Guide bushings and reducer bushings - Router Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Default Guide bushings and reducer bushings

I am looking at a set of each of these on Amazon, a set of guide bushing from Wood river, and a set of reducer bushings from Fulton, or Peachtree, which I think is who supplys them.

Anyway, I had a couple of questions. On the guide bushings, I see some are all about 1/4 inch in depth while others are progressively deeper the larger you get. Is this necessary? The only experience I've had with any are the Milescraft guides for sign making and it only needs to be very shallow. I did buy a whole set of them to fit that baseplate, and they are all varying depths too, but as of yet I have not used any except the shallow one for making signs. I decided I don't much care for the baseplate being so large, or the tight fitting guides either, they're hard to change. Makes me feel like I will break one trying to remove it, so I'd rather have brass and just use the baseplate the router came with. It accepts PC guides. I can see needing deeper guides if you have patterns made from thick material, but 1/4 inch lauan is what I'd use if I made any router patterns. I have made several from lauan plywood but these were all intended just to trace out on thicker wood and then jigsaw it out.

My second question is on clearance. The reducer bushings claim to be only 1/32 larger in opening around the intended bit size, such as a 5/32 reducer on a 1/8 bit. That's only 1/64 clearance from bit to bushing. Can a bit deflect that much and end up hitting the bushing wall? Now I know I can simply use the next size up if it worries me, say a 7/32 on a 1/8 bit. That's still less than 1/16 clearance (3/64) from bushing to cutter edge, which is still plenty close enough, and I don't see the bit deflecting that much. But I just wondered what are the chances of it at all? I have mostly 1/4" shank bits.

Last edited by Duane Bledsoe; 05-14-2015 at 12:35 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 01:39 PM
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Its not so much the deflection as the space needed to remove cutting debris and anything less than about 3.5mm (just over an eighth of an inch) not being recommended.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 02:06 PM
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I have a set from Woodcraft that are all 1/4" deep (actually .240"). I picked them because of that. I don't get why some sets have deeper ones for the larger sizes. I make my templates out of 1/4" melamine which works really well with the Woodcraft bushings. Perhaps the reasoning is because larger bits need thicker templates? I dunno, doesn't make sense to me. I've heard people say just grind the longer ones down but I opted to get the right length to start. Note that your luan may be thinner than .240.

As to clearance, I like to have 1/8" between the OD of the bushing and the bit. That gives a bit more than 1/16th clearance - plenty of room for the chips to clear. I've never had a problem.

Also, do you have a centering cone so you can align the base plate? I just use a 1/4 spiral bit with the 1/4" ID bushing but will probably get a cone sometime.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 03:59 PM
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The cone would allow you to center any size bushing.

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 #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I bought two centering cones, the Bosch one that works with both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets, and I bought the DeWALT one that is supposed to work with their compact router also. I probably didn't need both, but I did it anyway. I also have the one that came with the Milescraft baseplate, but it only works with the bushing installed. The others I can use with the baseplate only.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 08:45 PM
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I have the Milescraft set and the centering pin that cam with it is like hard rubber and bends to easy. I used a 1/4" drill bit with ht e 1/4" size and it didn't touch. I put a 1/4" up cut bit in my Ryobi RE175 plunge base router and didn't even get one picture frame cut out and it broke out part of the brass guide bushing. I though that my router (bought used) was bad but from what others have said, it just needs more clearance.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 02:08 AM
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Duane, I have always recommended the bushing set from Woodcraft. As Phil mentioned they are a hair under 1/4" so there is clearance when using 1/4" template material. Another place you should check out before making your purchase is Lee Valley. In addition to bushings and reducers they also offer several sizes of the larger Oak Park style bushings for very good prices.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2015, 10:59 AM
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By the way, that woodcraft set (BTW, I think it's their house brand Woodriver) goes on sale for $10 off somewhat regularly. I bought it at the full price and then it went on sale a month later. sigh.

Another good thing about it is that it has 2 screw rings which means you can use the bushings in two routers at the same time. Not a big deal until you have a job that requires switching between two different bit profiles. With two routers the work goes A LOT faster.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 02:50 AM
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They are on sale as of today. They are at a great discount. I don't remember the price but remember my surprise at the price.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Duane, I have always recommended the bushing set from Woodcraft. As Phil mentioned they are a hair under 1/4" so there is clearance when using 1/4" template material. Another place you should check out before making your purchase is Lee Valley. In addition to bushings and reducers they also offer several sizes of the larger Oak Park style bushings for very good prices.
Thank you, Mike. I just checked and that is the exact set I have on my wish list on Amazon. I like to shop for stuff on there and save it for a later date. We are now at a point in our lives where money is no longer tight like it once was, but I still can't do everything at once, but I will get this set soon. Right now there are a few things I need to get done first, such as finishing my shop set up, which with my wife's help, we really hit a lick on it yesterday. It actually looks like a shop now (new house we moved to, garage is mine and it was a disaster until yesterday), but there is still a lot of work to do.
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