My first router (TM)

On 14/06/2014 19:37, Rick Hughes wrote:

The problem with 8mm shank cutters is they are far less readily available. Trend to a reasonable range, but they are fairly pricey (good quality - but sometimes you only need a cheap and cheerful one for a one off job)

Although I have the 8mm collet for my T5, I must confess I have never used it. (I have also never broken a 1/4" shanked one either)
If you buy bits from the US (often cheaper including delivery they getting them here) you are also unlikely to find 8mm.
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Cheers,

John.
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On Sunday, June 15, 2014 1:58:41 AM UTC+1, John Rumm wrote:

Wealden
http://www.wealdentool.com/
have a selection of 8mm bits as well. The 8mm size is quite common sur le continong.
Yanks won't have many as they are predominantly imperial in their dimensions anyway they are awash with cheap chinese knock off.
I have snapped 1/4" bits. Two keyhole slot cutters which have thin necks. They need a good slot cut with a straight bit before being used.
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On 19/06/14 12:23, fred wrote:

Thanks fred - will check them out!
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On 13/06/14 11:15, Tim Watts wrote:

...
OK - going to get a couple of these:
http://www.toolandfix.com/toughbuilt-tou-sh-01003a-c420-steel-saw-horse-adj-legs.html
With a couple of scaffold boards they'll make an excellent working platform too for odd occasions.
But for me, couple of bits of 2x4 and a sheet of ply and i have an instance but storable bench that will sit on my unlevel ground.
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On 13/06/14 11:15, Tim Watts wrote:

Now to the router...
Decided on 1/4" handheld with 8mm collet option if possible.
<Thicky questions> What type and size of bit do I need to cut a 10-14mm wide x 8-10mm deep rebate in the edge of a softwood plank (120x18mm)?
Will eventually be cutting a total of about 120m (linear) of rebate. But in very small batches.
Do all straight bits cut on the end as well as the side (ie can you plunge them) or do you have to come in from the edge?
I think it will be enough to guide the router with the built in edge guide (proper name?) from whichever side of the plank works the easiest, rather than use a bearing guide. Unless a bearing guide would work easier???
You can tell I have no clue!
What would be a reasonable choice of router? Trend T5 MkII looks nice. Bit expensive. I doubt I will make fine cabinets but I will find other uses.
Any other makes worth a look?
Cheers - and thanks...
Tim
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On 18/06/2014 14:21, Tim Watts wrote:

You most commonly used and generally useful cutter would be a staight fluted cutter like:
http://www.axminster.co.uk/axcaliber-twin-flute-straight-router-cutters-1-4-6-35mm
Keep in mind that you can do wider cuts than the cutter diameter with multiple passes and adjustment of the fence between cuts. You can do narrower than the width of the cutter cuts at the edge of the wood - but obviously not narrower ones in the middle of the wood (say when cutting a dado or a mortice)
For ease of rebating, a rebating cutter is handy:
http://www.axminster.co.uk/axcaliber-rebate-router-cutter-set
These don't need a fence setup on the router*, so are quicker to use, but they have slightly less flexibility in that they can only cut on the edge and not be used for slots. (* although you can cut sizes other than the ones provided directly by the bearings by using the fence)
The other option to consider is something like:
http://www.axminster.co.uk/axcaliber-flush-trim-router-cutters-top-bearing-1-2-12-7mm
You can use it as a straight fluted cutter, but also as a pattern following trim bit. (stick you pattern on top of the wood, and use it to churn out copies)

The fluted cutters you can plunge - they plunges easiest if you also traverse a bit while plunging. You can also get (very expensive) spiral cutters that are particularly good for plunging. The bearing guided ones you can only plunge on an edge.

If you can get a bearing guide that will do the cut you want in one hit easily, then its slightly easier. Since with a 1/4" machine you are unlikely to want to take a 1/2" x 1/2" cut in a single pass, there is less benefit from a bearing guided cutter in this case.

Should not worry, neither did any of us at one time, and you have the advantage of being able to ask sensible questions!

I have a T5 MK1 and indeed it is a very nice machine- very smooth and accurate, and absolutely no slop or backlash in the plunge mechanism. The speed control is good, the plunge depth generous, the depth lock and stop systems work, and the micro-adjustable fence is first rate.
However note that not all get on well with that design of machine (i.e. clones of the layout of the Elu MOF routers) - some prefer ones that have side handles more commonly seen on the larger 1/2" machines.

Yup...
Makita routers tend to be quite simple and feature light - but they work well, are easy to use and people generally like them. Something like:
http://www.axminster.co.uk/makita-rp0900x-router-230v
Is very basic and easy with good ergonomics. It lacks the sophistication of the trend though with no speed control, soft start, micro adjustment etc.
Ones like:
http://www.axminster.co.uk/makita-rp1110c-1-4-router
are on par with the trend (and to be fair also have better dust collection), but its quite pricey.
Something like:
http://www.lawson-his.co.uk/bosch-gof-900-ce-1-4-6-8mm-professional-r-p64801
Has a side handle design that you may prefer to the trend style while still having most of the sophisticated features.
Dewalt also have some popular models:
http://www.lawson-his.co.uk/dewalt-d26204-8mm-1-4-plunge-and-fixed-b-p130155
is an interesting deal with both bases.
This is their very popular T5 style machine:
http://www.lawson-his.co.uk/dewalt-dw615-variable-speed-plunge-router-p25456
--
Cheers,

John.
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Hiya,
On 18/06/14 21:30, John Rumm wrote:

I see...

The price is not bad. I assume you just lock the plunge depth so as to take out 50% of the thickness and run it in from the end along to the other end?
For the amount of work, this looks well worth it!

That could be generally useful if I wanted to use a template for something.

The spiral ones sounds a bit like a milling bit.

OK - that is very useful to know.

Oh... :(
3/8" machine maybe?

That is a good price - I would value smoothness over features. All the routers I've ever poked in B&Q were as rough as shite on the plunge.

OK - bit on the £££ side...

Thank you for all that John. Really useful :) I'll have a detailed browse of the machines...
Cheers!
Tim
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On 18/06/2014 22:03, Tim Watts wrote:

Yup you lock the plunge depth to control the amount of wood you are taking one one pass (which may well be half with the smaller bearings fitted but could be more or less depending on the wood.
Run one complete pass, then plunge deeper and repeat.

Two for 150m I would probably go that route (no pun intended). Its bearing guided cutters don't require you keep the orientation of the router the same along the whole pass, which can make the work a little easier.

Yup, also handy for making perfect housing dados:
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Custom_rebate_router_jig

Yup - they are particularly popular with routers in CNC setups for just that reason. They are available in up and down cut configurations (even up and down in the same bit!), which leave very clean edges, and / or very good removal of chips and less burning in other situations.

You may be able to - it will depend on what the wood is like and the feed rate you are using. Given the amount of wood you want to do, I would probably go for a bearing guided bit if you can get one that will do the rebate size you need, even if you do need two passes.

The 8mm shanked cutters will let you take heavy cuts more easily... However sometimes its would taking lighter cuts for a better finish.
Even if I were using my 2kW 1/2" machine I would normally do a 1/2" wide and deep dado in two passes...
(having said that, if I were rebating 100s of metres of wood, I would stick my stacked dado set in the table saw and knock the whole lot out in 10 mins ;-)
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Cheers,

John.
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On 18/06/2014 22:03, Tim Watts wrote:

Just a few points to follow on from Mr Rumm's comprehensive and well informed (better informed than I am) post:
First, good quality cutters are undoubtedly the best bet, but they can be a bit expensive if you want to try a few things out or if you're doing something a bit rough and ready (where a good one might get damaged). In my opinion, there's a place for the cheap and cheerful ones either in the sets or as individual ones from Toolstation. Of course they have their drawbacks (don't last as long, may not be as precise on sizing etc) but for a pound or two a time they're pretty disposable. I've used the Toolstation straight and bearing-guided ones (which they say you shouldn't use in a hand held router, though they seem fine to me) and they're generally 'alright', especially when you need one in a hurry at the weekend.
Second, that small Makita router (or one that looked a lot like it) was on the display in Wickes a week or two ago, so naturally I had to have a fiddle with it. Pretty basic (not necessarily a bad thing) but the plunge action felt very nice. It might be worth seeing if they have one in your local.
Third, I would defintely recommend taking a look at some of the youtube videos on using routers. For example, there's a series by Ron Fox on setting up templates and jigs. Although quite slow going, they will tell you what you need to know about that area. As ever, there are loads of americans doing unnecessarily complicated things with routers on youtube too (or making simple things complicated).
Finally, I might have missed it in the thread, but I thought it might be worthwhile ontroducing the term 'routerboard'. I can't remember what the link was but it was certainly discussed here just a few months ago so a quik search should find the thread.
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GMM wrote:

I've used the cheapo toolsatan cutters, bought 1/$4" x 6mm, 8mm, 12mm and 18mm not actually needing the 12mm - as it turned out the 12mm was /just/ too big to fit the collet, the others were fine, took it back on my next trip and took the collet with me, two more 12mm ones off the shelf didn't fit either ... the wonders of silverline!
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On 18/06/2014 22:47, GMM wrote:

Tada:
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Routerboard
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Cheers,

John.
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On 18/06/14 22:47, GMM wrote:

Could be a good place to start - soffit plank rebating is not a quality job :) I might bugger up a cutter until I get the hang of it.

Ta for that :)

Americans seem to be so much more into hardcore DIY than us these days (as a whole, not the group!).

Thanks indeed - will search for that...
Tim
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On 19/06/2014 08:21, Tim Watts wrote:

They certainly seem better catered for in the woodworking department when it comes to suppliers and availability of tools and materials. I also get the impression that their style of house construction is inherently more DIY friendly (e.g. most things seem to be designed to nail together!)
--
Cheers,

John.
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On 18/06/2014 22:03, Tim Watts wrote:

One more (very important) tip on using routers: Unless you have a very, very, very good vacuum system hooked up, under no circumstances should you use a router when wearing the new fleece top that the wife just bought you.
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On 18/06/2014 22:52, GMM wrote:

Dare we ask how you know? ;-)
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Cheers,

John.
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Umm...from the amount of time I spent (unsuccessfully) trying to pick whatever the router version of sawdust is called out of the pile of the fleece. It was only a little skim down the side of a timber but.......
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On 18/06/14 22:52, GMM wrote:

Hehe.
I'll be outside...
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On 19/06/2014 08:21, Tim Watts wrote:

So was I (!)
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On Wed, 18 Jun 2014 14:10:50 +0100, Tim Watts wrote:

At 2(.0000)kg, how sturdy will they be? Surely that weight is a bit low for a robust sawhorse. If they are good, I would order a couple.
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Peter.
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On 18/06/14 17:24, PeterC wrote:

The reviews (in various places) seem good.
Don't forget they will have 10-15kg of ply/worktop across them acting as a bench :)
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