Machine set-up #2: Router Bearing Replacement: Fix It, Don't Trash it!

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Blog entry by rhett posted 05-31-2013 09:07 PM 1945 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Double stack Part 2 of Machine set-up series Part 3: Can't bite my tongue.... Squaring up a tablesaw blade »

Today my 690 died, big sparks, some smoke and then brrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.

With play at the bit, it was obvious a bearing gave out. Being from the school of try to fix it before you trash it, I got to work. First things was to remove the brushes from both sides. A flat tip screw driver makes quick work of this simple step. The brushes are kept under tension by springs. They must be removed so the armature will come out freely. These are usually the first things to wear out on an electric router. Which is why they were designed to be so simple to replace.

Next loosen the two screws from the top of the housing

Lift and let it drape to the side as you remove the two additional screws.

Gently tap up and around on the housing. There is a small bearing on the top of the armature that is seated in there, it should take very little effort to get the housing off.

Here is the top bearing, check it and replace if necessary. This one is fine.

The next step is a bit trickier but not difficult by any means. The collet nut is going to be on tight. An impact wrench would make short work of this step but I don’t have one. Instead, I applied heat to the nut in order to expand the metal a bit.

Wrapping the end of the armature in a shop rag and putting a 1 1/8 socket on the nut, I then proceeded to bust mine. It’s on there tight…

Here is the nut removed.

Now its time to unseat the armature. A bearing press would be ideal for this step, but once again, I don’t have one. A few taps on the metal bolt should drop it right out. Be carefull not to hit the threads and make sure your ready to catch the armature when it falls.

Almost there, now you can see the lower bearing. It is held in with a pinch ring. There is a special tool for removing them, but sharp needle nose pliers and a small flat tip screw driver will yield the same result. Once removed, flip the housing over and put a socket, of the same diameter as the inner race, on the bearing.

A few taps with a hammer and out it will fall. Here is the shot bearing.

Total time invested so far, 15 minutes with taking pics. The part, with shipping, is under $20. That’s a lot cheaper than a new router. When your self employeed, every dollar not spent is almost like a dollar earned.

Once the bearing arrives I will walk you back through putting it together. If I don’t make it back, here is the big trick. Put your bearing in the freezer, overnight, prior to install and it should easily slip back into it’s seat.

Just because tool companies designs their tools to eventually fail, that doen’t mean we have to throw them away. Atleast TRY to fix them first. Even if you can’t get it to work again, you will have learned something about how the tool works and will have made an effort.

In todays world, even a failed effort is more than most people will do.

Be Good

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

6 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3111 days

#1 posted 06-01-2013 01:35 AM

Very impressive! Next time one of my tools lays down I’m gonna contact you to see if you’ll talk me through the fix. I’m not very mechanical at all!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Vicki's profile


1116 posts in 3765 days

#2 posted 06-01-2013 03:55 PM

I was using my router and the brush just fell out. I finally got it back in and all is well now, but I had a dickens of a time getting the spring pushed down and the cap on fast enough so it didn’t pop back out like a Jack in the box. What is your trick for getting it back? Thanks for the article. Very well done.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4088 days

#3 posted 06-01-2013 04:44 PM


That is a tricky and frustrating step.

Here is my method. With my left hand, I take a long screw driver or awl and seat/press the bushing into its spot. With my right hand I then take the cap and place it on its side, pressing on the bushing. I quickly pull the screw driver out while flipping the cap down.

Not sure if that is the correct way, but it works for me 90% of the time. The other 10% is cursing at an inanimate object.

Once again, I urge everyone to alteast try and fix their broken tools. Most is simple technology and the part that breaks is usually mechanical. Check out ereplacement parts dot com. There you can look at schemtaics for most any tool and see how they’re made.

As my father used to say, “If you broke it, atleast try to fix it. Its hard to make something broke, broker.”

Be Good

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View NormG's profile


6438 posts in 3425 days

#4 posted 06-01-2013 07:24 PM

Thanks for the info and the videos

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Vicki's profile


1116 posts in 3765 days

#5 posted 06-05-2013 01:44 PM

Thanks for explaining Rhett. That’s sorta what i did, but it took several attempts. I had to bend the little flanges on the top out a bit so they’d catch also.

I agree with you on the trying to fix it. I don’t know a lot about machines, but when they are broken I always figured I can’t hurt them any worse so I have a look. Sometimes I get lucky.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View robscastle's profile


6223 posts in 2625 days

#6 posted 07-03-2013 08:56 AM

Good post.

I had a similar experience wit a random orbital sander the bearing seized and it turned into a disk sander’

I was amazed at the time and bewildered as well.
Needed to use it in its proper role so dismantled it wondering what had gone wrong, I found a defective bearing to be the fault went to the bearing shop with it.
Bought an off the shelf product, sealed specifically designed for the job and ready to go for $7.00

Put it back together again and it works better than before the problem

yee ha!

-- Regards Rob

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