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Forum topic by Neight posted 11-08-2011 02:35 AM 2189 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Neight's profile


112 posts in 2392 days

11-08-2011 02:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: need router bits broken cheep

I am new, both here at lumberjocks and at woodworking in general. I went to start my first project today, and my router broke…
the collet that holds the bits in is rusted, and while trying to get it loose, it broke the locking mechanism. I can’t get the motor housing apart to try and fix it myself, and I can’t get the old rusty bit out of it either.
long story short, it looks like I am in pretty serious need of a router.
I really don’t have a lot to spend, as my goal here was to sell my projects for extra income. without a router, most of the things I know how to build are just out of my skill set at this point.
I don’t imagine people often have a router laying around they can get rid of, but hey, you never know if you don’t ask :)
will take anything that works, and I don’t have much to give in return, but I would like to see what’s out there if anything
PM me or just respond here if you have one you would like to sell cheep!
also, I could use a basic bit set, if anyone has one they can afford to get rid of.

-- Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. -Mark Twain

21 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3073 days

#1 posted 11-08-2011 02:54 AM

I appreciate that you do not have much to spend but, IMO, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good router.

Power is over rated. A basic 1.75 hp router is sufficient for almost anything you want to do.

A plunge router is nice, but not necessary. A basic fixed based router may be all you need.

i own 5 routers and I am not willing to give any of them up. The most basic router is a Hitachi M12VC. I mention this to say that that router can be purchased new for about $100 and it will be sufficient for most of your needs.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View chrisstef's profile


17386 posts in 3005 days

#2 posted 11-08-2011 03:02 AM

lol id look in A1Jim’s shop i think hes got a few to spare … welcome to the gang Neight.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View olddutchman1's profile


69 posts in 2411 days

#3 posted 11-08-2011 03:33 AM

Check out the Craftsman router! I can tell You that They have a nice router. If they are on sale, which happens quite often You can get a to 1/2 in router for about $100 to $125.00 . The quality is good. I have had the craftsmen routers since 1969, the newest one, My second about 10 years old. I have seen two, or three magazine articles that rank them at a great buy, and a quality router, It is one of the least expensive routers . I would go for the plunge router. Unless They have a better adjustment ring on the D-handle, I would not go there. They are so tight, that an adjustable pliers was used to move the adjustment ring. Also, MSLC has a collar mount that will fit the Craftsman that will be much more usable. I hope this helps! You can have the other router checked out, The collar is generally repairable And Welcome!

-- Saved! and so gratefull.Consider Who Created it All

View Neight's profile


112 posts in 2392 days

#4 posted 11-08-2011 04:04 AM

Thanks for the quick replies!
@ richgreer – you pretty much described the router that broke today, which is exactly what I am looking for. Unfortunately, because of a family situation which only recently ended, I have been completely un-employed for nearly a decade. I am looking for work, but having some trouble finding a job in my area. I might just have to wait this one out, as it would be tough to part with more than $50-60 right now. I have found a few in that price range, but I don’t know what is a good buy and what would be a waste of money.
I am getting back into woodworking after at least 25 years without making anything of my own. The plan here was to use what few tools I have, and make simple stuff to sell for some extra income, and my router was pretty crucial to that plan, as it is the most versatile power tool I own.
I should be picking up a lathe tomorrow, and can do some work with that until we can afford to replace the router and get into some more serious building.

@chrisstef – thanks for the welcome! I have only been on LJ’s for 23 hours, and already love it! everyone seems very friendly and helpful, and the work displayed on here is incredible. I am looking forward to being a part of the community!

@olddutchman1 – the router I lost today is a Craftsman, and it worked beautifully. I got it as a Christmas gift about 12 years ago, and only recently have I been able to consider woodworking. unfortunately, when I used the router last, I was much younger and fairly irresponsible. I just put the tool away and left it there for years. over that time, the collet rusted. I had left the bit in it, and the plastic switch that locks the shaft in place broke when I was trying to break the rusty collet loose. I agree that it is a great brand of router, and was working beautifully right up to the point where I wanted to change the bit. I was hoping that using the router a bit, with some penetrating fluid on the collet might just help loosen some of the rust. I really didn’t put much pressure on it at all, but from what I can tell, it was a thin plastic piece on the switch that broke off. The machine itself still seems to work, but the shaft is stuck in the locked position. I still can’t get the bit loose. I am still tinkering with it, and with some care and patience, just might be able to fix it.
Thank you very much for the tip and the welcome!
hopefully I can get it back running, but if not, that just gives me more time to get some experience on the lathe until I can manage to find a new router :)

-- Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. -Mark Twain

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117091 posts in 3576 days

#5 posted 11-08-2011 04:29 AM

Welcome to Ljs Neight

I prefer Porter cable routers because they have many accessories available and parts when many other are not as available
I would suggest a PC690 you may be able to get one in a pawn shop or off of craigslist in the price range your shopping in.
I’m not a fan of sears routers for the very problem you had breaking plastic.
Another problem is that if you put the router bit to deep in the collet of the router, bits tends to get stuck because router bits taper close to the cutters.

As chrisstef said I have a few routers

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View maljr1980's profile


171 posts in 2455 days

#6 posted 11-08-2011 04:40 AM

a pc690 is the benchmark in routers…try craigslist or your local pawn shops, i would also try and find one slightly older than the current model ones sold at loews, look for the older logo. i havent used a newer one but most porter cable equipment has fallen off as of late

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3546 days

#7 posted 11-08-2011 04:44 AM

PC routers can be had in your price range on Ebay. Probably can find most basic router in your price range on ebay or CL. I like PC but think most makers r good quality such as Milwaukee, bosch, frued, Makita, hitatchi, dewalt, Ridgid, Triton. I am not a current day Craftsman fan, feel they, like some others have cheapened many of their power tools.

I think with your budget u will be looking @ a fixed base but u will get a ton of use with just a fixed base. I do use my plunge bases from time to time but fixed should work just fine until u can get a plunge base.

-- .

View Neight's profile


112 posts in 2392 days

#8 posted 11-08-2011 05:09 AM

@ a1Jim – you do seem to have one or two laying around… very nice collection. they are very handy tools, and I can see why keeping several on hand is worth the investiment :) I am checking craigs list, and have found a few routers that are within my price range, but buying anything used online makes me a bit nervous, you just can’t tell until you have the product in hand. Thank you very much for the tip on PC routers though, I will have to check them out!

@ maljr1980 thanks for the tip! I will check for some out of date models and see what I can find.

@Jerry – right now a fixed router would be perfect. I have never used a plunge router, though I can see why they would be good to have around, or at least a plunge base for a fixed router.

Thanks to all of you for the advice! I love getting advice, and this website seems to be a great place to look for it, lots of helpful people here willing to do what they can for a stranger.
Very much appreciated!

PS. I finally figured out the trick to getting into the motor housing and checked out the shaft lock. It is absolutely broken, and I for sure need a new router. On a positive note, I now have a perfectly good 1.75 HP electric motor I can do other things with, so it’s not a total loss, but still a pretty devastating setback…

-- Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. -Mark Twain

View MikeS's profile


92 posts in 3846 days

#9 posted 11-08-2011 05:33 AM

A few years ago when I was just starting in woodworking, a friend sold me a used Ryobi router. Fixed base 3/4 hp. Accepts 1/4 inch bits. It did a good job and I later bought a Bosch plunge router. I have not used the Ryobi more than once for probably 3-4 years, and it did fine then. I am willing to let it go. How is this for a deal: you pay the shipping, use it for a month and if you feel it to be fair, pay me what you think it is worth to you. Hope this can help you get back into woodworking.

View mondak's profile


71 posts in 2399 days

#10 posted 11-08-2011 05:33 AM

A1Jim…......I was counting your routers…..and counted 8. Then I seen the peg board. Yup, you have a lot of routers. But….....I did not see a bosch colt or one of the competitors small trim routers????

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117091 posts in 3576 days

#11 posted 11-08-2011 06:14 AM

Welcome to Ljs
The top shelf is two routers deep I have Bosch, PC and trident trim routers. I hear Dewalt makes a good trim plunge router but my wife already knows that I own over 40 routers including the ones in my 3 router tables she has put her foot down.
But maybe????

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3101 days

#12 posted 11-08-2011 09:47 AM

if I had that many routers, my wife would put her foot up and you know where….............

-- mike...............

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3427 days

#13 posted 11-08-2011 02:54 PM

Looks like you took Norm’s advice. A router for every bit. Saves time…no change overs. Time is money, you know. :-)

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View PutnamEco's profile


155 posts in 3285 days

#14 posted 11-08-2011 09:10 PM

If it is just the shaft lock that is broken, is there no way to use two wrenches or 1 wrench and a pair of channel locks to switch bits, or am I missing something here?

Collet stuck on shaft? It is amazing how easy they come off with an air driven impact wrench. Even with the motor shaft spinning free. Go see your local auto/motorcycle/boat mechanic, he should be able to hook you up. Might have to cut the bit off to get a socket over it though…

Bit stuck in collet? A sharp rap with a soft mallet (wood or rawhide) should loosen it right up.

Check out for a more router specific forum.

-- “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

View WoodworkGuy's profile


60 posts in 2793 days

#15 posted 11-08-2011 09:35 PM

A Hitachi M12VC (2-1/4hp) or Porter-Cable 690 (1-3/4 hp) are in the $120 range and great fixed-base units. They both have collets that will accept 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch shank bits. I have a Hitachi M12VC on my router table and a 690 for freehand use.

-- Making sawdust and memories through woodworking.

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