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On this page we move on to setting up the router and fixing the plunge assist bars. There were a couple of little things that made me stop and think so see below for the story.
|The Craftsman Gallery suggest that the DeWalt 625 is the most
suitable router to use on the Router Boss although other routers can be
used. There are a number that have the same fixing spacing but I believe
there will shortly be an universal adaptor plate available. The DeWalt
621 will also directly fit.
I only have one 625 and that was on my 'other' machine. I dutifully pulled it off that and gave it a good clean. I also removed the revolving depth turret as can be seen. There are two metric base fixing screws in the kit but I elected to use my * own stainless ones. The longer screws are from the router handles and have to be used as there are NO REPLACEMENTS provided in the kit.
* I now use the the kit router to base bolts. They have flat bottomed heads and permit slightly more adjustment
|A quick scan of the plan. Yes..... simple, no problems here then. I
will soon get this done.
My goodness the parts table is very small print.
Maybe I should get new glasses.
|Which one? DW 625. The left drawing then. OK off we go.|
|So off I rush and pull out all the bits and lay them out here. There is one vital part missing but I didn't realise it. Do you know what it is yet? One other mistake. Do you see the silver bolt at the back? Where does that fit? It doesn't........ because it is not a bolt but just a nut stuck on to a short threaded bar. Those are grub screws in the plastic packets.|
|First I tested the rear post screws in the alloy posts. Look, attention to detail, there is thread locking compound on the threads. Problem was it had gone rock hard and the bolts could not be screwed in. I tried a wire brush, screw driver, nut and no I could not shift it.|
|Fortunately I have some American thread Dies and managed to clean
the threads up but this was not helped because the Allen sockets were
7/32" (thanks to Dave Richards for the info) The keys in the kit don't
fit and my new set don't fit either.
A metric key although a sloppy fit was just good enough to get me out of trouble.
|When the plunge bar sits on top of the handles ( e.g. DeWalt 621) these collars and bushes are used. The rear post heights can be increased using the threaded rod and the four nuts. Again thanks Dave!|
|This is how the parts assemble. Or is it! Notice my mistake yet and
the missing part?
My wife says "read the manual again".
Mistake: The front bar is in the rear posts!
|Yes that's it, the long bar was missing!
Must have been lost through the hole in the box. After some searching in my parts bin I found a length of ground 9.5 mm silver steel which fitted perfectly through the rear post holes.
Assemble the top and bottom parts of the post using the short threaded bar and pass the long bar through the post eyes before fixing to the router plate!
Finally, lock the bars into the posts with the black grub screws.
|These are the plastic pivot points fitted with the bronze bearings. I had to remove some minor plastic flashing inside the housings before the bearings would smoothly fit. Using bronze is very up market. The handle screws can trap the bearings so they don't rotate. The plastic housings on my set up rotate on the outside of the bearings. Cost savings could be made by utilising plated steel tubes instead. Just a thought.|
|Here they are all fitted with the bar held in place by silver grub
screws. I did apply a little dry PTFE lubrication to the outside of bearings
before fitting. (The plastic revolves on the bronze).
Some light duty thread lock added to the screws finished the installation.
Do not over tighten the screws though.
|A view from the rear. ( Can I really say that?) The plunge action proved to be very smooth. Simple and effective.|
|The single front post shown here. The action is so smooth that I am wondering if the front post is really required. Will it obscure the bit in use? I will find out in due course.|
|You may have noticed the quick change chuck fitted to my 625. This is a new specially developed XL chuck to use with the Router Boss. It adds an extra 5/8ths of an inch plunge depth and will be a huge advantage. The router plate is a bit thick remember. It has more mass than the other versions and I have found it to have very little vibration. It is made to a tight tolerance so check your router bit shafts are within specification. ( they do vary greatly and some are oversized and may not fit)|
|The barrel is hefty at 30.5 mm wide so is not suitable for every
machine. Check out what it has to plunge through before purchasing.
It takes 1/2" shaft bits plus quality reducing sleeves of course.
Reducing sleeves here.
It certainly makes bit changing easier and more convenient.
I would advise that slow start routers are essential for safer use.
|It is not cheap but well worth it in my opinion. For more information visit here. The other quick change chucks are also suitable and will have an advantage over the standard collet.|
|The final part is actually to mount the router to the router plate. The laser heads are fitted into very precisely milled CNC machine slots and so accurately cross in the centre of the Plate hole. The problem is that the router is unlikely to plunge concentric to the router base. I own three DeWalts and all three are slightly to one side plus the shafts also have slight run-out too. The base plate screw holes are drilled oversize so a little bit of tweaking for centre is possible. I fitted a pointed moulding bit with a 1/2" shaft into the chuck and with the router sitting on a board ( white card would be OK too) switched on the laser and plunged the router. The mark made was a little off centre to the left so I loosened the fixing screws and moved the router a tiny amount to the right and gently tightened the fixing screws.|
|Note: Purchase a purpose made centring bit for $5
I plunged it a few times each time rotating the bit a little to take account of any run out.
|I eventually got it locked and centred. You can just about see the
small indentation in the centre of cross hairs.
If it won't exactly centre then make a note of the off-set and take account of it each time you align to a mark.
|For interest sake I set up one of my DeWalt 621 routers onto the plate.|
|You can see how the nuts are used to increase the height of the rear
transverse bar and the collars in the kit lock the bar in position. The
alternative bronze bushes with the larger internal diameter are
The plunge action was still very smooth.
|This is a front view. The bar sits on the top of the handles. The
left handle is the plunge lock and I am wondering if actuating the
plunge bar could under certain circumstances turn and loosen the
Judicious employment of some lubricant on the top of the handle would no doubt help.
Note the router base of the 621 is off-set to the left when mounted on the acrylic base.
I left the clear dust collecting shroud on the base but discovered it did obscure visibility of the router bit.
Well that concludes the first look through the kit. For the most part it is very impressive indeed, especially the alloy engineering. I am though, just a little apprehensive about the plastic wing arrangement.
The next chapters will deal more with using the Router Boss.
Now Lewis Stepp is constantly improving and honing the Router Boss so your kit may be slightly different. Be sure to visit the Craftsman Gallery website here for updates to the manual and new products etc.
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