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How do you reduce shanks on router cutters

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  • #16
    If the shank is soft, maybe you could hold on the end of the shank and turn it down. Then grind off the end of the shank. Could get tricky I'm thinking. If the shank is HSS, you probably won't be able to turn it well enough to do any good. I like the collet idea myself.


    • #17
      The router in question is Dewalt, A.K.A. Blak & Decker, A.K.A. Elu (original Swiss maker). Contact these hoseheads corporate orfices and speak to the engineering department. At one time Elu had the largest collets in a commercial router. They may have the appropriate collets from their industrial side. The collets in these machines are the best in the industry, it would be difficult at best to modify the collet as they are harder than hell (as it should be - in the right places).

      An easier router collet to modify would be the big Porter Cable routers. I chedked mine and there is sufficient meat to take it to 15mm easily - unlike the Elu design (my favorite for collet design but does not have the balls the big PC's have).

      I would not even consider reducing the shanks - unless they are properly ground you will comprimise the collet's grip which could result in a damaged motor shaft or collet.

      You could always use them in your mill with the proper collet or an ER type collet holder. A set of ER collets close on all sizes within their range: i.e. ER-25 is 1mm-16mm. You do not have to buy complete sets either - individual collets can be purchased instead of sets to reduce initial outlay, plus most will never need the complete range just the common shank sizes.


      • #18
        just read this thread for the first time. I consider the wood router one of the most versatile, yet by far the most DANGEROUS tool in my shop. Quite frankly it scares the hell out of me. I ran my first router way too long, and it spit out pieces that did terrible things to my shop walls. Whatever you decide to do, hide behind a steel plate or wear your body armor before you fire that bad boy up. I'm as cheap as they come, but I do not see the economy in fiddling with the collet system, or the cutter shanks on these quarter pound 25,000 rpm potential missiles. Good luck.


        • #19
          If you make or modify a collet you can use it forever, opening your sources to more router bits in the future. If you alter these few bits when they are worn out you will have nothing.

          Seems clear to me that the best fix is the collet.
          ron ginger


          • #20
            how about starting with a 1/4 inch thick disk, drill/bore to fit shank of router bit, saw to center, use like a split coller in the 3-jaw chuck to hold the bit. grind or turn shank to size, depending on materiel.


            • #21
              Thanks everyone.
              As far as the danger is concerned yes routers are dangerous and one of the reasons I am asking for all of this advice is that I am cautious by nature.The router in question is fitted to a router table and would be run at a slower speed than normal which is always advised for such a big cutter.I will clearly have to digest all of the advice given.(with safety utmost in the priority line).
              I still think the easiest way is to get a new collet and try altering that.My understanding is that these big cutters are all well balanced at the factory where great lengths are gone to to achieve a perfect balance but that may not be the case with all cutter manufacturers.I don't think the design of the cutters in question would allow for a plunge type cut (CUTTING EDGE ON THESE IS AT THE SIDES NOT AT THE TIP) as they are designed to be used in a table situation or in a milling type c.n.c machine at any rate not hand held in a router (most larger cutters are not suitable to be hand held as i'm sure you know)with the wood being brought up to the cutter once all the cutter settings had been established i.e. height, protrusion from fence etc.I will probably try to use them if as i say I can get another way of holding them i.e without trying to reduce shank dimensions.But I'm not ruling it out yet altogether .Alistair
              Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease