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Discussion Starter #1
My Dad's sister gave me her ex-husbands old router. But it's missing the collet. Yes I know it's probably a crappy router, so please don't say "return it and get a better router" because that's just not possible. And yes I searched this forum and google first but no luck.

It's branded as a "American Tool Exchange" 1/2" plunge router but it looks exactly like the Chicago Electric routers on the Harbor Freight website. Except a different color, and probably much older. BTW, I'm hoping to make a router table with it.

Amazon has collets for porter cable, craftsman, dewalt, etc., I just need to know which one to buy. Are they universal? like angle grinder parts? Do I need to measure the output shaft threads?

Thanks!!
 

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John
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Hello and welcome to the router forum.
NO Collets are really not interchangeable,that being said yes some are interchangeable with different model ( I realize it is confusing ) I think Harbor freight maybe able to tell you where to buy the part or you need to give us a model number maybe even a picture so we can figure out who actually built the router
maybe there is a member that owns one of these that can help you, good luck
 

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Ross
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Welcome to the forum.
 

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Welcome...
 

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Welcome to the forum.
 

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Welcome to the forum Manny. Plus 1 with what Semipro says. Some other brand's collet would have to have the same outer diameter, the same length, and the same taper to work. It is very likely that cheap routers like that are made in one factory with several different names on it but don't try it unless you are absolutely certain they are the same.
 

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Sorry I can't help with your query , but welcome to a great forum :)
 

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My idea of a replacement collet for an HF router comes with a router attached and writing on the side that says "Bosch" or "Porter Cable". I know you didn't want to hear that but thought it a little humorous...

Anyway, HF is pretty bad when it comes to replacement parts. If you have trouble getting one from them, look at router pictures and see if there is some other brand that looks like the one you have. I think Ryobi made some of HFs routers so that might be a place to start. HF doesn't actually make anything they sell. Some other company made that router and you might be able to find a compatible collet with them.
 

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try to warranty the router...
 

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If HF are so bad there ought to be tons of junk routers out there, check craigs list and ebay and pick up a junker and salvage the collet.

Hhttp://routerbits.guidestobuy.com/2-hp-electric-plunge-routererb
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys! A lot of comments and a lot of good ideas!

I'm attaching some photos of the router and it's output shaft. It looks to be about 3/4" or maybe 11/16" wide, and I counted about 24-26 threads per inch. I didn't think about the taper on the inside effecting how the collet works...

BTW, do you think this would be a good router for building a routing table for?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks kind a like a Makita to me.

Herb
Hey you're right!

This is the exact same as what I have (except mine is in better shape and has a different brand label on it)



So I'm on the hunt for a Makita collet and nut... anyone know the best place to find one for the cheapest?
 

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I think Makitas are made in Japan, and it says China on yours, so ir might be a Chinese knock off, so don't be surprised if the collets are a little different. Just because they look the same doesn't mean they are actually identical.

Look for Makita repair/service shops. There used to be a couple around here, don't know if they still are, but if you could find one and stop by with your router and they could tell you in a minute if a Makita will fit. And if they are the same you have just found a repair facility in case you ever need it.

Herb
 

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Makita had a cheaper line called Maktec or something like that. Manny you should probably be measuring with the metric side of your ruler.
 
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I purchased 2-1/2" collets for my HF router from HF. I think they cost me $8 each plus $12/$14 for S&H. I had to do it because the router was mounted in an HF router table which both was somewhat new at the times.

I know you said "returning it is not possible" but what about buying a used one? I'm sure if you look around you will find a good used router for less or about the same price a an HF router.
 

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i know you said you do not want to buy a different router( but) A new collet and nut probably will run 20 bucks or better, On craigslist you can probably buy a used router for 30. 35 dollars that has all the pieces and runs.
The number one tool in my shop is my tablesaw number, two is my routers there is so much you can do with the router I hate to see you start off with something that is not fun to use and learn with and ruin your adventure, The reason that you find them on craigslist people do not learn to use them and throw them in the corner most what you buy on craigslist are probably verily used or new.
if you learn to use your router I would almost foresee in the future you buying yourself a new router because you want one
 
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I had a different HF plunge router. It was the one that is part of the router table combo. The collet from my Bosch 1617 fit perfectly. I have no idea if that would help you or not.
 
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