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Why not make some Z Axis designs for the Harbor Freight trim router with Fusion 360

it is not variable speed, so you can’t turn it down unless you use a variac or a dimmer switch. Depending on the router body size, it may be a drop in for the M2, the Metal Maslow, or the Meticulous if the right clamp set is available. Adapting plunge bases has proven to be unreliable.

the makita clones from china are $25 each wholesale. Companies like Shapeoko sell them with thier CNC’s. however by the time one pays 25% tarriffs and shipping they are only $10 cheaper than a real makita router with 1 year warranty. I think the 1 year warranty is worth $10, so that why we went makita. Amazon sells the makita clones for around $60, that is the cheapest router I would recommend.