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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my Craftsman 320.27683. I noticed it was making strange noises the other day (almost like a bearing was going out, the noise stopped after running full speed for a few seconds) while routing some grooves in hard maple, and when I went to change the collet and bit, I noticed the spindle was blue like it got hot, but the whole thing was cool to the touch. This certainly doesn't seem normal to me, but I never noticed it before. Any ideas?

 

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John
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I’d say bearing got hot enough to scorch the shaft!
the bit was cutting the wood I presume



guess i forgot to proof read!
 

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It could have made a shrieking noise if the bit was spinning in the collet too. If that it was it it might have seized up enough to quit slipping when it got hot. No doubt either way is that something got hot.

The forcing cone in the armature looks quite dirty and needs cleaning. BTW, if the armature bearing is bad you should be able to spin the shaft by hand and feel tightness if it's dry or a bump if there is a chip out of one of the balls.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just tore it apart and confirmed the lower bearing is shot. It's very rough and had a ton of play in it. I couldn't figure out how to get it off the shaft though, even with the "router nut" removed. I assume it's pressed on somehow. There's a bearing shop like a mile from my house, I may have them make an attempt at it.

The bit was definitely NOT spinning in the collet. No evidence of spinning on the bit at all.
 

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It is pressed on as a rule. You can get it off by striping the router down to the armature and putting it in a vise with 2 steel bars supporting the bearing. Screw the nut back on and lay a board on the nut and tap the board with a hammer. You need a second person there to catch the armature when it breaks free. If you aren't comfortable with that then follow your own advise.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you! I'm most likely going to replace both bearings right away since I have it all torn apart.

Let's be real though, dead bearings after only 2 years of light use? I may end up selling this and buying something better. I don't know what yet, but probably a name brand.
 

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Won't hurt to change both as bearings are pretty cheap. The lower one is usually the one that fails first due to the side forces exerted by the bit.
 

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Paul
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That failure does seem premature, I've got a Craftsman over thirty years old that has original bearings.
 

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I remember hearing years ago that Sears had their routers engineered to last 7 hrs. Their studies showed that the average DIYer only used their router 5 hrs in a year so they made it last 7 and gave it a 1 yr warranty. I've had to replace bearings in a couple of Porter Cable sanders and they also use cheap bearings wirthj under $1 each in bulk for one of the sanders.

No tool company makes their own bearings. I've heard there are only a few bearing makers in the world so bearings are generic and not specific as a rule. You can get a replacement that is rated for a much higher rpm than that one is and it should last for years. For that bearing to fail like it did I suspect that it was only rated for a few thousand rpm, not 25,000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got the bottom bearing changed out from a chinese YS bearing to a Nachi bearing that was made in Japan. It was a little more of a project than I thought it would be. I had to buy the bearing, then go to a machine shop to have it changed out. Still not bad. $20 for the whole ordeal and it saves me having to buy a new router right now. I'll still probably replace it in the future, but for now, I have a usable router again. Thanks everyone!
 

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Years ago an old friend, Dave came over to my shop. He had brought along his new Craftsman router along with a tall straight cutter. He said that he was routing a groove in a piece of wood running against a straight edge and the cut came out uneven, not straight like you would expect. He tried the cut several times, each with the same result. He concluded that either the cutter was defective or the machine was. He asked if I could test both. I chucked the bit in one of my routers and duplicated his cut. The cut was fine. Next we checked the router spindle with a dial indicator. It was way out of wack. Dave said no problem as the router was only a couple of weeks old. He had bought it when Sears had their big annual Pre-Xmas sale. You know the one where the ads say 50% off. Get our top of the line router or whatever tool for half off. Well Dave took the router back and explained what was wrong. The salesman took the router and briefly looked at it. "One of the sale ones I see" he says. Dave asked him how he knew as he had't told him that he bought it on sale. The salesman told him that he could tell by the serial number. He also told him that although advertised as "same as" there was no way that this was true. The only thing that was the same was the exterior case, all the guts, bearings etc were of lesser quality. I've never bought a Sears tool since that episode.
 
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