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Q & A: Rusty Router Collets


Returning to my shop after working
outside this summer, I noticed a rusty
film on my router collets and bits.What’s
the best way to remove the rust without
damaging the collets and bits?



Use a synthetic steel wool or 3M
Scotch-Brite pad. To clean a 1/2-in. collet,
wrap the pad around a 1/4-in. dowel and
spin it inside the collet. Clean the rust off
the bit shanks by rubbing the pads around
them. Do not use an emery cloth or sandpaper;
you don’t want to remove any metal
that could cause the bit to wobble later.
Wipe the collet’s inside and the bit’s shank
with a light, general-purpose grease, then
wipe off the excess.A thin film of grease will
remain in the surface to slow future rusting.

Click any image to view a larger version.

Clean rusty router collets with a dowel and synthetic steel wool.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker October 2000, issue #82.

October 2000, issue #82

Purchase this back issue.


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