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Thread: HELP! Router Bit Question

  1. #1
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    HELP! Router Bit Question

    Good morning all!

    I am building drawers for a project and have a question about bit selection for routing slots for the drawer bottoms.

    Perhaps I am not using the proper bit, but when I start the slot, even though I am holding the wood tight to the router fence, there is a lot of aggressive 'stuff' that seems to want to happen. The wood is grabbed and for a short time I nearly lose control. Nothing bad has happened (this was a test piece), but I have one of those little 'don't do that' thoughts. I always listen to those because it means I am heading for disaster. I am even more concerned when I have to plunge the side into the bit for the tail side of the dovetailed drawers.

    What type of bit should I be using? I am using a two flute bit.

    These are small slots (1/8") and are only 1/4" deep, so I am not taking a lot of material out. The drawers are prefinished 1/2" ply from my local wood supplier and are specially made for drawers.

    Thanks for the rookie help. I obviously need it.

    Warren

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren White View Post
    ...even though I am holding the wood tight to the router fence, there is a lot of aggressive 'stuff' that seems to want to happen. The wood is grabbed and for a short time I nearly lose control. ...
    Warren
    Are you feeding the wood right-to-left? If you're not, what you describe is the beginning of a 'climb cut' and the bit is trying to pull the work away from the fence and out of your control.

    Also, try making the cut in two passes. A quarter inch deep cut is a lot to make in one pass with a 1/8" bit. I'm surprised you haven't broken the bit.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    Hi Jim,
    Yes I am feeding it right-to-left, and I am taking the cut in two passes.

    WW

  4. #4
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    How old.."well used" are the bits? Do you see yourself making enough of these cuts to get a new bit?

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    A 2-flute should work OK if you're only going 1/8" deep on each pass. So I'm wondering if you're getting a lot of sawdust still stuck in the slot. Are you scraping or vac'ing it out before the next pass? I use a couple different dental pick looking tools that work well to clean the slots out. Vac'ing doesn't always get it if it's compacted in the slot.
    --------------------------------------------
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  6. #6
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    Warren there should be no reason for this to be happening. Now don't laugh at this. This has happened when a friend had the same problem. Is the fence set so that you are feeding the stock to the left or right of the bit? Know it sounds crazy but I have seen it.

  7. Warren,

    The best option for cutting the grooves is a slot cutter on an arbor:



    These are available in a wide range of kerfs and can be stacked for wider slots.

  8. #8
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    Hi Warren ,
    There is a perfectly good answer to the cause for this happening. As of yet you don't know what it it is. Good luck finding it out.
    As for me the fact that the kerf from my table saw blade is exactly 1/8" makes it an easy choice..
    Shaz
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Livermore CA (SF Bay Area)
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    Thanks for the responses thus far!

    Greg: The bit is a bit crusty; I noticed some rust on it when I picked it up. I cleaned it before using it, but that may be a contributing issue. I am going to pick up another one before I try this again.

    Doug: I perhaps should be more careful with this, because there isn't any room for the compacted stuff to move out of the slot. I will try this as well.

    Rob: I am moving the material into the bit from the right side as viewed from the front of the table.

    Charles: The slot cutter is a good idea, and I have one, but these can't be done that way without coming through the tails on the dovetails. It has to be plunged into the drawer side on these two pieces. I could use a slot cutter (or table saw) for the pin sides, but that would necessitate two set ups.

    Robert: When I read your first sentence, I thought "Wow! Here comes the answer!" Then I got to sentence 2! It looks like I have found one of those universal imponderables



    I will let you all know what happens with a new bit, very light passes, and cleaning out the debris.

    Thanks to all!
    Warren

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