Arbor lock, What? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Default Arbor lock, What?

Well I have spent 4-5 hrs a day for 5 days and still can not find out enough information to make a Router Purchase for the table I will build. Why has it taken so long? It is because manufacturers and reviewers do not show detailed pictures and leave you hanging on features.

For instance they will say this router has an arbor lock. Big deal. That means nothing to me. Now if they said this router has an arbor lock plus two nuts that means something. Which ones do, which ones don't? Who knows.

Here are other examples: these certain routers are said to have an automatic arbor lock. "When the arbor is raised up, it automatically locks.) Well that's cool, MAYBE. No one has ever said how it gets unlocked. Does it "automatically get unlocked when it gets cranked back down? They never say. Now If one has to reach under the table and try real hard to find that lock to pull it back out then it's only partly automatic.

I personally do not want a router that as an arbor lock, unless it is an option where there is also two nuts for removing or replacing the bit. For one thing it is a misnomer. Usually they only lock as long as one keeps their thumb mashed down while pushing and holding a spring loaded lever or button while fumbling around with wrenches and bits, ridiculous. My old Stanley had a real lock. The operator pushed lever to a de-tent and it stays there until you are done. Also, while it was in de-tent the router could not be switched on. Novel huh. What happened to that nowadays? I know, unplug the router, ok, I will, maybe. Hopefully I will always remember

Another reason for using two wrenches is that I can tighten the arbor better by the opposing wrenches.

Okay all you owners out there, let's here what you got and how it works. Perhaps I/Mike/or somebody could compile a chart. Say like,
Router-------Arbor Nuts----Arbor lock-----type arbor lock
Bosch 1617= -----1----------yes-------------manual
Porter C. 892-----2----------yes-----------auto on, auto off

I do not know if these examples are accurate because I can't lay my hands on anything yet, I've tried. Big orange box store has very few routers.

Thanks for your patience in reading all of this, signed, frustrated in Utah
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 06:21 AM
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I have downloaded and read more than 10 but less than 20 owner's manuals for different routers trying to cope with the 'marketing hype' and 'selective specification disclosure' that the manufacturers and retailers cloud things up with.

Beyond details that they are more than happy to leave out of their descriptions, there is a big trend of just 'inventing' a new term that sounds like an important one, horse power for example. Just make it a little different and call it 'Developed Horsepower', then you can pretty much lie through your teeth with out getting sued over it.....

I couldn't decide on a mid or high level motor unit either. I just couldn't find enough confidence & trust to consider risking more that 100 to 150 on a 'new' router. I ended up deciding to 'bottom feed' and snagged a low end Craftsman unit, with table off of Craig's list with 18 bits for 65 bucks delivered.

I wanted to get a unit that is functional enough to help me consider the 'huge' list of features within the context of 'reasoned experience'. I understand the basic concept of most of the features, yet know little to nothing about which ones really make a difference to me.

I already know enough of the model's shortcomings to understand that it won't be my last router. I also know that it is more than good enough to do most, if not all of the routing I need to get done while building out my idea of a workshop, which of course includes router table(s).

Should I ever get good enough using the 'cheap stuff' on the 'softwoods' I need to do my current job, I will probably end up moving into a router with enough HP to handle some of the hardwoods I want to tinker with.

Soft Start, Variable Speed, multiple collett sizes are among the many features I am interested in when looking at future models. I don't know that I will ever find a unit that has every thing I could possibly want for what I am willing to pay. I have grown to the point where I would rather pick up 3 or 4 different routers to cover all the bases if that's what it takes. They can't all go bad at once!

Good luck with your quest!

wbh1963 is flowing with the grain in Arlington, Washington, USA

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 09:14 AM
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I've never had trouble with an arbor lock. I like them as I only need one wrench which leaves one hand free. I can hold the bit with the other hand till the collet is snug enough to hold it on it's own. You can keep pressure on the arbor lock with the one wrench so it doesn't disengage. The Triton routers have a collet lock but also have the feature that when raised all the way up it automatically locks the collet & locks the power switch off. When lowered it releases the collet & unlocks the power switch. Sort of a lockout / tagout feature.

James
Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbh1963 View Post
I have downloaded and read more than 10 but less than 20 owner's manuals for different routers trying to cope with the 'marketing hype' and 'selective specification disclosure' that the manufacturers and retailers cloud things up with.

I wanted to get a unit that is functional enough to help me consider the 'huge' list of features within the context of 'reasoned experience'. I understand the basic concept of most of the features, yet know little to nothing about which ones really make a difference to me.

I already know enough of the model's shortcomings to understand that it won't be my last router. I also know that it is more than good enough to do most, if not all of the routing I need to get done while building out my idea of a workshop, which of course includes router table(s).

Should I ever get good enough using the 'cheap stuff' on the 'softwoods' I need to do my current job, I will probably end up moving into a router with enough HP to handle some of the hardwoods I want to tinker with.

Soft Start, Variable Speed, multiple collett sizes are among the many features I am interested in when looking at future models. I don't know that I will ever find a unit that has every thing I could possibly want for what I am willing to pay. I have grown to the point where I would rather pick up 3 or 4 different routers to cover all the bases if that's what it takes. They can't all go bad at once!

Good luck with your quest!
Experience was the key word. And small investments to pay for it is wise.

The suggested matrix on router feature's can be extended and should include user purpose. Which leads to different routers features are better than others in different applications For example IMHO I love my Triton routers (3 1/4 and 2 1/4) In a table or jig but do not like them as a hand held plunge router. In plunge routers the position of lever and switches is important and I love my Trend 1 1/4 because its features work best with my hands

Advertising can be confusing but our opinionated members have preference for different routers. Often preferences depend on purpose. Posts asking questions such as What is the best router for jewelry box making will quickly provide enough info to disspell advertising clouds
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 11:39 AM
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I've got the porter cable 890 series routers, and I use two wrenches. The 'auto' arbor lock only works if you raise the router to the highest position, and I don't change bits in the table so it's not really a feature for me. I enjoy being able to pull the whole motor out and change the bit with it laying on it's side.

The spindle lock button isn't too hard to hold in while changing bits, but I prefer the 2 wrench system. I wish they would just get rid of it on the newer routers.

Attached a couple of pictures. The spindle lock works by the spindle lock button engaging when it slides up the ramp when the spindle is engaged completely. It releases when the router is lowered and the spindle lock button slides down the ramp. The plastic piece around it is a power button lock designed to keep the router from starting when the spindle lock is depressed.

On my two older (first model year) plunge bases the set up is as shown in the picture.

On my two fixed bases, one shown (first year version) has the ramp, and the 2008 version does not have it.

You can see the spindle and collet nut are both milled for using two wrenches. the fixed base on the 890 has pretty good access for getting the wrenches in there, but popping the motor out is so fast and easy that I pull the motor out of the base and change it on the router table.
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Last edited by kp91; 01-21-2012 at 05:27 PM. Reason: pictures and comments
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 01:00 PM
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Here are my thoughts on your questions. A two wrench method always works... no pin to break in a spindle lock. I find it easier to lift the router out of the table to change bits and make adjustments. You can get more leverage on the wrenches and a better view of the set up. All name brand routers work. While I prefer Bosch it does not mean you will. Don't worry so much over your selection; if you are like most members you will end up with more than one router anyways. The important thing is you start enjoying a router.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 01:18 PM
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It's a bit predatory, but somebody is going to buy catagory:
Check out bankruptcy auctions; so many places going out of business that machinery is becoming a bit of a glut on the market. Virtually every business that's (was) working with wood has routers...and bits!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paduke View Post
Experience was the key word. And small investments to pay for it is wise.

The suggested matrix on router feature's can be extended and should include user purpose.

Advertising can be confusing but our opinionated members have preference for different routers. Often preferences depend on purpose.

Posts asking questions such as What is the best router for jewelry box making will quickly provide enough info to disspell advertising clouds
Great points! These machines we just lump into the catch all word of 'routers' are so diverse in their many applications. How it is actually going to be used, and on what material, has a world to do with picking the right machine to do the job.

wbh1963 is flowing with the grain in Arlington, Washington, USA

A day without curls is like a day without sunshine!
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