Wednesday 10 March 2010
The Bosch GMF1400CE has interchangeable bases and Derek Jones puts it to the test
The GMF1400CE certainly looks the business and as one of the Bosch professional range of routers costing more than £300 it cannot really afford to be anything less.
For a start it is really two routers in one, the motor block being interchangeable with separate fixed and plunge bases.
The SDS Quick-change system makes the transfer between bases straightforward and simple with a choice of either left or right-handed location of the on-off switch. Both setups have mechanisms for precise, fine-depth adjustment that work when mounted to a table and are calibrated in metric and imperial.
Wooden handles on the fixed base make a visual connection with precision hand-held tools and in practice the association is not wasted. At first I found the low position of the handles on the fixed base gave a rather top-heavy feel and used with the parallel fence means that the path of travel is from left to right, across the body, rather than pushing out in front.
Tool changing is easier with the motor block removed. There is no spindle lock so it is a 2-spanner job and 50mm is the largest cutter that will fit through either baseplate. Both setups have good provision for 35mm dust and chip extraction, allowing reasonable visibility of the cutting area, the more efficient of the two systems being the fixed base setup.
The plunge base has eight depth-stop pre-sets and was the more stable of the two when used with the fence.
The diameter of the soleplate is 170mm, which is not the largest on a machine with this rating, but the high and wide position of the grips resulted in greater stability when working along an edge. The fixed baseplate is smaller at 152mm diameter and is perfect for table mounting.