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2 Questions on Router Collet

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Forum topic by PresidentsDad posted 04-30-2020 04:11 AM 346 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PresidentsDad

117 posts in 1048 days


04-30-2020 04:11 AM

Hey All,
I have two questions regarding the router collet on my Milwaukee 5625 router I have in my router lift. The brand of router probably doesn’t matter for this example, but here goes.

1) When installing bit, if the collet is loose enough the bit will slide past the bottom of the collet and into the vast expanse of the router spindle. Should I/Could I put a short dowel in there to prevent it from going past the bottom of the collet?

2) The collet seems strange to me. When inserting a bit, I need the bottom wrench in place to even finger tighten the top nut and then of course both wrenches to fully tighten. Same thing with removing the bit, I can loosen with the wrenches and start to hand loosen just enough to remove the bit and then hit another wall in which the wrenches are needed and then it loosens too much and I have the situation above where the bit falls into the spindle past the end of the collet. Any idea if I am doing something wrong, have a bad collet or something else?

Thanks for the help.


12 replies so far

View HerringImpaired's profile

HerringImpaired

71 posts in 509 days


#1 posted 04-30-2020 04:59 AM

Typically, you get the best result by inserting the bit as far into the chuck as it will go unless it’s a straight cutter, and then pulling it up slightly and tightening the chuck. I can’t recommend inserting anything (Like a dowel) into the chuck, but some have had good results by putting a tightly fitting O-Ring on the shank of the bit where you want it to stop on the chuck. Milwaukee has one of the best chucks on a router in my opinion…. You should be able to use a wrench on the output shaft, and finger tighten the collet and adjust the bit until you tighten it down.

-- "My greatest fear is that upon my demise, my wife will sell my tools for what I said I paid for them."

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3046 posts in 3744 days


#2 posted 04-30-2020 05:16 AM

I’ve never seen a collet that didn’t have a bottom. Many times, people allow the bit to bottom, then pull it back out 1/8” before locking it down. Of course, you have to avoid allowing the shaft to go so far into the collet it catches on the flare near the cutting portion, which would mean the bit was only held in by pressure at that point.

Some have dropped an O-ring into the shaft to keep the bit from bottoming. So, I don’t think a dowel would be any big deal, as long as it didn’t interfere with getting enough of the bit shaft in to insure it was properly mounted.

I’d want to be able to remove the dowel easily, in case I went to a longer bit.

A few of my routers have lock buttons (a Bosch, a Dewalt, a Trend, a Porter Cable and a Hitachi ), but three others require a couple wrenches. I, often, have the bottom wrench in place to get the collet slightly snug on the bit for positioning.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1451 posts in 1388 days


#3 posted 04-30-2020 05:36 AM

You have a safety collet. The “loosen to a point then have to loosen again before the bit releases” is correct behavior.

Lay the router on its side to keep things from moving.

Alternately invest in a bunch of 1/2” O-rings and put one just below the top of the shank of each bit. This will prevent the bits from dropping too far. Use them even on bits too big to fall just to keep the curve at the root from entering the top of the collet.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3318 posts in 2294 days


#4 posted 04-30-2020 09:06 AM

+1 Normal safety collet operation for router.

Generally speaking you do not want the bit to ‘bottom out’ inside collet for 2 reasons.
- The bit heats up during operation, and bit needs some length available for slight expansion.
- Some collet designs will pull down the bit a couple thousandths during tightening. If something prevents this movement, bit won’t be held properly.

Suggestions above by others will can be used to prevent annoying bit drop.

PS – Please read and follow mfg safety recommendations for router bits. :-)
Nothing will ruin your day worse than a hunk of metal flying out of router screaming at 8-12K RPM. DAMHIK

Best Luck!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6303 posts in 3293 days


#5 posted 04-30-2020 10:24 AM

The Milwaukee routers have about the deepest hole I’ve seen on a router, shorter bits can disappear in there when you loosen them up. But everything you’ve described is quite normal…including the “self releasing” action (#2).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View PresidentsDad's profile

PresidentsDad

117 posts in 1048 days


#6 posted 04-30-2020 02:01 PM

Thanks all. I knew about the “put the bit in, back it out about 1/8”” and that is what I have been doing, but the two stage loosen/tighten is not ideal (well it would be find if I had three hands). I can hand tighten until the collet won’t turn, but that is not tight enough to keep the bit from falling into the collet/spindle before I can get the wrench on it. I’ll look for some “O” rings.

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PresidentsDad

117 posts in 1048 days


#7 posted 04-30-2020 02:07 PM

Silly question. Do I want an o-ring with exactly 1/2” inside diameter or something slightly less to allow it to stretch onto the bit shank?

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1451 posts in 1388 days


#8 posted 04-30-2020 02:12 PM

Use 1/2” o-rings on 1/2” shanks. Mcmaster.com has ‘em in the 100 pk for under $5.

1/2” (nom.) o-rings are already a few thou under.

The o-rings will degrade over time and eventually fall off from sitting. Keep a supply on hand.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View splintergroup's profile (online now)

splintergroup

3850 posts in 2022 days


#9 posted 04-30-2020 03:52 PM

I have that router and Fred is correct. The collet has that “double” action to force the bit to be released. Often without that feature, the collet will stick to the bit making it a bit more work to change cutters.
The o-ring is a great trick, but I just insert the bit (and let it drop down), then snug up the nut by hand until there is enough friction to raise it slightly out of the collet, making sure the collet is only grabbing on the ground portion of the bits shaft. I then give it a firm tightening. When loosening, I’ll use the double wrenches and loosen the collet, spin the collet nut out until it stops, then use the wrenches again. It can seem slightly tedious, but I appreciate the feature.

View PresidentsDad's profile

PresidentsDad

117 posts in 1048 days


#10 posted 04-30-2020 04:03 PM

Thanks to all for the education on this, I appreciate it.


I have that router and Fred is correct. The collet has that “double” action to force the bit to be released. Often without that feature, the collet will stick to the bit making it a bit more work to change cutters.
The o-ring is a great trick, but I just insert the bit (and let it drop down), then snug up the nut by hand until there is enough friction to raise it slightly out of the collet, making sure the collet is only grabbing on the ground portion of the bits shaft. I then give it a firm tightening. When loosening, I ll use the double wrenches and loosen the collet, spin the collet nut out until it stops, then use the wrenches again. It can seem slightly tedious, but I appreciate the feature.

- splintergroup


View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1451 posts in 1388 days


#11 posted 04-30-2020 04:25 PM

Just an aside: Never oil the collet or bit shafts. A little surface corrosion is a good thing. It helps keep the bits from slipping.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View PresidentsDad's profile

PresidentsDad

117 posts in 1048 days


#12 posted 05-01-2020 06:24 PM

Hey all, thanks for the advice. I purchased a 1/2” diameter grommet for the bottom of the collet (to make sure the bits would not slip through) and 1/2” diameter was just a smidge too loose. I measured and added a 3/8” x 1-3/16” dowel into the shaft and placed the grommet on top of that. Problem solved. All bits go in at least the minimum amount and no vibration or lost bits! :) (I drilled a 1/8” hole into the dowel to use a screw to get it out if I need to.)

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