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I came across the Router Forums while looking to troubleshoot an issue I’m having with my router. I’ll have to poke around more to figure out why my router switch does not work 99% of the time. (Nothing seems jammed...I’m *thinking* the switch wiring is at fault?!). Anyway...I can post about that later.

I’m a computer geek by day and a woodworker/woodartist by night. I borrowed a router from a friend so I could cut rabbets in some frame I’m making from reclaimed cedar fence pickets.

I’m brand new to routing. I routed 2 frames and started to work on a 3rd...and the router cut out. I’m literally THAT NEW! Routers do seem really awesome, and I can see many many uses for them. I borrowed one to try it out to see if I liked it before looking to invest in a new one. I definitely want one!!! ...but first I need to fix my friend’s)
 

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welcome N/A to the forums...
see if this PDF helps...
and after that go to this LINK and study up...
...
 

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If youre a computer geek you have a multi tester.

Check the power into and out of the switch. If you are convinced its the switch, the only real solution is a new one. Its very common for router switches to get gummed up with fine sawdust.
I had to replace one of mine very recently. i found the dust was going down the support sleeve on the main cable in, and it had literally filled the switch enough to stop the contacts touching. If youre used to tiny springs and ball bearings flying out all over the place, you could dismantle the switch and blow it clean.
 

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Hey, HK; welcome! what they said, but also a caution!
Previously used wood MAY still have a nail or screw broken off in it; bad juju when a carbide bit hits it (at 20K rpm). You really should get a metal detector and use it before processing used wood.
Before you buy a router come back and have a chat about what features you might want to consider; also recommendations on where to get the best pricing and service.
Please fill out your profile with a little bit about yourself...it makes it way easier for other members to give you relevant advice (general location for example).
 

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Hi, what is the make and model of your loaner router? Some years ago, Bosch 1617s had switch problems and wound up providing replacement switches for everyone. Letting us know the make and model could make a difference. Stick's information is always good and he's had scores of routers in his woodworking business.
 

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Troubleshooting

I came across the Router Forums while looking to troubleshoot an issue I’m having with my router. I’ll have to poke around more to figure out why my router switch does not work 99% of the time. (Nothing seems jammed...I’m *thinking* the switch wiring is at fault?!). Anyway...I can post about that later.

I’m a computer geek by day and a woodworker/woodartist by night. I borrowed a router from a friend so I could cut rabbets in some frame I’m making from reclaimed cedar fence pickets.

I’m brand new to routing. I routed 2 frames and started to work on a 3rd...and the router cut out. I’m literally THAT NEW! Routers do seem really awesome, and I can see many many uses for them. I borrowed one to try it out to see if I liked it before looking to invest in a new one. I definitely want one!!! ...but first I need to fix my friend’s)

I used to manage a Makita Tools factory service center.

MAKE SURE THE UNIT IS UNPLUGGED WHEN PERFORMING THE FOLLOWING. DOUBLECHECK IT!

There's a few things you can do depending on your comfort level with tools and motors.

First thing, some units may have breaker protection, if so, ensure it hasn't tripped.

Shake and turn the unit over in all axis to make sure there's nothing loose or broken free inside. Rattling is bad.

Then check the brushes and cord.

Are the brushes worn down? They are the graphite blocks mounted to a spring that contact either side of the commutator (surface of the armature) and are typically accessed through round plastic screw caps either side of the motor. Inspect the brushes for excessive or uneven wear, cracks, signs of overheating like burning, scoring, failed springs (they should have enough tension to hold brushes down without skipping), etc.

Look down the hole the brushes came out of and inspect the commutator for the same signs. Some wear is normal but it should be even, without heavy scoring, discoloration (sign of overheating) or cracks, etc.

Inspect the cord, is there fraying, damaged insulation, heavy kinks, broken strain reliefs or signs of overheating like scorch marks on the plug face.

Does the switch feel like it's operating normally, there normally should be a feel of positive registration when it is switched on and off, sometimes a click can be heard (depending on switch type).

Check the bearings. Is there slop, wobble, excessive runout, any seepage, visible damage, etc. There shouldn't be much movement in deflection (side to side) or in and out.
Do they turn smoothly, evenly and easily without grinding or scraping sound or catching?

Inspect the housing for cracks or damage.

Now if you're comfortable you can open the unit and check the switch, speed control (if equipped) and circuitry, windings and armature, visually and electrically with an ohm meter and smell the unit for burning or sickly dielectric smell.

Any signs of obvious damage? broken or loose wires, connections, etc.
Check any fuses with a meter.
Check the armature. ( check: groschopp dot com/how-to-check-a-motor-armature)
Are there signs the windings are burned, broken, coating loss, damaged or unwound?
Check all three wires of the cord for continuity, no shorts, and resistance from the plug tines to the cord terminals inside.
Use an Ohm meter on its lowest setting across the winding terminals, you should see very low resistance but not open circuit.
Test the switch for continuity and speed controller (if equipped) with the meter.
Inspect the capacitors for signs of swelling or bulging, damage, burn or sickly smell and if you feel able, you can desolder the caps and test them. (wikihow dot com/Test-a-Capacitor) Inspect and test solder joints and any other components such as voltage regulators, diodes and resistors etc. (youtube dot com/watch?v=GW_-ycgJXhg)

Make sure to bag and label any parts you remove and either take pictures or video of disassembly so you can reverse the process to put it back together.

Good luck

PS, sorry about the URL's. I'm new here and this is my first post and I'm limited until I reach 5 posts.
 

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Andrew??? Welcome to the forum - that's a pretty detailed troubleshooting guide. When you get a chance, please update your profile with at least a first name and your location. It makes for a friendlier forum if we don't have to call you "na".
 

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I used to manage a Makita Tools factory service center.

MAKE SURE THE UNIT IS UNPLUGGED WHEN PERFORMING THE FOLLOWING. DOUBLECHECK IT!

There's a few things you can do depending on your comfort level with tools and motors.

First thing, some units may have breaker protection, if so, ensure it hasn't tripped.

Shake and turn the unit over in all axis to make sure there's nothing loose or broken free inside. Rattling is bad.

Then check the brushes and cord.

Are the brushes worn down? They are the graphite blocks mounted to a spring that contact either side of the commutator (surface of the armature) and are typically accessed through round plastic screw caps either side of the motor. Inspect the brushes for excessive or uneven wear, cracks, signs of overheating like burning, scoring, failed springs (they should have enough tension to hold brushes down without skipping), etc.

Look down the hole the brushes came out of and inspect the commutator for the same signs. Some wear is normal but it should be even, without heavy scoring, discoloration (sign of overheating) or cracks, etc.

Inspect the cord, is there fraying, damaged insulation, heavy kinks, broken strain reliefs or signs of overheating like scorch marks on the plug face.

Does the switch feel like it's operating normally, there normally should be a feel of positive registration when it is switched on and off, sometimes a click can be heard (depending on switch type).

Check the bearings. Is there slop, wobble, excessive runout, any seepage, visible damage, etc. There shouldn't be much movement in deflection (side to side) or in and out.
Do they turn smoothly, evenly and easily without grinding or scraping sound or catching?

Inspect the housing for cracks or damage.

Now if you're comfortable you can open the unit and check the switch, speed control (if equipped) and circuitry, windings and armature, visually and electrically with an ohm meter and smell the unit for burning or sickly dielectric smell.

Any signs of obvious damage? broken or loose wires, connections, etc.
Check any fuses with a meter.
Check the armature. ( check: groschopp dot com/how-to-check-a-motor-armature)
Are there signs the windings are burned, broken, coating loss, damaged or unwound?
Check all three wires of the cord for continuity, no shorts, and resistance from the plug tines to the cord terminals inside.
Use an Ohm meter on its lowest setting across the winding terminals, you should see very low resistance but not open circuit.
Test the switch for continuity and speed controller (if equipped) with the meter.
Inspect the capacitors for signs of swelling or bulging, damage, burn or sickly smell and if you feel able, you can desolder the caps and test them. (wikihow dot com/Test-a-Capacitor) Inspect and test solder joints and any other components such as voltage regulators, diodes and resistors etc. (youtube dot com/watch?v=GW_-ycgJXhg)

Make sure to bag and label any parts you remove and either take pictures or video of disassembly so you can reverse the process to put it back together.

Good luck

PS, sorry about the URL's. I'm new here and this is my first post and I'm limited until I reach 5 posts.
This is one of those posts worth printing and saving. Great information.
 
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