cable discontinued the 310 laminate trimmer. I found a new one on the net and bought it right away. My old one was already used when I started using it in 1990 and is still going but I didn't want to take a chance on it crapping out now that I am invested in the plunge base for a 310. I have used other Porter Cable 310's in my past and don't know why it would be discontinued. I have found them to be very durable and long lasting with heavy use.

Bishop offers bases for several Dremmel models, the Foredom flex shaft hand piece and a couple that fit Porter Cable models. Don't see anything there for Proxxon, so not sure about availability for that. Mine has paid for itself several times over, I would pop for another if something ever happens to the one I have.

Thanks so much for your reply Paul! Seems like you and a lot of folks think the PC 310 is the best laminate trimmer ever made. It's a shame they stopped producing it.... I will be keeping an eye out for a low mileage used one. I checked out your link to the Bishop-Cochran base - looks like the best out there! Will keep this in mind as I want to do this once and not have to worry about my setup in the future!

The best by far is the Dewalt  DWP611PK combination kit.  It has an accurately adjustable plunge base and a fixed base that is also accurately adjustable.  I would never consider a vertical threaded or rack and pinion type depth adjustment system for guitar work. Actually, don't care for that type for any purpose. See the Tools and Techniques page on my moonlightluthiers dot com page for a description of a jig that works with the DW611.


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