Newb, picked up a used router, what next? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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Default Newb, picked up a used router, what next?

As mentioned in my thread in the new member intro section, I picked up a used router on a whim (went to buy something else, and seller mentioned he had a router, which I ended up buying - it's a Hitachi TR-12). Trying to get a handle on what I have.

Pics of the router and table setup (purchased together), pics of this mounted to a Workmate, pics of the router's plate that is used to attach to the metal table insert, pics of collet.

The plate that is attached to the bottom of the router and mates it to the table insert - is this an aftermarket piece? If I wanted to do a little hand routing, would I remove that plate and just use the base underneath that plate?

Looking at the manual for this router (don't think I can link it yet, but it's the first search result for "hitachi tr-12 manual"), seems I'm missing the stopper pole. Is that something I need to use the router inside a table? I'm also missing the various accessories - straight guide, bar holder, trimmer guide, wrenches, etc. - pretty much everything shown as "standard accessories" in the manual. I'm guessing I won't need most of this for under-table use?

When I removed the bit that came with the router, it looks like there are 4 parts to that assembly:
  1. upper nut that I put a wrench on - is this the collet nut?
  2. threaded piece that I put a wrench on - is this the collet?
  3. chuck
  4. bit

The shank on the bit is 1/4", so I guess that means I have the 1/4" collet? Seller didn't include a 1/2" collet. Can I get the bits I need in 1/4"? My intended use is cutting rabbets, dados and grooves and doing roundovers. Not planning on any fine woodworking. A few projects I have in mind include a plyometric box, drawers for my workbench, and garage shelving.
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Last edited by gn86; 07-25-2019 at 09:04 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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@Biagio responded in the new member intro thread just as I moved the pics to this thread (so that they wouldn't be buried in the new member intro thread), so I'm quoting his response here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biagio View Post
Hi Gn, and welcome.
Those Hitachi routers are real workhorses - I have had the baby brother for about 40 years (DIY use), am starting to think about changing the bearings.
1. Most of what you are missing may not be needed, if you stick to the table-mount mode (btw, the guy seems to have quite a nifty idea, using euro hinges to allow lifting the router up for bit changes). The pole you mentioned is need only for setting depth of plunge in hand-held mode, and you can improvise there - it is not that accurate. You are better off using a drill bit of the required diameter, to set the gap between the pole and the one of the stops on the rotating turret below. The machine screws are missing from the stops of the turret - no big deal, not needed for table-mount use, any suitable bolt with a nut threaded on it (to lock a depth setting) will do. Just allows you to reach a desired depth of cut in several passes.
2. The rods and side fence are available as after-market parts, probably better than the original, which was somewhat basic.. only needed for edge routing. There is another piece with a little bearing, used for routing curved edges, if you are into that sort of thing.
3. You have the 1/2” collet with a sleeve to reduce to 1/4” (there were also options for 3/8”). Collet on left, sleeve on right in your image. I second Tom- get another while you can. You may even be able to get a 1/4” collet, which does not require a sleeve. In any case, get another sleeve, they eventually need replacement.
4. That black rubber or plastic disk under the base (called the sub-base) does not look original to me - it probably won’t glide smoothly over wood if the machine is handheld, and the fixing bolts are standing a little proud. No big deal, if you cannot get an original replacement, you can make a perfectly serviceable one out of polycarbonate, and even better, extend it to one side as an offset base for better control, as suggested by Charles.
5. Get some spare motor brushes - the Hitachis have odd sizes. If you cannot find any, you may have to file down slightly larger OEM brushes.
6. The Hitachi bushing guides were not that wonderful in terms of concentricity, but if you want to get into template guided routing (and you should want to, in due course), you can either use bits with bearings on them (easy), or get or make the carrier for commonly-used bushings (like Porter-Cable, which until recently seemed to be the de facto standard in North America). You will see it in the manual as a small flat metal plate with two side holes for bolts to lock it into the base from below, and a large central opening into which different sizes of bushing can be installed (with a locking ring, supplied with a set of bushings). There may even be an after-market type available in your part of the world.
Happy routing - you will wonder how you managed without one up to now.
Thanks for the detailed info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biagio View Post
3. You have the 1/2” collet with a sleeve to reduce to 1/4” (there were also options for 3/8”). Collet on left, sleeve on right in your image. I second Tom- get another while you can. You may even be able to get a 1/4” collet, which does not require a sleeve. In any case, get another sleeve, they eventually need replacement.
I see. So the part that remains attached to the router (and that I had to hold still with a wrench in order to remove the collet) is the collet nut?

So with the 1/2" collet, I can use 1/2" bits directly - i.e., without a sleeve? When getting new bits, is there any reason to not just go with 1/2" bits?

What profile is the included bit designed to cut?

Last edited by gn86; 07-25-2019 at 09:11 AM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 10:16 AM
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The included bit is a HSS (non Carbide Cutter) bit with a fixed bearing, in a quarter round /beading edge profile, with a 1/4" shank, for dressing the edges of a board.

You are correct in asuming that 1/2" shank bits can be used W/O a reducer sleeve.

I would clean off all the rust on the collet and sleeve before use.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 11:23 AM
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Like Herb said. The bit is old-style, mostly useful for soft woods, probably needs sharpening (which may cost more than a new bit). Replace it with a carbide tipped type. The short cylindrical piece at the end is the pilot - the carbide bits today have a replaceable bearing in that location. There is a thread on cheap vs expensive bits on another forum here.

The Hitachi collet is somewhat different from other common designs: there are two components, one which stays on the motor shaft (but is removable with a lot of effort), and the other, which you show in the photo (not the reducing sleeve). notice the slits in the threaded part - as the collet is screwed down into the housing on the motor shaft, the parts get compressed to grip the 1/2” shaft of the bit (or the reducing sleeve, as the case may be). What part is technically the nut, I will leave to Herb and Charles to pronounce on, but I think the part in your photo is called a collet cone (at least, it was yesterday when I went to buy a similar part for another make of router).
As Herb says, clean it up, then try it out. If there is any evidence of bit slippage, toss the cone and replace it. The bit may move in the cone either axial or rotationally when in use - in either case, chuck it out.

On my smaller model, there was a choice of 1/4” or 8mm cone-and-nut combinations. I managed to get the latter (machine came with the former), as the 8mm bits are a bit sturdier than the 1/4” and use appropriate Hitachi reducing sleeves for 1/4” bits (and the odd European 6mm bit).
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 12:11 PM
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When DR Tom mentioned picking up an extra collet in your intro thread I went looking to see if the TR12 has the same as my M12V which I believe came immediately after that model. While the appearances are the same, they have different part numbers. Most parts sites will list it as discontinued as they do the one for my M12V. However, they are still available on Amazon but at a hefty price of $50 compared to the $29 I can get the M12V one for.

My M12V did not have a 1/4" collet available for it. It came with that same bushing to reduce to 1/4" as you have. Although some members have had issues with using reducers, I've never had an issue with using that one. You should try and clean the rust off it with steel wool or 600 grit sandpaper, at least to get the loose scale off. Those reducers may still be easily available but I didn't go looking for it. Lee Valley and Rockler sell that and other size reducers. MLCS may too and they are cheap. $5 or less.

The jobs you described doing are all possible with 1/4" bits. 1/2" bits are more solid. 1/4" shafts can wobble a bit and I have had one or two snap off on me. 1/4" shafts are limited to approximately a 1.5" diameter limit. Larger bits than that will put too much torque on a 1/4" shaft. The bit shown is very old technology. They were about all there was until in the 70s when carbide cutting edges started replacing them. I see them for sale regularly on ebay that have come from heirs or estate sales and sellers often can't get a bid for them. They were mostly sold by Sears or Vermont American who probably made the Sears bits and rebranded them. You can purchase some decent starter sets for fairly cheap that will get you going. There is a possibility that the plate for the M12V is the same as for the TR12 but you'd need to either see if you can find somebody close who owns one or see if maybe it has the same part numbers. I thought I saw it still available for my M12V while I was searching other items.

The missing rod you mention is probably the depth stop rod which is only used in some plunging operations. You won't use it in a router table. In a table you'll only use the column lock lever and adjust the threaded rod to move the router up and down. Should you wish to remove the router from the table plate to use it (and you normally don't need to) you usually reattach the black phenolic plastic base back to the metal base. It prevents scratching your work surface and reduces friction. There is a good chance you are missing it as it usually gets taken off when mounting to a table. You could make a base plate out of plastic but your table plate will work most of the time so it may not be worth the effort.
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Last edited by Cherryville Chuck; 07-25-2019 at 12:15 PM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 07:48 AM
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I've got the MV12, well actually two of them and I think they are great routers. One thing to do is to take the spring out if you are keeping it in the table. This will make it much easier to adjust. You also should consider a lift since the router doesn't come with one.
https://www.amazon.com/Router-Raizer...ct_top?ie=UTF8
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 08:43 AM
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Jay, Here are the manuals for the Hitachi TR12 Router.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Hitachi tr12 Instruction Manual.pdf (3.26 MB, 4 views)
File Type: pdf Hitachi tr12 Parts Manual.pdf (265.5 KB, 4 views)
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 11:50 AM
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If you want a new depth stop rod you can make it out of a piece of steel shaft. Just measure the hole if it is not something standard like 1/2 or 3/8 that they have at HD or Lowes. You can order short steel pieces here they have everything. https://www.onlinemetals.com/?msclki...Mixed%20Intent
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 10:30 AM
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Since your knowledge of the use and safety of the router seems to be limited, I would suggest getting a basic router book that covers the basics of the router, it's use handheld and in a table, and the safety guidelines for use. There are a lot of books available on Amazon or even digitally if you have an iPad or other tablet. A couple suggestions are "The Router Book" by Pat Warner or The Fine Woodworking book "Routers and Router Tables", but there are many others available.

That would, not only give you the basics of router use, but would also serve as a reference in the future as other questions come up.

Read the books, try the techniques in the books, and that will help give you a great start.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 11:19 AM
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Just want to add that the collet is a precision device with precision down to a few thousandths, which is why you should just toss it out if it gives you any grief. And do buy a couple of the half inch collets so you don't have to junk a perfectly good router prematurely.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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