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MacGyvering #1: the router

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Blog entry by scottb posted 06-02-2007 04:48 PM 1111 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of MacGyvering series Part 2: clearing the air »

My cousin (first, once removed if you're keeping score) has a knack for finding deals -closeouts, and so on. He recently found himself at Sears looking at some routers on clearance - all former displays, out of the box, never used, selling for $31 a piece. Too good a deal to pass up, he bought all four.

Of course, he didn't need all four, so calls were made to try to unload a couple before he got in trouble with the missus.

Sure. I'll take one or two at that price!

Naturally he was able to find enough interested parties, but I was able to snag one.

The first time I went to use it was to practice bullnosing for a stair job I was starting the following morning. I've only used a router once before (in class) and after a little finagling I was able to get the set up perfect. I was getting a great cut with no burning and only a little chip out on the ends.

Fortunately I knew how to address that... what I didn't no how to adress was this problem with keeping the locking lever down. Loosening or tightening it didn't help. It just wouldn't stay closed - and consequently the depth setting wouldn't remain fixed.

Now I was really regretting the great deal on this router, and I wondered if the other three were having the same problem.

Next morning I swung by the "big orange box" - I really didn't want to drop a couple hundred for a new router, even though I needed one immediately. I checked out the (similar) latching mechanisms on all the other routers and they really clamped shut securely. So this was how mine was supposed to function.

Didn't have time to see if I could get replacement parts at Sears (and really doubted I could get on off the shelf). So instead, I bipped over to the hardware aisle and snagged a long bolt and couple of nuts to clamp the adjustment thingie tightly.

Works great, though granted it takes a little doing to loosen and retighten to make adjustments. Not the ideal solution, but a workable one. This fix, and a benchtop router table (also on sale!) really helped me fly through those stair treads!

Voila! a 97 cent fix for a $31 router... if only I could find a similar deal on good bits!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/



18 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2841 days


#1 posted 06-02-2007 04:52 PM

Great deal. You can never have too many routers.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2780 days


#2 posted 06-02-2007 05:31 PM

I agree with Wayne. I have 6 routers, though three get the heaviest duty. Nice score!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Greg3G's profile

Greg3G

815 posts in 2829 days


#3 posted 06-02-2007 06:50 PM

Great fix….I Had a simular problem with a cheapie I bought on Ebay… my solution was to give it to my brother. :)

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2780 days


#4 posted 06-02-2007 07:03 PM

Greg, I use the “Give it to (insert any name here)” solution to questionable tool purchases, alot! Tough to find someone that will say, “no,” to a free tool…even if it’s a piece of junk.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View TheGravedigger's profile

TheGravedigger

963 posts in 2767 days


#5 posted 06-02-2007 11:49 PM

I used to have a Sears router, and ran into the same problem. My solution was a nut and bolt, but you won’t need two wrenches to change depth. I wonder if this is universal to Sears units?

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog: http://littlegoodpieces.wordpress.com

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3070 days


#6 posted 06-03-2007 12:19 AM

I can hold the nut furthest from the hook end in place with a wrench or screwdriver, then all I need to do is twist it to tighten/loosen. I’m surely not going to be buying another one of these as my second (and likely more oft used) router.

I know that Dick has a couple set up for one particular function. This one would work well for that. set and forget!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View woodspar's profile

woodspar

710 posts in 2843 days


#7 posted 06-03-2007 12:42 AM

And now you can hang it on your pegboard!

-- John

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2841 days


#8 posted 06-03-2007 01:19 AM

As far as another router goes. The PC890s are showing up on the second hand market now. I picked one up for $65 a while back and put it in my router table.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2905 days


#9 posted 06-03-2007 04:22 PM

What a great bargain Scott. Is that your router table router now? It seems like it would be a good place to use it.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34911 posts in 3144 days


#10 posted 06-03-2007 04:32 PM

A router table where you have a router lift for depth would be ideal. Whats the HP on the router?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2904 days


#11 posted 06-04-2007 06:09 PM

that was my problem with the Sears—it destroyed a bit / a thingy (lol ) and a template kit. I was NOT a happy camper.

I’ll show Rick your “fix” and hopefully we can save this router from making it to the garbage. I cursed that thing for a very long time—I’m over it now.. really.. honestly… #$)*#$

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View 's profile

593 posts in 2715 days


#12 posted 10-05-2007 12:07 PM

I know is an old post Scott but… I think I might have a quicker solution for you. Have you tried the ‘quick release nut’n’bolt from a mountain bike seat or wheel? You know, the type with the lever that you first tight and then fold 180º…

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2904 days


#13 posted 10-05-2007 01:42 PM

that’s a great idea Jojo…
definitely worth a try – and I’m getting tired of seeing the Sears router sitting in the corner.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2765 days


#14 posted 10-05-2007 02:52 PM

My first router was a Sears.
I don’t purchase anything from Sears now.

Bpb

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View 's profile

593 posts in 2715 days


#15 posted 10-05-2007 05:56 PM

Don’t know whether it would work *Debbie but I’m pretty confiden it will. At least, if I take in account the crazy workloads mines used to take without failing… And if it doesn’t… well, they’re not expensive at all (you can even borrow one just for the sake of trying).

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