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I have a router based roughing beveler and over the past few sessions of using it the Porter Cable router seems to be varying in speed.  I can hear it changing tone slightly up and down, with no real rhythm, as I use it.  Almost like I'm very quickly turning the power switch off and on again.  Then yesterday it really slowed down a couple of times while I was passing strips through, almost to the point of where I thought it was going to stop altogether, though it did speed back up again very quickly.

I don't notice any fluctuations in the speed of my dust collector (or lights) that runs at the same time, so I think I can rule out any external electrical issues.

Is this the end of the old gal, or is there something else that might be going on?  (Chris Carlin)

    Could be a bearing or the armature going. I've lost both in Sears models, back when Sears was considered good, and they were worth repairing/replacing. Might want to open her up and see if anything grinds when you spin it by hand. On the other hand, I burned out a PC making maple cabinet door panels a couple years ago, and was in a rush - decided to replace the motor. That was about 5 bux less than a new router, so I got the whole shebang and had an  extra base to swap it into other contraptions.  (Art Port)

      It does seem to manually spin very smooth with no grinding sound or feeling.

      I've had a few off-list responses as well as yours and it sounds like the consensus is it is the brush contact with the armature.  I got in touch  with a  local repair  shop and  they  gave me  an estimate of $15-30 to do the brush replacement plus a general  cleaning and tune-up or, at most, $90 turnkey if they need to replace the entire motor.

      Its good to know that there are still some things in this world that are not made to be disposable and can actually be repaired.  (Chris Carlin)

      First, check the brushes.  If they're going, you could have something like this happening.  Also, it could be the variable speed control.  I've had a couple of different Skil tools with that problem  I don't think there's any way to test the speed control, but the Porter Cable repair folks might be able to, and otherwise may be able to provide some other ideas.  (Neil Savage)

        Yep, what Neil said. I'd check into the brushes forst before anything else, especially if she's seen much use.

        Good luck with it.

        If you need to replace the tool perhaps you can give the Bosch line of routers a look. There are a few notable ones out there and I've been extremely satisfied with mine. I'd better not tell you how old she is.....really.  (Jeremy Gubbins)

          I have a Freud router on my Maxwell rougher. Let me just say that I am impressed by how quiet it is for a router. I have heard the same good things about Bosch. I have a 2 1/2 horse power Craftsman router that sounds like a 747 taking off.

          I am all for refurbishing/repairing tools though. I hate to see anything go to land fill. I am the poor sap who runs over to grab a discarded lawn mower set out for trash. Most of them just need an oil change and new spark plug to put them back in service. I even rescued a discarded shop vac recently that works fabulous.  (Scott Bearden)

      Try checking the motor brushes.  If they're worn down to less than about 3/8", replace them.  Cheap to replace compared to a new router.  (Carey Mitchell)

    I had a similar problem with one of my Porter Cable routers.  First  check the brushes for wear by removing the  two dime sized  covers that hold them in place and blow the holes with a good shot of compressed air.  If the brushes are short you should be able to locate new ones on the internet or a tool repair shop.  Also check your local hardware store,  I was surprised to find them at an ACE Hardware near me.  Some times just a good shot of air will solve the problem as dust gets between the armature and the brushes. If you still can not get it to work it is cheaper to have it repaired than to purchase a new one.  (Don Green)

      I just now removed the 2 covers that hold in the brushes and, though I don't really know what a worn brush looks like, these look like they are brand new, so I'll tentatively rule that out.  I blew in some compressed air then took a peek inside and didn't see any debris, so I put it all back together and the router still does the same thing.

      It is a variable speed router, it sounds like Neil may be on to something.  Regardless, it is probably time to take her in to the shop.  (Chris Carlin)


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