Is it me? Router bit performance question

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Forum topic by rut posted 04-23-2012 05:40 PM 1413 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rut's profile


62 posts in 2408 days

04-23-2012 05:40 PM

I’m moving along on my new kitchen cabinets. I do seem to have a problem when routing my rails and stiles.

I’m using hard maple lumber and a new set of Sommerfeld bits.

My problem seems to be occasional tear out or even some chipping. I’ve tried reducing the amount of material I remove. I’m up to 4 passes now before the final cut of about 1/8”

Do I need to make even more shallower passes or is it time I start suspecting something else?
Also, I know the larger the bit the slower it should spin. I don’t know what speed I’m setting the router. It is an Hitachi with a dial labeled 1-6. I’m probably about on 3-4.


5 replies so far

View ELCfinefurniture's profile


112 posts in 2346 days

#1 posted 04-24-2012 01:12 AM

Hard Maple can be tricky to work with. For good result you need an extremely sharp edge and you need to watch your grain direction.
Take some scraps and try even shallower passes and also try different feed rates on your end. You will find somthing that works.

-- {Current North Bennet street school student}

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2952 days

#2 posted 04-24-2012 01:58 AM

The other thing you could try is a climb cut (wrong direction) with a 1/16 or less bite on your final pass.

If 6 is your top speed, I would slow down the router a bit, and as was said, try it on a scrap or two.

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

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#3 posted 04-24-2012 02:15 AM

You don’t say what kind of cut your making? If you are making a cut across the grain you will need to have a backer board to reduce blow out.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2603 days

#4 posted 04-24-2012 06:25 AM

A backer will pretty much eliminate tearout; much more so than router speed or cutter sharpness.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2332 days

#5 posted 04-24-2012 12:11 PM

I used hard maple for my kitchen cabinets, I did two passes on all the rails & stiles with Freud bits and a backer board to prevent tear out. The first few I had a little scorching on the wood, once I adjusted the router speed everything was good. Router speed, sharp bits and an even steady pass should clear up an problems. I have a Dewalt router that I had set around 4, any faster and it would scorch the wood, and as Jim said with the backer board, I had 0 tear out using that.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

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