Craftsman 17543 Combo Fixed Base Height Adjustment - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Craftsman 17543 Combo Fixed Base Height Adjustment

Just got done testing out my new 17543 combo kit. Haven't touched the plunge base yet, just been working with the fixed one. Surprised by how little start-up torque there is at the lower speed settings, and how quiet it is compared to what I expected. Using MLCS bits my test cuts were very smooth- wouldn't have needed any additional sanding on the dado cuts. Roundovers would be finish ready too, except for my sniping the snot out of the corners... hopefully I'll figure out how to avoid that as I get experience.

Two things I'm finding that are moderately annoying- but wondering if it is just my router base, and something I should work with Sears to fix/exchange.

1) If I follow the instructions in the manual to 'zero' the depth adjustment by 1) setting bit depth to flush with baseplate with fine adjustment, and then 2) closing the base clamp and turning the depth adjustment to zero while holding in the coarse adjustment release, that once I open the base clamp to set to actual depth the bit moves about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. It looks like there is a locking cam system in the gears that precludes depth zeroing by the method in the manual.

I've found a workaround by setting the bit flush to baseplate, then closing the clamp to lock motor to the base, and then turn the indicator dial to zero while making sure the fine adjustment dial doesn't move. This seems to work, but is nothing like the manual instructions. Also the fact that I can move the two dials independently leads to...

2) Sometimes the fine adjustment dial and the depth indicator dial do not move perfectly together. There is slippage between the two, particularly when I'm trying to lower the bit a full 1/8" (one revolution) at a time. Then I have to rezero and start over.

Any 17543 or the fixed base version owners have comments or suggestions?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 03:43 PM
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Hi Gator95

Try using the plunge base for your hand jobs and use the fixed base for your router table..
The pole stop is so much easyer to use than the fixed base ..plus it's bit safer to use because you can let it come right back up to the zero point and sit it flat on the work bench...but you can still use it like a fixed base by just locking it down in place b/4 the pass...

Then I think you will be a happy router user..

"sniping" this a time thing and just playing with the router to over come it..

==========


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator95
Just got done testing out my new 17543 combo kit. Haven't touched the plunge base yet, just been working with the fixed one. Surprised by how little start-up torque there is at the lower speed settings, and how quiet it is compared to what I expected. Using MLCS bits my test cuts were very smooth- wouldn't have needed any additional sanding on the dado cuts. Roundovers would be finish ready too, except for my sniping the snot out of the corners... hopefully I'll figure out how to avoid that as I get experience.

Two things I'm finding that are moderately annoying- but wondering if it is just my router base, and something I should work with Sears to fix/exchange.

1) If I follow the instructions in the manual to 'zero' the depth adjustment by 1) setting bit depth to flush with baseplate with fine adjustment, and then 2) closing the base clamp and turning the depth adjustment to zero while holding in the coarse adjustment release, that once I open the base clamp to set to actual depth the bit moves about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. It looks like there is a locking cam system in the gears that precludes depth zeroing by the method in the manual.

I've found a workaround by setting the bit flush to baseplate, then closing the clamp to lock motor to the base, and then turn the indicator dial to zero while making sure the fine adjustment dial doesn't move. This seems to work, but is nothing like the manual instructions. Also the fact that I can move the two dials independently leads to...

2) Sometimes the fine adjustment dial and the depth indicator dial do not move perfectly together. There is slippage between the two, particularly when I'm trying to lower the bit a full 1/8" (one revolution) at a time. Then I have to rezero and start over.

Any 17543 or the fixed base version owners have comments or suggestions?



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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 10:28 PM
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Gator, I do the same as Bj, it's a great router! You will like it. Man doesn't that thing start low and talk about slow start, it's the slowest I have seen.

Corey

My Carving Website: The Iowa Woodcarver
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 05:57 PM
 
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hey gator i have a 17543 about 4mos. i didnt get the instructions at all kept rereading. i have the fixed base in my op table and it works great i did drill the plate to adjust from the top but never use it. when i adjust i have to get down at table level anyhow and i think of bob from op saying dont measure people! i did try the plunge base just to see how it worked cuz its new to me and that worked well also. have fun with ur new toy. rich1
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 04:49 AM
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Hi Gator...

I just tonight got the 17542, which is identical to the '543 kit, but without the plunge-base.

After going through the manual and trying to 'zero' in the fine adjustment I ran into the exact same problem with the fine-adjust indicator ring 'slipping' when I turned the F.A. knob.

As I will be using it primarily for a table set-up I probably wont be so concerned about it...but I would like to know how big of a problem it has been for you thus far.

You come up with any work-arounds yet(if necessary) ?

Other than that every thing else seems great so far...nice soft-start...nice lights...nice vac attachment, plenty of power, easy to change collet/bit etc...
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
 
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Mostly using the fixed base locked into my 'router table'- which is a extra leaf I made for a workmate that it fits into.

What I'd been doing is just zeroing it out on a surface and then using the fine adjustment knob to set height. It works fine, but is a bit 'klugey'. But other than that the router combo kit has been really good.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 01:21 PM
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This series of routers is a great value. The features are comparable to more expensive brands and the overall quality is very good. Here comes the dreaded "But," you do get what you pay for. Rather than trust the fine adjusting dial use brass set up bars for height adjustments. When working with expensive wood check your adjustments on a sample piece before commiting to your project materials.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 09:45 AM
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Hey mike..would those brass bars available at the local 'home center..or hardware store?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 10:42 AM
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Hi Shadrac

Just a butt in reply

You can get them from the links below BUT I do recommend you go to the hardware store and sometimes HD/Lowes and pickup up some brass key stock, it comes in 12" long to 3 ft. long bars , then if you buy the 12" long ones rap them up with masking tape and cut it into 6" long, then you will have two sets that are 6" long unlike the norm of 4" long..., in this case longer is better... you can also get the bigger ones at the hardware store like 5/8",3/4",1" and 1/32",1/16" as well...

http://www.ptreeusa.com/routerAcc.htm#20262
http://us.oak-park.com/catalogue.html?list=bars--
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops..._set-up_anchor
http://www.mcmaster.com/

============

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadrac
Hey mike..would those brass bars available at the local 'home center..or hardware store?


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Last edited by bobj3; 05-05-2008 at 11:51 AM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-28-2008, 05:39 PM
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Default alternatives to brass set up bars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadrac View Post
Hey mike..would those brass bars available at the local 'home center..or hardware store?
Other than you need to be very careful to NOT nick a cutter, you can use the shank from a twist drill as a set up bar. Should be accurate (at least the couple of sets I have seem to be good to at least the 3rd decimal point).

Also, most hobby shops have little collections of various brass bars and rods in common sizes. Cheaper than the solid brass bars.

And when I say, be careful not to nick a cutter, I don't mean to imply you can be using these to set up a spinning router! That is a lunitic move! Just that some of the larger bits can be pretty heavy and if like mine, might have a bit of machine oil on them. Don't slip and hit the carbide is all I want to say.

Your mileage may vary.

Last edited by rwyoung; 11-28-2008 at 05:44 PM.
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