The problem: I own a DW625 which I use almost exclusively under the table. The issue with this router (and some others) is that when fully plunged the base of the collet is still about 1/2" below the table surface making it dangerous to use some short shaft bits (1/4" the norm) without some sort of collet extender.
The solution thus far: I bought the MLCS collet extenders a few months back. They work great, no significant runout or vibration, and have enough length to change bits above the table. I don't care for the two metric wrenches needed to change bits, but I can live with that. What I am having difficulty with is the consistently stuck bits. I had a 1/2" straight bit stuck last night....and this was after the collet nut was completely removed! Since it was a straight bit I could not resort to the usual tricks with prying the bit out. I ended up having to resort to using the vise and a wrench and a whole lot of elbow grease. It should not be this difficult. The bit was not bottomed out or overtightened, and it is not the bit, I subsequently used it in the stock collet and had no problem whatsoever removing it. The problem is with the extender. I have the same issue (even moreso) with the 1/4" extender.
What I am thinking now: After posting a few threads last night to relieve stress
, I starting doing some research on chucks and extenders. I really like the allen wrench style of bit changing that is used by the Xtreme Xtension, but I have stayed away from that one due to reports I've read with vibration problems. There is the Trend extender which is along the lines of the MLCS extender but it uses an 8 slit collet not unlike the stock collet. I think I would have less problems with it, but it too requires two wrenches for bit change. Then I found the Eliminator RC. A chuck that replaces the stock chuck, adds about 1/2" height (just what I need!), and uses the allen wrench style for bit changing. Most of what I have read here and on the net is positive. Since it replaces the stock collet and only adds 1/2" height, vibration and runout are typically not a problem. Unless someone here lays on the tracks in front of me, I intend to order one.
Sorry for the long post, but this has been a source of frustration for me! I love using the router table and I don't want a major hassle every time I need to change bits! Maybe I should just toss all the shorties in the trash and buy some nice higher end, longer 1/2" shaft bits and be done with it!