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Router Design ?

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Having used a router for many years the idea is sound but the contraption for holding the router bit should, by now, have been redesigned to remove the possiblity of router slippage therefore unexpectedly damaging, often, beyond correction, the workpiece. Surely router manufacturers could come up with a form of chuck/collect that would grip a notched router bit preventing the possibility of bit slippage and over tightening of the nut holding in the collect as well as making changing the bit far easier. Perhaps I am alone with this thought ?

Kim Torsen.
 

Alf

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Welcome to the forum, Kim.

Hmm, interesting point. Never given it much thought before, I must admit. It would seem to be the safer way, wouldn't it? Unfortunately the cynical, crystal ball-gazing part of me can see future complaints along the lines of "Why does manufacturer A's routers only take their bits and not manufacturer B's? Why couldn't they make the shank design a standard pattern across the industry?". :( If manufacturers could resist doing that, sounds a good idea to me.

Cheers, Alf
 
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You've raised an interesting point there Kim. I can honestly say the air is full of more than sawdust when I've had a bit slip, especially doing a last route in a near finished piece :evil: I'm always thinking, dangerously most of the time, how to prevent this and did try something with a very cheap router and bit and that was to install a safety wire by drilling through the spindle, collet and the bit as I'd done on numerous ocassions when securing nuts on my m/bike. It worked is all I can say, no more bit slipping, not recommended for those with weak hearts or common sense.
 

Dewy

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I worked on milling machines for many years. They are like a huge overhead router. There were a few methods of holding the cutters from a screw on the cutter to fit the chuck or a slot that a screw held the cutter in place. Both were a pain to change cutters on. We all prefered a collet similar to used on routers. Cutters often slipped but most of us used various methods to stop this. The most succesful was ro roughen the shank by holding the cutter lightly while turning it on the corner of a grindstone. This just left a roughened surface with the shank staying round. Before putting the cutter in the collet it was dipped in grinding dust. Once tightened, it seldom slipped. It should be noted that the motor was about 24" above the collet so the dust couldn't get in. This is not so with a router so I have not used this method with my router & would never do so while the router was inverted.
 

johnelliott

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I suppose it's going to happen to me now that I've said this, but in all my years of routing, having owned at least 10 routers, I have never had a bit slip. I can only assume that I am doing them up sufficiently tightly to prevent slipping. Having said that, I've never had a cutter jam either. Perhaps that's the answer, just do the nut up tighter? I acknowledge that I might just have been lucky.
John
 

Chris Knight

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I have had a bit slip only once in many years and thousands of routing operations.

I guess manufacturers could do something like the Clarkson "Autolock Collet" used for mills but it would cost a lot and add mass - can't see it making money for anyone!
 

Dewy

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It was the time taken putting cutters in then trying to remove them with a Clarkson "Autolock Collet" that we started using grinding dust. It needs a very hard wack on the drawbar to loosen the collets to get the cutters out. This would not be advisable with a router.
 

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Hi Dewy

I don't remember a Clarkson Chuck having the collet held in by a drawbar. From what I remember the cutter was threaded and screwed into the collet. The collet had two dogs on it to prevent it turning in the chuck and was held in the chuck by a big nut on the end of the chuck. The chuck itself could stay in the machine and there was no need to undo the drawbar just to change the cutter.

All the best

John
 

Dewy

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Yes. No need to remove the collet but you had to hit the drawbar with a heavy mallet to loosen the cutter enough to remove it.
In use, the cutter screwed into the collet until it locked against the centre point in the clarkson body.
This made it very difficult to remove.
 

Steve Maskery

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I am envious of anyone who has never had a bit slip!
It is quite possible to overtighten a bit. The collet gets deformed and then doesn't do its job properly.
I've recently bought the Xtreme Xtension collet for my 177E in my router table and it is the best thing since sliced bread. Expensive, yes. But well designed, well made and does the job superbly. Not had a slippage in it yet. The cutter is secured differently than in a normal slit collet. All routers should be built this way.
Cheers
Steve
 

Chris Knight

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Steve,

Thanks for the tip about the Xtreme Xtension. I had never seen or heard of it till your post. Did you send to the USA for it? I can only see mention of it on US websites
 

Keith Smith

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The more expensive routers have better designed collets and are a lot less likely to slip, but there are a couple of things you can do which will lessen the chance of slippage. Never leave the cutter in the router when you are not using it, this releases the tension on the collet and increases its life expectancy and regularly remove the collet and clean it and the housing of accumulated dust. Collets don't last forever if yours starts to slip then it's time to replace it.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Chris

waterhead37":3o9nrfa7 said:
Steve, Thanks for the tip about the Xtreme Xtension. I had never seen or heard of it till your post. Did you send to the USA for it? I can only see mention of it on US websites
I visited Steve a little while ago and he was so enthused when showing me the Xtreme Xtension, that when I saw it on offer in The Router recently I went and bought it. Along with the Router Raizer.

It is the Woodworkers workshop in the uk that sell them both.

Router Raizer 66.50 GBP
Xtreme Xtension 55.50 GBP

I agreed to pay one more more as his carriage costs had increased since agreeing the reader offer. The telephone number is 0845 165 9244 and the web site is, in my favourites, http://www.woodworkersworkshop.co.uk

Just mention The Router offer "RT60".

He also had the Accurate Guide at 49 GBP.

EDIT I've just checked the web site and the Xtreme Xtension doesn't appear there, but they do sell it.

Cheers
Neil

PS The demo video of the Legacy Mill shows them using a quick-change system on the router. I haven't investigated that one, but I'll have another look and report back.
 

Chris Knight

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Neil,

Many thanks indeed for the information. I have that link to woodworkersworkshop too but last time I looked and still today, I see no mention of the Xtreme. Anyway, I shall call him on the phone.

I do have a collet extender (Trend IIRC) but it's sometimes a bit too long, it doesn't have that natty above table feature and worst of all, it's either not quite straight or it somehow magnifies eccentricity problems because it causes fairly significant vibration when I use it with any given bit. I basically don't like using it so this new gadget may do the job - which for me, since I use the router table a lot, is an important job.

I wonder if the quick change feature you mention in connection with the Legacy mill is the new PC thingy or the old Jacobs Power collet? I have one of the latter, bought when I saw it in a Woodrat video. I use it a bit but it too makes things vibrate, especially when upside down as in the table. It's a bit better when I use it with the rat.
 

johnjin

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Hi Chris.
The problem with all these quick release systems, is that they all increase the length of the arbor and consequently end up increasing cutter run out and Vibration. I would guess that they also decrease the life of the bearings in the router because of the increased length putting even greater pressure on the bearings.

All the best

John
 

Chris Knight

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John,

I think you are absolutely right. All the efforts to make routers work better with tables seem to end up as rather expensive compromises and I sometimes wonder why I didn't get a spindle moulder in the beginning! The trouble is that I now have such an investment in router bits, the Incra fence and Plungelift that I can't face the thought of making that lot redundant whilst having also to buy tooling for a spindle moulder!

I have looked at the shaper thingies that can supposedly use router bits as well as take spindle tooling, but these things again seem a compromise - a rather worse one by many accounts with speed too slow for router bits and lacking the features of a proper spindle moulder.

And who am I fooling really? I have no room for such a thing anyway! For now, I will just keep my fingers crossed and hope the Xtreme Xtension works for me.
 

Steve Maskery

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The Xtreme Xtension isn't on the website because WWW is a one-man-band and he hasn't got round to putting it on. When I ordered the Router Raizer (after a review in GW, to go back to another recent thread) he told me about it over the phone, and I ordered it. After a week I had received nothing, and a call to him revealed he hadn't actually sent it. Not got around to it. In fairness, he was suitably apologetic, we had a nice conversation about the difficulties of being self-employed, the expectations of customers for handmade furniture at IK** prices and the reluctance of woodies to spend money, wanting DW for the price of Ferm etc etc etc., and the kit duly arrived next day, along with a couple of freebies in way of an apology. Accepted.
The issue of vibration is an important one, and the instructions are clear about the necessity of ensuring it runs true and speed limitations. I also suspect that it makes a difference how good your router is to start with. Mine is and old-fashioned Elu 177E, but it hasn't had masses of use and still shows no sign of wear. I use it MUCH more now it is permanently mounted in a table. I suspect if you tried to use the XX in one of the budget routers, the issue of vibration would be more important, because they simply are not bult to the same standard.
At the risk of this becoming a Tool Review, I have to say I am delighted with both the XX and the RR. Only gripe about the RR is that the lead screw is Imperial and I usually work in Metric. But even that isn't much of a problem now. I made a simple Metric Scale to fit over the crank, which gives me metric divisions for an imperial thread. I've sent it to PeteM and I hope he can find a little slot for it one month on the tips page :)
Cheers
Steve
 

Chris Knight

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Steve,

Thanks for the reply. I have always gone for top of the line routers and indeed my own table mounted machine is the same as yours - now about 8 years old. I get the vibration problem with a much newer DW625 as well so I suspect that it is the extender I presently use - hope so in any case!
 

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Steve
Thanks for your comments on the XX. Bizarre - because I was just speaking to the chap at WWW a couple of days ago about router table tops - and he sent me some bumf - including some info on the XX. I remember seeing one at a show and being impressed.
The leaflet does describe how to make sure the XX is centred in the collet. Appears to be trial and error. Did you find this a relatively simple process?
I am very tempted - means on my latest router table version (must be mk iv!) - I will just mount the router permanently to a table - ie without a insert plate and will be able to change bits with ease I hope ...
Anyway can confirm the price is £55+delivery.
Cheers
Gidon
ps - (meant to say the XX will be added to my Elu 177E too)
 

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