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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently retired and after several necessary home projects, I am in the shop through the winter.
The intelligent "first thing" is to thoroughly organize a shop that has never been properly organized before.
Part of this process is deciding what to keep and what to throw out and to make sure that everything I'm keeping comes up to good working order.
So, out of all of the tools that need repair, I've tracked down part numbers and ordered replacement parts for them.

This brings me to this forum, because among my items in need of repair is an old Craftsman router.
I used your forum to find the users manual and discovered that the part I need is no longer made or available through the original manufacturer.
315.17380 is the model # and the needed part is the collet and retainer.
If anyone here knows where I can find this item, I would deeply appreciate it.
Glad you're here!
I need router enthusiasts to help me to start thinking of the router as a solution to various project problems.
Currently I stay with other tools that I am more accustomed to and I avoid the router.

I recently started the research on a good router table and concluded that buying a used shaper would be cheaper and probably a better solution.

I do, however, possess an old cast iron delta table saw top that I have considered retrofitting for router table use.
Is this feasible or worth the trouble?
 

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Theo
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Welcome aboard. Possibly your best bet would be to check on ebay. I have 5 Craftsman routers, made by Ryobi, the newest around 15 yo. They all work, and are used. But when one dies, I will not waste time looking for a part that is most likely unfindable, I will either keep it for parts, or toss it. Toss it most likely. Shaper? I hardly think you want a shaper, they are not for small home shops. A lot of people here make their own router tables. I am on about version 4 or 5, can't recall which. Been content with it for 10+ years. Personally, I think you would be way ahead of the game if you bought a new, or good used, router, instead of trying to fix an old Craftsman.
 

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Messing with an old router is always problematic. When you get it running, what you have is an old router with hard to find parts. Consider getting a modern one, and it's very hard to beat the Bosch 1617 EVSPK kit. It is usable both in a table and for freehand use, and in the kit comes with both fixed base (for your table) and plunge base for freehand use.

For the table, make one. Easy, will take you a couple of hours, and the mounting plate for the router in your table is available for the 1617 from every company making plates. Get a plate with a quick lock type insert, not the cheaper one with three screws--PITA.

The top requires half a sheet of very flat Baltic Birch ply, and might take you 2-3 hours to make. Most who make their own top have them for many years, and you can enhance it over time if you wish. There are several strings you can search for how to make a shop built router table. It is a good project to start with. You don't need to have a metal top, in fact it could be a pain in the rear to adapt.

The router is a versatile tool you can use for many purposes. There are a number of good books on routers you can find used on Amazon. You'll also find there are many shop made jigs you can make that will let you easily do all kinds of projects. Chief among them to me is an exact fit dado jig. For cabinets, it is hard to beat.

That's my five nickles worth.


To my thinking, I'd much rather have a router in a table than a used shaper. Before you even consider buying a shaper, check to see what parts you can find for it. Bits for it will be far more expensive than for a router. I think of it more as a milling machine meant for large scale operations. The 1617 will do just about everything a home shop will be attacking.
 

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Routers themselves are fairly reasonable. The bits are what can add up. Personally I wouldn't spend to much time on an old Craftsman. If it were me I would buy a new Router as Tom suggested the Bosch kit would be a good choice. Here is a link for one on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-1617EVSPK-Woodworking-Router-Combo/dp/B00005RHPD I would at least get something with a plunge base and then make your own table. There are several plans on here. Search results for query: router table plans You can make Router table as fancy or as plain as you want. It also depends on what you want to do. I don't see why you couldn't use the old saw table top as a starting point if that is what you want to do.

On the shaper idea you mentioned. The cutters for shapers can get very expensive they do not turn as fast as a router so you can't use router bits in them.

Good luck on whatever you decide and welcome to the forum.
 

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G'day, and welcome to the forum..

As most of the responders have suggested, do not wast time and resources(money) on old routers where parts are hard to find.

As I am in Australia, I am not familiar with the kit that Tom suggests, but, I respect his knowledge in these matters and that is what I would suggest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Messing with an old router is always problematic. When you get it running, what you have is an old router with hard to find parts. Consider getting a modern one, and it's very hard to beat the Bosch 1617 EVSPK kit. It is usable both in a table and for freehand use, and in the kit comes with both fixed base (for your table) and plunge base for freehand use.

For the table, make one. Easy, will take you a couple of hours, and the mounting plate for the router in your table is available for the 1617 from every company making plates. Get a plate with a quick lock type insert, not the cheaper one with three screws--PITA.

The top requires half a sheet of very flat Baltic Birch ply, and might take you 2-3 hours to make. Most who make their own top have them for many years, and you can enhance it over time if you wish. There are several strings you can search for how to make a shop built router table. It is a good project to start with. You don't need to have a metal top, in fact it could be a pain in the rear to adapt.

The router is a versatile tool you can use for many purposes. There are a number of good books on routers you can find used on Amazon. You'll also find there are many shop made jigs you can make that will let you easily do all kinds of projects. Chief among them to me is an exact fit dado jig. For cabinets, it is hard to beat.

That's my five nickles worth.


To my thinking, I'd much rather have a router in a table than a used shaper. Before you even consider buying a shaper, check to see what parts you can find for it. Bits for it will be far more expensive than for a router. I think of it more as a milling machine meant for large scale operations. The 1617 will do just about everything a home shop will be attacking.
That's awesome ! I really appreciate it! It's hard for me to not try to save everything and make it useful. Even if it takes me years!
Again, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Routers themselves are fairly reasonable. The bits are what can add up. Personally I wouldn't spend to much time on an old Craftsman. If it were me I would buy a new Router as Tom suggested the Bosch kit would be a good choice. Here is a link for one on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-1617EVSPK-Woodworking-Router-Combo/dp/B00005RHPD I would at least get something with a plunge base and then make your own table. There are several plans on here. Search results for query: router table plans You can make Router table as fancy or as plain as you want. It also depends on what you want to do. I don't see why you couldn't use the old saw table top as a starting point if that is what you want to do.

On the shaper idea you mentioned. The cutters for shapers can get very expensive they do not turn as fast as a router so you can't use router bits in them.

Good luck on whatever you decide and welcome to the forum.
Roxanne, thanks for the link!
I'l lprobably be picking up the Bosch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
G'day, and welcome to the forum..

As most of the responders have suggested, do not wast time and resources(money) on old routers where parts are hard to find.

As I am in Australia, I am not familiar with the kit that Tom suggests, but, I respect his knowledge in these matters and that is what I would suggest.
Thanks James! What is your favorite kit in Australia?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Messing with an old router is always problematic. When you get it running, what you have is an old router with hard to find parts. Consider getting a modern one, and it's very hard to beat the Bosch 1617 EVSPK kit. It is usable both in a table and for freehand use, and in the kit comes with both fixed base (for your table) and plunge base for freehand use.

For the table, make one. Easy, will take you a couple of hours, and the mounting plate for the router in your table is available for the 1617 from every company making plates. Get a plate with a quick lock type insert, not the cheaper one with three screws--PITA.

The top requires half a sheet of very flat Baltic Birch ply, and might take you 2-3 hours to make. Most who make their own top have them for many years, and you can enhance it over time if you wish. There are several strings you can search for how to make a shop built router table. It is a good project to start with. You don't need to have a metal top, in fact it could be a pain in the rear to adapt.

The router is a versatile tool you can use for many purposes. There are a number of good books on routers you can find used on Amazon. You'll also find there are many shop made jigs you can make that will let you easily do all kinds of projects. Chief among them to me is an exact fit dado jig. For cabinets, it is hard to beat.

That's my five nickles worth.


To my thinking, I'd much rather have a router in a table than a used shaper. Before you even consider buying a shaper, check to see what parts you can find for it. Bits for it will be far more expensive than for a router. I think of it more as a milling machine meant for large scale operations. The 1617 will do just about everything a home shop will be attacking.
Is the Kreg, the quick lock mounting plate you refer to?
 

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I have a Rockwell Shaper with many $ in cutters that draws dust about 95% of the time while the router table gets almost a daily use. Is great for raised panel doors and more production oriented projects, but for day to day use the router table is way to go.
as for chasing parts for an obsolete Craftsman Router, Good Luck is all I can say. Been down that rabbit hole already with a couple of items and by the time was finished ended up with a bunch of junk all with the same part missing or broken most of which came from supposedly working units.. For the time and aggravation I could have bought 2 new ones, which I ended up doing and trashing all the accumulated assortment of junk. Never again
 

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Thanks James! What is your favorite kit in Australia?
my favorite router is the Triton TRA001.

I also have a TRC001 and several Makitas...
 

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In looking at the cost of the router, a good table, a lift system... a shaper seems to be designed for that very thing and cheaper to buy, used
If you add up the toys the router will be expensive. Now price out good bits and there's your difference with the shaper. It all adds up.

I used shapers for 37 years

But its your decision.youll figure it out..
 

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Theo
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In looking at the cost of the router, a good table, a lift system... a shaper seems to be designed for that very thing and cheaper to buy, used
Not counting router cost, I have somewhere well under $10 to make my router table, and it does exactly what I want and need. Do not like lift systems, wouldn't have one, my routers fasten to the plate, and want to change a bit or whatever, the whole thing lifts out, and drops right back in place when finished. And, again, a shaper is not for a home shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a Rockwell Shaper with many $ in cutters that draws dust about 95% of the time while the router table gets almost a daily use. Is great for raised panel doors and more production oriented projects, but for day to day use the router table is way to go.
as for chasing parts for an obsolete Craftsman Router, Good Luck is all I can say. Been down that rabbit hole already with a couple of items and by the time was finished ended up with a bunch of junk all with the same part missing or broken most of which came from supposedly working units.. For the time and aggravation I could have bought 2 new ones, which I ended up doing and trashing all the accumulated assortment of junk. Never again
Thanks...makes sense...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Not counting router cost, I have somewhere well under $10 to make my router table, and it does exactly what I want and need. Do not like lift systems, wouldn't have one, my routers fasten to the plate, and want to change a bit or whatever, the whole thing lifts out, and drops right back in place when finished. And, again, a shaper is not for a home shop.
So good to hear the commonsense stuff and not be caught in the false expectations of fad and advertisement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you add up the toys the router will be expensive. Now price out good bits and there's your difference with the shaper. It all adds up.

I used shapers for 37 years

But its your decision.youll figure it out..
Thanks ! You guys are touching on all of the points that I couldn't possibly get, on my own.
 
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