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Best router speed for dovetailing

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Forum topic by keninblaine posted 211 days ago 566 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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keninblaine

128 posts in 233 days


211 days ago

I’m making a second attempt to make dovetail joints in 1/2” baltic birch plywood. I just acquired a variable speed PC router. Does anyone know the best speed for using 14 degree 3/4” dovetail bits?

-- Ken, Blaine Washington


11 replies so far

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2869 posts in 1118 days


#1 posted 211 days ago

Slower is better. You are using a backer board aren’t you? If not the plywood will blow out.

Good Luck.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View bladeburner's profile

bladeburner

88 posts in 1718 days


#2 posted 211 days ago

You picked a tough board to start on, but I agree with Dallas. See if 12k will cut w/o chatter. At any rate…Good Luck and try to keep a sense of humor!

View keninblaine's profile

keninblaine

128 posts in 233 days


#3 posted 211 days ago

Thanks guys. I’m going to have a board clamped to both sides, and will try 12000 rpm. Wasn’t sure if it was better to go faster or slower on bit speed.

-- Ken, Blaine Washington

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1850 posts in 2192 days


#4 posted 211 days ago

I disagree. With that size bit, you should go as fast as you can but feed real slow.

The most important thing is to use a really sharp bit.

-- Joe

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keninblaine

128 posts in 233 days


#5 posted 211 days ago

ajosephg: My intuition told me that faster would be better. I’ll experiment on some scraps and see what works best on my wood. Thanks.

-- Ken, Blaine Washington

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2279 days


#6 posted 211 days ago

speed should be related to router bit size, not application. usually with router bits you want to run them as fast as possible – with the exception (and this is where you’d want to slow things down) of large bits such as raised panel and the likes which would benefit from slower speed due to a larger cutter area and much much higher cutter speed at it’s widest point.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View teejk's profile

teejk

1208 posts in 1315 days


#7 posted 211 days ago

Are you using a jig? If so I think I have to agree with Joe. My Leigh has gotten a lot use lately and I think I have (finally) figured out the proper technique using my single speed PC 690’s to avoid chip-out. I learned to “sneak-up” on any of the cuts so more like “shaving” than “cutting”. The bits stay pretty sharp but periodic cleaning to remove pitch works wonders (carb cleaner and a light touch against the wire brush is what I do).

View keninblaine's profile

keninblaine

128 posts in 233 days


#8 posted 211 days ago

Thanks guys. BTW, I received my PC 892 router today. My 1 3/16” router guide (5/8”) won’t fit in the base since the hole is over 2” in diameter. Is it possible to get guides that will fit this base?

-- Ken, Blaine Washington

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ajosephg

1850 posts in 2192 days


#9 posted 211 days ago

Sounds like you don’t have a sub-base for the router

http://www.rockler.com/guide-bushing-router-plate

-- Joe

View keninblaine's profile

keninblaine

128 posts in 233 days


#10 posted 211 days ago

ahosephg: yeah, I figured that out a short while ago, and ordered one on line tonight.

Thanks

-- Ken, Blaine Washington

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3334 posts in 1444 days


#11 posted 211 days ago

I use speed 4.5/6 on my Dewalt 618 for cutting 14 degree dovetails. Too slow will bog down the motor, and too fast can leave some chipout. I never run it at full tilt for dovetails. I slow dovetails down because dovetails must be cut in a single pass.
I wouldn’t use plywood for dovetails though. I think you will have better luck with solid wood like poplar.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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