A Small Power Feeder for a Router?

Other Versions
It can improve control and precision, especially for climb-cutting. February 25, 2005

Does anyone have recommendations/thoughts about placing a small power feeder on a router table? If so, what size and make? I have a large feeder on the shaper that works great but would like one on the router, primarily for climb feeding.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor M:
I just did the very thing of which you speak. I used a homemade router table with a 4 X 4 fence for stability, which I clamp at the ends.

I use what's called a "mini power feeder" from a company called Harbor Freight, but I think Grizzly also has them. They are only about $200 (made in China) but mine has worked great for about two years. It has all sorts of adjustments for positioning and feed rates.

It's been great how well a power feed works on this application. I can dispense with all the hold downs and hold ins. The power feeder does it all and never gets tired. No more router burns, either.

From contributor S:
I agree with the above about the baby feeders. If you watch, you can get them for as little as $169 on sale.

I would offer a bit of advice, though. I would use these for smaller pieces. It is a lightweight compared to my 1hp feeder. It is good for feeding door material, but may not be hefty enough to hold down a panel.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the responses. Is my assumption correct that the units you are using are the 1/8 HP models? I didn't know if these would be adequate or if the 1/4 HP units would be better. The smaller and lighter the unit, the better, if the performance is good. I was kind of leaning toward the Grizzly or the Sunhill 1/4 model. The largest item would probably be stiles. I only use the shaper now for door panels and crown moldings. I have a large job that is all hickory and the only way that I've been able to cut the stiles is with a climb cut.

I have Freeborn cutters for a 3 HP Powermatic shaper with a 1 HP Grizzly feeder and it works great, but I would rather take a beating than set the thing up. A while back I took out a loan and purchased a router lift from Woodpeckers and a fence from Jointech. It was the best tool purchase I've ever made. Bit changes are fast and easy and bit settings can be returned to within a couple of thou. My time at the router table has probably increased ten fold.

Thanks again for your thoughts. I just recently found this site and have really enjoyed reading all the comments and have learned a bunch.

From contributor M:
In my prior response, I forgot to mention that the reason I use a 4 x 4 fence on the router table is that I mounted my power feeder right to the fence with a piece of angle iron. That way the feeder moves with the fence. I also did this with my table saw fence, where I also use the same 1/8 HP feeder. When not using the feeder, it easily dismounts with the bracket.

Also, I have had absolutely no problem with this feeder being underpowered, and its small size is a real asset.

From contributor S:
Yes, I am referring to the 1/8 hp model. Or it might be a 1/6 hp. Delta's seems to be the same except for the size of the motor.

I would think this would be fine for stiles. One thing that you want to keep in mind is that the feeders/stand is only as strong as the table it is bolted to. Unless you strengthen your base, a 1/4 may break your table. The nice thing about these feeders is that they are variable speed vs. a choice of 4 speeds. I would think that the 1/4hp would be a stronger unit, though.