Author Topic: OF1400 for back panel slots?  (Read 1681 times)

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Offline Scorpion

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OF1400 for back panel slots?
« on: August 10, 2017, 10:47 AM »
Today I use the table saw and a dado stack to cut the groove for back panels in my cabinets.  I'm considering switching to using an OF1400 instead (which would require a purchase :) so I'd like feedback from you guys to help me decide.  To level-set, I'm almost always cutting the slots with the grain on quality Baltic birch about 1/2-inch from the edge.

OF1400 or OF1100?  Can a ~3/8-inch deep groove be cut in a single pass?  How is the finish?  On plywood do you experience ply tear out or edge splintering?  How is consumable/end mill life?  Do you use an edge guide or a rail as a guide?  If you use an edge guide, how easy is it to run the groove or are you fighting the router to stay on edge/track?

The table saw seems very easy and dados last a long time but switching to a router would simplify my setup and workflow.  Another plus is that when I become comfortable/confident in the router approach, it enables me to be more mobile (not have to be in the shop) when building cabinets.

Thanks.


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Online Cheese

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 11:49 AM »

1. OF1400 or OF1100? 

2. Can a ~3/8-inch deep groove be cut in a single pass? 

3. How is the finish? 

4. On plywood do you experience ply tear out or edge splintering? 

5. Do you use an edge guide or a rail as a guide?

6. If you use an edge guide, how easy is it to run the groove or are you fighting the router to stay on edge/track?


1. I use the 1010 with a Whiteside 1/4" cutter for a 1/4" ply back and cut it 1/4" deep.

2. I go 2 passes for the 1/4" depth, I would also go 2 passes for 3/8" deep.

3. Finish is real nice, check out photo #2.

4. None

5. Micro Fence edge guide

6. Just take it nice and slow and concentrate on keeping the edge guide in contact with the ply.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 12:07 PM by Cheese »

Offline Scorpion

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 04:13 PM »

1. OF1400 or OF1100? 

2. Can a ~3/8-inch deep groove be cut in a single pass? 

3. How is the finish? 

4. On plywood do you experience ply tear out or edge splintering? 

5. Do you use an edge guide or a rail as a guide?

6. If you use an edge guide, how easy is it to run the groove or are you fighting the router to stay on edge/track?


1. I use the 1010 with a Whiteside 1/4" cutter for a 1/4" ply back and cut it 1/4" deep.

2. I go 2 passes for the 1/4" depth, I would also go 2 passes for 3/8" deep.

3. Finish is real nice, check out photo #2.

4. None

5. Micro Fence edge guide

6. Just take it nice and slow and concentrate on keeping the edge guide in contact with the ply.

Thanks for the feedback!  Did you use up-cutting or down-cutting bits?  I'd assume up but don't like assuming much.


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Online Cheese

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 06:11 PM »

Did you use up-cutting or down-cutting bits?  I'd assume up but don't like assuming much.


Actually you'll get a kick out of this...I checked and I actually used a 2-flute carbide end mill.  [eek]  No wonder the surface finish was so nice...

Offline Scorpion

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 08:37 PM »

Did you use up-cutting or down-cutting bits?  I'd assume up but don't like assuming much.


Actually you'll get a kick out of this...I checked and I actually used a 2-flute carbide end mill.  [eek]  No wonder the surface finish was so nice...

Really.  That's fortunate, I actually have at least a few of those.  ;)

I think a normal milling end mill would be up-cutting flute profile.

Matt


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Offline Z48LT1

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 08:55 PM »
Cheese, please correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears to me that the panel groove is in a solid piece of timber and not the plywood carcass, which would seem to be an easier go than ploughing the groove in the plywood but also likely to leave a more attractive groove.

Maybe Scorpion could use another example.

Best regards - Gary

Online Cheese

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 11:47 PM »

Cheese, please correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears to me that the panel groove is in a solid piece of timber and not the plywood carcass, which would seem to be an easier go than ploughing the groove in the plywood but also likely to leave a more attractive groove.


No, actually it's in a .720" thick piece of maple ply. I'm building built-in cabinets for a loft area, thus the angled top to fit into the area within the knee wall.

Online Cheese

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 11:55 PM »

Really.  That's fortunate, I actually have at least a few of those.  ;)

I think a normal milling end mill would be up-cutting.

I figured you had a couple of them lying around... [big grin]

I believe you're correct...it should be up-cutting, as down-cutting is something you normally don't use for metal crafting. 

Online Dovetail65

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 12:11 AM »

Did you use up-cutting or down-cutting bits?  I'd assume up but don't like assuming much.


Actually you'll get a kick out of this...I checked and I actually used a 2-flute carbide end mill.  [eek]  No wonder the surface finish was so nice...

This is confusing, you used an actual end mill, as used in machinist end mill?

The most common and most likely what you have if it's an end mill as opposed to whats sold as a router bit is a  right hand cut with right hand helix(the most common end mills) which in effect is upcut. So you used an up cut.

Or do you simply mean you used a non spiral 2 edged router bit?

I never use up cut anymore myself. Since dust collection on routers is so good now unless I am doing some work that is super deep the down cut is almost always the way to go for me, for table top wood material anyhow. I prefer the nice edge I get using a down cut spiral bit . Sorry to the people and books that initially taught me how to use a router, I just don't follow those upcut bit rules anymore.

I don't think I have used an upcut bit for table top work since I went into Festool and the DeWalt 618's routers with attached Fein or Ct collectors. They just empty the hole as fast or faster than I cut and produce dust, I dont need the bit puling out the dust anymore. Plus, I like that the down cut bit forces the routed material down into the table . Now in a router table it's different story.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 12:21 AM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Online Cheese

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 12:27 AM »

This is confusing, you used an actual end mill, as used in machinist end mill?


Yup...here's a shot of two of them. They cut clean and are actually cheaper than router bits. The reason I used it was because I didn't have a 1/4" dia Whiteside router bit, just 5/16" Whiteside bits.

Offline Scorpion

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 01:22 AM »

This is confusing, you used an actual end mill, as used in machinist end mill?


Yup...here's a shot of two of them. They cut clean and are actually cheaper than router bits. The reason I used it was because I didn't have a 1/4" dia Whiteside router bit, just 5/16" Whiteside bits.

At least a couple of us are also machinists and an unusual habit of machinists is to use what you have in place of what you should use and adjust your chip load, feed, and speed accordingly.  Based on profile the aluminum end mill should last longer but generate more heat which defeats the longevity gain so you'd have to go slower to compensate.  That's why Cheese said you gotta go slow.  If he switched to wood bit he could probably speed up though maybe not dramatically. 


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Online Dovetail65

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 02:18 AM »
Those are upcut and are going to work just like a router bit for all practical purposes and there is no reason not to use them on wood. What was confusing is you didn't state if they were up cut or down cut when he asked so I was thinking wait maybe he is talking about straight bits.

Looking at those the geometry almost looks like they are geared for wood. If they were tossed in a  drawer I would have to take a good look to tell them from a router bit. Actually it may be the angle of the picture the end are probably more flat than it appears. I have many end mills where the geometry simply isn't going to work too well for wood at all but man they cut through aluminum like butter for hours on end.


« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 02:30 AM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Scorpion

  • Posts: 504
Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 08:30 AM »
Based on the feedback it seems like cutting the slots, as long as the time it takes isn't ridiculous, is a good idea.  Only concern at this point is how long  it will take to cut a 60-inch slot compared to the dado.  I was planning to buy a 1400 so I could leave my 1100 set up with the LR32 fixture but I might run a few with the 1100 to try it out before I go all in. 

Matt


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Online Cheese

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 11:11 AM »
Cheese, please correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears to me that the panel groove is in a solid piece of timber and not the plywood carcass...


Here's a photo of the maple ply.

Offline Z48LT1

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 01:24 PM »
Cheese,

I sit corrected.  Thanks for the clarification.  Sure had me fooled.

Cheers - Gary

Offline Scorpion

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 10:12 PM »
Cheese,

I sit corrected.  Thanks for the clarification.  Sure had me fooled.

Cheers - Gary

I saw what you saw though (after you pointed it out).  Looked like there was an inch of wood laminated on to the end of the ply.


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Online Cheese

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Re: OF1400 for back panel slots?
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2017, 01:18 AM »

I saw what you saw though (after you pointed it out).  Looked like there was an inch of wood laminated on to the end of the ply.


Well that's certainly interesting...goes to show that even photos added to clarify a situation can actually muddy the waters.  [eek]

After the ply was sanded, I used 19mm wide painters tape to mask the edges of 2 of the sides of the carcass before applying 3 coats of clear poly so that when final glue-up happens, it will be bare wood bonded to bare wood.   

I think the "laminated" wood you're both seeing, is actually the masking tape line.  [smile]