In the immortal words of Randy Newman: Maybe I'm Doing It Wrong

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Blog entry by tbreland posted 01-21-2010 12:42 AM 1027 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My router keeps trying to kill me. I don’t know if it’s my fault, or the router’s. It’s a very old Craftsman 315.25070, and every time I attempt anything with it, it either throws a bit at my head, or buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurns. It’s only a 1/4” chuck….I’m starting to think I am biting off -literally-more than I can chew. I wish I’d figured that out prior to chewing a template to pieces. Can anyone recommend a good starter wood. All I have on hand is cheapo pine that keeps tearing out everywhere. It would be nice to actually say, “Yes, those are my box joints”, instead of OUCH. Sigh.

-- Come down off the cross, we can use the wood. -Tom Waits

6 comments so far

View gbvinc's profile


628 posts in 4144 days

#1 posted 01-21-2010 01:05 AM

It sounds like the collet is worn and the bit may be dull. I would look into buying a new collet for the router and a new, sharp bit. Additionally, try taking lighter passes until you reach the depth you are aiming for. Also, when putting the bit in the collet, do not bottom it out, raise it up about dime’s thickness. Cheapo pine should be fine…actually a very soft wood that the router should handle just fine.

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3683 days

#2 posted 01-21-2010 01:54 AM

All very good points from gbvinc. If you are making box joints, try backing up the board with another scrap board to minimize tearout on the backside. You can hold both boards together with clamps or double sided tape. If a router ever throws a bit, stop immediately. Don’t try again with that router until repaired.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4079 days

#3 posted 01-21-2010 03:37 AM

You mention two things. Gbvinc covered both, but to repeat: Burning is from a dull bit, having the bit fall out is from a bad collet. I would try a new bit (after addressing the collet issue). Buy a carbide cutter at this point to see if it still burning. The only non-carbide bits I would recommend would be some really special bits or spiral bits. Keep it simple to start.

Again, pine should be really easy to route.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3262 days

#4 posted 01-21-2010 12:30 PM

I think everyone above is right.. But on the KIDDING side if it starts chasing you, don’t worry it will stop when it hit the end of it’s cord.. JUST KIDDING.. Safety comes FIRST ALWAYS..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3484 days

#5 posted 01-21-2010 06:26 PM

Brand new quality router—Less than $200 (maybe even under $100)
Brand new router bit—$15-$50 (depending on the profile)
New collet—Less than $20

Trip to the emergencey room due to a flying router bit injury—Priceless!


View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3775 days

#6 posted 01-21-2010 06:30 PM

Time for a good router.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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