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Nice to meet everyone. I am a hobbyist (hack) who enjoys making "rustic" (aka "not square") projects. I've managed to get this far without actually having a router but I picked one up 2nd hand this weekend for $5 and have no clue about it or the manufacturer. It is a Manning Bowman 775000 router. My Google searches came up with a few, but it sounds like the company operated in the early 1900s and made a variety of things. Here's a photo of the top plate:



399492


I fired it up, and it works fine so now I just have to figure out how to use it. I'm guessing there's a lot of info around here so I'll be spending some time researching and learning.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

That looks like a fixed speed router.
 
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Ross
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Welcome to the forum.
 

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Welcome aboard . I suspect that getting replacement parts may be a bit hard to do. The router rules in general apply across the board as far as safety and proper routing direction and depth of cut. You'll want to establish the collet size before buying bits to make sure the fit safely and correctly. When making cuts multiple shallow cuts are better then attempting a single pass. I typically will do 3/8-1/4" per pass. Too slow and you may find burn marks (also if a dull cutter) and too fast will put a real strain on both motor and bit.

There's more to know before using and you should be able to find reference on this board. I highly recommend a dead mans switch which is foot activated and allows you to stop the router without taking one of your hands off it. All you need is one experience where you don't use one and really need it to find out what I'm referring to. Not expensive and an added safety measure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome aboard . I suspect that getting replacement parts may be a bit hard to do. The router rules in general apply across the board as far as safety and proper routing direction and depth of cut. You'll want to establish the collet size before buying bits to make sure the fit safely and correctly. When making cuts multiple shallow cuts are better then attempting a single pass. I typically will do 3/8-1/4" per pass. Too slow and you may find burn marks (also if a dull cutter) and too fast will put a real strain on both motor and bit.

There's more to know before using and you should be able to find reference on this board. I highly recommend a dead mans switch which is foot activated and allows you to stop the router without taking one of your hands off it. All you need is one experience where you don't use one and really need it to find out what I'm referring to. Not expensive and an added safety measure.
Thank you for tips, I appreciate it! Having had a few table saw scares in the past, I definitely like the idea of the dead man's switch for some added safety.
 

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Paul
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Let's see a few more pictures SaltyDog. Some companies have sold routers built by other manufacturers. Someone may recognize it.
 

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Welcome to the forum, Saltydog.
The router base looks like an old Skil model router base I had a long time ago. The router was repaired so many times until no spare parts were available, so I got rid of it.
 

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I see some red plastic pieces so it probably isn't an ancient piece. My old Stanley and Porter Cable / Rockwell routers have no plastic on them what so ever. Have you tried a picture search in google?

I know you think you got a good deal on that router but now you have to buy a wood lathe to make some pretty new handles for it!

P.S. I would start by turning it on without a router bit if you haven't all ready. How noisy are the bearings? I have older routers that I use quite a bit and haven't found a significant advantage to newer routers for most operations despite all there bells and whistles.
 

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The general design, excluding the handles looks very much like a late 1970s Craftsman model.
I am very curious about the voltage shown on the spec plate. It shows a recommended voltage of 85VAC at 5 Amps. This voltage doesn't look right for a North American tool. Any ideas?
 

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Welcome. Routers are great for a wide variety of purposes, but most of us at least use them for rounding over the edges of stuff. Makes less easily damaged edges, but also looks nice.. The shape a bit leaves is called a profile, and it's amazing how many profiles are possible given the right bits.

My main concern would be the collet, the thing that holds the bit. Collets are actually precision devices. The difference between a loose, vs tight collet is just a few thousandths of an inch. Here's a picture.
Automotive tire Font Cylinder Audio equipment Auto part

A little rust, a little abuse some time in the past and a collet needs to be replaced. If the bit comes loose, think about having a piece of ultra sharp steel bouncing around your midsection and legs. The biggest problem with old routers of most off brands is that you can't get a new collet because they're not exactly standard, and many of the relabeled router manufacturers stopped making parts long ago.

Glad you didn't pay much for it because if it were me, I'd toss it rather than take the risk. What you'll find if you ask is that there are a few mainstream brands that have great reputations and customer service. Chief among them is Bosch. Others like DeWalt, Makita and a few other brands are also pretty good. I have Bosch routers, and a big Triton in my table.

If you're just starting with routers and want the maximum safety, there are lots of posts about making your own table with a sheet or two of plywood, with a straight board to clamp in place for a table. Bosch makes a special base for the table that allows you to adjust bit height from above the table. A real convenience.

Font Art Electronic instrument Metal Rectangle


Here's a picture of some roundover bits in a set. These only have 1/4 inch shanks (shafts). If you get a good brand of router with a half inch collet, you can also switch collets so you can use the 1/4 shanks as well. But if you get one of the trim or medium duty routers, you're limited to the smaller shanks, not always adequate for bigger jobs or deep cutting.

Here's a chart with a variety of profiles and the bits that make them.

Brown Textile Sleeve Font Line


While I'm at it, here's a diagram of parts of a router bit. Bearings are an important part of your bit selection, but their location, top vs bottom, is counter intuitive.
Eye Font Cylinder Gas Auto part

I've been a DIY guy and done carpentry projects for all my life. Grew up in a beat up old farmhouse, so learned early on. But woodworking is different and a basic set of good tools is pretty important.

I have attached a pdf of a document that describes the 18 or so things that really helped me get up to speed on woodworking. It's kind of long, but has pictures and hopefully, will save you from making some of the expensive mistakes I made. Just don't expect to get all your tools at once, it took me about 12 years of my highest income years, to outfit my shop. I mention it in the pdf, but I have a big library of used and bargain books on woodworking I found through Amazon's used book listings. They were very helpful to me.
 

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Official Greeter
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The general design, excluding the handles looks very much like a late 1970s Craftsman model.
I am very curious about the voltage shown on the spec plate. It shows a recommended voltage of 85VAC at 5 Amps. This voltage doesn't look right for a North American tool. Any ideas?
The picture I saw showed 115V, not 85V....
 
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