Repairing Older Craftsman Shaft Locks
You may have an older Craftsman Router that you are not using because the shaft lock no longer works, hopefully this easy fix will make it useful again. This repair may apply to other shaft locks of similar design. Please read the procedure completely before attempting to repair your shaft lock.
For demonstration proposes I will fix the shaft lock on a Craftsman model 315.25070 that was purchased at a garage sale many years ago and never fixed. Shown in picture 1.
The type of shaft lock I am repairing is shown in picture 2. It is used on several of the older Craftsman routers.
The first thing to do is remove the base from the router so you have clear access to the shaft lock. If you can, remove the collet nut, collet, and jamb nut. You may have to clamp the shaft lock in place to remover the collet nut, collet, and jamb nut, if so use plenty of padding on the clamp so you do not damage the threads of the shaft or other parts of the router. Do not over tighten the clamp. Now remove the shaft lock by removing the mounting screw and mounting hardware. Be very careful when removing the mounting hardware, it contains a spring that might throw parts somewhere. Picture 3 shows the collet nut, collet, jamb nut, and the shaft lock assembly parts (screw, lock washer, collared bushing, shaft lock, and spring) in the order they were removed.
So you will not loose any parts while working on the shaft lock, store them in a bath of cleaner so they can be cleaned before reinstalling them on the router. Picture 4
Picture 5 clearly shows the problem with this shaft lock. It works to tighten down the collet nut but slips out of the slot when you try to loosen the collet nut. Picture 6 is a drawing depicting the problem (#2), and how the shaft lock needs to look in order to work correctly (#3). (#1) is a representation of the shaft with the slot cut into it.
Put the shaft lock in a vise (picture 7) and file the shape so that it looks like picture 8. Take your time and check your progress often until you have shaped the shaft lock to fit the slot in the shaft when the shaft lock is located over the mounting hole.
With the reshaping completed it is time to clean up the parts for reassembly of the shaft lock. Treat parts for rust, protect and lubricate as needed.
Look at picture 3 for the order in which the parts should be replaced. The shaft lock sits on the spring and the straight end of the spring fits in the small hole in the shaft lock. Then the collared bushing is inserted into the shaft lock from the top. The lock washer with the screw completes the shaft lock assembly. Carefully place the assembly over the mounting hole in the router so the screw is in the hole. Tighten the screw 2 or 3 turns, lift the free end of the shaft lock over the raised retaining pin on the motor housing and tighten the screw completely. The shaft lock should be free to move when it is pushed toward the shaft and should return to the open position when released. If it does not reinstall it so it functions properly. It should now look like picture 9.
Reinstall the jamb nut, collet, collet nut, and router base. It should look like Picture 10 and be ready for the next project.
I hope this How To will help put some of the old Craftsman die hard routers back in service once more.
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