Router Your Timber Into Shape


There are countless router bits to choose from to shape your piece of timber into whatever shape you have in mind.
In this topic I would like to help you understand a little bit more about router bits.


The best type of router bits to buy are the tungsten tipped routers. Router bits with tungsten tips are far more superior than router bits made of high speed steel.
There are two types of tungsten tipped router bits. First there is the professional range which has a micro grade tungsten tip which makes the tip stay sharper longer as there are more particles of tungsten in the tip.

The second range of router is the economy. The economy range of router has a medium grade tungsten tip which has a course grit tungsten, therefore it does not have as many particles of tungsten compared to the micro grade. This is the reason why the economy range of router does not stay sharp for very long and that is why the economy range router is a lot cheaper to purchase compared to the professional range router.
There are three types of cutting bits.
1. Fluted Cutters - Straight Bits and Flush Trim Bits
2. Profile Cutters - used for shaping the timber
3. Helical Cutters - used for drilling and trimming
Below are the common shapes used when routing the timber.
These bits are commonly found in router bit kits.

Be The Co-Pilot
One of the best and safest ways to begin routing is to use router bits fitted with ball bearings pilots. The bearing rides along the edge of the work piece, this effectively keeps the router bit on course and allows you to keep control of the router.
There are two types routers with the guide bearing either being fitted on the bottom of the router or the bearing fitting onto the shank of the router. This is called an inverted router bit.

Understanding Router Bit Terminology

  • Cutting Diameter “D” Refers to the overall diameter of the router bit.
  • Cutting Length “B or C” refers to the cutting length or depth of cut.
  • Shank Diameter “d” refers to the diameter of the shank. Whether it is 1/4” or 1/2”
  • Overall Length “L” refers to the overall length of the router.
  • Radius “R” refers to the radius of one half the diameter of a complete circle.

Router Bit Tips
  1. Always choose the shortest cutting length available that will meet the requirements of the application of the job that you are doing. If the cutting length is too long for the narrow thickness of the timber this will cause the router to chatter and damage the cutting edge.
  2. Always choose the largest diameter shank that your router will accommodate as this will give you a greater stability of the router bit.
  3. Avoid using reducing collet reducing sleeves where possible. This will reduce vibration and run - out. Another factor to consider is they generally do not provide the necessary holding capabilities as with using the collet on it’s own.
To keep your bearings working well when the bearing on the router becomes stiff and does not spin freely:
  1. Take the bearing off the router and soak it in WD 40 or a similar product will be fine.
  2. Soak the bearing for about five minutes, this will soften the saw dust that has clogged the inside of the bearing.
  3. Then put a couple of drops of thin oil on the bearing as the WD40 dissolves some of the grease inside the bearing.
  4. Fit the bearing back onto the router and spin the bearing by hand, it may be still a little stiff at first but will quickly free itself. The bearing now is as good as new, and you're ready to start routering until your heart's content!



August 6, 2013

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