Getting a Good Cut with Large Diameter Router Bits?
Michael Dresdner & Rob Johnstone
Q. This woodworker is having trouble getting a good cut with his very large diameter router bits (architectural) and wants tips on controlling the wood as he runs it across.
Michael Dresdner: "Bear in mind that the tips on very large bits are going quite fast. Given the same number of revolutions per minute (RPM), the tip of a large bit travels much farther in the same amount of time than the tip of a small bit. It is not uncommon to get burning in these cases. Try slowing the bit down. If your router does not have adjustable speeds, you can get an inexpensive speed controller from most woodworking supply catalogs."
Rob Johnstone: "Control is often an illusion, but speed is controllable. And speed is the key to safe and accurate large bit operation. With very large diameter router bits you need to slow down your router (a rule of thumb is start at 60% of your routers full speed setting). If your router does not have a variable speed control option, there are after market controls sold in catalogs.
The next speed issue is how fast you feed the material into or across the bit. Once you have the router bit turning at a proper speed, the feed rate is best adjusted by ear. You'll soon learn what your router sounds like when it is cutting efficiently.
The final piece of advice is to take off just a bit of material at a time."
This article originally appeared in the Woodworker's Journal eZine.
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Copyright; 2010 Woodworker's Journal
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