Handling some household chores the other day, I was trimming a new screen door before hanging it. I needed to take off about 1/2” of it’s width in order to fit in the opening. So I put it on the bench, clamped a guide to it and ripped off 1/2” with my circular saw. (My table saw is limited to 28” max — too bad.) Well, I’ve never been happy with how clean a cut I can get with my circular saw, so I thought I’d just trim off a bit more — another 16th inch or so — with my router. I have a Craftsman 2-1/4 HP router with both a fixed and plunge base. I’d used it a bunch a couple of weeks before trimming bubinga for another project and the 1/2” collet was still in it. I blew some dust from it with my compressor and installed a flush trim bit in it and tightened it into the collet. Once I’d arranged and adjusted my makeshift guide — a long piece of 3/4” MDF I’d clamped onto the door along the edge I just trimmed — and set the depth of the bit so it’s bearing would ride along the MDF, I started trimming. After trimming 4 or 5 inches, the router started vibrating violently; so violently, it jerked out of my hands, landed on the floor and started “dancing” around. I then realized that my path to the receptacle (where I could unplug it) was blocked by the now dancing router on the floor. I was trapped! And a fiendish machine with a really sharp bit spinning at about 15,000 rpm was bouncing around on the floor in front of me! Scary! Somehow (I don’t really know how) I managed to get past the bouncing demon and pull the plug. Whew! Upon examining the router, I found the bit was still well secured in the collet, but the fixed base was cracked. (See the pic.) I still don’t know for sure what caused the violent vibration, but I suspect the fixed base broke while I was making the cut. (And, yes, I had clamped the base shut once I’d adjusted the bit depth.) It may have already had a minor crack that I simply didn’t notice, but I doubt it. But the crack could have happened when it hit the floor. The motor appeared mostly OK except that the milled channel where the guide for the base rides is now chewed up a bit. I don’t know if the motor stem where the collet and bit are installed is bent or not. Frankly, I’m afraid to even turn it on. I guess I’m going to retire this router and get another — but probably not a Craftsman.
-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb