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Router Bits in a CNC machine?

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Forum topic by GOSSIMER posted 10-27-2017 05:52 AM 627 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GOSSIMER

23 posts in 64 days


10-27-2017 05:52 AM

Has anyone tried using router bits in their CNC? I’m new to this, so I’m just wondering.


13 replies so far

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Mainiac Matt

7447 posts in 2161 days


#1 posted 10-27-2017 11:04 AM

essentially…. cutters are cutters… whether you call them router bits or cnc bits or cutters….

to my mind the considerations are that the CNC will:
1. potentially cut a lot more.
2. be blind to burning and chatter if not monitored.
3. push harder rather than back off and see what’s wrong.

That said, we mainly use solid carbide cutters in our CNC at work. Spiral ups, spiral downs, and compression bits.

We have a couple bits with brazed on carbide edges (a panel cutter and a chamfer bit), as these big boys are not really available in solid carbide.

Then we have one face cutting bit with indexable carbide inserts that we use to mill the spoil board.

The only non-carbide bits we use are a couple of spur drill bits.

Hope this helps.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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GOSSIMER

23 posts in 64 days


#2 posted 10-27-2017 12:35 PM

It does, thanks! Goss

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MickNM

8 posts in 92 days


#3 posted 10-31-2017 01:06 PM

The one no no is using bits with guide bearings. Never do that.

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GOSSIMER

23 posts in 64 days


#4 posted 10-31-2017 04:09 PM

OK, what about without?

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DS

2819 posts in 2253 days


#5 posted 10-31-2017 04:26 PM

Using basic carbide tipped bits can be done, but, as mentioned, extra care is warranted to avoid pitfalls.

Maximum spindle speeds should be observed and the cut should be monitored for any issues.
Carbide tipped bits can heat up quickly and suffer permanent damage. (There’s nothing quite like flying carbide shrapnel to wake you up in the morning)
Otherwise, there aren’t too many problems using them this way.

Mostly solid carbide is the order of the day whenever possible. Usually basic router bits are used for special profiles and such and used in a limited fashion.

If you need a profile to do a lot of heavy lifting, consider getting the profile made in solid carbide, or, insert tooling that will much better endure the rigors that a CNC will put upon a router bit.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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GOSSIMER

23 posts in 64 days


#6 posted 10-31-2017 04:43 PM

Makes sense. Thanks for the input!

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oldnovice

6419 posts in 3200 days


#7 posted 11-30-2017 02:27 AM

If you follow the guidelines for a given cutter, you can exchange router bits and milling cutters as needed.
I use both/either in my Shopbot Buddy.
I tend to use my router bits more often than milling cutters as I am more familiar with the feeds and speeds.
One advantage router bits have is that most of them are not twisted and will not pull up the work from the spoil board.
My favorite cutter is an Onrud 52-910 spiral upcut but the upward spiral will pull thin stock off of the spoil board unless you have a vacuum hold down, but the results with this cutter are outstanding.
The one gotcha is making sure that when plunging into work make sure that the router bit can plunge, if the bit is not a plunge bit then you will need to ramp in to the work.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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GOSSIMER

23 posts in 64 days


#8 posted 11-30-2017 04:17 AM

Good to know, thanks for the info.

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ArtMann

677 posts in 649 days


#9 posted 11-30-2017 10:54 PM

I have never used anything else but router bits as cutters.

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GOSSIMER

23 posts in 64 days


#10 posted 12-01-2017 02:40 AM

That’s encouraging!

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DS

2819 posts in 2253 days


#11 posted 12-04-2017 06:03 PM

Not all CNC machines will put a gianormous load on your bits.
A hobby machine may never need more than carbide tipped bits.

An industrial machine could have a 12hp spindle on it..

P.S. I used the Laguna example as a nod to DW – I even called it an industrial machine ;-)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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GOSSIMER

23 posts in 64 days


#12 posted 12-04-2017 10:28 PM

What do you think of the Laguna HQ?

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DS

2819 posts in 2253 days


#13 posted 12-04-2017 10:51 PM

I’m not familiar with a Laguna HQ machine. The IQ in the post above is one that Desert Woodworker (DW) has and he is in love with it. Apparently, it’s a good hobby level machine, though, perhaps similar, competitor’s machines may cost a little less.

My general opinion of Laguna machines can be read in this other thread here
I suppose I went on a bit of a rant about the ongoing issues I am having with Laguna.

In my opinion, Laguna has good customer support while your product is in vogue. But, once they come out with a bigger, better model than the one you own, your product becomes a dog that won’t hunt anymore and they treat you like you have a contagious disease.

Of course, YMMV, but, I have only ever worked with one Laguna CNC machine in my career and I witnessed the transition first hand. I can only tell you about my experience with them.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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