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Proper Router Bit Usage

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Forum topic by CoolDavion posted 01-12-2008 03:58 AM 2964 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CoolDavion

435 posts in 3973 days


01-12-2008 03:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I was using my router, and I was obviously doing something wrong.

During use I notices smoke, not just wood coming from the bit.
I stopped and looked at the bit. It is all discolored around the bottom (are that was in contact with the wood).

Was I going too fast, too deep?
I would like to learn from my mistakes, so your advice would be greatly apreashiated.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!


13 replies so far

View JasonH's profile

JasonH

136 posts in 3977 days


#1 posted 01-12-2008 04:00 AM

Sounds like you may have been working the bit too hard. Too much of a deep cut. Can you describe exactly what you were doing—bit used, wood type, cut made—at the time of the smoking?

-- Living on the square...

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CoolDavion

435 posts in 3973 days


#2 posted 01-12-2008 04:03 AM

It was a 3/4” straight bit in Memamine. Routing against a fence.

About 3/8” deep. Which I’m thinking was the root of the problem.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

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JasonH

136 posts in 3977 days


#3 posted 01-12-2008 04:07 AM

That’s my guess…too deep. In my experience, the synthetic materials have had a tendency to generate a heckuva lot of heat when being cut by rotary tools…

Also, were you going very slowly?

-- Living on the square...

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 4137 days


#4 posted 01-12-2008 04:23 AM

I would try to take it in muiltple passes also.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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CoolDavion

435 posts in 3973 days


#5 posted 01-12-2008 04:30 AM

Does anybody know of a rule/guide to go by to determin how deep of a pass to make with a perticular type of bit/cut?

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

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GaryK

10262 posts in 4137 days


#6 posted 01-12-2008 04:39 AM

From what I hear you usually take the bit diameter divided by 2 and that the max depth of cut.
That’s just a rule of thumb. The variables are wood type, bit speed (for variable speed routers)
and speed you take your cut.

My rule is that if you feel like you’re fighting with the router you are taking too big a cut. Let the router
do the work.

Hope this helps.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10266 posts in 4201 days


#7 posted 01-12-2008 06:12 AM

It’s easy to also go TOO SLOW for the cut…

3/8” doesn’t sound really deep to me…

What kind of wood was it?

Try reducing the dept to say 1/4” and during the cut, really push things along a little…

Two bits, the smoke will go away and you’ll get a better cut… (pun intended :D )

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

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Karson

35134 posts in 4549 days


#8 posted 01-12-2008 06:26 AM

Cherry burns if you cut it too slow. Cut faster and it keeps the bit cooler. The hear is transferred to the sawdust.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1064 posts in 4217 days


#9 posted 01-12-2008 07:02 AM

Melamine is brutal. Tough on even the best cutters. If that is the only stock that “smokes”, it is probably a heavy pass in a tough material.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4463 days


#10 posted 01-12-2008 07:08 AM

Too deep a cut. Sounds like your bit might be dull.

View Blake's profile

Blake

3443 posts in 4023 days


#11 posted 01-12-2008 08:40 AM

You probably just need a new or sharpened router bit. Dull and dirty bits, knives, and blades are hard on your motors and can ruin your tools as well as your work. Cheap router bits are not worth using for very long. I have been trying to replace mine bit by bit as I can afford it, starting with the most used.

-- Happy woodworking!

View LONGHAIR's profile

LONGHAIR

94 posts in 3963 days


#12 posted 01-12-2008 03:13 PM

Clearing out the chips is a huge factor. From your discription, it sounds like you are routing dados, for shelves in cabinet sides. If so, you have several factors that cause heat build-up. The depth of cut in a “trapped” cut is part of it. Chips packing up behind the cut get worse as the length of the cut increases. The bit is a factor too. Straight fluted and spiral fluted bit will act very differently. Sharpness of the bit will obviously play into this too. Also, I am assuming carbide, either way…. The actual speed of cut is somewhat determined by these factors.
Reducing any of these factors will definately help.

View CoolDavion's profile

CoolDavion

435 posts in 3973 days


#13 posted 01-12-2008 05:17 PM

I was routing a dado for T-track in a Router Table.

I ended up making several shalow passes to finish up.
The bit was new (but cheap).

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

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