Router repair, 25 years late.


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About 25 years ago I bought a Craftsman router and table. I was never happy with the results because I could never get the wood to feed right on the table. I would occasionally get lucky and get a good pass but then I would get “chatter” on the next one. I always figured it was me doing something wrong. Today I got a new stand for it and got it mounted solid. The original stand was too wobbly. For some reason I ran my hand over the platform and noticed that the cast aluminum felt rough. I got out a sanding block and some 120 grit sandpaper and gave it a light sand. I noticed a big improvement in the texture. Next I took some Water sandpaper ( I don’t know the grit ) and gave it a good workout. Once this was finished I removed the platform and took it over to the buffing wheel. I buffed all the ribs that would come in contact with the wood. Next I took the guide and gave it a light buff. I then coated the surfaces with a couple of coats of Johnson’s wax. The difference was incredible. I am sure that I will start project soon now that I have a working router.
 
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Hi,

Well done Doug; a bit of TLC works wonders; I'm always amazed when I restore an old cast iron machine to find it's never seen an oil can since it left the factory.

You'll be looking for excuses now to run lots of moulding; I have a 3hp router in my home made table which works OK but I do still need to sort out decent "hold ins" perhaps a job for me if it ever warms up outside.

You'll be looking forward to warmer weather too Doug then you can complete your workshop and put it to good use. :)

Have you any projects lined up? I've got lots of woodturning blanks and stacks of aluminium circles for metal spinning which I hope to play around with. Please keep us posted Doug.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Reminds me of a tip my father gave me years ago (a first-rate professional upholsterer and cabinet maker).
Apart from filling up a mouthful of tacks, he always had a candle in his pocket. The candle was used on the base of his planes to provide a long-lasting lubricant.
 
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Hi,

Yes a good old fashioned tip piglet still as useful today as it was all those years ago. :)

Rubbing a candle on a wood screw lubricates the screw allowing it to drive easier. Rubbing a candle on a zipper is another old trick.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Unfortunately any candles around me are in the glass containers favored by ladies who scent the air. I do not think any pilfering of new candles would go unnoticed, however I am going to suggest my wife send her remnant candles to my shop, so I can remelt them into a useful block. They are mainly parrafin these days I believe. Table saw tops and other gear wood benefit. I think my FIL used paste wax on his saw tops. I never found out.
 
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Hi,

I use paste wax on my lathe beds and sawbench top Dm; it makes a huge difference. :)

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=46963

I adopted restoring vintage radios when I retired in 2000 and enjoyed this as a very interesting hobby for the next ten years. As I gained experience I started to experiment posting my projects on the forum at the above link. You mentioning paraffin wax Dm brought back memories of a unique project I successfully tackled; I was restoring an expensive vintage radio and it needed new capacitors; installing modern capacitors would have badly detracted from its originality so I decided to make my own vintage capacitors. In total I must have made over 1,000 of assorted values using paraffin wax to fill the tubes. I know I'm barking mad but once I get interested in something my imagination runs wild.

Kind regards, Colin.

Capacitors 1..JPG


I go way over the top; above shows the racks I designed and made to hold the capacitor tubes whilst I filled them with molten paraffin wax. The small machine I also designed and made for winding the paper tubes.

Capacitors 2..JPG


Modern capacitor with extended connections with tubes; tube end caps and printed label. I made the punches for punching out the modelling clay tube end caps.

Capacitors 3..JPG


A batch of .005uF "vintage capacitors".

Capacitors 4..JPG


Over 1,000 were produced many being given away to fellow restorers; I only actually needed about a dozen but enjoyed setting up a production line in our kitchen. I love this kind of challenge.
Sorry to hijack your thread Doug but thought this little story might be interesting.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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7AE9853C-54B7-434A-98CC-FD56FD8C62E2.jpeg
Hi,

Good luck Doug. What size router is it please?

Kind regards, Colin.
Colin, I’m not sure but I seem to remember it was 3 hp but don’t quote me on that. When I bought it this was the largest one Craftsman made. It performs wonderfully when removed from the table but kicks like a mule when you turn it on. I used to do a lot of Formica counter tops when I was younger and I did all the edging with this router.
 
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Hi,

Nice router table Doug. the router looks big enough to be 3hp and I like its height. :)

My router table isn't as posh as yours Doug being made from odds and ends I had to hand. Below are pictures of my first router table with a short length of 4" x 2" screwed to its base allowing it to be mounted in the engineering vice. Rather crude but accurate enough for making comb jointed boxes. Your router table though looks the business. :)

Kind regards, Colin.


Router_001..JPG

Comb jointed box nearing completion.

Router_002..JPG

Very basic router table.

Router_003..JPG

Comb cutting in progress.

Router_004..JPG


It doesn't get much simpler than this.
 
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Simple but effective. I am trying to figure out a way to mount 6” rollers on the table extensions. This should make it easier to get a smooth feed through the cutting area. I have found that varying speeds can result in different textures on some woods. My first project is going to be making some picture frames out of old barnwood and I don’t have much wood to spare. I have to make every cut right.
 
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Hi,

As you rightly say Doug router speed does make a difference to the cut being made; bigger cutters need slower speed but small diameter cutters can usually be run at top speed.

If as you say you are having to make every cut right on your proposed picture frames it's highly likely if you are using mitred joints you'll end up cutting the mitres the wrong way round; I've done this a number of times and no doubt next time I cut mitres I'll still make the same mistake. ;)

Please keep us up to date with work in progress. :)

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Hi,

Just a thought Doug; with your router being so old are you going to replace or at least re grease the bearings?

Here's a bearing change for novices.


Kind regards, Colin.
 
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This is the joint of the new router bit. I still have some work to get the depth right on different thicknesses of wood. I will update as I become more proficient with this tool. Practice makes perfect.

Thanks for posting the info on the bearings Colin. That problem never crossed my mind.

A8C9F859-C221-492C-A5B8-738F443EF283.jpeg
 
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Hi,

A good practice joint Doug; you're getting there. :)

I always have offcuts of timber so when I'm setting a machine up I can use the offcuts rather than wasting expensive timber.

I worked at an electric motor manufacturing company having six factories here in the UK for 24 years before I retired; it was recommended motor shafts should be slightly rotated occasionally if the motor wasn't being used in order to prevent metal to metal contact between rolling elements and races.

Whenever I buy an old machine first job is to replace the bearings; bearings aren't expensive and I like SKF these being decent quality; Timken bearings are one of the best but not cheap;

https://www.timken.com/products/timken-engineered-bearings/

Replacing bearings needs doing with a lot of care; cleanliness is vital and the use of excessive force will easily damage bearings. I use a puller to remove the old bearing but installing the new bearing I select a suitable length of very clean steel pipe the size to match the bearing inner race but a sliding fit on the shaft then I ensure the new bearing is aligned correctly before gently tapping the new bearing home onto the shaft. Electric motor bearings usually are reasonably easy to replace; I add punch marks (indents) to the end covers for alignment; two indents on the drive end and three indents on the non drive end; the indents are added to both the end cover and the yoke/frame this ensures the end covers go back in their original position. At work on the production lines bearings were pre-heated in big ovens allowing them to be quickly located on the shaft then once they cooled they were home.

Grease hardens and ages over the years; old motors used to have grease nipples but bearings these days are mostly sealed for life although open bearings are readily available and if not then it's not a problem to buy the correct shielded bearings and remove the shields. Bearings are big industry. A plain bearing will withstand a greater load than a rolling element bearing; I once restored a vintage Myford metal lathe turning the new headstock bearings from Whale Tufnol.

Given the age of your router Doug perhaps new bearings would be worth considering then the router should run as new for years to come. ;)

I'm on the keyboard when I should be busy in the workshop or in the gardens but the weather wet; miserable and dark; interest is lacking on days like these.

Kind regards, Colin.

Bearings_001. Sept 2015 (3).JPG

New SKF bearings.

Bearings_002. Sept 2015 (4).JPG

New bearing being gently drifted home; please note cleanliness.

Bearings_003. Sept 2015 (13).JPG

Old bearing being gently removed from a lathe headstock; excessive force would destroy the headstock casting.

Bearings_004.JPG

My Graduate woodturning lathe as bought; I would never ever let a machine of mine reach this stage when bearings are cheap and reasonably easy to replace; this old grease is more of a grinding paste than a lubricant.

Bearings_005.JPG

Mandrel removed and bearing housings thoroughly cleaned ready to accept new bearings. I did well on eBay buying correct SKF bearings; a seller had a spare new bearing which I bought cheaply; both bearings years ago only cost around £22 the pair.

Bearings_006.JPG


Pulling a bearing from a rotor; these can be very tight indeed giving a loud "crack" when they finally move. The universal puller was very cheap to buy and I've used it many times; where shafts are extra long I make up extension arms. It's so easy to damage things; here the rotor windings are exposed. This is the rotor out of a very old two speed motor.

Bearings_001.JPG


The Graduate lathe was initially sold when I enquired regarding buying it but once the proposed buyer had inspected it he walked away so I was given the option to buy and I snapped it up; it looked like a load of scrap but I like to buy machines like this and fully restore them.

Many motors are run to destruction when replacing their bearings is all they needed; too late once the cloud of blue smoke appears?

Sorry to hijack your thread Doug but I'd rather do this than watch someone kick a ball around.
 
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