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Tool: CRB7 MKIII

Manufacturer: M.Power

Price: $83

A router base can be nothing more than just that; a base. Or, as in the case of the CRB7 MKIII kit from M.Power, it can be outfitted to help your router perform a multitude of other functions.

The CRB7 router base has been around a while, but the MKIII kit has a couple important additions; two different size guide rods to fit more routers, and the ability to cut larger circles. With the launch of the new accessories, I thought it’d be a good time to sort of re-introduce the CRB7 for those who don’t know the versatility it can add to your router. On its own, the CRB7 is a solid, well-built accessory. It attaches to your router via two rods that go in the slots where you’d attach a stock edge guide.

The most obvious benefits of the CRB7 are its large surface area, and that it’s offset. A large base increases stability when you’re routing an edge. The offset amplifies that stability by putting about 2/3 of the base on your work surface, as opposed to just under 1/2, as is the case with a centered base. For routing on the edge of a narrow workpiece, where the base size doesn’t count, use the adjustable anti-tilt leg to provide stability.

With the MKIII kit, you’ll be able to rout perfect circles with a diameter as small as 3/4″ to as large as 50″. Using the micro-adjust wheel, you can precisely dial right up to a line to adjust circle size.

This micro-adjust feature is also great for use with any clamp-on style edge guide for routing dadoes. A short edge guide that fastens to the base is also available. Using a shop-made guide attached to the base’s underside, routing a series of parallel dadoes is a snap, as the guide slides in the previous dado. Dadoes can be offset from the stock’s edge by up to 7-1/2″.

Using a set of posts attached to the base’s underside, you can cut either centered or offset mortises. With the MKIII edge-trim kit, you’re also set up for precise flush-trimming of edge banding or plugs.

Bottom line, this is a whole pile of jigs in one relatively affordable package. I’d like to see, however, a kit including all of the available accessories.

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