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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The more work that I do the more tools I need! I'm going to need to get a router bushing set pretty soon. Does anyone have any input on the plastic ones that 1/4 and lock on to the plate? Tat seems kind of oaky to me. What about the brass sets at Harbor Freight? I will not be using it everyday. Not yet at least. My router is a craftsman and if anyone has a suggestions I'm always open to suggestions. Thanks
 

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where's my table saw?
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Sawdust Creator
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I bought a set of the plastic ones you were talking about....and returned them and bought a hf set.
 

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John
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I've got some of the Milescraft plastic ones and they work fine except the wall thickness is thicker than with a brass one. They also make the same system with brass barrels inserted in the plastic turnlock carrier. Actually the bushings I prefer are from Eagle America with a .201 barrel length. I use 1/4" MDF for templates a lot and having to cut the barrels down is a PIA. The long barrels also eat up your available depth of cut. :thumbdown:
 

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Master firewood maker
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i have a set from milescraft (with the brass barrels) and the set from HF. like you, i don't use them much, but i have used them a few times. i haven't had any trouble with either set. the HF ones are more robust, but made for porter cable routers. i doubt they would fit your craftsman. the milescraft set has an adapter that allows you to use PC bushings like those sold at HF.
 

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The only thing I don't like about the HF set (and a few others) is the length of the barrels. It forces you to use a thicker template than you really need. A more useful set would have the barrels all slightly shorter than 1/4", allowing use with 1/4" MDF or whatever for templates. Wood craft has such a set, so do others...but the Woodcraft ones have a, well, Woodcraft price. You could cut the barrels down on the HF set (I've done that with an old Freud set) and make them more useful.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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The harbor freight ones do fit craftsman routers, at least the current craftsman routers, and they have short and long barrels in the set.
 

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John
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If your Craftsman takes bushings at all, I suspect they will take the Porter Cable ones. A quick way to tell is if the through bore in the base plate has a counterbore slightly larger on the bottom, 1-3/16" and 1-3/8" respectively. If it doesn't, the Milescraft set is the way to go. The Milescraft set includes a baseplate that will center up on the Craftsman just fine (good instructions included, for a change). A big advantage to the Milescraft system is when you remove the bushing, it leaves a hole large enough to take a good sized bit. A baseplate made for the Porter Cable bushings just leaves a 1-3/16" hole which is just to small for a 1/4" roundover and larger bits. The system is likely cheaper than a replacement base plate plus a set of bushings and saves the hassle of making a base plate (although they aren't all that difficult):smile:

As far as long and short barrels in the Harbor Freight set, they aren't all the same. ie, the 3/4" bushing will have a barrel in the neighborhood of 9/16" which means you will need 5/8" minimum template material (unless you hack off the barrel) which is a significant amount of depth of cut. The biggest plus to the Harbor Freight set (IMHO) is it includes a 1" bushing which I have found to be extremely handy.
I have yet to figure out what to do with the 51/64" bushing most places include with their sets. It is very close to 20mm so if you do stuff in metric I suppose it would be useful.
 

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where's my table saw?
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hack off the barrel?.... yep!

If your Craftsman takes bushings at all, I suspect they will take the Porter Cable ones. A quick way to tell is if the through bore in the base plate has a counterbore slightly larger on the bottom, 1-3/16" and 1-3/8" respectively.....

As far as long and short barrels in the Harbor Freight set, they aren't all the same. ie, the 3/4" bushing will have a barrel in the neighborhood of 9/16" which means you will need 5/8" minimum template material (unless you hack off the barrel) which is a significant amount of depth of cut. The biggest plus to the Harbor Freight set (IMHO) is it includes a 1" bushing which I have found to be extremely handy.....
At the price of the H-F bushings ...cheap.... I got 2 or 3 sets. Brass is easy to "hack off " if need be for different template thicknesses.
The Porter Cable set are steel, which doesn't like to tangle with a router bit if you make a mistake. DAMHIK. :blink:
 

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John
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At the price of the H-F bushings ...cheap.... I got 2 or 3 sets. Brass is easy to "hack off " if need be for different template thicknesses.
The Porter Cable set are steel, which doesn't like to tangle with a router bit if you make a mistake. DAMHIK. :blink:
I agree - the Harbor Freight bushings are a good buy. I don't have any of those particular ones but the long ones I do get I usually hack down on the bandsaw using a piece of 6mm ply scrap as a gauge. Their best feature though, is the inclusion of the 1" bushing.
I also agree with you about the steel bushings. I have one set that was included with my Hitachi M12VC that are still in the drawer. All PC two piece bushings have a design shortfall, in my opinion anyway. If, for any reason the collet nut contacts the bushing, the 20,000 or so rpm will unscrew it so fast you cannot believe it. Not a good thing and DAMHIKT. Usually happens when trying to get that last little bit of cut depth. :yes:
The Milescraft turnlock and Bosch quick systems don't have the issue.
 

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I agree - the Harbor Freight bushings are a good buy. I don't have any of those particular ones but the long ones I do get I usually hack down on the bandsaw using a piece of 6mm ply scrap as a gauge. Their best feature though, is the inclusion of the 1" bushing.
I also agree with you about the steel bushings. I have one set that was included with my Hitachi M12VC that are still in the drawer. All PC two piece bushings have a design shortfall, in my opinion anyway. If, for any reason the collet nut contacts the bushing, the 20,000 or so rpm will unscrew it so fast you cannot believe it. Not a good thing and DAMHIKT. Usually happens when trying to get that last little bit of cut depth. :yes:
The Milescraft turnlock and Bosch quick systems don't have the issue.
Is that 1" bushing that unusual? My Woodcraft set has it....but I didn't check any other offerings to see what they had.
 

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John
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Is that 1" bushing that unusual? My Woodcraft set has it....but I didn't check any other offerings to see what they had.
Things may have changed Fred, been a couple of years since I shopped for any. Used to be most sets had the mysterious 51/64" bushing and the 3/4" was the largest usable bushing.:smile:
Here is the current description of the MLCS set
"The 9 piece kit will significantly expand the use of your router. For template controlled operations such as dovetailing, stair routing, hinge butt routing, omni jig template, lock face routing and other general template operations. Template guides can be used directly with any router having a baseplate with a 1-3/16"* diameter center hole. The kit contains two lock nuts and seven different template guidess (5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", and 51/64" OD). "
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Well, I bought the set today fro Harbor Freight and it fits the stock base to a T, without a 32nd to spare. But just like many people have said they are varying in length. So I think that I'll cut the ones that are over 1/2" down to 1/2". Or would 3/8" be better
 
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