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Frank Mutchler has again sent us an entertaining instruction on how he tensioned the sliding bar wire on his new Router Boss. His report is slightly edited from the original to make it suitable for the web.

Router Boss Cable Adjustment or “Wrassling The Wascally Wabbit!”

You’ve heard it many a time….”When you assume anything you’re liable to make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.”    Well, I assumed all was well with my RB and ended up doing just that.  So what happened, you say?  Thought you’d never ask.

One of the innovative features of the Router Boss is described thusly:

“The sliding bar is connected by a wire and pulley system to a crank that can ‘power feed’ the wood either left or right through the cutter. This allows breakout-free climb cuts. The wire and pulley system has no backlash – you let go of the crank and the wood stays put.”

Now that is all well and good in a perfect world.  If you, however, happen to live in my less than perfect world, you may find the following helpful.

The ability to adjust the cable tension is one of a number of superb innovations engineered into the RB.  To begin, crank the sliding bar to the right so that you have unobstructed access to the cable adjusting mechanism pictured below.

As Received

This photo shows how my unit arrived.  Notice that the slot (upper right) is empty?  I found the AWOL screw when I unpacked my 'Boss but I didn’t have a clue where it belonged.  The screw just below it (lower right) was present for duty but completely loose.  These two screws function to lock in whatever tension you apply to the cable using the adjusting screw (horizontal left) #1

Correct screws

The picture above shows how your properly assembled cable adjusting mechanism should look.  There are a total of 5 screws; 3 of them are used to adjust the cable tension.

The two bolts in the left hand retaining block should be permanently tightened in place.  They are not used during the adjustment process.


The bolts in the slotted blocks should be loosened when adjusting cable tension.  When loosened, the cable anchoring block they are mounted in is free to move to the left or right.

The horizontal bolt (#1) passes through its mounting block (firmly fixed to the sliding bar via screws 2 & 3) and is threaded into the cable anchoring block. 


When turned clockwise it will pull the cable anchoring block towards the end of the slider (left) and increase the cable tension.  Turning screw #1 counter-clockwise will push the cable anchoring block in the opposite direction and reduce the cable tension.  When the desired tension is achieved, you will firmly tighten screws 4 & 5.  That’s all there is to it.

Someone says, “And just what is the desired tension??”   Good question.  I define it as, ahem, the tension you find most desirable.  Perhaps I better elaborate just a bit.

I was making a bunch of chips while fashioning some box joints.  What was so enjoyable was that I was using the X axis DRO and no layout whatsoever.  When I assembled the two pieces I found that one of my joints was off about 1/32” and another almost 1/16”.  Gloom & doom…………

My foolproof system was dissolving into an all too familiar mist of frustration.  There had to be a reason and there was.  After checking various possible causes I discovered that when I unclamped the work piece the entire sliding bar moved when I jerked the clamp handle.  Yoiks!  How could that be?   I cranked the bar to the right and sure enough, I easily pushed it all the way back using just the palm of my hand.  Well, long story short, the tension on my cable was almost non-existent and the solution to my problem is described above. 

I adjusted the tension on my cable so that the crank operates smoothly, meaning I can get a reading of +/- .002” on the DRO without much fiddling, and the sliding bar stays put when I push/pull on the clamping handle.  Sorry, ‘smoothly’ and ‘easily’ are completely subjective but you probably will get the idea once you adjust the tension.  It really is pretty easy to add or subtract tension should you desire to do so. 

Glad that’s done………now, anybody seen that wascally wabbit??

Thanks again Frank. That doesn't look too difficult does it folks?

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