Bench Dog Pro Plate and Zero Clearance Insert problem - Router Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Default Bench Dog Pro Plate and Zero Clearance Insert problem

I'm having real trouble getting my Bench Dog Pro Plate and Bench Dog Zero clearance ring to work with my Makita 3612C. I've been in contact with BenchDog several times, however they haven't provided a solution.

The issue is that once the zero clearance insert is attached to the 2" reduction ring (which is bolted into the pro plate), the flange on the underside of the zero clearance ring bumps into the router's base (subbase removed of course!) and prevents the router's base sitting flush with the underside of the pro plate.

I took some measurements with my digital calipers:

• external diameter of flange of zero clearance insert : 76.21mm, 3"
• maximum diameter of aperture in router's base : 68mm, 2 2/3"
• minimum diameter of aperture in router's base : 62.11mm, 2.5"

The reason for there being two measurements for the diameter of the aperture in the router's base : there are two 'tabs' into which template collars screw when they're in use. These two 'tabs' sit opposite each other, and reduce the diameter of the aperture at that point. Even if those tabs weren't there, the flange of the zero clearance ring is still too large to fit into the aperture of the router's base.

As I see it, there's no way that the zero clearance insert can attach to the 2" reduction ring and permit the router base to sit flush on the underside of the pro plate. If the nuts of the bolts used to secure the insert are installed, the situation is even worse.

As you can see from the diagram, the dotted lines represent the aperture in the router's base - and the flange is of greater diameter than this aperture. I assume the flange is supposed to be of lesser diameter than this aperture - which would allow the flange and nuts to sit in the aperture, and not hinder the router's base from sitting flush with the underside of the pro plate? If this assumption is incorrect, how is one supposed to get the router base and pro plate to sit flush? I was under the impression that the Makita 3612C has a large aperture in the base - how on earth would this flange go with router's that have a smaller aperture!!

I'm unable to cut the flange down as in order for it to sit within the aperture in the router's base, I'd have to cut so much off it, that the 3 holes that secure it would be removed too.

I'd really like to find a solution to this as I really need to reduce the aperture of the 2" ring for safety reasons -there's simply too much space around the bit when using a 1/2" bit, for example.

Matthew
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File Type: pdf router base plate with insert.pdf (14.4 KB, 171 views)
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 10:23 AM
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Matthew, the only easy solution is to shim the router to allow the clearance needed. I suggest using the routers sub base plate as a template to create a ring shim. The thickness of the shim should not interfere with the routers function in any way; you can always use a bit extender if you need more height for your bit.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Mike

Thanks for the solution. I had considered that, however was concerned about just how much bit height I'd loose, given the fact that the shim would need to be quite thick in order to allow the nuts that secure the zero clearance insert, to remain clear of the router base.

It seems strange that Bench Dog (who I think have a good reputation - the Pro Plate is certainly very good) would create a zero clearance kit that has this issue. Perhaps it's just an issue with my particular router? As mentioned above though, the only way I can see it functioning is for the flange of the zero ring to sit inside the router base's aperture - and given that the 3612C has a large aperture....

Matthew
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 09:29 PM
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Since the 3612C is discontinued I almost bought one... $164 was hard to pass up for such a great router. One other thing you might try Matthew, countersinking the screw holes and using flat head screws should give you a bit more clearance.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt1710 View Post
Hi Mike

Thanks for the solution. I had considered that, however was concerned about just how much bit height I'd loose, given the fact that the shim would need to be quite thick in order to allow the nuts that secure the zero clearance insert, to remain clear of the router base.

It seems strange that Bench Dog (who I think have a good reputation - the Pro Plate is certainly very good) would create a zero clearance kit that has this issue. Perhaps it's just an issue with my particular router? As mentioned above though, the only way I can see it functioning is for the flange of the zero ring to sit inside the router base's aperture - and given that the 3612C has a large aperture....

Matthew
Hi Matt - I probably don't really understand the situation. The Bench Dog plate that Rockler sells appears to have a insert that takes on PC guide bushings. And it looks to be installed from the top. From there, several places have reducer inserts that will get you to zero or near zero clearance. Here's a set from Lee Valley.
1-3/16" Router Plate Inserts - Lee Valley Tools

I guess I can't get my head wrapped around why they would have something like that installed from the bottom. I would think it would be coming in and out on a regular basis.

John Schaben

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Since the 3612C is discontinued I almost bought one... $164 was hard to pass up for such a great router.
Oh if I could buy another one for that money (even though that's US$, which is so weak at the moment!) I'd do it in a heartbeat. Would save me having to switch the router between table and handheld all the time.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Hi John

Yes, now that you mention it, it seems strange that the zero clearance insert should be inserted from below the plate - meaning that the plate and the router need to be separated to install the Z.C.I.

I've scanned the installation instructions and attached them here, if it helps you get your head around it? I'm hoping someone will propose a solution. So far, the shim is the only viable option. I can't recess the nuts into the Z.C.I. flange as there's not enough thickness there. Plus, even without the nuts, I can't get the Z.C.I. and router base to sit flush, as the combined thickness of Z.C.I. and 2" insert ring, is greater than the thickness of the plate.

Matthew
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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I bolted the 2" insert ring, and the zero clearance insert together, to see how thick a shim I'd need to clear the nut : 11mm. That's almost 1/2" - surely that's too much to loose from bit height? Although I guess it depends what I'm doing, and how much bit I need protruding...
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by matt1710 View Post
Hi John

Yes, now that you mention it, it seems strange that the zero clearance insert should be inserted from below the plate - meaning that the plate and the router need to be separated to install the Z.C.I.

I've scanned the installation instructions and attached them here, if it helps you get your head around it? I'm hoping someone will propose a solution. So far, the shim is the only viable option. I can't recess the nuts into the Z.C.I. flange as there's not enough thickness there. Plus, even without the nuts, I can't get the Z.C.I. and router base to sit flush, as the combined thickness of Z.C.I. and 2" insert ring, is greater than the thickness of the plate.

Matthew
Hi Matt - OK, I see what they're doing. The ZCI is pretty much attached to the 2" insert ring and the assembly is thicker than the plate. Does Bench Dog make an insert ring that will accept guide bushings? With the number of different size bits I use, I'd need about a dozen of those assemblies. Actually, I did end up with a dozen inserts when all was said and done, 8 under 2". 1/2" is a lot of depth to loose, especially with some of the smaller bits which tend to be shorter. A collet extension may help in this circumstance but care would need to be taken not to hit the assembly with the retainer nut.
Good Luck.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jschaben View Post
Hi Matt - OK, I see what they're doing. The ZCI is pretty much attached to the 2" insert ring and the assembly is thicker than the plate. Does Bench Dog make an insert ring that will accept guide bushings? With the number of different size bits I use, I'd need about a dozen of those assemblies. Actually, I did end up with a dozen inserts when all was said and done, 8 under 2". 1/2" is a lot of depth to loose, especially with some of the smaller bits which tend to be shorter. A collet extension may help in this circumstance but care would need to be taken not to hit the assembly with the retainer nut.
Good Luck.
Bang on with your summation of the situation : 2" insert ring + ZCI = thicker than plate : by 11mm.

Not sure re BenchDog making an insert ring that will accept guide bushings. Please tell me how such an insert would that help me to reduce the void around the bit - I'm new to this!

Matthew
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