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The first router that I bought in 1969 was a Black and Decker 1/2 HP beauty that required two wrenches to tighten the bit. The remaining routers that I have purchased through the years use a single wrench as they have internal or external locking methods. Is there a method that will allow a single wrench router to be converted to a double? If not, then which manufacturers sell two wrench routers and what is your personal opinion as to best choice. Thanks Erich
 

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Mike, I probably have a nearly identical B&D router also my first.
But mine is marked 3/4 hp. I also have two craftsman router with the spindle lock. I actually prefer the two wrench method. Since they all use 1/4" bits and the collets are in my opinion questionable. I think working two wrenches against each other like a pair of pliers allows me to get them tight enough to not slip. I have no idea who makes routers with the two wrench system.
You may hae to look at them? I know my Craftsman routers do have flats on the spindle below the collet nut that I have put a wrench on.
 

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Porter cable has the 2 wrench system I own 2 690s and I had a craftsman I prefer the PC over the spindle lock.
 

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I have a 3 1/2 hp Craftsman which will now be exclusively used for freehanded work as the advice from below appears to resolve my problem. Delta
 

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Well I took the plunge (pun not intended) and purchased the PC 7539 and the PC 895PK. In the near future I shall build the router cabinet and start providing commentary comparing them against My 3 1/2 hp Craftsman, several Ryobi pieces of trash and the Black and Decker. I do not know if the Porter Cables will work better but they sure are pretty and when turned on sound very smooth. Now to start planning on how to make Bob's fixtures. Delta6mike
 

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Mike,

I am experiencing a similar problem with my Hitachi router that only comes with the collet wrench. I am still looking around for the thin 23-24mm wrench to fit the shaft nut. The two wrench system is great and the high end routers normally will have them. The cost of supplying an extra wrench may be prohibitive to the manufacturers. You are going to get what you pay for.
Joe
 

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Either write, call, or check the website of the manufacturer. You should be able to get another wrench. If you don't this idea, buy a metric wrench from a hardware store and simply grind it down, (much like a "tappet wrench"), so it will fit without any trouble.

I have 3 routers, 2 with the spindle lock and 1 with the 2 wrench system, which is better?? I can't say, I like both.
 

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The Hitachi TR12 came with 2 wrenches 21 mm (Hitachi 956923) and 23 mm (Hitachi 956922). The M12V only comes with 956923, but you can order the 23 mm wrench from Hitachi. I installed a piece of 7-wire trailer hookup cable sheathing to my 23 mm wrench and a piece of 5/8 inch clear hose to my 21 mm wrench handle. This matches the colors on the collett, and also keeps the wrenches from damaging the plunger slides.

As Bob showed on the Router Workshop, sometimes you may need to use a lever between the two wrenches to get the collett open, especially if it's really hot. This isn't practical with a spindle lock, because it's difficult to securely hold the router and the spindle lock at the same time while yanking on the wrench.
 

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Many people damage their collets by over tightening. After you have inserted your bit and pulled it out about 1/8" you should turn the collet nut till it makes contact and then snug it down. As long as your bits and collet are rust and oil free this is all it takes. One exception to this proceedure is the Triton routers; the instruction manual says to insert the bit fully and snug it in position there.
 

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Mike,

I am experiencing a similar problem with my Hitachi router that only comes with the collet wrench. I am still looking around for the thin 23-24mm wrench to fit the shaft nut. The two wrench system is great and the high end routers normally will have them. The cost of supplying an extra wrench may be prohibitive to the manufacturers. You are going to get what you pay for.
Joe
Hi Joe: I saw instructions somewhere that allows you to convert a spindle locked Hitachi back to the two wrench. I can't remember where but maybe someone here will remember.

When you find the thin 23mm please let me know. I need one too.

Allthunbs
 

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Hi Allthunbs

It's not a big job to remove the lock mechanism ,then you can use the two wrench system if you want to..

You can get a thin wrench from the flea market that will fit the flats on the shaft..


You can also get a 23mm offset wrench from below

http://www.ptreeusa.com/routerAcc.htm#2887

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Hi Joe: I saw instructions somewhere that allows you to convert a spindle locked Hitachi back to the two wrench. I can't remember where but maybe someone here will remember.

When you find the thin 23mm please let me know. I need one too.

Allthunbs
 

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It's not a big job to remove the lock mechanism ,then you can use the two wrench system if you want to..

You can get a thin wrench from the flea market that will fit the flats on the shaft..
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Hi Bob:

Thanks for the info. The lock mechanism doesn't look like a major headache but then, I've not tried it yet. I've been searching flee markets for several years and nothing yet. Everyone sells off cheap wrenches & stuff, but none are selling old metric. I took at look at your offset wrench and I think I'll keep searching for a flat wrench. You see, I remove the router from the table to change bits and I prefer the two wrenches close enough to be able to use one against the other to loosen or tighten.

Thanks again.

Allthunbs
 

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Hi allthunbs

The wrenches that work best are the thin black ones the norm, thay are called service wrench, the ones that come with many tools to remove the nuts on cut off saws /many air tools etc. for just one or two of them,,,once you find one at the right price, say a buck you take it back to the shop and take it to the grinder and make it the right size...all for a buck.. :) they are short the norm say about 6" long for a 23mm size unlike the norm of 14" long..

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Hi Bob:

Thanks for the info. The lock mechanism doesn't look like a major headache but then, I've not tried it yet. I've been searching flee markets for several years and nothing yet. Everyone sells off cheap wrenches & stuff, but none are selling old metric. I took at look at your offset wrench and I think I'll keep searching for a flat wrench. You see, I remove the router from the table to change bits and I prefer the two wrenches close enough to be able to use one against the other to loosen or tighten.

Thanks again.

Allthunbs
 

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I must reiterate what Mike said, many people over tighten the collets, if you have difficulty loosening the collet with two spanners, then you have over tightened. There isn't any point in asking which system is better, it's up to the individual to try both methods, at least with the spindle lock there is less chance of over tightening and causing damage to the collet. It would surprise many members as to how little force is required to perfectly lock the collet onto the cutter. Whilst I don't recommend anyone attempting the following, I recently tried it to prove or disprove what I had been taught, that in the table, if the cutter come loose it will just sit there safely.

I switched off the power to the shed, fitted a damaged cutter into the Triton router in the table, finger "tightened" it, switched on the router, stood outside the shed and put my arm through the doorway and switched the power on. The router started as normal and after about 15 seconds during which no unusual noises were heard, I switched the power off and examined the router, the cutter was still in place, so you must arrive at your own conclusions.
 

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Many people damage their collets by over tightening. After you have inserted your bit and pulled it out about 1/8" you should turn the collet nut till it makes contact and then snug it down. As long as your bits and collet are rust and oil free this is all it takes. One exception to this proceedure is the Triton routers; the instruction manual says to insert the bit fully and snug it in position there.
Somewhere here in one of these threads someone suggested putting an "O" ring in the chuck (somewhere) and that would ensure a constant "bottom" for the bit. I've never been able to figure out what size and where/how it should be placed. If I loosen the collett the ring will slip out of the hole in the collett.

Comments? Suggestions?

Allthunbs
 

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Hi allthunbs

This may help you get it :)

http://www.routerforums.com/83854-post11.html


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Somewhere here in one of these threads someone suggested putting an "O" ring in the chuck (somewhere) and that would ensure a constant "bottom" for the bit. I've never been able to figure out what size and where/how it should be placed. If I loosen the collett the ring will slip out of the hole in the collett.

Comments? Suggestions?

Allthunbs
 

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Hi allthunbs

This may help you get it :)

http://www.routerforums.com/83854-post11.html


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Whilst I have no misgivings about Bj's stoppers for collets that clamp the cutter at the top (entrance), some collets, including a couple shown by Bj, clamp at the bottom, like this Makita one, in which case, in my usual humble opinion, I don't think it's the way to go.
 

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