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
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.
On Sunday, June 15, 2014 1:58:41 AM UTC+1, John Rumm wrote:
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.
OK - going to get a couple of these:
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.
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
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...
You most commonly used and generally useful cutter would be a staight
fluted cutter like:
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:
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:
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.
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:
Is very basic and easy with good ergonomics. It lacks the sophistication
of the trend though with no speed control, soft start, micro adjustment
are on par with the trend (and to be fair also have better dust
collection), but its quite pricey.
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:
is an interesting deal with both bases.
This is their very popular T5 style machine:
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
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.
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...
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
Yup, also handy for making perfect housing dados:
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 ;-)
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.
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!
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
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.
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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