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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all - first time router user and poster...

I have 2 routers - One 1/4" shank craftsman (I've had for awhile and built a table top stand for it, but haven't used it until this week), and a new HF 1/2" shank router came with a table (didn't realize it was 1/2 when I bought it).

I had to buy a 1/2"-1/4" resize adapter for my 1/4" shank bits to work in the 1/2? router - and of course after having a problem I just broke down and bought 1/2" shank bits also.

So....My question is:

When I insert a bit (let's use the Roman Ogee as example) in either router, the bit goes all the way in and tightens.

BUT, when I raise the router to get the bit through the hole, the bit doesn't come all the way up through it. I know this because when I cut the Ogee, teh cut is only half way through the wood (the bevel cut).

I figured on my home made table stand I did something wrong, but on my new 1/2" shank router and table it's the same thing.

I find I have to raise the bit about 1/4 - 1/2" to get the whole Ogee pattern to cut on the wood.

Is this normal or do I have a defective router/table etc. or am doing something wrong and should just give up :(

Kinda lost with this router thing :(

Thanks in advance for any and all advice/assitance
 

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Welcome...soon as you can, fill out your profile so we have a first name...

General rule is that the shank of the bit needs to be in the collett by at least 80%...best way is drop the bit all the way in and back it off about 1/8"...

If the bit is not in deep enough into the collet, it could vibrate and spin out...very dangerous...

Couple of questions...when you installed the router, did you remove the base plate...? This could account for not being able to raise the bit high enough.

Let's take care of the basics first.

Just checking but this does not happen with the 1/4" router...? Only the new 1/2" router...? And it's a Harbor Freight...?

Is there a stop on the height adjustment that is preventing the router from raising...? (check the manual...?) Like a plunge router step turret...?

Is the router a plunge or fixed base...?
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hi Nick, thanks for the profile advice - done.

To answer your questions...

Couple of questions...when you installed the router, did you remove the base plate...? This could account for not being able to raise the bit high enough.
Yes, the 1/4" router (Craftsman wouldn't mount without removing the plate.

The Harbor freight 1/2" router came with the router mounted to the table already.

Just checking but this does not happen with the 1/4" router...? Only the new 1/2" router...? And it's a Harbor Freight...?
Happens on both - not too worried about the 1/4" since I built that and figured the depth of the top is too thick and probably needs to be routed out - which I can't do at the moment LOL

Is there a stop on the height adjustment that is preventing the router from raising...? (check the manual...?) Like a plunge router step turret...?
No the stop height is the table bottom itself on the HF router - nothing in the crappy instructions that tells how to adjust or if it even needs it

Is the router a plunge or fixed base...?
I'm not too up on the terminology, I assume you mean does the router move up and down aside from the bit part?

I'm going to say both are fixed - only moves up and down to adjust the height and change the bit - is that what you mean?

Thanks for the help

If it helps, this is the router and table 1/2" I have
http://www.harborfreight.com/router-table-with-router-95380.html
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Nick, thanks for the profile advice - done.

To answer your questions...

Couple of questions...when you installed the router, did you remove the base plate...? This could account for not being able to raise the bit high enough.
Yes, the 1/4" router (Craftsman wouldn't mount without removing the plate.

The Harbor freight 1/2" router came with the router mounted to the table already.

Just checking but this does not happen with the 1/4" router...? Only the new 1/2" router...? And it's a Harbor Freight...?
Happens on both - not too worried about the 1/4" since I built that and figured the depth of the top is too thick and probably needs to be routed out - which I can't do at the moment LOL

Is there a stop on the height adjustment that is preventing the router from raising...? (check the manual...?) Like a plunge router step turret...?
No the stop height is the table bottom itself on the HF router - nothing in the crappy instructions that tells how to adjust or if it even needs it

Is the router a plunge or fixed base...?
I'm not too up on the terminology, I assume you mean does the router move up and down aside from the bit part?

I'm going to say both are fixed - only moves up and down to adjust the height and change the bit - is that what you mean?

Thanks for the help
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If it helps this is the router and table I have
harborfreight dot com/router-table-with-router-95380 dot html
 

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Thanks, Jessie...

A plunge router typically has two shiny columns, one on either side of the motor housing with an obvious spring action to the router.. The plunge allows one to operate the router by plunging it to a specified amount of travel. Sort of like setting a stop on a drill press. Plunge routers typically are used when routing freehand, when the piece is too big for the table, sign-making, and a host of other uses out of the table. Reason I ask is to make sure that what is normally a stop adjustment in a plunge base would be one item to check that would limit travel (height adjustment when in the table). If it's not a plunge base, scratch that idea...

Let's get the table out of the way first...

Take the HF router out of the table and see if the bit will drop sufficiently when adjusted with the provided height adjustment. Take the bit out of the collet so it doesn't get hurt in the manhandling... Make sure there is nothing between the router and the table that does not belong there...

If the height adjustment then allows the shaft to lower sufficiently (if a bit were in it), then the table is in the way when the router is installed...maybe the size of the hole vs the size of the router motor...? Have you checked the width of the table top...? Might it be the culprit...? (too thick ?)
 
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...and you did check the depth stop knob/rod...? (figure F, 12a and 18a in your manual)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry nick (please forgive my ignorance - i'm not very astute at this stuff at all) - not sure exactly what you are asking me to do.

I get remove the router - that miuch is clear
and see if the bit will drop sufficiently when adjusted with the provided height adjustment.
You mean does the bit go all the way into the collet?

I need a few more posts I think to post pictures, so I'm going to take some pics of my table and router and post them to photobucket.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
...and you did check the depth stop knob/rod...? (figure F, 12a and 18a in your manual)
Yes, this I've been looking at.

When I raise the router it goes all the way up.

I know this because when I raise it to lock it down I hear the "clump" against the table. LOL
 

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...looks like it is a plunge router (see springs in parts diagram)...

The stop rod (18a) is a suspect for now...loosen the knob (12a) and let the rod drop fully away from the base side of the router...lock it again...now try raising the router and see if it travels further...
 
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Looks like we crossed posts...

I meant for you to take the router out of the table to make sure the table wasn't getting in the way...

Then operate it in it's "plunge" mode and see if the bit will travel sufficiently. If yes, then there might be something in the table blocking the full travel of the router.
 
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By the way...you can post pictures provided they are on the hard drive...you just can't post URL's until 10 posts...next response should do it...
 
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...maybe the handles...could they be hitting the bottom of the table...?
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I have some photos (didn't come out very well I'm afraid) of the router here:
s1216 dot photobucket dot com/user/completenewbie/library/HF%20Router?sort=3&page=1

The darker pic shows the bit all the way into the collect - when the router is raised it is not high enough to get the whole cut of the bit



The 2nd pic shows the same bit raised slightly to clear the hole in the table so the whole bit cuts the wood.


The last pic shows the bit not clearing the table top


I've removed the stop completely and without raising the bit in the collet when I raise the router it doesn't clear the top completely.

If you look at the 2nd picture (clearest of the 2 below table) you will see on the "slides" of the router there are 2 sleeves/collars at the top (just below the plate)- I think if these were not there the router would raise to the appropriate height

Also there is no way to remove the router from the table as the power is on the table itself - no power switch on the router.
 

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Jessie...looking at the 2nd picture it really does seem that the depth stop (18a) might be the problem. Loosen the knob (right behind the date stamp in the 2nd picture) while the table is upright...let the depth stop (the silver rod) fall, or push it, towards the back of the motor (down)...

By the way...that bit is definitely not in the collet sufficiently...besides the possibility of it coming out you could damage your collet.

Really nice shop...WOWSER...
 
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This may be a silly question Jessie but how thick is the table top, looking at your photo's it does seem very thick which could be the problem of not able to raise the bit high enough. I have a home made table with a insert that the router attaches to and is somewhere in the region of 1/4" thick which allows for the bit to protrude quite a bit.
 

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I think nick's right, the depth stop rod needs to go away. There is really no need for it in a table. You should be able to raise the router enough that the tip of the collet will be above the plate.

And +100 on the point that the bit isn't fully in the collet. Quite dangerous and will increase runnout which can be an issue for dados and such.

edit: as long as I am on this. If you use it enough, I think you will agree that 1/2" shank bits are superior to 1/4", especially for bigger bits (3/4" and up).
 

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I also suspect table thickness as a contributor to the problem. On most tables, the router is mounted on a 3/8ths plate. If the top is 1 inch thick, then the router needs another 5/8ths rise to offset the difference between a plate and the existing top. An after market aluminum router plate needs to sit in a half inch rabbit with a hole an inch less the width and height of the plate.

The picture shows how its done using a template, which can usually be ordered from the plate's manufacturer. I think this is a source of the problem.
 

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Jesse

I have to echo what others have said

Drop the bit into the collet properly - it isn't deep enough and you risk personal injury if it flies out. I probably don't have to tell you this but I will anyway - unplug your router/table before you go anywhere near that bit with your hands or anything else. I still have ten digits because I don't go near sharp things while the tool is plugged in.

Remove the depth stop rod completely then plunge the router and see if your bit comes up through the table. I really think the depth stop rod is the problem.

Let us know how you make out.
 
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