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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Skil router with a plunge base. (The popular $110 one.)

And more than once, the plunge depth has changed between cuts.

This last time, I even tightened the locking screw with a wrench. The screw didn't come loose, but the plunge depth changed... again.



Please suggest a plunge router that's reliable in this aspect, thanks!
 

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Did you check the collet holding the router bit? Make sure it's clean and that you tighten it well.

I use mostly Bosch routers. I have good results with them for a good price.
 

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I have the same router and have never had problems with it. Are the depths going shallower or deeper, what type of bit is being used and what type of cut is being made?.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have the same router and have never had problems with it. Are the depths going shallower or deeper, what type of bit is being used and what type of cut is being made?.

More shallow, which implies (as the other gentleman suggested) that my issue is with the collet, right?

Anyway, I used a 1/4" straight bit with a circle jig so I can flush mount my speakers.

Thanks!
 

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Probably is the collet, make sure that the 1/4" insert is seated properly, if the problem is persistent maybe try a 1/2" shanked bit.
 

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some other tips

Look at the end shank of the bit that goes into the collet. It should have a slight chamfer rather than a hard 90 degree edge. If not, run it on some sand paper or a stone to chamfer it. Now insert it into the collect all the way until it bottoms out. Make a mark on the shank for reference. Next, pull it up about 1/32" and tighten it down. The chamfer will allow easier removal of the bit and the mark will show you how far down you are. It's best not to fully bottom out the bit for easier removal. Just tap it down with a block to loosen it if it gets stuck. Make sure the shank and the collet are clean and oil free. Now, you are ready to rout.

Depending on the diameter of ther bit and the depth of cut, you may need to make 2 passes to avoid putting too much stress on the bit. Your depth stop should have 2 or 3 positions, so use the that feature before going full depth.

Finally, the use of a dull bit will contribute to overheating and a change in depth because the cutter is working too hard and is being forced rather than allowed to cut on it's own. Maybe a better quality bit is in order? If you have a diamond hone use the flat portion of the cutter on the hone to refresh the edge. You will see a new shine on the flat where the hone is working and removing the carbide. Hope this helps.
 

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More shallow, which implies (as the other gentleman suggested) that my issue is with the collet, right?

Anyway, I used a 1/4" straight bit with a circle jig so I can flush mount my speakers.

Thanks!

I always use a 1/2" bit for circle cutting, mainly because it is neither necked up or down, making it the strongest and least susceptible to the stresses of side-loading.

PLUS, a 1/2" collect has 3 times more 'grip' area on the bit shank. 1/4" spiral down-cut bits can 'screw' themselves farther up into the collect; reverse is true for 1/4" up-cut bits.

I've snapped a pocketful of 1/4" bits by using too much side-load, i.e. cutting dados faster than the bit is actually clearing itself.
 

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Woodthings has covered pretty much everything. The main reason for raising the bit prior to tightening is that a collet is a " pulldown " clamp (as a opposed to a static clamp, Lathe or drill chuck), I realize all the experienced people know this but anyone new might not. I,m not trying to teach the grandfather to suck eggs.
 

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Most of my router issues have stemmed from using the 1/4" insert in a 1/2" collet. It was on a different router, but it just seems like you're begging for another layer of error. Can you order a dedicated 1/4" collet? If you have a sizable investment in 1/4" shank bits, it might be worth your while.
 
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