Decent collet reducer bushings? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Default Decent collet reducer bushings?

I have a mixed collection of 1/4" and 1/2" shank bits. Several of my older routers only have 1/2" collets (freud and bosch). I have two reducers (aka adapter bushings) that I use for 1/4" shank bits but I find that I have to really crank the collet nut super tight to prevent movement. This is especially true for upcut spirals. But, I'm worried about over torquing the nut in general. I had a problem in the shop recently where my 1/4" upcut spiral bit managed to pull itself right out of the collet adapter. I had torqued it down by what I though was a good amount - apparently not. and, it was the bit, not the reducer that came out. Both of my reducers have 3 slits in the side. Not sure where I got them but they look like the MLCS ones here.

So, two questions:
- what is the right amount of torque when you are using a reducer?
- is there a good quality reducer that doesn't require a super amount of torque?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilBa View Post
I have a mixed collection of 1/4" and 1/2" shank bits. Several of my older routers only have 1/2" collets (freud and bosch). I have two reducers (aka adapter bushings) that I use for 1/4" shank bits but I find that I have to really crank the collet nut super tight to prevent movement. This is especially true for upcut spirals. But, I'm worried about over torquing the nut in general. I had a problem in the shop recently where my 1/4" upcut spiral bit managed to pull itself right out of the collet adapter. I had torqued it down by what I though was a good amount - apparently not. and, it was the bit, not the reducer that came out. Both of my reducers have 3 slits in the side. Not sure where I got them but they look like the MLCS ones here.

So, two questions:
- what is the right amount of torque when you are using a reducer?
- is there a good quality reducer that doesn't require a super amount of torque?
You could purchase a 1/4" collet for your Bosch from here

Al B
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 07:46 PM
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Phil,
I use some MLCS stuff but nothing for safety/quality critical applications. Collet reduction adapters need to be precision machined with 8 slits and they need to be aligned with the slits in the parent collet as defined by the inventor of the Musclechuck, Larosa.
I get my adapters from Leigh whom I trust to provide quality products. There certainly are others but MLCS is not my choice.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I was hoping to not have to invest in collets for those two routers as they are on my "hope they die so I can justify replacing them" list. The Freud 1/4" collet is over $30. Any replacement will have both 1/2 and 1/4 collets.

Also, there are some bits I will always need a reducer for. There's a 20mm plunge bit in my future and it's on an 8mm shank. So, I'd still like to understand how tight can I torque down the bit with the 8mm reducer.

I know the MLCS types aren't that good because that's the style I have (3 slot) and seems problematic. I was just using MLCS as an example of what I have.

Went looking for Leigh reducers and only found the 8mm one. Got a link to a 1/2" to 1/4" one? Lots of companies sell the 3 slot style reducers - would guess they are asian rebranded, all from the same factory.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 11:13 AM
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what model Bosch do you have???

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 11:40 AM
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My M12V Hitachi came with a 1/4" bushing and I've never had it slip and I only tighten it the same as I do my 1/2" bits. Maybe that is an option is to try their reducer. You could also try Lee Valley's. They carry quite a selection and most of their tools are better quality plus they stand behind what they sell. I've had to return a couple of items over many years and there were no issues when I did.

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 #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 11:50 AM
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I'm currently in a discussion with John at Musclechuck re a 1/4" up cut spiral that pulled out of the reducing collet. I suspect the bit shank is undersized as I have not experienced the problem with other 1/4" bits. I'm sending both the bit and the collet back to John for review. Will comment further as the matter evolves.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 11:55 AM
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Phil,
I highly recommend replacing the OEM collet with a Musclechuck but that could be ~$65 to$70. John Larosa sells precision collet reducers with 8 slots and a collar (so it doesn't fall through the router collet). See his units at Quick Change Router Chuck - Camless Router Chuck - Dewalt - Porter Cable - Festool - Hitachi - Bosch - Makita - Trend - Freud - Fein - Metabo - Carvewright.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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@Regis - I hear lots of good things about musclechucks. Certainly a possibility but I'd probably only get one for my table mounted router which is a PC7518 (with both 1/4 and 1/2" collets).

@Jon, I think the upcut spirals put an extra burden on the collets and reduce bushings seem to compound the problem. I've not had trouble with non-spiral bits and my current reducers so maybe you just have to put extra torque on the nut for them. I shudder to think what a downcut spiral would have done in that case.

@stick, I have a 1905. The whole model number is 0 601 905 439 with a 949 off to the side but 1905 is in larger numbers. I've been keeping it to maybe use it in a horizontal mortiser that I would like to build.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 05:25 PM
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Phil,
The Musclechuck on the 7815 in my table makes bit changes a breeze. I have a Larosa collet adaptor: 1/2" x 1/8" for my 1/32", 1/16" and 3/32" up spiral bits from Drill Technology. I had been using an MLCS collet extension and the noise and vibration were awful. No issues with the Larosa products.
Regis

Last edited by 48394; 04-08-2015 at 05:27 PM. Reason: emphasis on up spiral bits
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