Author Topic: Router cutter  (Read 2170 times)

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Offline ss

  • Posts: 9
Router cutter
« on: November 03, 2017, 09:05 AM »
I'm about to order an OF1400 router and am utterly lost by the cutters available!

The first thing I need to do is to route some grooves/dados into 18mm MDF to give some support and positioning to some fixed shelves.

(I'm guessing about 6mm deep?)

Any advice on which router cutter would be best for this would be really appreciated.

Am I right in thinking that it's best to have as short a cutter as possible, and that 1/4" would be more stable than 8mm? (I'm also aware that the 1400 doesn't come with the 8mm collet!)

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1977
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 09:16 AM »
Strongly suggest buying router bits with 1/2" shanks. The 1400 will accommodate that shank and you get less chatter than with the narrow shank bits.
Birdhunter

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 88
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 09:29 AM »
The OF1400 comes with an 8mm and 1/4" collets, it doesn't come with a 1/2" collet but can be bought as an accessory.

1/4" smaller than 8mm which is smaller than 1/2". As said one post up, large shaft less shatter for bigger cutters.

Are you invested in Festool tools? You will be spending $570 plus another $46 for 1/2" collet plus router bit just to make some grooves/dados.

Bosch, Milwaukee and a few others make superb routers for a fraction of the cost.

- John

Offline ss

  • Posts: 9
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 09:33 AM »
Thanks both - I should have mentioned that I'm in the UK, so I believe the OF1400 here does come supplied with the 1/4" and 1/2" collets. (Not entirely sure of the logic there...!)

Offline hopper

  • Posts: 108
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2017, 09:34 AM »
In Canada, from Lee Valley, the OF1400 comes with all three collets.  1/4, 8m, and 1/2".

Online Timtool

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Re: Router cutter
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2017, 12:26 PM »
I checked and it must a UK thing, does seem to come with 1/4 and 1/2 collets, in mainland Europe it's 8 and 12mm. Are UK router bits still in Imperial shanks?

My advice (since you seem new to routers?) is to get a cheap set of router bits, you know those big cases wit dozens of cutters. The quality is generally ok. And as you go along and wear some out, replace those with better quality cutters. I have maybe 60 cutters, but only use 4 of them frequently.

To make a dado for 18mm panels it's tricky to use an 18mm bit, generally it will be too tight. Then you have two options, make the dado in two go's by repositioning your rail/guide by a few 0.1mm. Which is tricky.
Or make a dado that is perhaps 16mm wide, and then make a 2mm deep rebate along the "male" panel edges, this way you can easily fine tune your settings and get repeatable results.
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Offline ss

  • Posts: 9
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2017, 01:02 PM »
Yes, very new. But hey, how difficult can it be, right? ;-)

Very nice idea about getting a set - I like that plan.

And thanks for your suggestion about making a rebate. I like that suggestion. And gives me double the time with the new router when it arrives!

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1977
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2017, 01:12 PM »
Please don’t tell anyone, but my 1400 had a 1/2” collet in the box.
Birdhunter

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 580
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 01:17 PM »
...
My advice (since you seem new to routers?) is to get a cheap set of router bits, you know those big cases wit dozens of cutters. The quality is generally ok. And as you go along and wear some out, replace those with better quality cutters. I have maybe 60 cutters, but only use 4 of them frequently.
...

ditto - that way you have a bunch of bits that you have handy when needed, but can get the best bits for stuff you do all the time.

Example from this morning - I've been using a small chamfer bit with no bearing in a trim router lately - it came as part of a big box of bits.  It worked fine with most of the woods that I've been using it on - cherry, walnut, maple, and a couple of exotics.  A few days ago I tried it with some African Mohogany and the cut was a little rough going against the grain, just marginal.  On the same project, I ran into a situation with inside corners where I needed a bit with a bearing.  I bought a Whiteside bit.  The cut quality was noticeably better -maybe even amazingly better.  So the kit bit did what it needed to do for quite a while, but I replaced it with a bit that should last me for a long time, was more flexible, and cut better.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:29 PM by HarveyWildes »

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 796
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 01:28 PM »
My OF 1400 came with a 1/2" collet. I only run Whiteside router bits.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 88
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 01:57 PM »
Personally I'd buy high quality router bits and a $200 router instead of crappy bits and a $600 router. Blades, bits, cutting edges are far superior in most any tool, than crappy cutters in top of the line tools.

I own 3 Bosch routers and the Festool OF1400. I grab a Bosch most of the time because they are quick to use and setup. Just as accurate as the Festool.

Put money in top cutters like Whiteside bits.
- John

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Re: Router cutter
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 02:45 PM »
Personally I have had a generally good experience with cheap cutters, and an average experience with expensive cutters.
Up to recently my most used bit was a 1/4 round bit from Pirhana (black&decker) that I got 8 years ago with my first router, I just can't believe the mileage I got from that. On the other side most of the CMT bits I bought were chipped or broken after using them a few times.
But then I had a CMT spiral cutter as standard cutter in my CNC for about two years, then "upgraded" to a Festool spiral, snapped 3 in a matter of weeks...
Maybe I should give Whiteside a try if they exist in Europe.
BR10, MFK 700, OS 400, ETS EC 150/3, KA 65-plus,TS55R, CT22E, CTLmini, CTL MIDI, CTM 36 AC HD, Kapex KS120, ETS125, ETS150/5, RO150, RO90, CXS-set, T-15+3 set, DTS400, OF900, OF1010, OF2200 set, Carvex PS420 EBQ set, EHL 65, SSU 200, Centrotec installer set, LR32-sys, FS-800, FS-LR-1400x2, domino 500+domino sys, domino 700 XL, Surfix-sys, Sys-box 1, Syslite, LEV-350, Sys-box,MFTB/1-2-4... MFTC, MFSC

Offline PatR

  • Posts: 183
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 02:56 PM »
Maybe I should give Whiteside a try if they exist in Europe.

They do,

https://routercutter.co.uk/

and they are very good. But give Wealdon a try, they are superb.

https://www.wealdentool.com


Offline rylim

  • Posts: 62
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 04:10 PM »
Personally I'd buy high quality router bits and a $200 router instead of crappy bits and a $600 router. Blades, bits, cutting edges are far superior in most any tool, than crappy cutters in top of the line tools.

I own 3 Bosch routers and the Festool OF1400. I grab a Bosch most of the time because they are quick to use and setup. Just as accurate as the Festool.

Put money in top cutters like Whiteside bits.

Which Bosch routers you currently own? Currently I'm on the market for a new router. 
Sale: Festool 498899 Assorted Domino Beech Tenons Set with Cutter Bits (5-Bits)- New - $265

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 88
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 04:19 PM »
Which Bosch routers you currently own? Currently I'm on the market for a new router.

Bosch MRF23EVS stays in my router table. Another MRC23EVSK with both fixed and plunge bases for handheld work. And the variable speed Colt with plunge base for smaller work.

All told those collectively cost that of a Festool OF1400. Don't get me wrong, the OF1400 is an excellent router but my main use for it is for LR32 cabinet work which only is a few times a year.
- John

Offline Thistleman

  • Posts: 86
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2017, 07:15 PM »
SS

In the U.K. I would recommend whiteside cutters or the trend professional range, don't bother with trend craft pro, I have also used infinity bits when I wanted some more unusual profiles.

With regards to your specific task of cutting dados for 18mm MDF I would recommend cutting a single dado using an 18mm cutter, if your shelf is slightly tight then sand down the edge a tiny amount. Cutting a narrow dado and then rebating the shelf to fit gives you two opportunities to introduce error. The difference between a well fitting joint and one that is sloppy is tiny.

As stated above the cost of your cutter collection will rapidly exceed what you have spent on your router, buy the highest quality cutters you can, keep them clean and sharp to achieve the best results
Festool, Mafell and Felder

Offline SoonerFan

  • Posts: 328
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2017, 12:27 PM »
My OF 1400 came with a 1/2" collet. I only run Whiteside router bits.

Exactly the same for me...... 1/2" and Whiteside.

Offline ss

  • Posts: 9
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2017, 03:59 PM »
Thanks all for your thoughts.

My new Whiteside cutters arrived today - hopefully my OF1400 will arrive tomorrow!!

After some discussion with the very helpful routercutter.co.uk I decided to try a helix down-cutter:
https://routercutter.co.uk/cutter-for-helix-mortise

My plan as it stands is to do a first pass, then a second to increase the width of the groove. (Hopefully the OF-1400 guide rail adapter which also arrived today will help!)

Offline nms

  • Posts: 15
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2017, 01:20 AM »
With regards to your specific task of cutting dados for 18mm MDF I would recommend cutting a single dado using an 18mm cutter, if your shelf is slightly tight then sand down the edge a tiny amount.
I would do the same.

I've been bit shopping this week as well for my OF1010, choosing between Whiteside, Freud, & Lee Valley bits. Whiteside is more limited in their offerings for large bits in 1/4" shank, Freud seem to be about the best value of quality & price, and Lee Valley are great for having a wide range in large sizes plus a good selection of 8mm bits!

Offline kook

  • Posts: 2
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2017, 08:20 AM »
Some training I had a while ago provided some useful info on router cutters and tooling. What I remember is:

The centre of the bit is effectively stationary, while the speed of the outside of the tool increases with size. The outside edge of a straight 1/2 inch bit is travelling much quicker than a 1/4 inch etc. A larger cutter works well with many wood applications, but can cause plastics to melt chips back on to the part.

It is apparently relatively easy to get a super sharp edge on HSS cutters (better rake angle, finer edge) giving potentially excellent results. However, this edge does not last well - particularly down the grain, so CNC users etc more often opt for the consistency and longer life of carbide tooling.

Of course, heat is the enemy of a sharp edge. Correct feed rates ensure removal of heat in each chip. Dust is bad!

Spirals / helix tooling give a constant cut / no 'slap'. Upcut spirals: very clean cut in the bottom of the groove, but susceptible to tear-out on the surface edge.

Downcut spirals: push the chips back down in to the groove and preserve a clean top surface - but good extraction is required to prevent re-cutting chips in the groove and causing excessive heat.

Compression spiral: both upcut and downcut on the same cutter. Eg. cutting through a double sided laminate panel, the cutter would cleanly cut both surfaces pushing the chips in to the centre from both sides. (The OP's 6mm groove is probably too shallow to reap the benefits of this as the upcut portion generally start at around 5mm.)

The other thing mentioned was the importance of scrupulous collet cleaning etc. ensuring that the cutter was perfectly mounted in the collet to prevent any vibration.

Adding to other cutter brands mentioned include LMT Onsrud, Titman, Klein

I am new to routing, but it appears that good results come from many little things which add up to make a big difference overall.



Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1096
Re: Router cutter
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2017, 11:14 AM »
Please don’t tell anyone, but my 1400 had a 1/2” collet in the box.

Me too...  all three...
Howard H
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