I'm going to be building a couple of bunk bed/desk
combinations for my kids out of some kiln dried
douglas fir 2x4's and 2x6's. I plan to joint and
plane them so they're all the same size and using
lap joints. Since the edges will now all be square
and sharp I'm going to use a 3/8" roundover bit to
ease the edges. I've been using Infinity router
bits and saw blades for a while now with great success
and they seem to last longer than any I've ever used,
even longer than Whiteside bits. I have approximately
950 linear feet of edges to round over and I'm wondering
how many feet I might expect to get out of one 3/8"
roundover bit. The wood is relatively soft but there
will be the occasional knot to deal with. I spoke with
the owner of Infinity and asked him about this but he
didn't really know how many feet I should expect before
the bit was too dull to use. He did recommend using a
diamond hone every so often to sharpen the bit but that
will only work for so long before the bit is just shot.
His recommendation was to buy two of the same bit...Of
course! ;~} He seems like a good guy so I don't think
he was just trying to sell me more than I need and I
think he's right when he says that 950' is a lot to
expect out of one bit. Any guesses, (educated or
otherwise) as to how long a high quality bit will last
in KD Doug Fir? I could just buy 2 bits but at almost
$30 a piece I'm kinda cheap. Thanks.
You can expect wear lines on the cutter in a few hundred feet. In MDF,
ply, teak, and other more abrasive materials it could be worse.
Notwithstanding, sanding is typical after a simple roundover to remove
the mill marks, splinters etc.
If this was going to be inspected by the commander in chief of
Routerdom, and was expected to be perfect, I'd:
Buy a Chinese 10$ bit, let it cook itself on the first 90% of the cut
and let the Infinity take the last 10%, The White bit can easily stand
this modest bite for 1000'.
More on cutters: http://www.patwarner.com/routerbits.html
That's what I do with solid surface countertop edges. Hog off the bulk
with a nasty set-up and climb-cut the last whisper with something fresh.
I reach for a fresh edge after about 300 feet, and that makes me think
that 1000' on fir is probably conservative.
Only problem I foresee potentially w/ fir and a dull bit to do the
hogging is its propensity to split and run--leaving you w/ an edge you
can't clean up. I'd rather take my chances w/ the good one to begin w/
and go in one pass, I think.
Upon further reflection I agree. If I were to be working with fir, I'd
be using good bits. You can't be too sharp when dealing with softer
I almost always climb-cut. It's a habit I developed doing thousands of
feet of oak-edged laminate countertops. That oak loves to lift and tear,
even with sharp bits.
| I'm going to be building a couple of bunk bed/desk
| combinations for my kids out of some kiln dried
| douglas fir 2x4's and 2x6's.
| Any guesses, (educated or
| otherwise) as to how long a high quality bit will last
| in KD Doug Fir? I could just buy 2 bits but at almost
| $30 a piece I'm kinda cheap.
You should get 200 - 400' of good quality cutting from a good carbide
bit in fir. Why don't you buy two (you'll probably need at least two)
and use the life of the first to determine how many more than two (if
any) you might need.
My current project is routing Extira - which turns out to be pretty
hard on router bits, since a carbide edge only seems to last between
100 and 105 feet. At the other extreme, I have a Whiteside carbide bit
that went nearly 700 feet in soft pine.
When the feed becomes difficult or you see smoke (-: whichever happens
first :-), change bits and note how far you cut with the dulled bit.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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