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Thread: "Touching Up" A Router Bit

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Fredericksburg, VA

    "Touching Up" A Router Bit

    I just started using a brand new Whiteside raised panel bit, and it's doing a great job so far. I'm going to be running a bunch of QSWO through the bit, so I'm anticipating a need for some carbide sharpening. I know that some folks look at router bits as "consumables" when woodworking, but I can't really justify that in the case of a $60 raised panel bit. What do you guys use to give an occasional "touch up" to your router bits?


    - Keith
    "Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker. "

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    4 bucks at most sharpening services, unless it`s a 3-wing then 6 bucks.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Southern Louisiana
    same here keith, i send mine to a sharpening service...i wouldn't have the first clue at how to sharpen one. i'd be scared i'd mess it up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Since its more like $15 for a router bit sharpening around here, I touch mine up with these as appropriate. I just hone them a little as they start to lose their "newness". I treat the flat face, not the bevel.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Once they reach the point of needing to be ground, I let the pros do it.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Cedar Park, TX
    You might also be amazed about how much better they cut after a simple cleaning. I've found that Windex window cleaner does a great job on router bits as well as saw blades. Carbide edges do last a good long time.

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Fort Washington, PA
    I have over the years come to the conclusion that good router bits are cheaper in the long run than cheap ones. I still do have a good collection of cheaper bits, and boy can you tell the diff when you run something through the router table. I don't sharpen the cheaper bits, once dull, they get tossed into a drawer with other used carbide bits. The good ones, since they cost a good bit more, are worth having done at a sharpening shop. The $12 is worth it in that case. I have touched them up myself with those fine grit diamonds, but the problem (for me anyway) is getting EXACT same amount of profile on all flutes. Thus I let the pros do it.
    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

  7. #7
    I am with Glenn on this one. Just touch up the bit with a diamond stone and you are done. You would be surprised how easy and how fast you can get a router bit sharp.

    For what its worth, I don't hone the rounded profile of the bit. I touch up the flat backside of the bit which is what makes the router bit sharp. You wear away enough of the backside to get a crisp edge. Whenever I touched the rounded profile of the bit,I think I made it more dull.

    Here is Alyson "helping" me sharpen one of my bits one afternoon.

    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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