Your Guide to Router Collets
Proper Collet Maintenance
•As with most tools, parts that have metal-to-metal contact, or are in contact with dust and pitch, will wear over time or require maintenance. Worn, scratched, dirty or out-of-round collets will not provide adequate holding power and can increase run-out and vibration.
• To extend the life of your collet, never tighten a collet without a bit in place. This can compress or deform the collet, leading to an improper fit on the bit.
Pitch and dust can build up in and on the collet, as well as in the recess of the shaft and inside the collet nut. A simple cleaning every so often will ensure a tight fit on the bit.
• Clean the collet parts with a rag dampened with a cleaning solution such as Naptha.
• Use a small brush with either nylon or brass bristles to reach into close areas. These bristles will clean the collet without damaging the metal surfaces.
• Use #0000 steel wool or a synthetic scouring pad to remove burrs or nicks from the collet. Don’’t use sandpaper;; this will only add scratches to the collet.
• A bronze cleaning brush commonly used for gun cleaning will also help smooth out damaged surfaces.
– From the Autumn 2006 issue of Woodworking Magazine; illustrations by Matt Bantly