We all like to tell stories about idiots; maybe to chuckle, maybe to
vent. I've got the opposite kind of story to tell.
I dug an old router out of my Dad's garage, a Rockwell 150-B with a D
handle. I turned it on and it worked, but there was some corrosion on
the collet and collet nut, and the motor cap was missing.
A few days soak with WD-40 and the collet seemed to operate OK, but the
top of the motor seemed too "exposed" for my taste; it would be a shame
to ruin a nice 50 year old tool by getting excessive wood chips and dust
in the motor.
After some searching online, I found a recommendation for "a guy" to
call for old Rockwell (and P-C) parts; no web site, no email, just a
phone number and a name: Dick Journiman. I finally got to him yesterday.
He was a genial sounding fellow who's been collecting Rockwell and P-C
parts for 50 years.
He explained that the original caps were bakelite, and they all
disintegrate after a while. Direct replacements are no longer made, but
he's got a cap that *almost*
fits; it needs to have a third recess
carved out of it for the power cord exit.
That sounded OK to me, so I asked, "How do we do this?". He replied,
"I'll pack it up tomorrow and send it to you. You can send me a check
when you get it."
I paused for a moment, then remarked that his payment policy was, well,
unusual. He replied that this was really more of a hobby for him, but
added that he's had very good luck with getting paid. He says that
people who fix up old tools to use are "some of the best people in the
We had a nice pleasant chat. He assures me that the router is a gem that
should outlast us all with a little care and lamented that tools like
that are no longer made. I guess I'll have to treat it well.
Oh, and yes, I'll degrease the collet before I use it.
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