Router Woodworking

Makita trimmer subbase 1

Makita trimmer subbase 2

Makita trimmer subbase 3

This has to be the prettiest of all the world's trimmers. Its royal styling & blue-silver metal finishing is as good as it gets. A Japanese masterpiece made in China. Its thoroughly de-burred casting is the smallest of all trimmers, 3.5". View of the work, through the (very flat & split) base casting, is ~that of the PC310, a modest~1.75" x 160°. This ergonomic machine, with its 100" wire set, weighs ~4.3 lbs. It's casting to spindle squareness is well within acceptable limits. The up/down motor travel is ~1-3/8" which is about the same as the largest diameter cutter it will accept. So what else is there?

The 1/4" (only) x 5/8" collet is not self-releasing. With its 4 blind slots, it firmly embraces its cutters. It is tightened with 2 wrenches or with 1 wrench & a spindle lock. The motor is a VS soft start that runs up to ~30,000 RPM. It is well balanced (vibration free) from zero to max and quiet. The motor enjoys a rack (milled into the casting) and rises and falls with a base-casting mounted pinion gear. A toggled lock-lever is part of that assembly. Once tightened, it will not give up its hold on the motor barrel, a consequence of the split casting.

The up/down depth adjuster is not zero-able nor is it sweet. But it is fast. As such, the start depth of any cut is always a guess. The correct depth of cut is a reiterative process, (but aren’t they all?). The motor depth-of-cut scribes are in 1/16"ths and millimeters, and very hard to target with this sloppy pinion gear. A surprising oversight.

The 3/16" x 3.5" round Bakelite subbase is flat (to @ least + or - .0005"!) and a good start for general trim work. Whilst able to accept the PC/DW collar-bush system, it is not center-able, nor dimensioned well for collars. I would not use the plate for templet work. I would use my RT0701C 9mm round collar plate, however. It is center-able to the spindle to + or - .002".

The stability of the machine, whether engaged in edge or inside work, is poor. Though its center of mass is about on the height centerline, it is still very tippy because its footprint is so small. Whilst routing along an edge, there is only ~35% of its casting on the work. On a turn, that number is <18%; you cannot edge trim without tipping this machine. Though hardly a Makita exclusive, its tipsiness is quite pronounced. My offset subbase will put you in complete control. What about performance? Entirely acceptable, and within the general trimmer performance window in spades. I'd recommend.

Subbase Ordering Options: All options include free UPS shipping and handling. (Substantial discounts on combination sale items, see 4 & 5)

1) Precision Round/Center-able*, ~9mm x 5" Subbase with collar cutter hole.
A. With flange button head screws only...... $36
B. With centering accessories: screws, precision .250" pin & ring, 1 neoprene wrench sleeve, 4 pliers tip protectors, 1 cushioned T-Allen key, and instructions..... $63
2) 9mm x ~7-5/16" Offset subbase with center-able collar cutter hole, supplied with screws only…. $42
3) 9mm x 7-5/16" Offset Subbase with centering accessories…… $68
4) 1B and 2: $80
5) 1A and 2: $60

* See the Precision Subbase Kit link for more on this design.

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Copyright © 2014 Pat Warner
Last modified: Tue May 27 12:57:46 PDT 2014