Sommerfeld Router Bits and the Muscle Chuck
There has been a lot of discussion on the Triton Router lately, and it's pluses and minuses, I have a question kind of related and thought I would start a new thread rather than lead the old ones in a different direction.
I have watched the Sommerfeld Cabinet Making videos, and am intrigued by the tongue-and-groove method of construction that he's demonstrating. He uses a Triton router in his videos and it appears to work well for his application. However, I have a P-C router in my Bench Dog lift and am pretty happy with it in the limited use I've given it so far, and really don't want to spend the money to replace it - no, while I realize that two router tables are better than one, I don't have room for a second one. I was a little concerned that the P-C might be a little underpowered compared to the 3-1/4 HP Triton, Marc assures me that the P-C will be fine as long as I'm not running it continuously.
Finally, to my question. The whole concept of the Sommerfeld router bits are that they are "matched sets" and can be swapped back and forth without having to reset the height every time. I did though read a review where the poster had problems with repeatability, and this was attributed to slight differences in the collet tightening torque causing the downward force due to tightening compressing the "O" ring a little differently each time. One other thought - the Triton has a spindle lock so only one wrench is needed to change out the bit. The P-C needs two, and I'm not sure if there is enough access from the top to allow changing the bits without raising the spindle and losing the depth setting. If I was to change over to a Muscle Chuck on this router
- without knowing how far down the chuck would be with the bit installed, would the opening shown in my router table (see photo) allow me to change out the bit installed in a Muscle Chuck without raising the spindle - assuming that I use the normal 90° hex key?
- I'm assuming that the "O" ring recommendation for the Sommerfeld bits is to give a consistent length of shank inside the chuck while not bottoming out the bit and so allowing the bit to move down (compressing the "O" ring) when the collet is tightened. Because the Muscle Chuck doesn't produce any downward force, could the bit be bottomed in the chuck to give a constant height? - although the "O" ring could still be installed I guess.
Without knowing how much the chuck winds up below the surface, I don't know how far down the lower (spindle) nut falls below the table surface, and whether the wrench has enough offset to reach down there - and I'm not sure that a wrench with more offset could be tilted in around the router bit. I've got enough spare P-C wrenches around that I could bend one to try it, although I guess I'd need to buy the bits first to get an idea of how far down the spindle nut would be.
Anybody have these bits that could give me an idea of how far the nose end of the collet winds up below the surface of the top? And any Muscle Chuck owners that could comment on whether the bit could be dropped to the bottom without a problem - or, probably as important, how deep the opening is in the Muscle Chuck so I could compare it to the length of the shank?