PC Router Collet Trouble

Anyone having trouble with Porter Cable Router Colet holding bits tight? I was routing a wood frame built to hide the edge of a beveled mirror for a large bathroom mirror. I do remember tightening the bit and all was going well with a 1/2" rabbiting bit/with bearing and without any warning, (but expect I wouldn't get any anyway) the bit went flying off damaging the area I was routing and spinning to the other side and taking a large nick out of that side. This was an expensive piece of maple trim from Craft Maid and to say the least I was pissed! After a time out to calm down I thought back and reflected I was really lucky not to get nailed in the face by this flying projectile. This is a newer Router, 693 Porter Cable using the fixed base. Needless to say, I torque the bit more than what I thought necessary when I decided to continue. Wondering if anyone else has had this problem or was it operator error?
Thanks
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On 3/14/2010 1:49 PM, Evodawg wrote:

While not all that common, it happens enough for the average woodworker to be aware of the possibility. Three things which factor in as a cause most of the time:
1. Seating the bit's shank too deep in the collet - (always pull it out about an 1/8" from the bottom before tightening).
2. Dirt, dust, debris, rust, etc. in the collet - (clean collet out with an old toothbrush and be meticulous ... a new, spanking clean collet will rarely exhibit this behavior.)
3. Not tightening enough after the proper bit depth is set in the collet - (crank the crap out of it ... PC's with two wrenches need some rice and gravy in the wielding).
The 7518 can be worse than the 690 about this.
It happens to everyone, hopefully only once ...
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Like Carl said. Just go buy a new collet & crank the shit out of it. I've had to replace mine, but I was lucky as it had only started to creep when I discovered it; it didn't go flying off.
Just be grateful it's not a Sears where the collet is past of the motor shaft & your router ends up as a boat anchor.
Luigi
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You probably already know this but Lonnie Bird's book, "Illustrated Guide To The Router", says that the router bit shank should be no more than 2 thousandths off of the collet bit size, ideally 1 thousandth off. So at least .498" in your case. Perhaps, the problem is just with the one bit?
Bill
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The collet socket might, conceivably, have galled with slippage; in addition to cleaning the collet and socket, feel your way around the cone socket with a small hone; if it has a rough spot, some finger pressure will suffice to hone it out.
The hone treatment will even make a Harbor Freight cheapie router start to grip bits. DAMHIKT.
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4. Possibly, PC is now contracting Craftsman to build this router. ;~)
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On 3/14/10 1:49 PM, Evodawg wrote:

What Karl said, including..... It's not a bad idea to have a bit of oil on the threads to make sure it turns easy, meaning you make sure to get it tight enough. Once you've had a bit come out of a collet like that, there's a good chance one of the flanges got bent. They don't bend back, they break, so repairing it is not recommended. Those collets are cheap enough to just replace and have the peace-of-mind that it'll function properly.
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Been there, done that... I had a 1/4" straight bit let go just last week. There are a couple of contributing factors in my case. My 1/4" collet is very loose to begin with. You have to snug up the nuts a good bit just to hang onto the bit enough so it won't drop all the way into the collet. I suspect my threads could use a cleaning & lubricating as well. The other problem is that I live in New England, and the collets seem to be made out of steel that rusts if you look at it cross-eyed. A little bit of surface rust probably didn't help matters. I'm planning on getting a new collet, and cleaning & lubing the surfaces. The collet will get a tiny bit of light oil, and the threads will get some wax. I try to keep the use of oil to a minimum on my wood working tools to reduce A) staining any wood that comes in contact with it, and B) the attraction of oiled surfaces to dust.
Doug White
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I had a similar problem with a brand new PC router with a collet that had never been used. It started moving out of the collet, I re-inserted it and tightened it again and it moved again. Removed everything, cleaned the bit shaft and collet insides with some isopropanol alcohol on a Q-tip, it has been solid ever since with a number of bits.
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Everyone reading this should just get on the internet, right now, and order a new collet for their router... while it's convenient and you don't *need* it.
That way, when there's a question or doubt, you can just reach for the new collet instead of taking a chance. A bigger bit can fly out of the router at a very high velocity and go through a bit guard like a paper bag.
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september.org:

Sounds like a good idea. What's your credit card number?
Puckdropper
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wrote:

Not a bad idea, other then this is a new router. Swing pointed out the obvious pushing the bit in to far, and I've had collets that seem to be tight but need a second torque to actually be tight. If that happened to me I'd probably be throwing my drawers away. If it happens again I'd be returning it.
Mike M
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On 3/14/2010 2:49 PM, Evodawg wrote:

First thing to do is clean the collet thoroughly--I went after mine with a .50 caliber bore brush and jag. Hasn't slipped since.
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Evodawg wrote:

order. This router collet was probably used three or four times before the incident. I'm thankful I was not hit or injured but the customer wasn't happy that his piece wasn't perfect.
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