Craftsman router

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My 38 year old Craftsman router (sometimes referred to as Crapsman on this newsgroup) fail yesterday. When I used it last week and it worked fine. Yesterday when I turned it on it did not work. I thought of looking for some one to fix it, but then I say my volt/ohm meter on the shelf. What would it hurt. One thing lead to another, and by the time it was in pieces I found the switch was the culprit. A trip to Lowes, a $5 switch, and now the router will last another 38 years. At least it will be working when my grandson inherits it.
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On Sun, 01 Oct 2006 23:07:27 GMT, keith_nuttle

I'm sorry. You'd have been better off going to the tool department and buying a Makita, Bosch or Porter-Cable router to replace it.
I have a Craftsman router too. It makes a nice paperweight. Self adjusting collet and all. And the infamous fly apart fan. It's a hunk of junk. It'll probably last 100 years at it's present rate of use.
I just have no respect whatsoever for Craftsman hand held electric tools. I owned quite a few and to a one, they all performed poorly and they've all died. 'Cept that router. It's not dead, but it performs poorly.
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George Max wrote:

Some of the older Craftsman tools were pretty good. 38 years should put the router in that range. Somewhere along the line, Sears decided to change quality (make cheap junk), I assume for the same reason B&D decided to do so. I have a 3/8 drill and a 7 1/4 saw that are about 30 years old and have had no problems (except brushes). An even older (50s vintage) saw that I inherited needs a new power cord but worked fine the last time I used it. OTOH, the router I bought about 25 years ago is a piece of junk.
Jess.S
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Amen!! I have a 3x18" belt sander and a 1/4 sheet orbital sander, bought about '74. Both going strong,
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Rick Samuel wrote:

Craftsman of the 70s was good stuff. I bought one of their "Commercial" routers in 1976 - has the ergo handles with finger trigger. It is light, and well-balanced. Still works well after 30 years. I've got a bigger router in a ruoter table that has both 1/4" and 1/2" collets, but it stays in the table -- does not have the great feel of that old Craftsman.
I also just refurbished my 30 year old Craftsman radial arm saw. Its particle board top was sagging a bit, so I made a new top with 1" MDF, topped with replaceable white Melamine hardboard. Edged it with oak. Kind of overkill, but this saw has served me well over the years, so I decided it needed a nice upgrade. When this one was built, it came with a cast iron one-piece column, milled to accept the arm. And adjustments to allow it to be easily trued. After 30 years, it needed little truing. They definitely do not build them like this (at least from Sears), these days.
Lee
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I have a Craftsman radial arm saw that is 34 years old. It looks and works like new. I don't like Craftsman power tools but I stand by this one. Even a blind pig finds a Truffle now and then.
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pumis wrote:

My 9" Craftsman Radial Arm Saw is 33 years old, and it's only issue is that the motor won't start spinning once in a while. I have a sanding drum that screws onto the opposite end of the motor shaft from the blade, and it lives there without a sanding sleeve. So when the motor fails to start, I just give that a spin, and she starts right up.
But I haven't used that RAS once since I got my table saw, so I'm considering putting it on Ebay.
--Steve
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Just a comment about your saw, if are in the US and haven't already done so you might want to take a look at <http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com/ . If your saw is one of the ones affected it gets you a new guard and a new MDF table, all at no cost to you. The new guard is a mixed bag--blade changes aren't as easy but it has a riving knife and full blade coverage, and on balance I think it's an improvement.
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J. Clarke wrote:

I looked into the recall when I heard about it. They didn't have a retro-fit kit for the 9" model, but they would pay me $100 if I shipped them the motor assembly. I decided to keep the saw as is. Now I don't use it any more anyway.
--Steve
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Have to ditto that feeling - I have a 1/4 Craftsman, all aluminum housing that I bought new in 1963. In the manual they show diagrams of the router moving *against* the rotation of the bit ( i.e. climb cutting ). Every pix and text description says the same thing. That's how I learned to use the router. Took me a while to get used to moving with the rotation. Router is still running - have had no need for replacement parts.
That was the good old days when Craftsman were top quality tools.
Vic
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Jesse R Strawbridge wrote:

I had a Craftsman Commercial router that I bought in the early 70's. Very good tool, performed well. When it was stolen, I replaced it with another Craftsman, but the Craftsman Commercial product line was not longer available in the mid 80's. This one was total crap--plastic motor housing, self-dismantling fan, way too much vibration. And the chuck had a way of losing its grip on bits.
I recently replaced that one with a Craftsman that was actually made by Bosch. The kit that came with plunge and fixed bases. Excellent tool, plenty of power, smooth, vibration-free operation. Hopefully Sears/K-Mart has gotten the message recently that their power-tool reputation had taken a nose-dive in recent years?
BTW, in the early 70's at least, the hand-held power tools were made by Singer, and the stationary ones by Emerson Electric.
--Steve
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wrote:

Not likely. 38 years ago, Craftsman stuff was quite good. Chances are, his router is a Rockwell.

When did you buy it? Think about it.
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Right
My TS is pretty good (with the help of Biesemeyer fence.) So was the jointer, but I sold it 'cause it was too short.
Flip that coin over that think about the number of people who only know Craftsman as a junk brand. To some degree, the same can be said of the Kenmore appliance brand for a period of time.
Time was, the wife and I always thought to go to Sears first for *anything*. Nowadays we don't think of them at all. For anything.
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George Max wrote:

My 6" disk sander - purchased around 40 years ago - is still just fine and has been used a *LOT* both as intended and with a chuck making it into a 1/2" drill.
--

dadiOH
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I HAD one of these...scared the crap out of me...once the motor stopped, I removed the bit, and chucked it in the trash can and never looked back or forward to another Crapsman power tool, that's been 20 years now and I've purchased many tools...just couldn't bring myself to it. Man, that was scary....

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Sun, Oct 1, 2006, 11:27pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@removethis.yahoo.com (GeorgeMax) doth claimeth: <snip> I have a Craftsman router too. It makes a nice paperweight. Self adjusting collet and all. And the infamous fly apart fan. <snip>
Interesting, I've heard about the self adjusting collets, but never problems with the fan.
I've got one I used for several years in my router table. No problems. Of course I just use a flush trim bit in it, and don't adjust the height. It quit one day, and I stuck another one in, and still no problems with it either, after maybe 5 years or so. Found out the first one had a weak solder connection that failed - a simple solder job will fix that - when I get around to it.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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I have a little metal router and circular saw from about 1970. Both are excellent, but the brand has slipped since. I also have iron topped TS from the mid 70s and both are very straight, with poor fences. One is crosscut only and never has the fence on. The other is rip only and I make the fence work OK by pushing it up against the rail before clamping down. Works fine. Both have dead straight arbors and the adjustments work OK. But I'll admit I'm getting tempted by the Sawstop. Does anyone here have one? Wilson

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A friend who worked (very briefly) for Sears Hardware told me that the training tapes for new employees mention that Sears holds its cost on power tools down by using all recycled metals, plastics, etc. That would appear to explain some of the low-quality issues.
--Jim

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I don't believe that. Did he happen to say where the Sears factory is?

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training tapes for new employees mention that Sears holds its cost on power tools down by using all recycled metals, plastics, etc. That would appear to explain some of the low-quality issues.<<<
Baloney! If you want junk they will sell you junk, if you want good stuff they will accommodate you there also. They (just like others) try to have something for all markets. The average person who walks in want a $50 router or circular saw and most likely has never used one and probably won't use it once a year. On the other hand if someone who wants a better quality they will also have that. Check out their 1617-12 router kit, it's all Bosch right down to the part numbers. RM~
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