2 Nov 2018

Fine Woodworking MHL Review

Hand held routers are useful in any shop, even those with router tables. My professional shop has eight loaded with common bits and ready to go. But routing accurate mortises or channels with a single fence can be challenging. This is where MPower’s CRB7MHLF shines. It’s an attachment for the company’s CRB7 router base (Tools & Materials: “Router base does the work of many jigs,” FWW #241).

The attachment’s heart is its two jaws. One is fixed to the base using screws supplied in the kit. The second is movable, and thanks to locking knobs and a large microadjust wheel, setup is fast and accurate. The guide was particularly easy to set up for a groove by just resting the fixed jaw on the workpiece and sliding the adjustable jaw into place, much like a clamp. The CRB7 base has a built-in adjustment mechanism that lets you position the router bit once the CRB7MHLF guide is in place.

The guide helps cut mortises for hinges and locks accurately and safely, especially when you use stop blocks. The jaws have threaded inserts on each face to allow for a larger auxiliary fence, increasing safety and accuracy. It can also help you rout the faces of panels up to 7 in. wide, so it’s useful for fluting.

—Greg Pilotti runs a custom furniture-making shop in Parkesburg, Pa.

From issue #267—Mar/Apr 2018

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