My Rocky 30 Trim Router kit arrived yesterday. MLCS SKU 9060. It's not
yet viewable on their website, but the SKU can be ordered on the Quick
It's my first trim router, so I don't have anything to compare it to,
but it seems like a nice little unit.
I wish it came with some sort of carrying case, but I guess I'll have
to pick one up at HF or HD. There's no LED or micro-adjust, but at
under $100 for the router and plunge base, I'm not complaining.
I did a quick round-over on a short piece of 1 x 6 and it was nice to
be able to use one hand for the router and one hand to hold the board.
The plunge base seems to work, but I haven't really tested it yet.
Here's my question:
In with the accessories was a 3/8" collet. As shown in the link below,
the 3/8" collet (on the left) is just a conical sleeve with a single slot.
The more standard 1/4" four-slot collet is on the right.
I was not aware that router bits came with 3/8" shanks, so I called
MLCS. When I asked about the 3/8" collet, the tech support guy said:
"Yeah, they throw that in at the factory. You won't get much use out of
it since there aren't too many 3/8" shank routers bits available."
Is that true? Obviously the larger the shank the better, so I wouldn't
mind springing for a couple of 3/8" shank bits if they were available. On
the other hand, the fact that the 3/8" collet is much more "basic" than
a standard four-slot router collet, it almost seems like it's not meant
to be used full time.
Your thoughts and opinions are most welcome.
I haven't seen a 3/8" router bit in stores and haven't looked elsewhere.
There's two very usable standard sizes, why throw in a third?
You'll be able to find 3/8" tooling by looking at end mills, but they're
usually just straight. There's some with round ends, "clipped" corners
and a couple different configurations. An end mill will cut wood just
fine, I've done it.
On Friday, July 22, 2016 at 1:22:45 PM UTC-4, email@example.com wrote:
Well, the only reason I can think of is the standard "the bigger the
shank, the lesser the vibration." Since the Rocky 30 seems to be able
to handle the 3/8" shank, it would be nice if bits were actually
Thanks for the info on end mills. I assume that they are more expensive than
1/4" shank router bits. Probably not worth the extra cost for my needs.
Perhaps, if it's a trim router and you probably won't be doing plunge
cuts with it.
However, I use end mills exclusively as bits for my Multi-Router for
The advantage is the lower lengths available with end mills, as opposed
to router "bits".
It often a challenge to find a router bit long enough to cut to the
mortise depth you need when chucked safely in the router, and you must
also go through the thickness of the "table" of a router "jig" to cut
On Friday, July 22, 2016 at 6:00:23 PM UTC-4, Swingman wrote:
That's a very good point re: the length.
I just bought the trim router with the plunge base. I don't have a
plunge base for my full size PC router.
The trim router with the plunge base is going to be perfect for some of
the stuff I need to do for the bed project, such as the mortises for the
rail hardware and the brackets for the slats.
It'll also be a lot easier to do all the round-overs than with the PC.
I order end mills online from Travers Tool.
This is the 3/8" one I use the most for mortise work, both in my plunge
router and Multi-Router. I also keep the same style in 1/4" on hand:
If you have any questions about use (which end mill/configuration works
best for a particular application/material) their customer service has
always been very knowledgeable when I've called.
On Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 8:03:01 AM UTC-5, Swingman wrote:
Additionally, to Karl's offer....
Some years ago, while vacationing in NC, I bought a cache (I stopped counti
ng at 400 bits) of assorted bits, from one of the auction sites. Among th
em were 3/8" shank bits router bits and I suppose CNC router bits.
If you'd like to try some, I can send you 1 or 2 dozen. The black ones ar
e clockwise spin and the orange ones are counter-clockwise spin. Their ti
ps are either flat or pointed. There are some straight bits and spiral on
es. None seem to be very long, mostly short, and there are no profile bit
s. About the only time I've used these 3/8" bits are for hogging out a hol
e, of some sort, using a hand held drill, as I don't have a 3/8" collet for
my routers. There are several 3/8" collets in the cache, but they are pr
obably for a CNC router. I wouldn't try to install them in any hand held
In the 4th pic, the green coated group, of 5, are 1/2" shank dovetail bits.
Their cut is about 3/8" wide, also. I have lots of them, so I can thro
w in some of these, as well.
Anyway, if you'd like to check these out, try them, email me your address t
o cedarsonny at aye oh el dot com and I'll send some.
On Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 9:49:21 AM UTC-4, Sonny wrote:
ting at 400 bits) of assorted bits, from one of the auction sites. Among
them were 3/8" shank bits router bits and I suppose CNC router bits.
are clockwise spin and the orange ones are counter-clockwise spin. Their
tips are either flat or pointed. There are some straight bits and spiral
ones. None seem to be very long, mostly short, and there are no profile b
its. About the only time I've used these 3/8" bits are for hogging out a h
ole, of some sort, using a hand held drill, as I don't have a 3/8" collet f
or my routers. There are several 3/8" collets in the cache, but they are
probably for a CNC router. I wouldn't try to install them in any hand hel
s. Their cut is about 3/8" wide, also. I have lots of them, so I can th
row in some of these, as well.
to cedarsonny at aye oh el dot com and I'll send some.
Thanks! I may take you up on that offer. Let me play with the router a bit
and see how I do with what I have.
For the most part .25 and .5 covers the normal needs. To go a bit
farther, LeighJigs used to offer 8 mm shank bits, I have a few 8mm DT
bits. These bits were better when you really needed more than a 1/4"
shank bit and when a 1/2" shank bit and bushing would not fit between
closely spaced fingers on the jig.
Heck yeah an end mill will cut wood. If you remember Steve Knight, I
used to cut mouth blocks for his hand planes, I made a few thousand.
I used carbide tip bits to plunge twin 3/8" wide by 2" long through
slots through 1/4" thick Ipe. After about 200 slots the bit was pretty
much toast. I finally ended up using a 4 flute end mill bit and
probably cut 1200~1400 slots with it and it is still pretty darn sharp.
Yes! Just because it's metric doesn't mean the darn thing has to have no
decimal point. (I realize 8mm is awful close to 5/16".) Make it 6.35mm
and be done with it.
Oh! I just remembered something important: Not all end mills can be
plunged into the work. Those that can are called "center cutting". Be
sure to look closely at the end before buying a whole bunch of them.
Generally, 2 flute EMs will be center cutting.
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote in
The ones I've seen that weren't center cutting (and this by far does not
represent any meaningful percentage of the ones out there) were sharp on
the ends to the point where the 4 flutes came together. At that point, it
wasn't sharp. Those EMs could be ramped down into the work, but couldn't
I have used a flat bottom end mill, 4 flute, and only used it in a
plunge situation. I had it mounted in the router table router and I
plynged the wood down on top of the spinning bit. When it penetrated
the top side of the Ipe a small hot disk came flying out.
I often wished I had one that was pointed on the end to make penetration
a bit easier.
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