Plunging a non-plunging straight bit...

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Forum topic by Adamal posted 03-01-2015 06:44 PM 980 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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58 posts in 2028 days

03-01-2015 06:44 PM

I’ve got to cut some 1” long slots in a jig that I’m making. It’s for a box joint jig and the problem is, I don’t have any plunge straight bits. I’ve got a bunch of regular straight bits and I’ve use them for slots before, but only after I’ve cut the initial hole with a drill bit and then drop the piece down onto the router table.

It’s not an exact science and was wondering if there’s a better way to cut these slots without a plunge bit. I only need 1/4” diameter and about 1” long.


7 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4950 posts in 3987 days

#1 posted 03-01-2015 07:10 PM

Why not just buy a plunge bit? That would save some steps in the process.


View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1884 days

#2 posted 03-01-2015 07:14 PM

Even some bits that are meant to plunge, such as a bowl bit don’t do it well. I usually move it forward a bit as I’m plunging which helps it plunge. You may be able to do this with your bit. Or like Bill said, get a bit. The spiral bits are good for this.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View JAAune's profile


1802 posts in 2344 days

#3 posted 03-01-2015 07:54 PM

One of the most useful but silly tricks I learned during my short woodworking internship is that you can in fact plunge with a non-plunge bit. However, I do this with a handheld plunge router and a fence. Basically you just move the router back and forth along the fence while slowly plunging and it’ll plunge with ease.

In the CNC world, this is called “ramping.”

-- See my work at and

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1249 days

#4 posted 03-01-2015 09:42 PM

or you could begin the cut before entering the wood then rise at the end.

-- I meant to do that!

View Adamal's profile


58 posts in 2028 days

#5 posted 03-01-2015 09:48 PM

Thanks all.

I’ll have to buy some plunge bits. The thing is, my usual go-to spot for bits (MLCS) doesn’t have anything smaller than 3/8”. I know Whiteside has them, but I wanted to get this thing done today.

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2138 days

#6 posted 03-01-2015 09:56 PM

try woodline usa (

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View dawsonbob's profile


2886 posts in 1782 days

#7 posted 03-01-2015 10:05 PM

Check Amazon. They have all different types by all the manufacturers. Usually pretty inexpensive, too.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

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