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I know the basics about centering the plates on my Porter Cable router bases but never get them exactly centered. I was hoping to get some feedback on the process.

The Process

The PC bases are mounted to the base with 3 countersunk machine screws. After removing the screws and the plate, I counterbored the exsisting countersinks on the plate with a 3/8" Forstner bit and enlarged the through hole a little bit. I replaced the original countersunk screws with the appropriate size pan head screw. The counterbore is deep enough to allow the new screws to sit below flush. The modified and enlarged holes should permit me to align the base (with a bushing installed) to a centering pin mounted in the collet. I use the centering pin that came with the bushing kit (Rockler #59031). After alinging the base with the pin I tighten the screws on the plate.

After all of that, I run some tests and get off-center results. There have been times after chucking a bit in the collet I visually check and can see that the bit is not centered.

Any suggestions?
 

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Hi Brian:

Welcome to the Router Forums!

The technique I use:
1. Fasten the base-plate to the base, leaving the screws loose. (The ones in the base-plate!)
2. Chuck up a 1/4" drill blank in the collet.
3. Insert and tighten a 1/4" ID bushing in the base-plate. Make sure the router is locked down (on the 1617EVS I have, I close the locking clamp.)
4. With the drill blank passing through the bushing, I tighten the base-plate screws.


One can use a 1/2" drill blank and 1/2" ID bushing, or the 8mm variety -- the technique applies.

Cassandra
 

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Brian, you might also consider buying a centering cone. The one shown is designed for the Bosch 1617 but will work with any router.
 

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You can also get the Milescraft kit BJ mentioned at Lowes for $19.97.
 

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At Lowe's just now, I noticed it now comes with brass-nosed bushings. (Meanwhile, the Amazon price is down to $20 as well, but I suppose their stock might be older and all-plastic like their picture still shows.)

Is there any reason (for a beginner) to start with an all-brass set for $40 (plus base plate or Bosch holder cost) instead of the Milescraft plastic/brass setup? Is this one of those things where as long as I don't wear out the less-tough setup, I'm not using it enough to warrant spending 2x+?
 
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