Newbie question - Bit height problem - Router Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Default Newbie question - Bit height problem

Hello all - first time router user and poster...

I have 2 routers - One 1/4" shank craftsman (I've had for awhile and built a table top stand for it, but haven't used it until this week), and a new HF 1/2" shank router came with a table (didn't realize it was 1/2 when I bought it).

I had to buy a 1/2"-1/4" resize adapter for my 1/4" shank bits to work in the 1/2? router - and of course after having a problem I just broke down and bought 1/2" shank bits also.

So....My question is:

When I insert a bit (let's use the Roman Ogee as example) in either router, the bit goes all the way in and tightens.

BUT, when I raise the router to get the bit through the hole, the bit doesn't come all the way up through it. I know this because when I cut the Ogee, teh cut is only half way through the wood (the bevel cut).

I figured on my home made table stand I did something wrong, but on my new 1/2" shank router and table it's the same thing.

I find I have to raise the bit about 1/4 - 1/2" to get the whole Ogee pattern to cut on the wood.

Is this normal or do I have a defective router/table etc. or am doing something wrong and should just give up

Kinda lost with this router thing

Thanks in advance for any and all advice/assitance
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 10:32 AM
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Welcome...soon as you can, fill out your profile so we have a first name...

General rule is that the shank of the bit needs to be in the collett by at least 80%...best way is drop the bit all the way in and back it off about 1/8"...

If the bit is not in deep enough into the collet, it could vibrate and spin out...very dangerous...

Couple of questions...when you installed the router, did you remove the base plate...? This could account for not being able to raise the bit high enough.

Let's take care of the basics first.

Just checking but this does not happen with the 1/4" router...? Only the new 1/2" router...? And it's a Harbor Freight...?

Is there a stop on the height adjustment that is preventing the router from raising...? (check the manual...?) Like a plunge router step turret...?

Is the router a plunge or fixed base...?
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Nick, thanks for the profile advice - done.

To answer your questions...

Quote:
Couple of questions...when you installed the router, did you remove the base plate...? This could account for not being able to raise the bit high enough.
Yes, the 1/4" router (Craftsman wouldn't mount without removing the plate.

The Harbor freight 1/2" router came with the router mounted to the table already.

Quote:
Just checking but this does not happen with the 1/4" router...? Only the new 1/2" router...? And it's a Harbor Freight...?
Happens on both - not too worried about the 1/4" since I built that and figured the depth of the top is too thick and probably needs to be routed out - which I can't do at the moment LOL

Quote:
Is there a stop on the height adjustment that is preventing the router from raising...? (check the manual...?) Like a plunge router step turret...?
No the stop height is the table bottom itself on the HF router - nothing in the crappy instructions that tells how to adjust or if it even needs it

Quote:
Is the router a plunge or fixed base...?
I'm not too up on the terminology, I assume you mean does the router move up and down aside from the bit part?

I'm going to say both are fixed - only moves up and down to adjust the height and change the bit - is that what you mean?

Thanks for the help

If it helps, this is the router and table 1/2" I have
http://www.harborfreight.com/router-...ter-95380.html

Last edited by newbie2wood; 04-22-2016 at 10:47 AM.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Nick, thanks for the profile advice - done.

To answer your questions...

Quote:
Couple of questions...when you installed the router, did you remove the base plate...? This could account for not being able to raise the bit high enough.
Yes, the 1/4" router (Craftsman wouldn't mount without removing the plate.

The Harbor freight 1/2" router came with the router mounted to the table already.

Quote:
Just checking but this does not happen with the 1/4" router...? Only the new 1/2" router...? And it's a Harbor Freight...?
Happens on both - not too worried about the 1/4" since I built that and figured the depth of the top is too thick and probably needs to be routed out - which I can't do at the moment LOL

Quote:
Is there a stop on the height adjustment that is preventing the router from raising...? (check the manual...?) Like a plunge router step turret...?
No the stop height is the table bottom itself on the HF router - nothing in the crappy instructions that tells how to adjust or if it even needs it

Quote:
Is the router a plunge or fixed base...?
I'm not too up on the terminology, I assume you mean does the router move up and down aside from the bit part?

I'm going to say both are fixed - only moves up and down to adjust the height and change the bit - is that what you mean?

Thanks for the help
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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If it helps this is the router and table I have
harborfreight dot com/router-table-with-router-95380 dot html
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 11:00 AM
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Thanks, Jessie...

A plunge router typically has two shiny columns, one on either side of the motor housing with an obvious spring action to the router.. The plunge allows one to operate the router by plunging it to a specified amount of travel. Sort of like setting a stop on a drill press. Plunge routers typically are used when routing freehand, when the piece is too big for the table, sign-making, and a host of other uses out of the table. Reason I ask is to make sure that what is normally a stop adjustment in a plunge base would be one item to check that would limit travel (height adjustment when in the table). If it's not a plunge base, scratch that idea...

Let's get the table out of the way first...

Take the HF router out of the table and see if the bit will drop sufficiently when adjusted with the provided height adjustment. Take the bit out of the collet so it doesn't get hurt in the manhandling... Make sure there is nothing between the router and the table that does not belong there...

If the height adjustment then allows the shaft to lower sufficiently (if a bit were in it), then the table is in the way when the router is installed...maybe the size of the hole vs the size of the router motor...? Have you checked the width of the table top...? Might it be the culprit...? (too thick ?)
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 11:05 AM
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...and you did check the depth stop knob/rod...? (figure F, 12a and 18a in your manual)

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry nick (please forgive my ignorance - i'm not very astute at this stuff at all) - not sure exactly what you are asking me to do.

I get remove the router - that miuch is clear
Quote:
and see if the bit will drop sufficiently when adjusted with the provided height adjustment.
You mean does the bit go all the way into the collet?

I need a few more posts I think to post pictures, so I'm going to take some pics of my table and router and post them to photobucket.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickp View Post
...and you did check the depth stop knob/rod...? (figure F, 12a and 18a in your manual)
Yes, this I've been looking at.

When I raise the router it goes all the way up.

I know this because when I raise it to lock it down I hear the "clump" against the table. LOL
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 11:10 AM
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...looks like it is a plunge router (see springs in parts diagram)...

The stop rod (18a) is a suspect for now...loosen the knob (12a) and let the rod drop fully away from the base side of the router...lock it again...now try raising the router and see if it travels further...
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