LumberJocks

Router Woes

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by eyflfla posted 12-14-2017 03:35 PM 756 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View eyflfla's profile

eyflfla

8 posts in 309 days


12-14-2017 03:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question carving tool router carving scrollworking

Hi, so I make mazes. I really like carving them into wood. In my teen years I had a great big router and I would naively just haul away on whatever wood was lying around.

Now that I’m older I’m trying to do a better job. I have a dremel 4000 series and a collection of bits but I can’t seem to get a set up that will work.

I think part of the problem is I am trying to carve into a cookie, instead of a board. I got through one side, using a small 1/8” cutter bit and that mostly worked well, though occasionally patches of heart wood gave it trouble and left burn marks. On the other side I am trying to cut larger paths. I had a square router bit that started off great, but I soon ran into trouble. I was burning the wood and the bit. I have one for round channels and it didn’t do much better.

I’ve tried tackling the problem from several angles, shallows cuts, making pilot lines with the cutter bit. None of it works satisfactorily.

Another problem I’ve always run into is that my bits change depth. I think this is because I’m pulling on them sideways all the time. I try to go easy and keep the shaft inserted as deeps as possible, but with the various attachments it’s kind of hard.

I’ve looked around on youtube and it appears a trim router might do what I want, but I don’t see why that would perform any different than my rotary tool. I’m willing to buy one if someone can explain the difference.

I’ve looked at carbide bits, do they make them in the smaller shaft sizes?

I’m looking for any advice on how to work with what I’ve got, or what tools to buy that would definitely work.


12 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2843 posts in 2170 days


#1 posted 12-16-2017 05:35 AM

A trim router will have a lot more power than a Dremel. They take only 1/4” shank bits, but Grizzly has several 1/4” shank bits with 1/8” straight cutters. They will have carbide cutting edges, which will last much longer than the steel bits for the Dremel.

For what you are doing, you might also look at Grizzly’s combination trim router (straight router plus plunge base), for about $80. The plunger is better for the mazes you are cutting (if I understand you correctly). I have one, and I really like it.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4988 posts in 2496 days


#2 posted 12-16-2017 02:12 PM

I’ve looked at carbide bits, do they make them in the smaller shaft sizes?

Carbide bits are readily available in 1/4” shank sizes. Steel bits dull fast, it sounds like a lot of your problems stem from dull bits. Carbide bits will stay sharp 10 times longer.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5070 posts in 4105 days


#3 posted 12-16-2017 02:34 PM

That’s pretty heavy work for a Dremel tool, and they sure do crank out the rpms.
Try a small router as has been suggested.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117234 posts in 3722 days


#4 posted 12-16-2017 02:44 PM

View eyflfla's profile

eyflfla

8 posts in 309 days


#5 posted 12-16-2017 08:15 PM

Yay! Answers!

Thanks friends.

I was starting to suspect some of the advice you’ve given and it’s very nice to have it explained straight out to me and confirmed before I go spend $100 on tools.

What I’ve learned:

The dremel isn’t the right tool for the job. A trim router is.

Steel bits are not strong enough to do the job I want them to do. Carbide is the right way to go, but requires something (Trim Router) that takes a 1/4” shaft.

Here’s what I managed to do with just a dremel and a cutter bit. You can see where it started to leave burn marks in the center. Not the heart, that’s just the wood, but all the little dots below the heart are because my bit was about worn out.

On the reverse side I’ve been trying to do it with 1/4” bit and having a hell of a time. Cuz you’re right, those steel bits don’t hold up.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3173 posts in 3376 days


#6 posted 12-16-2017 09:14 PM



I’ve looked at carbide bits, do they make them in the smaller shaft sizes?

Carbide bits are readily available in 1/4” shank sizes. Steel bits dull fast, it sounds like a lot of your problems stem from dull bits. Carbide bits will stay sharp 10 times longer.

- bondogaposis

+1 What Bondo said. I have several 1/4 inch shank router bits with 1/8th inch end mill – both upcut and down cut. I also bought one that is 1/16th in diamet on a 1/4 inch shank.

Down cut – good for carving plywood up to 1/2 inch deep cut.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KZM3F1E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And upcut
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000K29JK0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

1/16th inch end mill
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M9FF9M4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I use these bits in a Bosch 1617 EVSPK router with a 1/4 inch collet mounted in a CNC.

I also have a compact DeWAlt that has the 1/4 inch collet. It has been a proven performer for me doing handheld operations flush trimming and cutting dadoes in cabinet sides.

Good luck.
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View eyflfla's profile

eyflfla

8 posts in 309 days


#7 posted 12-17-2017 02:42 AM

I bought the dewalt linked above and a carbide bit and couldn’t be happier. It’s exactly everything I was looking for. Thanks again!

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

511 posts in 3102 days


#8 posted 12-17-2017 03:19 AM

@OP -that’s impressive stuff that you’ve created! Well done.

The wide variety of skill and artistic vision is what brings me back to LJ. This place is like an both an artists’ collective and DARPA, and the oddball aspect of woodworking at the heart of this thread is both new to me and the freshest idea that I’ve seen here in a while. Again, OP, well done.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View eyflfla's profile

eyflfla

8 posts in 309 days


#9 posted 12-17-2017 12:33 PM

Really? Huh. Well I’m putting the finishing touches on side 2 today. Maybe I’ll do up a proper post.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10900 posts in 3573 days


#10 posted 12-17-2017 12:45 PM

That is one awesome cookie, my friend. Did you use any kind of pattern?
Now that you’re set up with the router and carbide bit, let’s see more of that carving.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View eyflfla's profile

eyflfla

8 posts in 309 days


#11 posted 12-17-2017 01:13 PM

Nope. Just free handed it. It looks better now that it’s stained, but I got impatient staining the troughs and hit it all with the same color, kind of, so there’s not much contrast. Side 2 will be better.

My dad milled the cookie for me, he’s just got a chainsaw jig and it’s not very even. I hand planed it and sanded it a lot before carving.

I regard just about everything I do as a rough draft and this is no exception. Hopefully he’ll get me a second round of cookies and we’ll do a better job. I’ve got all the tools now. I’ll make a full post on this one some time.

View eyflfla's profile

eyflfla

8 posts in 309 days


#12 posted 12-20-2017 03:48 AM

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com