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Thread: How do you modify a Freud 3.5hp router for large bits?

  1. #1

    Default How do you modify a Freud 3.5hp router for large bits?

    I have a Freud 3.5hp router - it has plenty of nuts to turn a large panel raising bit, but the opening on this router is too small to fit a raised panel. (here is the best explanation of this -

    So how do most handle this? Do you:

    A. Buy a new router? (I have no plans to do this)

    B. Enlarge the opening? (again not an idea I am wild about - but if I was to do it, I would use a hole saw and drill. I would leave the router mounted in the table, and lock the pilot bit in the collet for alignment, then unlock the routers plunge mechanism so the routers weight would pull the hole saw down, and then drill away with the router freewheeling (****I am not brave enough/ stupid enough to let the router spin the hole saw bit I would use a drill from above****)

    C. leave thing as is? (With my router mounted in a table I have 3/8" clearance from the router base and the top of the table. So when I put the raised panel bit in place it will spin freely but I can not adjust it. As I plan to use a back cutting panel bit, not being able to adjust up and down is no big deal. It is a major PIA to tighten the collet in this set up, and if the router depth stop slipped - I would be in for a big surprise.

    C*. Add a collet extender? This would make it allot easier to get panel bits locked in (and also allow me to change all bits above the table) - but I concerned that these are not the safest items - especially on a large bit.

    D. Use a vertical RP bit instead. (Not an idea I am in love with as I find the cut is not as good, and I don't like the setup).

    I know I am not the first to come up against this as a ton of these big Freuds are tables, so you advice is appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Ayr, Ontario


    I modified the base on my Hitachi M12V to accomodate a larger diameter bit. Hacksaw and file did the trick.

    If you don't want to cut your base, you could always add a sub-base to the top of your router table with a bigger opening, provided you can raise the bit high enough to make your cut.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Muir, near Woodstock,Ont.


    If it similiar to your link it looks like a good file would take care of your problem in short order.If I read it correctly your Freud base is aluminum and your carbide router bit will go through Aluminum like butter. Put the Bit in the router, turn it on and then slowly lower the cutter through the base, Make sure any screws have been removed in the area that you are removing. I would really hestitate using a extension under any circumstance.


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Real Name


    Just to add to Brian's comment...
    I once saw Bob Rosendahl (the Router Workshop) do just this, plunge a big bit through a too small router base opening at a seminar. Brand new Hitachi router. The audience was stunned at first but it worked like a charm. He plunged the big bit fairly slowly and with considerable control. Nice silvery shavings.
    If you do it, make sure there is no steel to come in contact with the bit and perhaps do something to prevent aluminum shavings getting into the router air vents. Oh yeah, wear face and hand protection!
    Disclaimer: I've never done this myself.

  6. #5


    I used my Dremel with a small grinding wheel to increase the size of the opening in my Makita 3612C.

    I'd really wonder whether the material to remove is aluminum or white metal. The Makita appears to be cast white metal which I think is harder than aluminum. I'm sure someone will corect me if I'm wrong.
    Mack C. in Brooklin ON
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  7. #6

    Default Freud Router

    If you decide to use your router bit to cut the hole, make sure that you remove the screws that are in it for the template guide adapter.
    I route off those tangs all the time with my raised panel bit and it works great.

    Mark Eaton
    Freud Canada Inc.

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  9. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Near Beeton ON


    I mount the bit outside the "ears" & clamp a false top on the router table.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Best Regards, Ron.

  10. #8


    Thanks for all the advise - I hooked up with the Freud rep who said to leave things as is and run the bit above the base.

    Once I took the boots off the plunge arms, I found that I got another 1/2" - 3/4" of travel which actual brought collet above the table. This make it very easy to put the bit in place. My router plate is 3/8" thick so I can put the bit in place and still have 1/4" of clearance. So I will just leave things as is.

    The Freud rep also let me know that they are coming out with a new 3hp+ router, with the base plate larger and above the table adjustment. that might explain why the ft 2200 has been an sale lately?

  11. #9


    I use a 3 1/2 raised panel bit in my freud FT2000E, I just have to keep it up father..I also took the springs and dust covers off.

    The newer Freud FT2200 has a longer shaft, so it works much better..the base should be left alone..It needs to be that size to except the dust collection and Bushings.

    YOu could go with a collet extender or buy a vertical raised panel bit.


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