Router bit recommendations?

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Hello,
Speaker building wood workers here is a topic for discussion.
Given the opportunity I will buy a quality name brand tool even if it cost more money.
I bought a router, circle jig and a box of router bits. I cut just six openings in the face of a pair of speaker enclosures (MTM). The material was Baltic birch. By the time I completed the openings the ½ inch plunge bit was noticeably worn and the cuts were rough and fuzzy. Repairable with a little sand paper.
I was disappointed. The first cut was neat and clean.
I suspect the router bit.
Any observations or recommendations?
DT
All just for fun!
 
Hi,

Quality of the cut depends on several factors: bit quality, proper bit, depth of cut, bit rotation speed and passing speed. Any mismatching of these parameters might give a rough cut.

I strongly recommend to invest little money in this book:
The New Router Handbook

This book helped me a lot when I was starting.

Also, I buy my bits from MLCS Router Bits and Woodworking Products, good value from money.

:)
 
Baltic birch eats up the edge of a router bit faster than just about anything. The adhesive used to bond the plies is very hard. You can shift the bit up or down to prevent grooving, but your best bet is to buy a bit with the hardest carbide available.

John
 
Look at WoodCraft.com for bits and hints and tips.

If you try to cut too much too fast, you are doomed to fail. I learned that the hard way with a 3" dia. raised panel bit.

If your router is variable speed then slow it down and cut your hole in several passes.

The harder the material, the slower you have to go. MFD cuts like butter, Hardwood plywood, not much so.


Good luck
Brian
 
Dual Triode,
When cutting any materials with glue in them you are going to create tremendous heat. Hole saws in MDF is a prime example. Most of the good router bits will work continuously in natural wood fibers but add in some adhesive and all goes to hell rapidly.
I have found aside from the above excellent responses, ie very good quality carbide bits, is to carefully gauge how hot the bit is getting and give it a rest. You will smell when it is time to back off. It is the heat that causes most premature wear. It also helps if you have a router which is equipped with multiple speeds. Most commercial shaper tables do not spin anywhere near as fast as a hand router and they perform superbly.
Good commercial woodshop router bits are very expensive not at all like what you find at Home Depot and Lowes or for that matter Harbor Freight.

Tad
 
Hello,
Thanks for all the good feedback guys.
Hardwood is a bigger challenge.
Add glue it is more difficult.
Down cutting spiral bits cut cleaner.
Heat is the enemy.
Buy quality.
Travel speed is critical.
Depth of cut too.
I am not clear on RPM’s, I have the impression that RPM is more about tip speed than rate of cutting. (large shaper tools turn slower to not over speed the tip?) Rate is more about depth of cut and travel speed?
DT
All just for fun!
 
Hello,

I am not clear on RPM’s, I have the impression that RPM is more about tip speed than rate of cutting. (large shaper tools turn slower to not over speed the tip?) Rate is more about depth of cut and travel speed?
DT
All just for fun!

Think of drilling steel as compared to aluminum. If you go high speed on steel you will get small chips and dull your bit quickly, but a softer metal is easier to drill at higher speeds. This holds true with wood also. The wood will just end up burning.

Also, it is easier to cut 1/4 deep at a time rather than 3/4, so a couple of passes may help as well.

One more thing, don't forget to travel in the opposite direction of the bits rotation. If you go with the bit, the router will 'Grab and Go', which can cause loss of control and there are chances that the bit may bind and shatter.

Good luck

Brian
 
A Fine Woodworking tool guide from 2009 lists Eagle and Whiteside as being tied for tops in their tests, with Lee Valley coming in next. They cut 100 ft of MDF then cut hardwood and judged the quality of the cut. All bits got dull to some extent. The Freud did good, and held up well in MDF. I have used the Freud up-spiral bit and so far its ok (not the smoothest cuts I have made). Only a few cuts so far with it so its too soon to tell. I bought it because it was cheap and I was already at the hardware store.
 
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