PC 7529- Anyone still using one?

Hey All, I did a search on the Porter cable 7529 and most of the comments I saw were from 7 or more years ago from a lot of names I no longer see. (Hey Lew, I saw your post as well!) Anyway, I picked one up from an estate sale and though I don't need it I thought I would add it to my router arsenal (3 other PC routers that work as they should with no end in sight). I used it tonight for the first time and was not very happy with the way it performed and its difficulty in adjustments. Anybody still running theirs? Anyone have good or bad comments? Thanks in advance, Marc
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"marc rosen" wrote

I bought one at a garage sale three, four years ago and now only use it occasionally since I purchased a Multi-Router. Mainly, I used it's plunge ability, along with jigs, to do mortises for loose tenon joinery, mainly in end grain..
Most obvious issue/problem is the damn plastic knobs keep breaking off and ultimately require a wrench to work. It is also a klutzy PIA to adjust, but once it's setup it did an adequate job of the above.
IIRC, I only paid about $25 for it, so I'm basically satisfied with the price/performance ratio, and I got at least that much use out of it. Sorry to say its overall quality is mediocre at best, and not up to the standards of the other, older PC routers I own.
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Swingman wrote:

For what it's worth, a little epoxy solved that issue for me.

I'd probably have to agree. I have a sneaking suspicious that when I get a real quality router, I'm going to be very surprised at what they are "supposed" to operate like.
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-MIKE-

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"marc rosen" wrote

It was/is a POS straight out of the factory box.
Time doesn't change that.
Near as I can remember, basically an over priced Craftsman.
Lew
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marc rosen wrote:

I have mine and use it regularly. It did all of this...
http://www.mikedrums.com/bookcases.jpg
I got sick of the switch problem and Porter Cable's constant denial of it, so I finally opened it up, diagnosed the problem myself and fixed it. The simplicity of the fix should be an embarrassment to PC.
While I had it open, I also modified it so I can adjust the height while mounted in a table, from the top of the table.
If you're interested in either fix, let me know. I may open it back up and take come pictures.
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-MIKE-

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I still use mine on a regular basis. It had been rehabilitated by PC when they had a rash of them that were returned because of a bad microprocessor that controlled the speed when under load. Woodcraft had them for $89, so I bit.
I like the router overall. Don't like the goofy switch, but I am used to it. I would love to see what you did to yours as mine is still going strong after about 5 years or so. I have it set up and only use it for mortising door butts for door replacements. The good part about this router is once set, it stays set.
But that brings me to a problem I have. That thing is the most cranky, unresponsive tool I own when try to use the fine adjustment for depth. Most of the time (98% ?) it simply doesn't work. So I wind up using the turret adjustment on the quickstops built into the base. I would love to fine adjust with the knob, but gave up long ago. Even following the instructions (*gasp*) didn't make things any better or shed any light on things.
Got any thoughts on that? Is this where you applied the epoxy you spoke of?
I like the router overall, and it does good for what it is. But I was in love the first time I turned on my DeWalt 3hp variable, one that was purchased when they were made by Elu in Switzerland. Same size, same weight, positive adjustments, runs smooth as a watch and has a lot more power than the old 7529.
Any thought on the adjustments (or lack thereof in my case!) and possible switch upgrades/mods/fixes would be appreciated.
Robert
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The knob that tightens down the quickstop rod kept coming off-- the plastic would come loose from the brass threaded insert. I epoxy'd those together and it's stayed put.
> I would love to fine adjust with the knob, but gave up long > ago. Even following the instructions (*gasp*) didn't make things any > better or shed any light on things.

It would be nice if they'd put a course and fine adjustment on the thing, huh? I guess I've just gotten good at turning it "a little." That ring on top with the scale that shows 32nds is accurate. Here are two things I did at the same time that helped with micro-adjustments.
When I took it apart to fix the switch (since you're not having that issue, I'll assume *they* fixed it) I also decided to put a slot in the height adjustment rod, which is the long bolt that is twisted when you turn the height adjust knob. I cut (hacksaw worked great) a slot to receive a slotted screwdriver head or bit.
I also spread a very high quality, low viscosity grease on the threads of the rod, before I re-assembled it.
Then I bored a hole in the table insert plate, at the spot right above (when mounted in table) the adjustment rod. Now I can stick a flathead screwdriver down there or a long slotted bit in a ratcheted driver or whatever, and turn the height adjustment rod from above the table. The extra torsion and leverage of a right-angle attachment (or ratchet) gives you a *lot* more control over the movement and lets you do very fine adjustments.
Both things really improved its adjustability.
Bonus info: :-) ...... I installed a 3/8" brass threaded insert into the hole I bored in the base plate. It accepts a allen head set screw to keep dust from going down into the router, and it accept a Starter Pin.
--

-MIKE-

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Mike - thanks for taking the time to reply.

It is supposed to have one now, mine just doesn't work.

SNIP of explanation
I am not following. Are you viewing this from the upside down position? It sounds like your machine is table mounted, therefore inverted. My reference is upright since I use it as a hand held only.
I wouldn't be averse to this fix (adjusting the router from underneath the base when upright) since the adjustments don't work at all now. It would sure add a lot to the versatility of this machine if I you could actually fine adjust it.
I just want to make sure I am understanding correctly what you are saying.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Just so we're on the same page here... Do you think that outer ring with the on the height adjustment knob is used for fine adjustment? If so, you're in good company with every other owner who sat and spun that ring, wondering how long you had to spin it, before the height would change. "Man, this *is* a fine adjustment, it's hardly moving!" :-) That's what I thought.....
Until I realized that it's *just a gauge.* That outer ring isn't adjusting anything, it's just a little ruler that shows you how far up or down the bit has travels while turning the *real* adjustment knob. As far as I know, it's the same on any 7529, type I, II, or III.
Now, while perusing the net for pictures of this thing, I just noticed that on some models, this ring doesn't even have numbers, just little detent markings. Does yours look like this....
...with the measurement markings:
http://tool-corral.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/media/pc8529.jpg
or like this, without the measurments:
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KD7EQF52L._SS500_.jpg
That could explain some of the confusion.

Before we go any further, I want to make sure you are clear that the ring around the micro adjustment knob is just a measurement gauge and not, another, extra, super-fine adjustment.
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-MIKE-

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Beats me, that's for sure.

Definitely, this one.

The knob on mine has not only measurements around the knob, but instructions.
This may be where I am screwed up. The knob in question has "UP" with an arrow indicating direction of turn, and "DOWN with its own arrow. So the knob shows direction to pull the machine up and down.
Further, it has " One revolution = 1/8" " painted on the knob as well.
I certainly DID assume with the directions on the knob it was for raising and lowering.
So... enlighten me!
This irritated me so much thinking about it that at 1:45 in the morning I went out in the shop and opened up the router box to take a look at the machine.
I always thought this machine could be so much more.
For a while I thought about making one of these for the machine but never did it:
http://eacmedia.net/manuals/shared/010.pdf
I am all ears over here.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Yes, yes, you are correct, that is the height adjustment knob. Ok, now see the "ring" around it that has the measurements? It spins separately from the knob, right? That's the thing that a lot of people think is a micro-adjustment, but it's just a gauge. My guess is you've known that all along and I've just been confusing you. :-)

I like that. But if someone's going to take all the effort and money to produce that, they should just make the same thing to replace the original inner threaded rod and knob. The modification I did is only advantageous if the router is mounted upside down in a table. But now that I think about it, the same notch could probably be put in the top of that threaded rod, and adjusted from the top as well.
--

-MIKE-

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Well, crap. I was hoping for golden ray of knowledge to make that router a better machine. At least the operator, anyway.

Yeah.... but in fairness to your assumption, when I go the router, it came with no docs as it was a recon. I did indeed spin away on that damn thing, waiting for something to engage (my brain certainly didn't) or to move.
WC wouldn't take it back since it still ran (and being a recon, they waived their normal warranty since the sold them so cheap) and nothing was obviously broken.
I found out the right way to adjust it after I had the damn thing for a couple of years and thought to look up the manual on the internet.
I am thinking now of taking the springs out of mine since it is never inverted. The adjustment is so hard to turn that it is distracting when making a fine adjustment.
I may follow your thought though in disassembling and putting some fine grease on the adjustment rod. I may actually be dry as a bone... I never thought to look.
Thanks for the tips!
Robert
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Nice book cases Mike. Yes, I'd like to see how you modifed the height adjustment but I probably won't spend much time with this router unless I can get the speed control under "control". Nailshooter typed about the microprocessor speed control. The first thing that made me think this router was bad was it bogging down while I tried to rout half blind dovetails in maple. I thought I was going to stall it out, even when making light passes. It was able to round over oak with a half inch radius cutter but the dovetailing was not going to happen. Unless I can get a speed controller fix this router will probably go to "parts city". Thanks to everyone else for their responses. Marc
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marc rosen wrote:

Thanks for the compliment.
Let me ask you if you've ever had problems with the switch. The reason I ask is because I *thought* mine had the microprocessor problem I had read about on the internet, but it was actually just the switch. And I'm guessing there are a lot of other 7529 owners out there who had their processors swapped out only to have the problem stick around.
Has it ever felt like you had to hold the trigger down extra hard in order for it to stay on? Or it would work fine when the switch was held down, but the get screwy when you engaged the switch lock mechanism? Here's the deal with the switch (and since I'm taking it apart to take pics of the height adjustment mod, I'll take pics of ther switch mod, too.)... There are actually two switches in one, side by side. I don't have schematics in front of me and I'm not knowledgeable enough in electronics to give a proper explanation of the theory behind it, but I do know that both switches have to be fully engaged for it to work properly.
When I was inside the router, I noticed that a lot of the time both switches were not pressed in fully by the cam mechanism that pushes them in when the trigger was depressed with my thumb. I also noticed that even if both switches were fully engaged when the trigger was depressed with my thumb, when I set the trigger lock and took off my thumb, the cam would relax a little, partly disengaging one or both switches.
I noticed that it acted very erratic at different speeds depending on the whether nor not both switches were fully engaged. It would rev up and rev down imitating what a router does when bogged down.
ALL IT TOOK to fix this problem was to make a plastic shim and jam it between the housing and the back of the switches, pushing the switches out a little so they fully engage when pressed by the cam. That's the kind of thing that happens when things are designed solely on a computer. :-)
--

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