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Understanding collet replacements / extensions

This is a discussion on Understanding collet replacements / extensions within the General Routing forums, part of the Routers category; We get a lot of questions about collets and extensions so here is a reference ...


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Old 06-20-2013, 07:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Understanding collet replacements / extensions
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We get a lot of questions about collets and extensions so here is a reference thread about them. For your router to work properly it is important to have the correct collet/nut on it. Some brands have tighter tolerances than others. The exact taper of the collet is critical too. If the angle is off 1/2° you can have vibration that will ruin your router or it may work fine. It is not worth taking a chance of damaging your router over a $15 - $25 replacement collet. Knowing the model number is not enough to get a replacement collet. Designs change and the model number may not. This is where those other numbers on your router come into play. When ordering a replacement collet (or any part) be sure to have all the numbers off your router. A good example of this is DeWalt model numbers may be the same in the US and the UK but the parts are different. The additional numbers guarantee that you get the part you need.

Precision high quality aftermarket collets/nuts are available from sources like Elaire Corp. in Ohio. The tolerances are much better than factory standards so you are less likely to have any problems.

Collet replacement devices: there are two types available. The first was The Eliminator chuck. You replace the factory collet and nut with this device. It has a cam that is tightened into the side of your bit's shank by a hex screw. The Eliminator gives you twice the holding power of your factory collet/nut. Many people over tighten this style of device and the cam wedges into the bit shank (or reducing bushing) and sticks. Backing off the hex screw and tapping on the device will release the stuck bit/reducer. If you follow the instructions you should not have problems. Cam locking devices can put small marks on your bit's shank. With The Eliminator you gain about 1/2" of cutter depth.

The second type is the Musclechuck. This is a very different device from The Eliminator although they look similar. The Musclechuck replaces your factory collet/nut. A hex screw compresses the entire diameter of the end of the Musclechuck gripping the bit (or reducing bushing) 360°. The Musclechuck can not mark your bit's shank and it has 4 times the gripping power of the factory collet/nut or twice the gripping power of The Eliminator. You also gain about 1/2" of cutter depth.
(This information provided by forum member JohnD426 who invented/patented both The Eliminator and the Musclechuck)

We have to include the Xtreme Xtension with these devices. The "XX" installs in your factory collet/nut or either of the above devices to give you an additional 2-1/4" of cutting depth. The "XX" is a cam locking device and it can mark your bit's shank.

All of these devices are dynamically balanced and include instructions to ensure you get good results while using them. They all work as long as you follow the instructions. This Saturday we will take photos of all of these devices in use and post them.

Extensions are available from many sources and they differ from brand to brand. MLCS offers two extensions for use in 1/2" collet routers: the first accepts 1/4" shank bits and gives an extra 2" of cutting depth; the second is for 1/2" shank bits and gives an extra 2-1/4" of cutting depth. You can NOT use reducer bushings with this type of extension. BobJ3 has machined the shank on one of these so it fits 1/4" collet routers and reports it works well.

Infinity Cutting Tools offers an extension that provides an additional 2-1/4" of cutting depth. This is for use in 1/2" shank routers only and it can be used with reducer bushings.

Whiteside offers an extension for use in 1/2" shank routers that is intended for CNC use with 1/4" shank bits.

There are others out there but these cover the types available.

Photo 1 is the group shot. Photo 2 is The Eliminator. Photo 3 is the Musclechuck. Photo 4 is the Xtreme Xtension. Photo 5 is the Infinity Cutting Tools extension.

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Understanding collet replacements / extensions-cne-001.jpg   Understanding collet replacements / extensions-cne-002.jpg   Understanding collet replacements / extensions-cne-004.jpg   Understanding collet replacements / extensions-cne-003.jpg   Understanding collet replacements / extensions-cne-005.jpg  

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Old 06-21-2013, 05:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Mike this is a good post and you have written it all very clearly, I regularly use router extensions to get more reach in the router table and I have both a 1/4 and 1/2 versions of photo 5 and they are both very useful so this is all good advice for the forum. NGM
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, Mike!
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am surprised nobody has asked about the number 2 on the side of the Musclechuck. I have several of these and decided to put the type number on the side for rapid identification. I am really impressed with the performance of the Musclechuck.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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In all the years that I've been using routers I have only on one project needed to use my CMT extension. The reason being is that I use templates for a high number of my projects and I design the templates where possible based on a 40mm template guide (1.5" would be fine)
The main advantage of this is that the collet/chuck can pass THROUGH the guide allowing much greater depth of cut.
This afternoon I spent routing a big project which was an excellent test for my new MUSCLECHUCK. I believe that it has been around for some time and if so has been a closely guarded secret. Apart from soft start/variable speed, this chuck is surely the most significant breakthrough in router technology since routers were invented. Within the next week or so I shall be posting a photo-shoot of the above mentioned project. But here and now I must repeat that I'm incredibly excited with this MUSCLECHUCK, it's just so fast and easy to change bits, believe me guys, I don't often get this excited with a new tool, If I were a few years younger I would attempt to get the Australian franchise because just about every routologist is going to buy one or more. Unfortunately, at the present time there doesn't appear to be one made for the Triton router which I have in the table, I know of course that bits can be changed from above the table but a MUSCLECHUCK will improve this great table router even further. This shot clearly shows how the chuck can pass through the 40mm template guide.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Harry, you will be happy to learn that a Musclechuck for the Triton is under development at this time. Once the prototypes have been thoroughly tested they will be made available on musclechuck.com and at their UK partner woodrat.com.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It would be helpful to know which of the devices have router specific models and which chucks are universal. I have a Make 3612BR router and would like to know what devices are compatible with that unit.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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John, your 3612BR router uses a Type 4, this was verified. It is the 3600BR that uses a different style of collet.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Great info and written well, thanks
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Hitachi M12sc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
I am surprised nobody has asked about the number 2 on the side of the Musclechuck. I have several of these and decided to put the type number on the side for rapid identification. I am really impressed with the performance of the Musclechuck.
Hi Mike!!
last year I have sent email to Martin Godfrey if he has musclechuck for Hitachi M12sc but he was kind enough and direct my email to John for direct dealing.
unfortunately he didn't have musclechuck collet for Hitachi M12SC.
I would love to buy if he would have this size in future
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