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Forum topic by itsme_timd posted 12-12-2007 08:12 PM 3394 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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itsme_timd

688 posts in 2526 days


12-12-2007 08:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak maple router shaping

I’m having some issues with my router. I thought at first it was ‘user related’ but I think I’ve got some other issues.

I have a Skil router (I know) and a Skil bit set (I KNOW!) and I’m not sure if my issue is my router or bits. The router is 1 3/4 HP – 25,000 RPM.

I’ve tried a few pieces (maple and oak mostly) and they are very ‘choppy’ when routing. Pieces won’t slide smoothly across the bit, I’ve tried adjsuting the depth as I thought I might be trying to do to much, but that didn’t help.

Today I was using a 1/4” straight bit to notch some handles in the side of a jewelry box tray and it felt like I had a dinner fork in the router instead. It grabbed the wood and really yanked it – it will cut OK for a second and then ‘bite’ the wood and yank it around.

Would a better set of bits help? I’ve just bought a bunch of tools and would really prefer not to buy another router just yet. It feels to me like the bits aren’t cutting properly – the router doesn’t seem to be binding or losing speed from what I can tell.

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA


17 replies so far

View knothead's profile

knothead

154 posts in 2644 days


#1 posted 12-12-2007 08:26 PM

I Bought a Skill Brand 1825 Plunge router that has SOooooooooo much runout in the shaft that it breaks bits off at the collet nut, I thought the first one was just a defective porter cable brand bit and I contacted them and to their credit they mailed me not one replacement but two, well very next time I used the router to profile an edge, while on the second light cut the bit snapped off again, just missed me when it went sailing by my right ear. there will NEVER be another Skill brand tool in my shop, sucked it up and spent the money on a good Porter Cable router and never looked back (the Skill router hangs by it’s tail in the corner of the shop to remind me about buying cheap to “Save Money”)

I think, based on my experience that your choppy cuts are probably the routers fault as that product line is no better than junk. It is possible, however that your bits are contributing to your problems here but I doubt it as you might have noticed above I was using higher quality bits and still had a potentially dangerous failure not once but twice with the same router and different bits. The run out in my router was in the neighborhood of 0.006” (which is huge at 24,000 rpm and while pressing a bit tight to your work surface)- glad I wasn’t hurt and I learned that you truly do get what you pay for.

-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --

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SPalm

4854 posts in 2578 days


#2 posted 12-12-2007 08:28 PM

Why not try a really good bit and see if it helps? You will be able to use it on a new router if that is not the problem anway. Whiteside brand bits are really good. You can get them at routerbits.com and other places. I can not state enough how a good quality bit makes a difference. Just like table saw blades.

I hope that was not a 1 1/4” wide bit that you mentioned (but rather a 1 1/4” long bit). If you ever use this wide of a bit, you need to slow your rpm speed down.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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brunob

2275 posts in 2865 days


#3 posted 12-12-2007 08:44 PM

I go with the router too. Had one Skill tool once for a brief time. Ended up in the recycle bin.

-- Bruce from Central New York...now, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

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itsme_timd

688 posts in 2526 days


#4 posted 12-12-2007 09:00 PM

Thanks for the input. I’ll try a new bit and see, if not I’ll invest in a better router.

Steve – the bit was 1/4” wide, I mistakenly added the extra inch!

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2570 days


#5 posted 12-12-2007 09:04 PM

Tim D – I looked at your user home page, and it says you are a newbie woodworker. I don’t want this to sound condescending in any way because this is something I got wrong when I first started using a table mounted router, and I didn’t have anyone to tell me what I was doing wrong.

Your symptoms sound like they could be caused by incorrect feed direction. If you feed your work the wrong way across the bit, or if you trap the workpiece between the bit and the fence, you can have a decent cut for a moment and then … HANG ON!!!

In most cases, only part of the bit profile should be in front of the fence, and the workpiece should be moved across the table from right to left, like this:
Router Feed Direction Sketch

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

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itsme_timd

688 posts in 2526 days


#6 posted 12-12-2007 09:13 PM

Peter, I was wondering about that as well but I am feeding as you graphic indicates.

I didn’t take this as condescending at all. I know that when you start something new it’s sometimes the simple things that get ya’ – and having LJ folks to help is why I’m here!

Thanks!

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2995 days


#7 posted 12-12-2007 10:16 PM

Peter, Your diagram doesn’t show the rotation of the bit. If right it should be counter clockwise.

Feed right to left in table, left to right hand held.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

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itsme_timd

688 posts in 2526 days


#8 posted 12-12-2007 11:12 PM

So, if using a table router, do I want the bit to be rotating towards the workpiece?
And when using handheld I should move the router in the same direction as bit rotation?

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2570 days


#9 posted 12-12-2007 11:57 PM

Dick – you are right, I didn’t indicate rotation, I made an assumption … but are there routers which turn the other direction? I haven’t come across any, although at one time I had a spiral bit with the cutters on the wrong side – it took me a while to figure out why that thing wouldn’t cut! There are some exceptions to the “right to left in table, left to right in hand” rule, but I won’t confuse the issue!

Tim D – as a rule, rotating cutting tools should work “against” the workpiece (or the workpiece against the cutter). Think about a tablesaw – if you were to feed the workpiece in from the back of the saw (with the rotation, instead of against it) the blade would grab into your workpiece and hurl it across the room (don’t try this at home). Same for a router. When the router is in a table, moving the workpiece right to left is going against the rotation of the bit. When the router is handheld, moving the router left to right over the workpiece is working against the rotation of the bit. Going the other direction is called a “climb cut” and it has very limited usefullness and is generally to be avoided (scary).

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2995 days


#10 posted 12-13-2007 12:03 AM

when the router is turned over in the hand held position, the rotation is Clockwise, so feed left to right into the work piece.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2570 days


#11 posted 12-13-2007 12:38 AM

Okay, I said I wouldn’t confuse the issue – and I won’t. But it’s killing me!

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2995 days


#12 posted 12-13-2007 01:59 AM

Peter, We must have posted at the exact same time.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1044 posts in 2764 days


#13 posted 12-13-2007 03:36 AM

My first router was a Skil fixed base that sounds similar to your’s (if not the same one). It was decent to learn on, but having used better routers now, I realize that the difference is pretty big. Vibration, control, adjustments, they all seem to be more fluid with the mid to high level routers. Bits are much the same way. I bought a set of a couple dozen or so bits for about $1 a piece from a “no name” generic maker. I would have tear out, burning, and control issues. I’ve gradually picked up 5 or 6 nice bits so far and they are very nice. Much less sanding if any. It seems the 1/2” shanks create more control as well. I think your Skil might be decent in a table, but not so much freehand. I’d dedicate it to a flush bit in a table somewhere.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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mski

412 posts in 2676 days


#14 posted 12-13-2007 05:37 AM

I love my cheap tools but when I need a tool that spins that fast and puts out that kind of power I buy the best I can afford, Skill tools are up there with Harbor Freight.
Combine that with $2 router bits and your in for endless frustration or injury like above post.
A Porter Cable or Milwaukee and many other good names are not that much more, and they will last a hobby WW forever and beyond.

-- MARK IN BOB, So. CAL

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Hawgnutz

526 posts in 2772 days


#15 posted 12-13-2007 06:18 AM

Peter, My first router was a Skil 1825, or such, with a set of bits from Ebay. It was great to learn on, but quality is the best! Cneck out this site for good, reconditioned tools: www.toolking.com. I got a Porter Cable 690 variable speed router with both the fixed and plunge base for about $150.00. I love it, too! They also have Dewalts at really reasonable prices. Look for a set that has a D-handle. That seems to be the best for handheld routing!

Like they all tell you, there is no savings in “cheap” tools. I usually buy my router bits from Mlcswoodworking.com. They have good quality and free shipping. Their customer service is pretty good, too, if on the off chance you get some material that you are unhappy with.

You can also check with Woodcraft: www.woodcraft.com for their “bargain” router bits. Theyt usually offer a different one every month, usually a Whiteside, but also have special sales of their own brand of bits for only $5.00 a piece, about this time of the year. Their “bargain” bits are usually 1/2 inch, which is prefered over the 1/4” shank.

I hope this helps.

God Bless,
Hawg

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

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