The Old Dwarf
When we first received a CRB7 Daniel and I worked the tool out a great deal and Daniel wrote a great review of the M Power CRB7. About a year later the CRB7 MKII was released and it actually fit more routers than the original. Below you will find Daniels review of the Original and the MKII. Today I am very happy to inform you that we are testing the CRB7 MK3, the latest and the best CRB7 so far. One of my favorite uses for the CRB7 is using it as an electric version of a router plane. The extra-large base lets you flatten the bottom of a half lap, wide notches or large hinge mortises. The joints on my workbench were made much easier than they could have been before I got the CRB7.
Now feature packed, the MK3 has a great edge guide that works like a fence on the base. Also they have added a large circle cutter that makes cutting large circles a breeze. The new fence is great for trenching out a dado. Originally the CRB7 would perform 7 unique tasks but I now count close to 20 functions I can do with the base. You can still flush edge trim and you can clearly do dados, rebates and mortises. There are simply so many tasks you can do with the CRB7 MK3 that are above the advertised features, you would be able to invent new tasks as the need arises. The jig is my personal favorite I use it daily and I will continue to find new uses for the MK3. The CRB7 MK3 is the best CRB7 so far and the legend grows. We are currently filming the CRB7 MK3 to post soon. Keep your eyes peeled for more videos as we move more reviews to that medium.
Here is Daniel’s review on the CRB7. It is a well written and informative review:
M-Power has produced many excellent tools so it was a privilege to test their brand new CRB-7 Combination Router Base. Assembling the CRB-7 was easy as there are very few pieces to put together. Attaching the base plate to the selection of routers in my shop couldn’t be easier. Using the router’s horizontal mounting holes (shown here), makes the variety of routers able to utilize the CRB-7 a large list to be sure.
Made from steel and high impact plastic the CRB-7 is built to last. Changing the configuration of the router base is also very simple and can be accomplished with very little work. The micro-adjust wheel allows you to carefully set the distance in very small increments. I have always had affection for tools that can multi-task and the CRB-7 is just such a tool. The CRB-7 has 7 basic functions; the M-Power website lists them as follows:
The CRB-7’s main tool functions:
- Adjustable Dado-ing or Trenching with a clamp guide - Set the clamp guide once and adjust the position of the router via the CRB7's Micro Adjuster. The CRB7 increases router to clamp guide surface contact area and reduces clamp guide set up time –eliminating it in some cases.
- Adjustable Mortising –a unique feature that allows "Centered and Off Centered" mortises plus you can decide on and precisely control the actual width of the mortise.
- Anti Tilt Support –Another first, variable height triangulated stabilization –Usually most of the router base remains unsupported when edge routing - CRB Anti tilt leg eliminates router tilt especially important when routing work-pieces with a high aspect ratio.
- Compass - Route precision circles and holes that are actually smaller than the base of the router - CRB can route circles and wheels from: ¾”to 8-¾”radius (19 to 225mm). That is diameters ranging 1-½”to 17-½”(38 to 450mm) with a ¼”or 6mm straight router cutter.
- Off Set Base Plate - Increases overall router stability –reducing errors when edge molding by more than doubling the surface contact area between router and work piece. CRB also moves the pivot hand guiding the router toward the centre of the panel smoothing out the router pass action and reducing the chance of burn marks.
- Adjustable false panel rebate copier - The CRB provides a simple and exceptionally quick way of accurately repeating a molded dado for production batch quality faux or false paneling.
- Flush Trim Lipping Kit - With virtually no set up time - quick fit the Trim Jig riser pad to accurately machine trim hard wood and iron on lipping flush with the core board in seconds. (requires accessory kit)
Next you can see the features that M-Power lists on their webpage.
CRB-7’s tool features:
- One Time Set Up –Set up the CRB7 to fit your favorite router just once with a set of 4 x injection molded shims and 4 sets of screws - job done
- Quick Change –Unlike most router jigs, CRB can be fitted/removed in less than 10 seconds, with no fiddly screws or cantering jigs required.
- Micro Adjuster –High precision router cutter position can be attained and repeated using the knurled and indexed micro adjuster.
- 2" Bakelite Ball Handle –Ergonomic design, comfortable to the touch, allowing for easy hours of consecutive use.
- Indexed Rule –The self adhesive Imperial/Metric rule is another feature to ensure fast easy readings of router cutter position.
- 2 Section Anti Tilt Leg - Supports and stabilizes the router, when routing materials varying in thickness from 3/8”to 3-1/4”- (10mm to 82mm). The 2 leg sections accommodate combinations of router position and work piece thickness.
- Magnetic Pivot Pin Storage –A no-lose home for this essential component, safe and easily accessible when ever needed.
- Professional Grade Build –Made in England the CRB is manufactured to the highest standards including a hard anodized machined solid aluminum bridge. Laser cut 5mm thick acrylic base plate and precision turned steel and brass components.
- 2 Year Guarantee –Our extended guarantee is testimony to the build quality of the CRB and ensures our customers can buy in confidence.
One of the first configurations I tested was making the CRB-7 an edge shaping jig. An excellent feature of the base is the adjustable leg that lends support to the offset side of the base plate. Adjusting the leg is a simple matter of turning one bolt. Once adjusted the leg easily holds the router level while it cuts. Typically used for edge cutting this configuration is just one in the CRB-7’s repertoires.
Setting up the CRB-7 as a small circle cutter is simple. It is just a matter of attaching a pin to the base then adjusting the distance of the bit from the center pin, then you are able to cut a circle ranging from 1-½”to 17-½”(38 to 450mm) with a ¼”or 6mm shank straight cutting router bit. I made several circular cuts in a variety of sizes and each time the CRB-7 made the cuts smooth and accurate, the whole while keeping the router steady and eliminating the risk of tipping and ruining the cut. The center pin has a magnetic hole on the side of the frame for storage.
Another useful configuration is as an offset router base. It is a simple base that will easily follow a guide clamp to produce dados or other similar cuts like false panel cuts across any width you need. The router cut was kept very straight and the CRB7 made the side that rides along the guide much wider then the typical router base alone. At just under 11”, as opposed to just the round edge of the typical base plate, the CRB-7 gives you much needed stability in your routing.
Next I set up the CRB-7 as a mortise cutter. I was able to precisely adjust the size and depth of the joint to exactly how I wanted it. Using this same configuration you can also cut rabbits (or rebates as our friends across the pond call them). Again the stability of the elongated edge guide and the support of the adjustable leg make these cuts a breeze.
The investment for the CRB-7 is only $80.00 so it is not too hard on the wallet.
With the attachment of the CRB-7’s edge guide (sold separately for $30.00), you are able to make cuts along an edge with measurements as follows:
- Edging width maximum 15mm (19/32”) with bearing
- Edging width maximum 25mm (63/64”) without the bearing
- Edging projection maximum 5mm (13/16”)
- Router bit diameter a maximum of 25mm (63/64”)