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How to care for router bits?

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Forum topic by KnickKnack posted 08-19-2010 08:56 PM 2609 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KnickKnack

1062 posts in 3031 days


08-19-2010 08:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router bits care maintenance

I’ve just taken delivery of some new router bits. Portugal being something of a backwater for all things “tool”, I’ve had them shipped in from abroad.
Whilst they aren’t the diamond encrusted, gold plated, ultra super duper bits I’ve seen advertised, they weren’t the cheapest “buy 1 get 12 free” either – I’m hoping to be able to cut through, rather than burn through, some wood for a change.

My question is – how do I care for them? After I’ve routed what I want to route, what should I do? I guess I clean them with something, but what? Do I smear some kind of oil on them?
Thanks in advance for any tips to help them last.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."


13 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2539 days


#1 posted 08-20-2010 01:33 AM

I advise you to have some kind of storage system that prevents the bits from hitting each other. A simple board with properly spaced holes is all you need.

Make certain you have the tools to properly sharpen them and make sure you know how to sharpen them. Often they need sharpening when you first get them.

I see no need for oil or any other kind of protection unless they are in an unusually humid area and more prone to rusting. If you put any kind of oil on them, be sure to clean them throughly before using.

Router bits seldom get a pitch build up (like a table saw blade does) but if there is a build of pitch, clean accordingly.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7216 posts in 2840 days


#2 posted 08-20-2010 02:45 AM

...what Rich said!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2596 days


#3 posted 08-20-2010 02:55 AM

Just store them so they can’t bang together. If they get buildup on them, use a blade and bit cleaner.
If they have bearings, get some router bearing lubricant, and use it every time you use the bit.

That’s it.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2405 posts in 2391 days


#4 posted 08-20-2010 03:13 AM

Rich, I have build up on mine, I think it depends on the material used.

I spray mine with that blue can of spray stuff after use…it’s a lubricant and cleaner…cannot think of the name of it.

Will go to the shop and check and post later.

Also I keep mine in their separate little spaces too so they don’t get chipped.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2574 days


#5 posted 08-20-2010 03:41 AM

I guess your first project should be a router bit case, if they didn’t come in one. :^)

Keep looking around, the answer is here.

jusfine- is it CRC brand lubricant and cleaner? Kind of a turquoise color?

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View docholladay's profile

docholladay

1287 posts in 2524 days


#6 posted 08-20-2010 04:33 AM

I purchased an inexpensive fishing tackle box that has plastic dividers to store my router bits in. It keeps them separated, organized and protected from the elements and dust in the shop. It also gives me slots and spaces where I can keep all my little attachments, wrenches and other router accessories. The only time that I have to deal much with pitch is if I am working a lot of pine. I don’t seem to get any pitch build up with hardwoods. The only thing that I can think of that has not been mentioned already is to get a fine diamond hone for doing some very light honing of the edges. Also, if your router is not variable speed, get a router speed control. Keeping the speed as low as is feasible without binding the motor of the router and also taking light cuts instead of overly heavy cuts, your bits will not overheat and they will remain sharp much longer.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2539 days


#7 posted 08-20-2010 04:39 AM

As an FYI – I don’t think I have ever used a router on pine. I almost always work with hardwood so it is somewhat understandable that I have never had a pitch problem. Nonetheless, I appreciate that some have pointed out that pitch can be an issue on router bits.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View KnickKnack's profile

KnickKnack

1062 posts in 3031 days


#8 posted 08-20-2010 01:24 PM

Thanks for the answers.
One follow up – ”router bearing lubricant”. I have about as much chance of finding that here as there is of Andorra winning the 2014 world cup! What kind of oil is that, and what would be a suitable alternative? WD40? Engine oil? 3 in 1 sort of oil? Releasing fluid?
Make that 2 follow ups – ”is it CRC brand lubricant and cleaner? Kind of a turquoise color?” Nothing special is available here, so what might be a suitable alternative? Alcohol (that we do have here!)? Benzine (also available in just about every shop)? Acatone (very cheap here in 1 litre bottles)?

Thanks again.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1551 posts in 2660 days


#9 posted 08-20-2010 02:08 PM

Rich, how do you sharpen router bits? Most of mine are carbide tipped so I’m not sure if those can even really be sharpened without taking off the carbide. Hmmm.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4456 posts in 3425 days


#10 posted 08-20-2010 05:14 PM

Eric, I use a diamond paddle (fine) on the face of my bits. NEVER touch the profile!!!! Just a quick swipe (same number of times on each face).
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1551 posts in 2660 days


#11 posted 08-20-2010 06:36 PM

Thanks.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2596 days


#12 posted 08-21-2010 01:58 AM

Afaik, there’s no oil in the lubricant. You wouldn’t want oil on your wood, would you??

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=5706

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2580 days


#13 posted 08-21-2010 02:46 AM

Karson did posted a good blog on how to maintain and sharpen routerbits
and as I remember allso with carbid tips

http://lumberjocks.com/Karson/blog/17259

hope it will help you and others

have a great weekend
Dennis

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