need help with chipping and router bits

bothNovember 19, 2010

I have been cutting cabinet door frame out of poplar wood. Using a porter cable router and router bits rail and stile 1/2 inch shank carbite tipped from MLCS woodworking. I keep jetting chipping at the ends which is fine for the stiles because I run a longer piece and then cut of to get the correct height. But when the rail sides are being routed they chip at the end. Also when I switch between the router bits without moving the height of the router they do not always line up perfectly. I am aware to put the correct amount of pressure on the wood so as not to tip it and the table guide is tight. Now when I do test runs in pine they come out beautiful. I am considering switching to pine because these are painted cabinets and the paint will provide some protection to the wood and harden it a little. Before I go to pine I thought I would inquire here and see if anyone has any tips for me. oh ya when I run the poplar through I go slow. Thanks Amy

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aidan_m

" But when the rail sides are being routed they chip at the end"

Put a piece of scrap behind the work piece when you make the end cut. When the bit exits the workpiece, the scrap piece absorbs the tear-out, leaving a clean exit.

Trim the end of the scrap piece with your chop saw, so each new cut has fresh wood backing it.

I don't know how you are switching bits without somehow affecting the height of the router. When using matching profile bits, I make one bit change per project. The height must be dialed in precisely, and the wood has to all be planed down to exactly the same thickness.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 1:08PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

If you're using a reversible cope/stick cutter, cut the cope on the rails first, and use a backerboard on the miter guide. Then when you make the sticking cut on the rails, any (minimal) tearout will be trimmed off. To back up the cope cut is the most important.
Casey

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 7:05PM
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someone2010

You need to be sure your insert is dead level with the rest of your router table. You need featherboards to hold the work down and against the fence. You should use a backup piece of wood like described above and a push stick. Take light cuts and make several passess. Make a zero clearance fence for your bit. Make a climb cut on the end before making a pass.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 9:02PM
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brickeyee

"Also when I switch between the router bits without moving the height of the router they do not always line up perfectly. "

The final height of the bit is also affected by how deep in the collet it is inserted.

The height of the router is how you adjust for differences in collet depth.

After some trial runs to set depth, save a piece of wood to use setting the depth the next time.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 9:22PM
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both

I found out about putting a scrap piece of wood to absorb the tear out after looking through youtube after I posted. I think this will realy help! We did save some pieces after some trial runs but still struggle a little with this. We change the router bit only once unless there was too much tear out and then we had to start again. We always inserted the router bit shank in as far as we could and then tightened.

I do not understand "zero clearance fence for you bit" or "Make a climb cut on the end"

Also some of the doors are so wide they will not fit into a thickness planer. I have been sanding them with an orbital sander to get rid on the difference in height if it does not line up. The wood is purchased pre planed and is the same thickness. (We found out we have to buy all the wood from one store because the thickness between stores is a hair different.

This site has been so helpful!!!! Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 10:25PM
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brickeyee

"I do not understand "zero clearance fence for you bit" or "Make a climb cut on the end" "

A "zero clearance fence" is made by placing the bit behind a sacrificial wood fence and then moving the bit as far into the fence as required (plus a very little more for clearance).

Only the required depth of the cutter edges sticks out through the face of the fence.

"Climb cutting" is cutting with the rotation of the bit.

It must be done very carefully since the cutter tends to pull itself deeper into the cut (overfeeding).

It sounds like you need a decent router book.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 10:10AM
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aidan_m

I wasn't even going to suggest climb-cutting in this case. Seems way too dangerous for a novice with panel cutting bits.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 2:04PM
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someone2010

A router is a very dangerous tool and people who use one without the proper knowledge are in serious danger of having a major accident.
The best and safest place to learn to use power tools is not on a site like this, but at your local community college or an adult school. You will not only learn how to use the tools safely, but will also learn techniques that will help you do your work more efficiently. If you are unable to do this, then at least get a video and accompaning book before starting. You will learn things like a cope and stick bit should be run at the routers slowest speed.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 5:20PM
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brickeyee

"You will learn things like a cope and stick bit should be run at the routers slowest speed."

This is flat out wrong.

They should be run at a speed based on their maximum cutting diameter.

Try running cherry at teh "slowest speed"
and you will have so much burning you will ruin the wood.

If this is what they taught you at "community college or an adult school" you should ask for your money back.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 7:36PM
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both

Someone2010, Thanks for the advice. I have been watching videos and purchased Woodworking with the Router by Bill Hylton and Fred Matlack. My husband and I have started a big project and are very familiar with many tools and machinery but not with the router. If we are over our head we have had fun trying!! We have gutted, leveled the whole first floor ceilings, walls and floors and put in a whole first floor of Oak and Maple flooring (hired for the sanding and staining). We have tiled bathrooms and put in windows. I am very talented with a Chop saw. We have used many drills, saws, and nailers over the past few years. Do not worry if we get hurt I am a nurse and he is a Chicago 911 paramedic. Sometimes in life you just have to try things to learn, which is what we have done. But sometimes I ask questions to learn from others.
I am sorry if I should have ordered the book and read it first instead of asking here for help first. I had previously asked about how to make beading and got so much help and it worked out so well that I thought I would ask about our problems with the router.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 7:50PM
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someone2010

To ask questions here is a good idea but, like I said, the router is a inherently dangerous tool with a bit that spins at speeds of around 20,000 rpm. When people say they shove the bit shank down to the bottom of the router, and don't know what a climb cut or zero clearance fence are, I worry. I don't want to be the cause of someone getting hurt.
Ask away. I am not the only person that will answer your question and you can take or throw out any answer you like.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 11:36PM
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someone2010

P.S. If you make your cuts with the grain instead of against the grain, you will avoid most of the tearout.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 11:44PM
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someone2010

To brickeye; You are correct. I should have said the bit should be run at the speed recommended by the maker. Generally the larger the diameter of the bit, the slower it should be run.
Then again, we all say things that are obviously stupid like; making small things is more difficult than making large things.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 12:01AM
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brickeyee

"I should have said the bit should be run at the speed recommended by the maker."

The bit manufacturers normally specifies the maximum speed the bit can be used at.

The speed can be reduced depending on the wood being cut, the depth of the cut, and te amount of wood being removed.

Different woods vary greatly in hardness, grain structure, and other characteristics that all effect bit speed and feed speed.

Cherry is particularly troublesome.

To slow a router speed (or to slow a feed rate) can easily result in burning, while to fast a feed rate results in a poor surface.

Grain run-out on the area being cut also matters.

If the grain is straight along the edge being routed the direction is not as important as if it runs at an angle to the edge.

Just as with a planer, the direction matters to avoid splitting off chunks of wood in front of the cutting edge.

Similar problems occur if you route a curved surface.
The grain is going to be 'wrong' for one side of the curve.

This is were tricks like a pattern bit with bearings above and below the cutter come in handy.

You route one side of the curve with the top bearing on the pattern, the turn the work over and route the other side with the bottom bearing on the pattern.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 1:48PM
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someone2010

I rest my case.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 5:32PM
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brickeyee

"I rest my case."

With all the incorrect stuff you have posted, rest in peace.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 7:35PM
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