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Changing the guide bearing on a Trend router cutter

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There are a number of reasons why you may wish to change a guide bearing:   


To alter the cutting depth of a router cutter

  Guide Bearing Cutting Depths  

The cutting depth is how far into the material a bit can cut. A guide bearing will limit the cutting depth, depending on its diameter.


The smaller the guide bearing’s diameter, the further into material the router bit can cut.


A larger diameter guide bearing will keep the cutting edges further out of the material, creating a shallower cut.


After sharpening a router cutter

  Sharpening a Router Bit with file  

The more a router bit is sharpened, or honed, the smaller the cutting edges will become. Eventually, they may not extend out as far as the guide bearing. As a result, you will need to replace it with a smaller one. Various bearing sizes are available so you should be able to find one of an appropriate size. 


Wear and tear on the bearing

  Wear and Tear  

With frequent use, the surface of the bearing can become worn, preventing it from rolling evenly along the work surface. The bearing of router bits are considered consumables that may need to be replaced before the end of the router bit's life.


Over time, it can also become stiff and unable to turn freely on its axis. If you experience either of these problems, it may be time to purchase a new bearing.

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How to change a shank-mounted guide bearing on a router cutter


Removing the guide bearing 

  Set Screw and Retaining Collar on Router Bit  

Step 1 - Locate the set screw

Locate the screw, which is set into the retaining collar on the router cutter. 


Step 2 - Select an appropriate key

Select a hex or Allen key that fits the hexagonal slot on the set screw. The instructions with individual cutters should state which key to use. Various spare bearing fixing packs  and hex keys  are available if needed.


Step 3 - Turn the screw anti-clockwise

Turn the set screw in an anti-clockwise direction to loosen the retaining collar. Spare collar packs  are available that include a collar, a hex key, and a grub screw.


Step 4 - Remove the set screw, retaining collar and bearing

Remove the screw and set aside in a safe place. You should now be able to slide the retaining collar and the guide bearing off the shank of the router bit. Replacement guide bearings  can be bought individually or in packs . You can also get Multi-bearing packs , with bearings of different sizes, Trade range bearings , or for extra protection, you can choose rubber shielded bearings  or plastic sleeve bearings .


Installing the guide bearing 


Step 1 - Insert the new bearing

One you have selected an appropriate replacement guide bearing, slide it onto the shank of the router cutter.

  Tighten router bit's guide bearing retaining collar with screwdriver; router bits  

Step 2 - Insert the retaining collar 

Slide the retaining collar back onto the shank, and tighten by turning the set screw clockwise. 

  Ensure router bit guide bearing spins freely; router bits  

Step 3 - Ensure the bearing spins

Check that the guide bearing can spin freely on the shank of the router bit before you begin working with it. Don't use any lubricant on a guide bearing, the bearing will have its own lubrication and additional chemicals can damage the bearing.

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How to change a bottom-mounted guide bearing on a router cutter


Removing the guide bearing

  Guide Bearing: Cap screw, hex slot and Hex Key  

Step 1 - Select a key

Select an appropriate hex or Allen key that fits the hexagonal slot on the router bit’s cap screw. Spare hex keys , or bearing fixing packs  that include keys are available.

  Turning the Hex Key anti-clockwise  

Step 2 - Loosen screw

Insert the key into the end of the cap screw and turn it in an anti-clockwise direction to loosen. Continue turning the key until the cap screw is completely removed and set aside in a safe place. 

  Removing the Guide Bearing  

Step 3 - Remove the guide bearing 

You can now remove the guide bearing and any washers, and the shield if there is one. Various replacement bearings are available, depending on the cutter type and size. Individual bearings  can be bought or they can be bought in packs , or you can get Multi-bearing packs  that contain bearings of different sizes, rubber shielded bearings , plastic sleeve bearings , or Trade range bearings .


Installing the guide bearing

  Metal Spindle  

When the bearing has been removed, you will be left with a metal spindle, on which you can place a new guide bearing and replace any washers and the shield, if needed. Replacement washers are available as router cutter spare parts.


Step 1 - Insert the cap screw and tighten

When the new bearing and washer is in place, insert the cap screw and tighten it by rotating the key in a clockwise rotation.

  Re-inserted Guide Bearing  

Step 2 - Ensure the bearing spins

Once all the parts are in place, check the guide bearing can spin freely on the spindle before you begin work. You should not use any lubricant or any solvents on the guide bearing, especially if it is a Trend bearings, as they will be packed for life with special grease for built-in lubrication. 

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