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  • Router Collet

    I have misplaced my 1/2" collet for a model 7539 3 1/2hp Porter Cable router. Since I know it'll turn up within a few days IF I buy a replacement, I'm thinking about making one. In view of the possibly diastrous consequences if it failed, while slinging a sharp piece of carbide round'n round at 10-20k rpm, I realize caution is in order here.
    Anyone have any thoughts/suggestions/points to beware/etc.? Any particular steel required? ...or just any ol piece of HRS or CRS?

    BTW, I still have the 1/4" collet which I can use for checking the dimensions and taper.

    [This message has been edited by lynnl (edited 03-18-2003).]

  • #2
    Lynnl I made enquiries here about altering router collets to fit a larger diameter set of cutters I had bought. It surprises me how much they can cost. Replacemant router collets are not only tremendously expensive but the price variation between different companies is staggering.I recently bought a router extension with a few collets of a good quality make CMT all cheaper than a standard collet for my Dewalt 1/2inch it is little wonder you would like to find the ones you lost I constantly put things down and come back a few moments later to spend half an hour or so looking for them only to eventually give up and just when I give up there they are,usually in front of my nose all the time.let me know how you get on with making your own there are some others doing this I read about it somewhere can't remember where someone else might.hope it goes okay for you Alistair
    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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    • #3
      Speculating that the cxollet is completely retained inside the spindle, ie. fits into a recess and a threaded cap to hold everything together, its probable that either choice of material would be fine as long as the fit is reasonably snug, certainly not loose, or too tight.
      gvasale

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      • #4
        I've made collets for 1/4" air grinders out of CRS and never had a problem. For a router make sure that you've got as smooth a finish as you can get. One question though. Are these a double or single taper?
        Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

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        • #5
          Not sure about that. I'd never used the 1/2", and haven't really paid much attention to the 1/4" since installing it, other than changing bits...and don't do that very often.
          But I think it's just a single taper.

          [This message has been edited by lynnl (edited 03-18-2003).]

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          • #6
            Since most collets for routers that I've seen are contained inside the spindle and are clamped down I don't think you have as much to worry about as if you were making the bit itself.

            I'd figure that matching the taper (for clamping/slippage reduction) and bore concentricity (vibration) are your 2 biggest concerns.
            If you plan on hardening it then be sure to leave rod on both ends to hold it together and minimise warpage of the slits. Then grind off ofter treating. But you could probably make one just as good out of brass depending on how it clamps.

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            • #7
              I don't see a problem, or any point in hardening it.

              I'd probably use "Stressproof" steel (1144), as it machines well and is strong, but I expect almost anything will work. Just spend the time to get the taper(s) as exact as you can possibly make them.
              ----------
              Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
              Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
              Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
              There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
              Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
              Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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              • #8
                Agreed, no problem with materials. I've used brass for collets without problem. Precision machining the bore and fit in the router spindle are what's important.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                • #9
                  Lynn
                  By the time you make a nut, get a snap ring, make the collet, slit it, harden it, grind in internally and externally and then ballance it for 20K rpm - just go buy one. I replace mine every couple of years just out of paranoia. And I have the 3-1/3 variable speed plunge and the 2HP plunge PCs.

                  Use 4140 and case harden it if you still decide to go for it.

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                  • #10
                    Well I didn't really WANT to make one. It's just that I hate to buy one when I have a brand new one laying around misplaced somewhere. AND, such as this is the reason I got into metal working in the first place. (Tho, it's obviously become a false economy! ) You're absolutely right of course. The $12 or $13 for a new one is peanuts compared to the 2 or $300 in time I'd invest in making one.

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                    • #11
                      But Lynnl, just think about what you'll learn. Still saving for the home shop equip and have to do all my projects at work during lunch. Been at this for thirty years and I still manage to learn new things all the time, or maybe I forgot and am just relearning them.
                      Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, that's one plus to getting old. Take jokes for example. The same joke you heard last week is just like a new one this week.

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