My Craftsman Router died - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy My Craftsman Router died

I have a Craftsman model 320.17543. 11 Amp Variable speed Plunge Router and today it stopped working (of course just when I needed it) The green idiot light comes on and so do the lights to see my work. It appears the control board is shot since I can jumper around it to get the router whirling.

I have 2 questions. Does anyone know where I can get Part Number 4900046000? It has been discontinued and I can't find a used one anywhere.

2nd Question - If I permanently jumper around it taking away the Variable speed - am I asking for trouble? I love the router and would rather not go out and buy a new one since this one has less then 5 hours work on it (basically brand new)

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 08:20 PM
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If your router does not have the "Soft Start" feature Google "speed control for routers" and you can control the speed with it. https://www.google.com/search?q=spee...hrome&ie=UTF-8

I recommend having speed control because different woods and different bits require different speeds.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 08:13 AM
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www.ereplacementparts.com to start. However, Sears/Craftsman has a reputation for running out of parts for anything with the Craftsman label.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 10:07 AM
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I burned my speed controller out on my Hitachi years ago and started using a speed controller from Harbor Freight. It worls fine but you can tell that it doesn't have as much torque at certain speeds. You do need a speed control though so this is a cheap work around.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 12:10 PM
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You need speed control after you get about to 1 1/2" bit diameter. Under that it's not an issue except that a little slower sometimes can help prevent burning on some woods. Sears doesn't carry parts any longer than they have to.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 01:27 PM
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If you start getting close to spending $100+ I'd look at a new Bosch 1617EVSPK router. Very well rated by users - I'm one of them. Just sayin'...
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstrom View Post
If you start getting close to spending $100+ I'd look at a new Bosch 1617EVSPK router. Very well rated by users - I'm one of them. Just sayin'...
Agree with that. It died after 5 hrs of use, probably because they cost-engineered the crap out of it to hit a price point. What else is likely to go on it? I'd be reluctant to throw any money at it.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 04:53 PM
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It died after 5 hrs of use, probably because they cost-engineered the crap out of it to hit a price point.
I remember hearing a story several decades ago that Sears had done research and found that the average DIYer only used a router at most 5 hrs in a year so they engineered them to last about 7 and gave them a one year warranty.

I forgot to add on my previous post that lots of members have wired around the speed controls in a variety of router brands and if needed added external speed controls because either the new part was too expensive to justify or because the part wasn't available.
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Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
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I remember hearing a story several decades ago that Sears had done research and found that the average DIYer only used a router at most 5 hrs in a year so they engineered them to last about 7 and gave them a one year warranty.

I forgot to add on my previous post that lots of members have wired around the speed controls in a variety of router brands and if needed added external speed controls because either the new part was too expensive to justify or because the part wasn't available.
I may have seen the same story, rings a bell. Bean counters run amok. The sad part is that the companies doing that sort of thing are destroying brand loyalty at the expense of short term revenue. A bad router/camera/car/television/... causes people to avoid the brand in selecting the replacement. No long term thinking.

My parent's generation swore by Craftsman tools so when I started building my first workshop, I naturally bought Craftsman. Except for a junky router (broken light, lousy depth adjust and flaky lock lever) that I never use, they are all gone. Horrible products - I swore at them, not by them. I'm so glad I didn't try to fix them but moved on to better and more reliable tools.
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Measure twice, cut once and CROSS OUT THE WRONG MARKS.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 06:15 PM
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Your experience sounds eerily familiar Phil. As to brand loyalty the same thing happened to B & D. I have an old 1/2" metal bodied, single speed, forward only drill that is maybe close to as old as I am and the damn thing is indestructible. I use it to mix buckets of mortar and cement. Then in the 70s they started making junk and they couldn't sell the good quality stuff anymore. They had to name the better stuff DeWalt so they could sell them. I've looked at the new Craftsman tools since B & D Stanley took over and they appear to be red Dewalts for the most part so the only issue with them should be whether parts will be available later.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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