Precision Machined Bushings - Some Guidance Needed Please - Router Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default Precision Machined Bushings - Some Guidance Needed Please

I'm looking for some guidance from our brain trust here (please!) I searched quite a bit for the answer and didn't find it in any of the existing threads. Perhaps I missed it. If so, please point me in the right direction....

I want to cut dadoes on cabinet sides using an exact-width dado jig. The jig involves running a straight bit and guide bushing along the jig. I've been using a Dewalt 718 with a standard PC (1-3/16") hole in the base and a brass bushing. Easy peasy, huh? Wrong - I fought with it and fought with it and couldn't get things to fit properly. It turns out that the bushing was of such poor machining that it slops side-to-side inside the base hole, even when tightened. Bottom line - I need some better and more accurate bushings!

I'm looking for advice based on your experience - which brand(s) of PC-style brass bushings have the most precise machining so they fit well in the base and won't move side-to-side on me? I want the best quality I can get. I'm looking for a complete set and have been looking at all the usual suspects - Lee Valley, Hartville Tools (which advertises CNC machining on theirs), Woodhaven, Rockler, MLCS, etc., etc. Unfortunately Whiteside and Leigh only make a few sizes and not a complete set.

Please let me know who does the best job of machining them. Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TinyTiger View Post
I'm looking for some guidance from our brain trust here (please!) I searched quite a bit for the answer and didn't find it in any of the existing threads. Perhaps I missed it. If so, please point me in the right direction....

I want to cut dadoes on cabinet sides using an exact-width dado jig. The jig involves running a straight bit and guide bushing along the jig. I've been using a Dewalt 718 with a standard PC (1-3/16") hole in the base and a brass bushing. Easy peasy, huh? Wrong - I fought with it and fought with it and couldn't get things to fit properly. It turns out that the bushing was of such poor machining that it slops side-to-side inside the base hole, even when tightened. Bottom line - I need some better and more accurate bushings!

I'm looking for advice based on your experience - which brand(s) of PC-style brass bushings have the most precise machining so they fit well in the base and won't move side-to-side on me? I want the best quality I can get. I'm looking for a complete set and have been looking at all the usual suspects - Lee Valley, Hartville Tools (which advertises CNC machining on theirs), Woodhaven, Rockler, MLCS, etc., etc. Unfortunately Whiteside and Leigh only make a few sizes and not a complete set.

Please let me know who does the best job of machining them. Thanks for your help!
Me, too. Just "won" my first router on E-bay today, a PC 690lrvs (variable speed). Can't wait to get it, and wanted to get a template bushing kit to use with it. However I'm a complete noobie to routers, so need same guidance as you, Tiger.

Also, my first project is in fact a cabinet that will require a number of dadoes, so I am looking for ideas for a good dado jig. So Tiger, what dado jig you are using? Did you make it yourself, and if yes, did you get the plans from a book or mag?

Thanks,
Al
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyTiger View Post
I'm looking for some guidance from our brain trust here (please!) I searched quite a bit for the answer and didn't find it in any of the existing threads. Perhaps I missed it. If so, please point me in the right direction....

I want to cut dadoes on cabinet sides using an exact-width dado jig. The jig involves running a straight bit and guide bushing along the jig. I've been using a Dewalt 718 with a standard PC (1-3/16") hole in the base and a brass bushing. Easy peasy, huh? Wrong - I fought with it and fought with it and couldn't get things to fit properly. It turns out that the bushing was of such poor machining that it slops side-to-side inside the base hole, even when tightened. Bottom line - I need some better and more accurate bushings!

I'm looking for advice based on your experience - which brand(s) of PC-style brass bushings have the most precise machining so they fit well in the base and won't move side-to-side on me? I want the best quality I can get. I'm looking for a complete set and have been looking at all the usual suspects - Lee Valley, Hartville Tools (which advertises CNC machining on theirs), Woodhaven, Rockler, MLCS, etc., etc. Unfortunately Whiteside and Leigh only make a few sizes and not a complete set.

Please let me know who does the best job of machining them. Thanks for your help!
Hi Russ,

Bottom line - most of them are probably made in the same factory. Are you sure it was the bushing and not the base that was out.

I have used Oak Park guide bushings and the "universal" set without any problems.

Brass Router Bushing Set : CARBA-TEC

James
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:14 PM
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Me, too. Just "won" my first router on E-bay today, a PC 690lrvs (variable speed). Can't wait to get it, and wanted to get a template bushing kit to use with it. However I'm a complete noobie to routers, so need same guidance as you, Tiger.

Also, my first project is in fact a cabinet that will require a number of dadoes, so I am looking for ideas for a good dado jig. So Tiger, what dado jig you are using? Did you make it yourself, and if yes, did you get the plans from a book or mag?

Thanks,
Al

Welcome to the forum, Al.





James
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I don't profess to know everything, and I may learn something new.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:15 PM
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PS. this jig does not require a guide bush as the router plate references off of the fence.

James
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I don't profess to know everything, and I may learn something new.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:17 PM
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http://www.routerforums.com/jigs-fix...many-jigs.html


http://www.woodsmithshop.com/downloa...bledadojig.pdf

James
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I don't profess to know everything, and I may learn something new.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:39 PM
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James jig is the easiest way to cut dadoes or grooves. There are no offsets to calculate as there would be with bushings. The only drawback is that you must use the same size bit as you used to cut the groove between the two guide strips. The best way to use it to take a piece of your shelving material and scribe a line down either side where you want it and then line the edge of the jig groove with each side.

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 #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by clarksvilleal View Post
Me, too. Just "won" my first router on E-bay today, a PC 690lrvs (variable speed). Can't wait to get it, and wanted to get a template bushing kit to use with it. However I'm a complete noobie to routers, so need same guidance as you, Tiger.

Also, my first project is in fact a cabinet that will require a number of dadoes, so I am looking for ideas for a good dado jig. So Tiger, what dado jig you are using? Did you make it yourself, and if yes, did you get the plans from a book or mag?

Thanks,
Al
Hi Al! First of all, welcome to the family! Also, congratulations on your new router. I love those Porter Cables. It should be a real treat to use.

You and I are definitely in the same boat with our projects. I built my own adjustable-width jig (shown in the pictures) based on the one Marc Spagnuolo ("The Wood Whisperer") built on his website:

139 – Exact-Width Dado Jig | The Wood Whisperer

I made mine with top sections that were wider than his (the fixed arm is 6" wide, and the movable arm is 4" wide). That way I could put the wing nuts on top and still allow the router base to pass. That lets me clamp and work with it on top of the bench instead of having to cantilever it off the bench. It's MUCH easier working on the top!





I also made one other critical change from Marc's design based on my original post. Instead of depending on a bushing riding against a rabbet on the inside of the jig, I made the inside of the jig flat and use a bearing-guided bit to run against the jig. That worked a lot better than my sloppy bushings! The bit I use is shown in the router (sticking out quite a bit further than usual so you can see it).

I hope that helps. Let me know if you'd like any more info on it. I hope whichever one you build works well. Let me know which one you decide on when everyone weighs in with their good ideas too. Talk to you later!
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Russ,

Bottom line - most of them are probably made in the same factory. Are you sure it was the bushing and not the base that was out.

I have used Oak Park guide bushings and the "universal" set without any problems.

Brass Router Bushing Set : CARBA-TEC
Thanks a bunch James! I really appreciate the info.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 09:41 AM
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Thank you all for the welcome greetings and for taking the time to help a rookie. I expect I'll be checking back here often once my "new" PC 690 router arrives in the mail. It's not fancy, but the price was good and for a used router it appears to be in excellent condition, plus it seems to be a classic from my research, and I think it's simplicity will be a plus for a beginner like myself. Maybe later I can graduate to something fancier, but I'm hoping this one will serve me well to start with.

Now, a couple of questions:

James and Chuck - I like the variable spacing dado jig that James built, as it looks pretty simple and foolproof to build and use, and does not require template bushings. But a couple of questions:

1) Regarding Chuck's comments: "The only drawback is that you must use the same size bit as you used to cut the groove between the two guide strips. The best way to use it to take a piece of your shelving material and scribe a line down either side where you want it and then line the edge of the jig groove with each side."

So you can never use a different size bit without making a whole new template, right? That does seem a little limiting. Also, that implies that if you have a bit sharpened, which I assume would make the diameter slightly smaller, then that bit could no longer be used with the jig, correct?

2) James - is there a reason you used plywood and not hardboard for the base and guide strips as was recommended in the Woodsmith Plans article you referenced in the other thread? I would think tempered hardboard's slick surface would allow the router to slide more easily along the jig.

3) James - Is that hardboard that you used for the square auxiliary router plate you attached to the router base? And why did you make this auxiliary plate when you could have just used the router base itself? Is it because the router bit might not be exactly centered in the original router base?

Thanks again,

Al
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