I bought a PC 8529 plunge router about a year ago because I needed to
use 1/2 inch bits for pattern cutting work (they were also on sale for
$100). At the time, I planned to use it almost exclusively in a router
table once I built an upgraded cabinet/table. Anyway, yesterday was
the first time I ever tried to set a precision depth on it. I went
back and read the manual a few times, but I must be missing something!
It seems you can only adjust the height with the control knob when the
plunge mechanism is released. Can this be correct??? So, I was trying
to turn the knob with one hand, and fighting the plunge springs with
the other. This is almost impossible. I know there must be an easier
way to do this, but I am lost. If anybody has any tips on this model,
please let me know. I also just ordered the Above Table height
adjuster for using this router in a table. Maybe this will do the
trick, but I have my doubts after yesterday.
Kirk, I looked up the instructions on the Porter-Cable site and as I
expected you are supposed to unlock the plunge lock prior to adjusting
This is quoted from the instructions:
"7. The bit height can be adjusted using the micro plunge adjusting
raise the bit, turn the micro-plunge adjusting knob (F) Fig. 8
lower the bit, turn the knob counterclockwise.
8. The plunge locking lever (C) Fig. 8 should be set to the locked
after the bit height is adjusted and before the unit is turned on. Move
lever to the right as far as it will go."
Note in step 8 it says "The plunge locking lever should be set to the
locked position AFTER the bit height is adjusted.
You could remove the plunge springs but that's kind of a pain in the
rear if you'll be using the router hand held, too. Perhaps you should
look at something like the Plunge Lift from http://woodpeck.com
I made my lifter for less than $10 but it requires that you adjust it
from below the router. I don't find this to be a problem since I end up
down on my knees in front of the table anyway so I can see the cutter
My lifter also works on the router hand held for making adjustments.
If you're interested in it, drop me an e-mail and I'll send you some
Yes, there's a better way. The key for table use is to turn the fine
knob in the marked DOWN direction (which is actually up when the router
is under the table)... turn, turn, keep turning, turn some more until
you feel resistance (you only have to do this once). At this point, the
fine adjuster is compressing the plunge springs. Now, just release the
plunge lock and turn the knob to raise or lower - only one hand
I have never felt it's necessary to remove the springs.
If this is the way the 8529 is supposed to work, then mine must be
defective. I released the plunge lock, rotated the knob CCW (down),
but the plunge action still traveled the entire length. The knob
turned freely, with no resistance against the springs. At lunch, I
went to the local Lowes to check out a display model (and ask for
advice), but they no longer carry the 8529.
The microadjust does not change the amount of plunge travel (until it
completely bottoms out), it moves the upper and lower limits of the
Given your description of how you've been using the router, it's not
defective, but you're using it in "plunge mode" rather than "table
Lemme be more specific about the procedure: plunge the router to
approximately the depth you want, and lock it there. Turn the knob in
the down direction until there is resistance. I'm not kidding when I
say, "turn, turn, and keep turning." It may take 20+ full revolutions.
Now unlock the plunge and microadust to the desired depth.
I followed these basic procedures, as given in the users' manual.
However, my results were more like this:
1. Plunge to approximate depth. No problem. Lets say you want 1/4
inch depth of cut. Holding the plunge against the springs, you *may*
be able to get it accurate within 1/8 of an inch.
2. Lock it there. Again, no problem.
3. Turn the knob in the down direction until resistance. Yep,
everything good so far (and it does take a LOT of turning).
4. Now unlock the plunge. Okay, here is where I'm having problems. I
would like to put a 1/4 inch brass setup bar next to the bit to
microadjust at this point. However, as soon as I unlock the plunge,
the motor snaps back up to it's highest point. How can you fine-tune
your adjustment at this point?
I'm sorry if I'm beating this point to death, but either something is
wrong with my router - OR - this model has the worst depth adjustment
I've ever seen. I've now been to a few local stores (none of which
carry the 8529) and handled quite a few different routers. Every one
of them seem extremely simple and accurate to adjust. Unfortunately,
I'm already invested in the 8529, base plates, edge guides, table
There is a wrench for this, can be inserted from the casting end of the
router too. Allows for top of table cutter changes. Ask PC dealer,
should have been supplied with tool.
I believe that is the 75301. I ordered one today for around $25. From
the description, it allows you to unlock, adjust the height, then
relock, all from above the table. I hope that it solves the problem --
I don't want to buy another router....
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