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Forum topic by Gary Scoville posted 08-31-2014 07:19 PM 921 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gary Scoville

27 posts in 987 days


08-31-2014 07:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router bit bearing crosscut sled question tip router modern

This may sound like a strange question to some, but, what is the difference in a router bit having a bearing on the top of the bit or the bottom of it? If you have’t figured it out yet, ya, I’m new to this trade. There’s allot to learn. I’m just in the process of making my first “crosscut” sled. I got the runners installed, now I’m working on the front and rear fence’s. Sorry, I sort of crossed over topics. Anyway, thanks in advance for the input. Later.

-- Gary Torrington, CT


7 replies so far

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1772 days


#1 posted 08-31-2014 07:32 PM

Here’s another one for you. Router bit with bearing on top and bottom.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1713 posts in 1646 days


#2 posted 08-31-2014 07:39 PM

You use them differently. For example, if you’re routing a mortise with a template, you’d use a pattern bit (bearing at the base of the shaft). You couldn’t do the same thing with a flush-trim bit (bearing at the end of the bit).

If you are just routing an outline, you can use either type. All that would change is whether the template is placed on top of the piece or the bottom.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3937 posts in 1956 days


#3 posted 08-31-2014 07:39 PM

Typically the ones with the bearing on the shank end of the cutters are called “pattern bits”, while the ones with bearings on the bottom are more often called “flush trim” bits. They do the same thing: follow a template of sorts to cut the workpiece in a perfect match. With the pattern bits, the template will always be between the router and the workpiece; with the flush trim, the workpiece will always be between the router and the template. The pattern bits are useful if you are not wanting to cut all the way through the piece, where a flush trim will always have to be long enough (cutter length) to span the work piece. Some are made with both bearings, which can be useful is you have wild grain. You can flip the workpiece/template to be able to always cut “downhill”.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Gary Scoville

27 posts in 987 days


#4 posted 09-01-2014 04:44 AM

Great, that tells me allot more then I knew before. Now, how do I know what size router bit to use? I know that the 1/2” shank is better, but the sizes got me stumped too. I hope you all don’t mind all the questions, I find that for me, having it explained to me is much easier to understand. So let me just say thank you in advance to everyone on here.

-- Gary Torrington, CT

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3937 posts in 1956 days


#5 posted 09-01-2014 12:48 PM

Well, it may depend on what you’re doing…you can’t cut a 3/8” mortise with a 1/2” bit. But for these types of bits, I’d be sure to stay with the 1/2” shank as you’ve surmised. Sometimes the length you need dictates the size, often the longer bits only come in the larger sizes. Some cuts (like an opening for a router plate) need a certain radius, another consideration….......................but mostly, just choose the one you want (you’ll wind up with most of the sizes eventually). In tough situations (long cut, very hard wood) you might find a 3/4” will cut more smoothly. But typically you are only removing 1/16” or so with these bits, because you removed most of the waste with a bandsaw, jigsaw, or something first. I actually have one that’s 1 1/2” diameter with 2” long cutters, it only works in the largest router I have, but it’s also the smoothest cutting bit I have.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1193 days


#6 posted 09-01-2014 02:24 PM

Router size is important in choosing what bits you can use. Small laminate trimmers are designed for 1/4” flush trim bits. You can get away with doing short run routing jobs, but the router heats up pretty fast if the cut is over 1/4” deep x 1/2” wide.
Get yourself a router with at least a good quality 2 hp rating or more, and you should be good to go for a long time. Stay away from routers and tools that are cheap, like what you see in the big boxes. They are throw away tools, and not worth the savings…..... I will not name tool brands as that is a personal preference on the tools I own, and others have their own preference to their tools. ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Gary Scoville's profile

Gary Scoville

27 posts in 987 days


#7 posted 09-03-2014 03:50 AM

Well, thank to all you guys. I now know more about sizes too. I guess I got allot to learn in front of me. I just got my new cranks for my Jointer that a friend made and they are awesome! The cranks were both broken when I got the Jointer. Both were made of billet steel. I must say thank you to my friend Doughy. Again, thank you to everyone who replied. I’m sure I’ll have lots more question in the future.

-- Gary Torrington, CT

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