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Guide Bearing for Slot Cutter

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Forum topic by Steve posted 09-21-2018 03:47 PM 321 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve

74 posts in 1159 days


09-21-2018 03:47 PM

I frequently need to cut 1/4” deep by 1/4” wide slots in half-inch stock for the frames of small jewelry cabinet doors. I use a 1/4” slot cutter mounted in my router table with a fence, but there’s a lot of trial and error in getting the depth set right.

I’d love to find a cutter with a bearing to control the depth but can’t seem to find one that fits my application. (They all seem to stop short of the minimal depth I need.) I even chatted with a Bosch rep via their website—and still came up empty.

Seems like a simple thing to find—hoping that someone here has already found (or put together) the tool I need and provide some guidance.

~Steve

-- ~Steve


13 replies so far

View sras's profile

sras

4886 posts in 3278 days


#1 posted 09-21-2018 04:02 PM

This example is likely overkill but this is the general idea of what should work.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

6298 posts in 1287 days


#2 posted 09-21-2018 05:29 PM

Do you always cut the same depth? If so, I’d make a jig to set your router fence at the same location each time. Alternatively, if you have a lathe, you could get some UHMW stock and turn your own bearing(s) to the exact size you need.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Steve's profile

Steve

74 posts in 1159 days


#3 posted 09-21-2018 05:49 PM


Do you always cut the same depth? If so, I d make a jig to set your router fence at the same location each time. Alternatively, if you have a lathe, you could get some UHMW stock and turn your own bearing(s) to the exact size you need.

- HokieKen

Hadn’t thought of turning a bearing myself—an interesting idea. I assume you bore the inside to fit over an existing bearing?

-- ~Steve

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

7205 posts in 3517 days


#4 posted 09-21-2018 06:16 PM

Here my answer to what I believe you are asking ….
Why use a bearing, just set the depth of cut with the fence!
Many time I ignore the bearing on profile cuts, may even remove it, and use the fence for my depth of cut setting.

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

View Rich's profile

Rich

3668 posts in 738 days


#5 posted 09-21-2018 06:31 PM

Unless you need repeatability down below maybe 0.01”, take a 12” piece of stock, cut the groove the depth you need and then use it to set the depth each time. Just turn the bit so one tooth is 90º to the shaft, press the template to the fence and move back until the tooth bottoms out in the slot.

Using an extremely hard wood like ipe or some other high Janka species will minimize any denting in the template for the best accuracy.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Steve's profile

Steve

74 posts in 1159 days


#6 posted 09-21-2018 07:14 PM


Here my answer to what I believe you are asking ….
Why use a bearing, just set the depth of cut with the fence!
Many time I ignore the bearing on profile cuts, may even remove it, and use the fence for my depth of cut setting.

- oldnovice

This is basically the method I currently use, and while I don’t mind using a fence for many applications, in this case, I’d prefer a bearing.

I make a lot of these door frames from #2 walnut (lots of knots and irregularities), slotting long pieces that will eventually be cut down to 12” or 6”. Even with a tight featherboard, a bend in the workpiece can force it away from the cutter, leaving a long stretch with inadequate depth. A bearing allows me to work to a single point and cut down on waste.

~Steve

-- ~Steve

View jbay's profile

jbay

2681 posts in 1048 days


#7 posted 09-21-2018 07:14 PM

I would sacrifice a router and put it into a small table and keep it set just for that.

Otherwise it really isn’t that hard to set it. Make a test cut and re adjust as necessary, only should take a couple of tries, and a few minutes to do.

View theart's profile

theart

49 posts in 703 days


#8 posted 09-21-2018 07:35 PM

MLCS caries a bearing for their three wing slot cutter that will do a 1/4” depth.

View Steve's profile

Steve

74 posts in 1159 days


#9 posted 09-21-2018 07:52 PM


MLCS caries a bearing for their three wing slot cutter that will do a 1/4” depth.

- theart

Thanks, this is perfect! How is it I’ve never heard of this company? Ordering their catalog ASAP.

~Steve

-- ~Steve

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

6298 posts in 1287 days


#10 posted 09-21-2018 07:57 PM


Do you always cut the same depth? If so, I d make a jig to set your router fence at the same location each time. Alternatively, if you have a lathe, you could get some UHMW stock and turn your own bearing(s) to the exact size you need.

- HokieKen

Hadn t thought of turning a bearing myself—an interesting idea. I assume you bore the inside to fit over an existing bearing?

- Steve

I would just make it to fit the bit shank where the bearing normally goes. If you use a hard wearing but smooth plastic like UHMW, it should last quite a while before wearing down. Just turn a handful at the same time and you’ll have many years supply. If you PM me the dimensions (ID, OD and width), I have stock and will be glad to turn you several on my metal lathe to get them precise.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

489 posts in 1643 days


#11 posted 09-22-2018 03:56 AM

Whiteside sells what you seek:
https://www.whitesiderouterbits.com/collections/slotting-cutters/products/6710b
Need a 6710 slot cutter, arbor, and B26 bearing.

If you order the extra long arbor, you can use 2 bearings, one top and one bottom to add flexibility in setup.
Having a router bearing assortment pack on had is really nice. Makes repairs during project easy with no waiting for order to arrive. I order my Whiteside bits from Hartville tool due generous wood net discount and free shipping.

Amana has similar slot cutter and bearing sizes too. Haven’t looked but would be shocked if you could not buy proper bearing for 1/4 inch cut depth from every router bit mfg that sells slot cutter. It is commonly used.

PS – Double shielded bearings are easy to obtain. If current arbor is long enough to add one, just buy proper sized ID/OD bearing. Most all of router bit suppliers have long list available for individual purchase, if you are not able get any locally.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View Steve's profile

Steve

74 posts in 1159 days


#12 posted 09-22-2018 02:24 PM


Haven t looked but would be shocked if you could not buy proper bearing for 1/4 inch cut depth from every router bit mfg that sells slot cutter. It is commonly used.

This is what I thought, too, but I couldn’t even get the Bosch rep to understand what I needed, much less have them point me in the direction of the right bit.

Sounds like I’m not tapped into the right tool suppliers. Thanks for the info!

~Steve

-- ~Steve

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

489 posts in 1643 days


#13 posted 09-23-2018 08:23 AM



Sounds like I m not tapped into the right tool suppliers. Thanks for the info!
- Steve

Router bit suppliers – FWIW:

Fine Woodworking has done a couple of router bit comparison articles [#191–May/June 2007 & #137-Jul/Aug 1999]. Highly suggest you read these articles.
Before I knew difference between quality router bit and cheap off shore produced bits, I picked up router bits from many, many sources. After using best rated bits by FWW, my experience mostly aligned with the top bits they scored.

Canadian woodworking [Dec/Jan 2011] did a router bit review, but left out the top bits from FWW tests, so it’s hard to compare the results to each other. I think the Freud quad edge bits might score better than 10 year old article results on 2 edge profile bit tested. Although I find Freud aggressive profile cutting angles can create tear out on highly figured wood, that requires use of vastly different speed/feed rates from other bits to get best cut?
Hopefully some one will make another comparison test at FWW again soon.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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