If you know anything about plastic routers bits, you probably know how important the collets are in the routing machine, since they ensure the rigidity of the machine and the bits. The proper colleting of plastic routers bits is an exact science which must be followed consistently, starting with the area of the tools known as the flute fadeout section that is formed when the grinding exits the work piece. In order to properly collet plastic routers bits, the bottom of the collets has to come in contact with the bits slightly above the flute fadeout.
This part of the plastic routing process is so exact because the end results depend on the rigidity of the machine, which is the responsibility of the collets. Over-colleting or allowing the flute fadeout portion to extend inside the collet can damage the collet and is a common cause of tool breakage. Plastic routers bits and collets are expected to operate accurately, but the work environment that they are in is often full of heat and grime. During the plastic routing process, chips are often formed by the cutting action of the bits, which carry resins that move through the slits of the collets and stick to the interior of the mechanism.
It is easy to avoid problems associated with heat and grime of the plastic routing process, however, with proper collet maintenance. Plastic machining is an exact science, and it is also a process of ongoing effort and consistent cleanliness. Since the resin build up usually concentrates near the mouth of the collet, which causes the tool to lose its equal grip and lose in concentration as a result, cleaning and maintenance is imperative. The lack of a plastic routing tool running in a true circle affects the finish of the part and may cause the ultimate demise of the tool. Luckily, this and other plastic routing problems can be avoided with proper care, and with a good working knowledge of the important role that colleting plays.