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Router base depth won't hold

Cutting some dovetails. Tightened the heck out of the clamp screw that goes around motor housing and also the collet. Still the bit goes deeper and deeper as I cut more pins on a leigh jig. Can't figure this out!

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I feel your pain! This is not uncommon. If the bit is slipping out of the collet, it is probably due to a dull bit. The 1/4 inch shanks are more prone to this than the 1/2 inch ones, which is why most new routers use 1/2 inch. (Think about the large size as being analogous to a larger wrench being able to exert a greater torque.) However, if the problem is the housing slipping on the base, you can try wedging a little piece of sandpaper under clamp. If the clamp has a thumbscrew, use a wrench on it to tighten it just a bit more than you could possibly do it with strong fingers. It was just this problem that inspired me to ditch my old Craftsman for a Porter Cable. Good luck!

Posted on Nov 05, 2012

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: My porter 1/4" router

Have you tried taking out the collet and cleaning it and the cavity where it goes? If there is any wood dust present it may be causing the problem. If that doesn't fix it, you may need a new collet.

Posted on Sep 07, 2011

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1 Answer

How do I change bits on P/Cable 690LR?


If the collet was tightened without a bit in it, it may have been squeezed so it is too small for the bit shank. Completely unscrew the collet from the router and see if the bit will go into it. If not, you can try forcing an old bit in using your vice, and then using as hammer and punch to remove the bit, but most likely you will have to get a new collet. Just search "Porter Cable router parts to find a source.

Jul 19, 2014 | Porter Cable 690LR Router

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How to remove the chuck from a porter cable router?


To remove the collet (not the collet nut) you must first take apart the armature from the field.
To do this,
1. Take the cap off the top by removing the two Phillips screws.
2. Remove the two brushes.
3. Remove the two Phillips screws hidden under the cap.
4.The only thing holding the top and bottom pieces now is a friction fit of the bearings. Tap with a non marking hammer on the top housing underneath the brush holders, and it should come apart after a few taps.
5.Use an armature split sleeve and put the armature sleeve in a vice to hold the armature.
6.Then use a wrench and unscrew the collet from the armature.
7. Just reverse this process to put it back together.

May 22, 2014 | Porter Cable Tools & Hardware - Others

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Why won't my sprinkler turn. The water comes out fine, but it won't rotate. Mine is a plastic model, and I can't figure out how to get inside.


1) Use a 5/16 nut driver (or flat screwdriver) and remove 5 screws holding body to motor assembly.
2) Use pliers to hold the worm bearing assembly where the tee screws in. Hold worm bearing and remove tee.
3) Use a 3/8 inch allen wrench to remove the worm bearing assembly. The allen wrench is placed in the same hole where the tee was located. (Removing the worm bearing assembly allows you to separate the upper motor housing from the lower housing.)

Use care when removing the top and bottom halves as sometimes the small flat washers tends to fall off the shaft when you open sections.

When screwing worm bearing assembly into the lower motor housing, you are screwing brass into plastic. If over tightened, the housing will split. Rule of thumb: tighten until it feels snug then go a 1/4 of a turn.

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Aguired a black and decker model 7600 router tool. Did not come with instruction manual. I cannot determine how to change the bits.


They don't have an instruction manual online at the Black and Decker support site, but if you want a look at the exploded diagram, it's here.

Basically there's a collet nut that gets tightened down to hold the bit in place. You've got to loosen it up and you'll be able to pop bits in and out. You've got to have some way to lock the shaft while you're doing this though.

Most modern routers have a spring loaded shaft lock button. While you're holding it in, start turning the collet. When the shaft gets to the point where there's a little hole for the spring lock, you'll probably hear a little click, and the shaft will be locked so you can loosen the collet. If you take your finger off the shaft lock, it pops right back out again so hold it down while you're loosening and tightening.

If you don't see a shaft lock button, you may have a second hex nut at the base and with two wrenches, you can hold the hex nut and turn the collet loose that way.

If this answer was helpful, please give it a vote. Thanks.

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1 Answer

What is the router bit depth for a shop fox dovetail jig


Usually with router dovetail jigs one has to find the depth by trial and error as the fitting is very critical and any discrepancy doubles as the cut is on both sides of the joint.
I think you may have to play this game.
You will need offcuts of the same size as the finished work that are long enough to go into the clamps of the device and then just fit the joint by trial and error. It is the way we do it in the trade. Sharpening of the cutter and different thicknesses of wood all affect the fit of the joint.
If my memory serves me raising the cutter up toward the machine makes the joint looser and lowering it makes it tighter. If I was in my workshop with the machine in my hand I would remember for sure
Good luck!

May 31, 2010 | Tools & Hardware - Others

1 Answer

Black wheel in the center of router. ??


It controls the depth of cut. Loosen the clamp at the back of the router and turn the motor until the bit touches the workpiece. Tighten the clamp. Turn the wheel until the line on the motor housing is at zero on the wheel. Loosen the clamp and turn the motor to the depth (on the wheel) of your desired cut,ie 1/4 ". retighten the clamp and your cut is set for 1/4th inch.

Feb 01, 2010 | Porter Cable 690LR Router

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I have to replace the armature in my makita rf1101 router and im having a heck of a time getting to the old armature. I ahve it broken down to where the power cord has been removed, now do i remove the...


first go to Makitatools.com and type in your model number and download a breakdown for the tool. The collet body and nut have to come off before the armature can be removed. After viewing the breakdown you will see that it is not really that hard. let me know if you need more assistance.

Nov 12, 2009 | Makita Tools & Hardware - Others

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How do you remove collet from porter cable router model 690 I have purchace a new 690 to mount to a mortise lock base and need to remove collet, the shaft threads onto the router where the collet is,


I would suggest going to Dewaltservicenet.com and typing in your model number for an owners manual for this tool. If you still need more help let me know and I will try.

Oct 01, 2009 | Porter Cable 690LR Router

1 Answer

The router bits will not fit in the collet. When the collet snaps into the collet nut the bit does not fit.


The collet is loosely screwed on, correct?
Is it close, or 1/4" off. You may need an adapter for different sized bits.
I have noticed, particularly with Freud bits, that they seem a bit oversized. Try putting the bit in the collet before you insert the collet into the router.
If you're very careful, you can use fine emory cloth (like 400 grit or higher) to polish the bit by cutting a long strip and clamping the bit in a vice, then gently polish the shank a little to allow it to fit into the collet. Pull back and forth on the ends of the sandpaper like you were buffing shoes, but I would only recommend this if you can use a micrometer to check the shank and it is in fact oversize.
You could create a dangerous situation if you polish too much and the bit is not held securely in the collet and flies out when the router is under load.
Another technique is to sand a slight chamfer on the end of the bit to help it slide into the collet.
Or return it and try another brand.

I hope this information allows you to resolve this issue. If you need further assistance, please post back with a comment to this thread.
If I've managed to answer your question or solve a problem, please take just a moment to rate this post....thanks!

Aug 15, 2009 | Freud FT2000E 3 Router

1 Answer

Dovetail leave a 'light gap'


This may not be related to your jig. It may be movement in the vertical axis resulting from:

  1. The router bearings being worn allowing the bit to move up and down.
  2. The router bearings worn allowing the spindle to deflect side to side which changes the bit height slightly (cuts on the edges, making the cut a hair deeper).
  3. The router collet or router spindle worn, allowing the bit to move during cuts.
  4. The jig guide plate deflecting or no longer flat.
  5. Excess vibration in the router causing the wood to move in the jig.

To check the bearings; try routing the cut with a straight bit first to clear the wood for the dovetail bit. Then cut with the dovetail bit (a new one preferably) using very light feed pressure. Is the joint tighter? If so then the bearings are worn. Have the router serviced or replace it.

Check the end-play by pulling on the router shaft, does it wiggle slightly in and out? If so this is your problem. Have the router serviced or replace it.

Be sure the wood is flat and the faces planed parallel, if they aren't the dovetail line will be straight but when you assemble there will be slight end gaps in sections of the dovetail.

Feb 23, 2009 | Porter Cable Porter-Cable 4216 12" Deluxe...

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