Leslie, many brands of router have a special type of chuck for safety. What happens is they loosen slightly and then snug up again. If you give the collet nut another turn it should loosen the rest of the way.
I would recommend a new insert for the collet nut BUT put the hammer back in the tool box.
It should come out easy, you may want to take some 800 grit emery paper and wrap it on a dowell rod (1/8" or 3/16" ) and go in side the sleeve with a bit of 3and1 oil, but with care.
Spit the dowell down the center then wrap the emery paper on it,but only do it by hand NO Power tool for this type of job.
NOTE***some collet nuts have a snap ring on them,check to see if it's still in place and not gummed up with wood pitch.
If so soak it in some cleaner then relub it after.
Yeah like Bj says lose the hammer . Is it an old model router or one of the new models with a self releasing collet (what Mike is referring to in his post)? If it is an older model router follow what Bj posted and you should get back in business.
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