1. The Issue
2. Photos of Collet & Associated Parts
3. My Method for Inserting Router Bit thru Collet
4. My Method for Removing Router Bit from Collet
5. Removing Stuck Router Bit & Collet from Router
7. Related Links
Regarding inserting and removing router bits from the collet for my router, well let’s just say that the router bit doesn’t slip thru the collet with ease. What follows is the method I came up with for coming to terms with this issue.
Pictured below is my DeWalt trim router (model D26670), which I will be using during this post.
Photos of Collet & Associated Parts
The collet and collet nut are shown in the following photo, also shown are the router bit and the threaded end of the motor shaft.
This next photo shows the collet and router bit inserted into the threaded end of the motor shaft. The router bit still needs to be twisted down thru the collet. I will use my “scrap piece of wood” to close the gap between the collet and router bit cutting end. This will be covered below under “My Method for Inserting Router Bit thru Collet”. After the router bit is properly positioned, the collet nut will need to be threaded onto the threaded portion of the motor shaft.
My toolkit for installing and uninstalling router bits is shown in the following photo. Shown in the photo below are the following:
1. A 7/16” nut driver for removing the router base.
2. A pair of gloves for twisting on the router bit. Router bits are sharp.
3. Open-end wrench which came with the router is used for tightening and untightening the collet nut.
4. And a scrap piece of wood with a 1/4″ dia. x 1-1/2” length drilled hole. Dimensions of scrap piece of wood are 3” x 2-3/4” x 3/4″, but dimensions used are not critical.
My Method for Inserting Router Bit thru Collet
The following steps outline how I go about inserting the router bit thru the collet:
Step 1 — First place the collet nut on the router bit as shown in the following photo.
Step 2 — Next with gloved hands, I twist the collet onto the router bit, as shown in the photo above.
Step 3 — Using the “scrap piece of wood” shown in the photo below, I twist the collet up the router bit shaft approximately 1/16” to 1/8”. Now place the router bit shaft (shaft dia. is 1/4″) into the 1/4″ dia. hole on the “scrap piece of wood”. Next push the router bit down as far as it will go into the 1/4″ dia. drilled hole. In the photo below, the router bit shaft is shown pushed down only partially into the 1/4″ dia. hole. Finish pushing the router bit down as far as it will go before going on to “Step 4.”
Step 4 — After the router bit has been pushed as far as it will go into the 1/4″ dia. hole, the collet will in turn have been pushed as far up the router shaft as possible. Now hand-tighten the collet nut onto the motor shaft as shown in the following photo.
Step 5 — Now twist and pull (at the same time) the router bit back (approx. 1/16” to 1/8”) from the collet nut. This is shown in the photo below. Looking and comparing the photo below with the photo above, you can see that the router bit cutting end has been moved slightly away from the collet nut. I measured the router bit cutting end to have been moved approx. 1/8” away from the collet nut.
Step 6 — Finish tightening the collet nut using the open-end wrench supplied with your router. Re-install the router base, adjust the router base as required for your current task, and you are ready to use your router.
My Method for Removing Router Bit from Collet
To remove the collet, I go thru the following steps:
Step 1 — Unscrew the collet nut from the threaded motor shaft. Then, remove (from the router) the router bit, collet nut, and collet. They are still bound together: the router bit, collet nut, and collet. This is shown in the following photo.
Step 2 — The photo above shows how I start the removal of the collet from the router bit shaft. Using my fingers, I pull the collet nut (which in turn moves the collet) toward my thumb, and stop when the collet is flush with the end of the router bit shaft.
Step 3 — Grabbing the router bit and collet (shown in the photo below), I twist and pull the collet off of the router bit shaft. The collet nut now easily slides off. Now you are finished and ready to move on to your next woodworking task.
Removing Stuck Router Bit & Collet from Router
If this ever happens to you, I know it has happened to me before. Here is how I handled this dilemma using a small pair of vise-grips.
As shown in the following photo, I grabbed the collet with a small pair of Vise-Grips: grip the collet as lightly as possible, but yet tight enough to be able to rotate the collet.
This technique has worked out quite well for me in the past. Photo below shows the removed collet.
A stuck router bit and/or collet is not a pleasant state to be in. But with the methods outlined here that is now a thing of the past for this woodworker.
Some will probably object to my use of Vise-Grips to remove a router collet. But it has worked for me, and therefore I have no problem using Vise-Grips. In any event, it gives you another option, and it is always nice to have options.
Because I wanted to concentrate on the physical inserting and removing of router bits and collets, I did not go over the importance of keeping your router bits and collets clean. It is important. “Related Links” included at the bottom of this post cover cleaning, etc.
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Until next time, Take care