the Router Workshop

Router Tips

Router Bits!

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Router Bit Safety!

- Never use dull or chipped router bits

- Bits are available in 1/4” and 1/2” shank sizes. Avoid using larger diameter cutters with 1/4” shank, they may break during use.

- Be sure that at least 3/4” of the router bit shank is in the collet of the router.

- Never “bottom out” the router bit. When installing the bit pull it up slightly so that there is approximately 1/8” between the bottom of the bit and the router collet. This prevents heat transfer.

- To keep router bits from breaking make sure the depth of cut is not too deep for the size of cutter. Also be sure that the router is running at full speed before starting the cut.

- Loose bits can occur if the shaft is slightly undersized. If using a sleeve with a 1/4” shank bit, align the through slot on the sleeve with the through slot on the collet. Bits may also be loose if the sleeve has lost it’s compression ability. This can occur due to heat fatigue over extended use. If this happens, buy a new sleeve. Upshear bits (particularly the 1/4” spiral) may have a tendency to “rise up” when cutting grooves because of their cutting action. Make sure it is as tight as possible in the chuck and slow down the feed speed.

- Tight bits can occur if the shaft of the cutter is slightly oversized. This may also happen if there is a burr on the router bit shaft, collet or sleeve.

Router Speeds!

When using a router it involves two speeds,
1) the speed the bit is spinning,
2) the speed at which the material is being fed.

The feed speed should never be greater than the ability of the bit to clear the material being removed.

A good feed speed will produce shavings, too fast does not allow the bit to cut properly and may cause chatter because the chips are not removed properly. Too slow may cause the wood to burn.

Common Router Speeds

1” Diameter Cutter – 24,000 RPM
1 1/4” – 2” Diameter Cutter – 18,000 RPM
2 1/4" - 2 1/2” Diameter Cutter – 16,000 RPM
3” – 3 1/2” Diameter Cutter – 12,000 RPM