Bosch GOF 1600 CE Router archive
Tuesday 22 May 2012
Anthony Bailey is not about to give up his sterling work as tester of all things routing, so we gave him the latest piece of tech-gizmo to play with
Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a bit of a router fanatic especially where anything new or different is concerned. So it was with great interest that I received the new Bosch GOF 1600 CE for testing. It still looks like it is out of the Bosch stable and it shares fence and guidebushes with other machines in the lineup, but it is marked out by some very artful design engineering. For a start it is one of several combination body models that have made their way across 'the pond' from the USA to the UK, part of a reviving interest in swap-body models which give you the option of plunge- or fixed-base routing.
Motor CanThis machine has a rating of 1,600W but stands easily as big as a 2,000W model. The â'motor can' has a rubber flat top so you can invert it for cutter-changing and a neatly but easily accessed speed dial at the front with an ample mains lead. It comes with standard Bosch collets and a small but easy-press spindle lock button. It is heavy to lift in and out of both bases and has guide slots to locate it and three detents that allow it to be locked at different positions. Now the clever bit. Each base features an identical squeeze- and button-lock on-off switch on the ergonomically rubberised, right hand grip handle. The power is delivered to the switch and back to the motor can via discrete contacts in insulated tracks on the motor can, which engage with contacts in each base. Clever and apparently completely safe in operation and reliable too. Lastly there are LED worklights to see what you are doing.
Plunge BaseIn Europe we are used to plunge routing and this base is better than previous Bosches in a number of respects. The plunge action is virtually waggle-free and has a very springy well-shaped plunge lock lever. Having locked it, a fine adjuster allows very precise depth setting with a clear scale around it. This being an early model, I did not have the plug-in extension handle, which makes this far easier than the one on the machine. Thankfully though, I just happened to have one lying around in the workshop. The depth rod at the front is still quite slim but unlike older designs it doesn't waggle or fall out as it sits in a plastic sleeve and sets easily against a clear metric scale. The seven stage depth turret is still present.
The base is a large circular shape with one flat side for running against a straight edge and it takes a large standard fence with very usable fine adjustment on the fence. The fence knobs are apparently not supplied with anti-vibration springs. The base is smooth without dust traps which is a plus. It has a clear plastic base facing and a dust bowl can be fitted to it with another one on the fence for bearing-guided and edge work. A guidebush holder can be screwed into the baseplate and standard Bosch pattern guidebushes used. A lever lock and separate safety catch allow the motor can to be fitted in to the plunge base.