Router collet too tight?

Hi,
I have a Porter Cable 690 router, the kind with two flat wrenches to tighten the collet. Whenever I use it I have a hard time getting the collet to loosen. Once I get the collet "un-froze", everything is fine.
Is it just that I'm tightening the collet too much, or is there a trick to it? Is it safe to leave the collet "hand tight", or should I really bear down on it? Would lubricating the collet help? What sort of lube?
Thanks,
--- Chip
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WD40, 3-in-1, 30 weight, whatever's handy. Lube the collet and the threads, too.
Are you setting the bit all the way down? Back it out 1/16", then tighten the collet nut. If the bit sticks, a light tap with a stick of wood will break it free.
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: > I have a Porter Cable 690 router, the kind with two flat wrenches to : > tighten the collet. Whenever I use it I have a hard time getting the : > collet to loosen. Once I get the collet "un-froze", everything is : > fine.
: WD40, 3-in-1, 30 weight, whatever's handy. Lube the collet and : the threads, too.
Thanks!
: Are you setting the bit all the way down? Back it out 1/16", then : tighten the collet nut. If the bit sticks, a light tap with a stick : of wood will break it free.
I got that from previous lurking.
Thanks for the advice,
--- Chip
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Chip Buchholtz wrote:

Do NOT lube the collet itself...that's a good way to end up sending a bit flying like schrapnel.
Make sure they're both clean and burr-free, but no lube..
--
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On Sat, 04 Aug 2007 18:04:23 -0700, Father Haskell

I wouldn't be putting any oil in the collet myself. It's supposed to be tight. It's supposed to take some effort to get it loose. You're spinning that bit at 20,000 rpms and cutting into wood with it. You really don't want the bit to come out. Make sure the collet is clean before you insert the bit.
-Leuf
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Light film. Wipe until almost dry. You don't want the bit welding itself in, either. Light film on the threads, too. Oiled threads are easier to tighten harder. Ask anyone who rebuilds engine blocks.
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Dismantle the collet and clean it of all dust and crud. Lube the threads with a light lubricant like 3-in-1, sewing machine oil but not WD-40 which leaves behind a hard polymerized coating which is difficult to remove. I haven't tried a dry lube like graphite or silica but they won't then to attract dust. OTOH, the graphite can get on your project and screw up a finish so I think that's out. When lubing the threads I only use one drop halfway up the threaded shaft and allow the nut to distribute it. Be sure that you're seating the bit 1/8" or so out of the collet. Some use the trick of sliding an 'O' ring down the bit shaft as far as possible which prevents it from going too far into the collet but I don't think that's necessary. Just keep the bit out of the collet a skosh.
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: Dismantle the collet and clean it of all dust and crud.
I think this is the key. Any advice for cleaning it? Wire brush? Turpentine? Spit and a paper towel?
: Lube the threads with a light lubricant like 3-in-1, sewing machine : oil [...] When lubing the threads I only use one drop halfway up the : threaded shaft and allow the nut to distribute it.
Got it. I was nervous about using lube because I didn't want to send a bit flying, but one drop on the threads seems safe.
: Be sure that you're seating the bit 1/8" or so out of the collet.
Yes, I've been doing that, and it keeps the bit from sticking in the collet once I get the collet loosened.
Thanks, everyone, for your help,
--- Chip
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On Sun, 5 Aug 2007 03:22:47 +0000 (UTC), "Chip Buchholtz"

I prefer compressed air and a stiff brush, followed by a dip in kerosene or mineral spirits. Dry it well, use more compressed air if you're in a hurry.
I prefer to lube the threads only (not the inside) with paste wax or White Lightning (a wax based Teflon bicycle chain lube that goes on liquid, then dries hard), as they don't attract as much dust.
White Lightning on the rods and threaded adjusters of my power tools has made a huge, long lasting difference, in the feel of the adjustments. On threaded mechanisms open to dust and chips, I almost always choose a _light_ application of wax over oil. In time, the wax fills imperfections in the threads making it smoother and smoother. When I do use oil, I find that air tool oil is always on hand, and doesn't dry to a goop like 3-in-1. Somebody mentioned sewing machine oil, which is excellent, clean, and non-"goopy".
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a lil squirt from a spray can of brake cleaner from the car parts store works real well....
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On Sun, 05 Aug 2007 14:07:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

That stuff cleans EVERYTHING well, but be real careful around certain plastics, including plastic insulated wire. Brake cleaner can make the plastic very brittle.
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Jim
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The router is just like my Dremel, by not completely seating the bit, a tap in, will loosen it. I learned that from frustration, trial and cursing. Jamffer
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Chip Buchholtz wrote:

the collet nut it will turn freely with your fingers, but the bit will still be held fairly tight. Keep loosening the nut until it starts to feel like it might be tightening again, and turn it a little more. It might take the wrenches again to do that. Once you have passed that point, the bit will usually be free and easily removed.
Wayne
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Wayne has it right - I think all the P-C collets work this way. I know my 7529 collets do, and I seem to remember it being described this way in the manual.
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Larry Kraus wrote:

As I was reading the other posts, I was thinking this was the issue. I don't have the P-C but the Dewalt 618's collet works exactly that way too.
Dave
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this is the same way it is on my cnc router. it seems to be the nature of collets and nuts.
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Make sure it's clean. They have Router Bit cleaners that remove resin, etc.
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Chip Buchholtz wrote:

No _____________
Yes. Remove the bit immediately after using. If you wait and it freezes, loosen the nut with wrenches, loosely hand tighten again and then tap the collet nut with the wrench. Not hard, just about with only the weight of the wrench...tap, tap, tap, tap. Eventually, the bit will pop free. Do NOT hit the bit.
I can't say for sure why collets freeze but I think it has to do with the considerable heat generated while the bit is cutting. The heat expands the shank and the collet is therefore tighter. You'd think that when things cool off and the shank shrinks again the collet would be back to normal but that isn't the case. ________________
Is it safe to leave the collet "hand tight",
No. Not if you want the bit to stay where you put it in the collet. ________________

Well, I wouldn't be slipping 24" lengths of pipe over the wrenches but I *would* (and do) tighten them as much as I can by squeezing the two wrenches together with one hand. __________________

No, do NOT lubricate the collet. Do assure that the area is sawdust free. You might want to run your fingers over bit shanks too to see if there are any burrs. If so, smooth off with fine sand paper. I use a piece of #400 silicon carbide folded lengthwise over the shank so I can rotate the shank in the sandpaper "envelope".
--

dadiOH
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