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Reviews 9

The Eliminator RC

Quick Change Chuck


 

I am currently using a DeWalt 625 router which is equipped with a set of WoodRat's plunge bars. With the router mounted on the 'Rat it is not the simplest of tasks to change the router bit. Over the years I have dropped more than one bit onto the concrete floor which doesn't do them any good at all! Now since I have not managed to sprout a third hand I decided to take the plunge (ho ho!) and purchase an Eliminator chuck. You may have noticed it in use in Reviews8.

This chuck is a godsend to bit changing but I did notice an increase in vibration at higher router speeds. The instructions do explain how to reduce them but I decided to investigate more deeply for any other causes than imbalance. My findings follow here:-

border="0" The kit is supplied in a bubble pack and with a large pressed steel spanner. These chucks are router specific and are designed to take 1/2" bits although collet reducers can be used. The DeWalt 625 version will also fit the Elu 177 plus some Festool and Freud routers. I Purchased mine from TheCraftsmanGallery code 13-190 $52 US. It will also soon be available at WoodRat 47.50.

 

This chuck is a direct replacement for the standard one which just has to be unscrewed. The instructions call for the Eliminator to be screwed on with the supplied spanner and a second spanner on the shaft. Do not tighten with the router shaft lock engaged. I don't know the reason for this but just did as I was told!

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In essence this chuck is a two part assembly. This view shows the threaded nut part which screws up into the router shaft.

This is the lower part which is permanently fixed to the nut but is free to rotate until the whole assembly is tightened onto the router shaft when they become locked together. The circular recess is presumably to balance the assembly. Threaded into one side of the lower annular part is an allen screw. This screw passes through a moving cotter nut which is the part that engages with the router bit. Adjusting the allen screw moves the cotter which locks the bit. At no time does the screw contact with the bit.

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This view shows the relationship between the balance hole and the lock mechanism. This is of importance as we shall see later.

A close-up of the sliding cotter with the allen screw passing through it. Do not be tempted to "play" with the screw adjustment before fitting. (don't ask me how I know this!). In use there is only a couple of turns of the allen screw between a loose bit a locked one

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As I have already mentioned when first used I found an increase in vibration. The instructions do explain how to resolve this but before following them I thought I would check how much run-out there was on the bit. With the router on the workbench I carefully set up a dial gauge as shown. I had a solid carbide 1/2" spiral in the the chuck. I was alarmed to discover a total of 13.5 thou inches which was unacceptable. This was with no detectable play in the router bearings.

I removed the chuck and checked the router shaft. Total of half of 1 thou inches run-out there so its not the shaft.

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With the bit mounted and tightened into the standard DeWalt collet I re-tested the run-out. On each test I kept the probe as close to the chuck as possible. This time it had moved to a total of 2 thou inches. Still acceptable but not looking good for the eliminator.

With the Eliminator off the router I closely examined it, twiddled and twisted the two parts against each and then fixed it back on to the shaft for retesting. This time just a tiny bit over 2 thou run-out. A gnat's eyeball more than the DeWally. Why? I don't know but who's complaining.

I replaced and locked the carbide bit into the chuck. This time the total run-out was 2.5 thou inches. More than I would prefer but much better than before.

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With a close eye on the base of the chuck I slowly rotated it looking to see if I could ascertain a difference in the gap between the bit circumference and hole. Maybe the locking mechanism was moving the bit to one side when tightened. I am pleased to report that it looked entirely concentric.

The instructions explain that if you should experience any vibration then you loosen the nut B, part rotate C and retighten the nut B and retest. In use I did this and drastically reduced the vibration to just perceptible. In fact this was no more than with the standard collet. I marked parts B and C with a pencil for future reference. This really was not the pain I thought it was going to be.

Parts A,B,C have holes and screws. The varying masses  can interact with each other when rotating and so the correct orientation is a matter of pot luck.

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With the Eliminator chuck mounted I plunged and locked the router to it's maximum depth.

Here viewed edge-on the chuck is 3.45 mm below the router base.

Applying the same plunge with the DeWalt collet it was found to be 5.24 mm above the router base.

There is clearly an 8.69 mm difference which could be an advantage/disadvantage depending on your point of view. For me the Eliminator will give a greater depth of plunge and is preferred.

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With the router mounted back on the 'Rat all ran very smoothly. I cut some box joints and they were very accurate. Any run-out or bad vibration would soon have shown itself as oversized cuts.

Conclusion

The Eliminator chuck is well and solidly made with a unique bit locking system. It is very quick to thread onto your router and allows you to hold a bit with one screw turn. The locking screw is a bit vague in adjustment and it is possible to tighten it more than is possibly necessary. I find that if I turn it until the bit  just won't slide plus slightly less than one more turn ensures no problems at all with slippage. There is the potential for slight vibration and its pot luck when installing. Resetting  the chuck/shaft relationship will reduce it and is nowhere near the nuisance to do than I envisaged.

I have gained a small amount of available plunge depth with mine which is useful.

Yes, I was unlucky with my initial installation and I did have run-out problems.  I confess I never really discovered why.  After I tweaked out the vibration I have been more than satisfied with it. I much prefer it to the standard DeWalt one as  changing bits is a lot less hassle now.

A 5/32" hex driver is called for the locking screw but I found a 5 mm metric one works fine.

I would have no qualms about purchasing another one.


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Some feedback

"I don't get what's going on either. I have had the RCE quick change chuck on an old 110v DW625, under 1 thou run out at 1 inch however you fit it.

Fitting the same RC Elim'r to a new CMT 625 look-alike was quite useless, had to send router back (but it was OK -1.5- thou with its own collet) A new DW 625 requires careful positioning - get it right, run-out at 1" just over 1 thou, get it wrong, nearly 20 thou. Also the sweet spot is very narrow - probably under 5 deg. Did Italy change something about the armature shaft grind, I wonder?

A good buy, nevertheless

regards, Ivan"