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A simple, cost-effective way to use your Bosch router in a table.
Click image to enlarge

Bosch #RA1165 Under-Table Router Base

A welcome answer to a common problem

Text & Photos by Tom Hintz

   Since router manufacturers first offered multi-base router kits sharing a single motor, woodworkers have had to buy an extra base to leave installed in their router table. Until now, that usually meant buying a base with features not needed for under-table use. In addition, these same bases often lacked above the table bit height adjustment capabilities.

   To fill the void Bosch developed their RA1165 Under-Table Base, (due for release in April, 2005) designed to work with their very popular 1617 and 1618 router motors. The RA1165 Under-Table Base is based on the durable Bosch fixed base but enhanced with an above-table bit height adjustment mechanism.

Initial Impressions

    As I have come to expect with Bosch products, the RA1165 Under-Table Base is nicely made with clean casting and machining. The fit and operation of the components is first rate.

   The RA1165 Under-Table Base is attractive in its simplicity. No frills, no extra features, just solid, accurate performance you can depend on.

Instructions

   The multi-language instruction booklet is short but to the point. Well written text is amply supported by clear illustrations that make installation and use operations easy to understand.

   At first, I was disappointed that Bosch did not include a paper template for installing the RA1165 Under-Table Base but while reading the instructions (always a good idea) found that the base is drilled and tapped with both the industry-standard 3-hole (10-24 thread) pattern and the Bosch 4-hole (4mm thread) pattern. All 4-holes in the Bosch pattern go completely through the base and can be used for layout. Baseplates from the original router kit can also be used as a drilling jig.

Height Adjuster

The height adjustment uses the familiar Bosch mechanism, fitted with an extension shaft that allows access from above the table with the included wrench.
Click image to enlarge

   The height adjuster functions the same as the above-table bases but has a new shaft added that extends that mechanism into the mounting flange, terminated with a socket that accepts the included T-handled Allen wrench. When mounting the RA1165 Under-Table Base, drilling one additional hole provides access to the height adjuster socket from above the table.

   The positionable indicator ring on the height adjuster knob remains and an optional fine adjustment extension handle (#RA1002) that plugs into the adjuster knob is also available.

In The Shop

    To test the RA1165 Under-Table Base, it was mounted in a piece of ¾"-thick MDF (recessed ¼") using the included screws. That assembly was secured between the extension and the main table of our Bosch 4000 worksite saw. The RA1165 Under-Table Base can be mounted to virtually any table surface and common router table plates.

   Using a simple clamp-on fence cuts were made using several edging profile bits, a rabbeting bit and straight cutters to make dados and grooves.

   In all cases, the RA1165 Under-Table Base held fast, showing no movement of the base itself or the height adjustment. All cuts made were clean and consistent.

Adjusting bit height from above the table is simple and very accurate. Each full turn of the adjuster wrench produces a 1/8" height change.
Click image to enlarge

   Adjusting bit height requires flipping the motor lock lever open and inserting the T-wrench. Dial in the change desired and flip the lever closed to lock it in.

   Like the standard Bosch fixed bases, the RA1165 Under-Table Base has three coarse height adjustment detents each producing ½" change (1 ½" total change available) and actuated by depressing the button under the motor locking arm and moving the motor up or down as needed.

   The fine adjuster accessed with the T-handle from above the table produces 1/8" of height change per full turn with 7/8" total range available.

   Obviously, the thickness of the material to which the RA1165 Under-Table Base is mounted affects the overall above table bit height that can be achieved.

Conclusions   

The Bosch RA1165 Under-Table Base is a welcome option for many woodworkers that use a single router motor for an increasing number of tasks. Being able to quickly transfer the router motor to a table mount enhances the capability of your shop without the expense of an additional dedicated router or having to buy another base that has features not required and lacks the above-table height adjusting capability.

   With a projected street price of $59.99, the Bosch RA1165 Under-Table Base is a top quality, effective accessory that will help your shop without straining the budget.
  

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