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Legacy Woodworking  Machinery
a division of Phantom Engineering, Inc.
Featuring the Legacy Ornamental Mill!
 

Router Bits
1 Router Bit Basics


It is possible to invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars in router bits; protect your investment by selecting the proper bits and then using and caring for them correctly.

In this lesson you will learn the following: differences in Carbide - properly handling and storing your bits - honing VS sharpening - cleaning your router bits - proper router speeds - adjusting speed and feed rate to improve performance.



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1 - Planing Rough Surfaces Smooth
When combined with the Legacy Ornamental Mill, the router is the most versatile tool in your shop. It is able to perform an almost unlimited number of tasks, including surface and thickness planing,

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1 - Planing Rough Surfaces Smooth
2 - Creating Custom Moldings
creating custom mouldings,
2 - Creating Custom Moldings
3 - Turning Spindles
turning spindles,
3 - Turning Spindles
4 - Milling Precision Joinery
and creating precision joinery.
4 - Milling Precision Joinery
5 - Bit Selection & Maintenance
Proper bit selection will insure money is not wasted on inferior or improperly designed bits.

Careful maintenance will extend the useful life of each bit as well as protect the investment that you have made.

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5 - Bit  Selection & Maintenance
6 - Plunge Style Router Bits
There are two types of router bits; plunge style and edge forming router bits. Plunge style router bits require a fence or other system to control their path of travel. This is the type of bit that is most commonly used with a Legacy Ornamental Mill.
6 - Plunge Style Router Bits
7 - Edge Forming Router Bits
Typically edge forming router bits have a bearing to guide the router along the edge of the material being milled when hand routing. This type of bit is can also be used with a Legacy Ornamental Mill.
7 - Edge Forming Router Bits
8 - Router Bit Shank Diameters
Router bit shanks come in two diameters; 1/2" and 1/4". Purchase 1/2" shank router bits whenever possible. This larger diameter shank will help minimize deflection and vibration while cutting.
8 - Router Bit Shank Diameters
9 - Installing the Router Bit
When using the standard router collet, the router bit should be inserted fully into the collet, and then lowered approximately 1/8". This will prevent the heat generated by the router bit from being transfered directly into the router motor causing premature burnout.
9 - Installing the Router Bit
10 - The Eliminator Chuck
The Eliminator Chuck replaces the standard collet on select routers. It is very easy to use and allows you to hold the router bit as you are inserting or removing it from the chuck, preventing the router bit from accidently dropping onto the floor damaging the bit. When using the Eliminator Chuck, the router bit needs to be inserted at least 3/4". Remember to balance the Chuck the first time you use it.
10 - The Eliminator Chuck
11 - Unplug Your Router
Caution: Always unplug the router when changing bits.
11 - Unplug Your Router
12 - Router Bit Construction
The materials from which router bits are manufactured play a large role in the life and performance of the router bit. Typically three types are considered for woodworking; High Speed Steel, Carbide Tipped and Solid Carbide. High Speed Steel is the least expensive and is normally used on soft woods. These bits are hard to find as most router bit manufacturers are using Carbide.

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12 - Router Bit Construction
13 - Carbide Tipped Router Bits
When working with hardwoods you should use Carbide router bits. Carbide tipped router bits are more expensive than High Speed Steel bits however, they are by far the best value. Carbide's ability to hold an edge up to 20 times longer than high speed steel easily offsets the additional cost.
13 - Carbide Tipped Router Bits
14 - Solid Carbide Router Bits
Solid Carbide Router Bits are the most expensive. They are usually small and designed for specific applications such as mortising, laminate trimming or pattern cutting.
14 - Solid Carbide Router Bits
15 - Carbide Quality
Even though carbide is generally the material of choice, there are different grades available: all carbide router bits are not equal. Manufactures typically use grades C1 - C4 or Micrograin; Micrograin being the most durable and will hold an edge longer than any of the other grades.
15 - Carbide Quality
16 - Magnate Router Bits
Legacy offers Magnate's professional line of Micrograin carbide router bits. They can be purchased directly from Magnate or from Legacy; the price being the same. Legacy's professional staff will offer advice and help you select the proper router bits for your projects.
16 - Magnate Router Bits
17 - Router Bit Storage
Carbide router bits are brittle and should always be properly cared for. They should always be stored upright with enough space between them that they don't touch any other bit or any surface that will cause undue damage.
17 - Router Bit Storage
18 - Router Bit Storage

DON'T DO THIS!

Carelessly laying your router bits on a flat surface is inviting disaster.

18 - Router Bit Storage
19 - Damaged Carbide
If you find that a bit has a chip or crack in the carbide, we recommend that you replace it.
19 - Damaged Carbide
20 - Legacy's Router Bit Storage System
Legacy Woodworking Machinery offers a router bit storage system that is excellent for organizing and protecting your router bits.
20 - Legacy's Router Bit Storage System
21 - Legacy's Tool Holder
Legacy also provides a Tool Holder that mounts to the Ornamental Mills and Work Stations and will help you protect the selected router bits that you are using for any given project.
21 - Legacy's Tool Holder
22 - Resin On The Router Bit
Router bits will perform better and hold an edge much longer if they are kept clean. Resin on the face of the cutter will create additional heat causing the bit to dull more quickly and burn your wood. It can also cause chatter.

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22 - Resin On The Router Bit
23 - Cleaning The Bit
There are specialized products on the market designed to remove pitch and clean your router bits. Other products, however, commonly found in the workshop - such as WD-40 - will also work.
23 - Cleaning The Bit
24 - Denatured Alcohol
Another cleaning method is to soak the router bit in denatured alcohol for a few minutes and then use a tooth brush to clean the resin off.
24 - Denatured Alcohol
25 - Bits With Bearings
CAUTION: Do not soak bits with bearings in denatured alcohol or any other type of cleaner.
25 - Bits With Bearings
26 - Dyna-Glide
Legacy sells a product called Dyna-Glide (a sprayed on dry lubricant) that is effective at slowing the resin buildup on your router bits helping them to run cooler.
26 - Dyna-Glide
27 - DMT Diamond Shafpener
The life-span of a router bit can be dramatically increased if its cutting edge is frequently honed. Legacy sells a DMT diamond impregnated whetstone for this purpose; its blue side has a course grit and its red side has a fine grit.
27  - DMT Diamond Shafpener
28 - Protecting The Surface
The cutting surfaces of this sharpeing device are protected by folding them into its handle when it is not in use.
28  - Protecting The Surface
29 - Honing The Bit
When using the DMT sharpener place it on a block of wood to raise it away from the bench. Using water as a lubricant, lay the face of the cutting surface flat on the surface of the sharpening stone. Apply a small amount of pressure and slide the bit back and forth. Use the same number of strokes on both sides of the router bit. Sharpen using the blue surface first and then switch to the red surface.
29  - Honing The Bit
30 - Dry The Bit & Sharpener
When finished honing the router bits, wash and dry both the sharpener and the bits.
30 - Dry The Bit & Sharpener
31 - Dyna-Glide
We strongly recommend that as the last step you spray a coat of Dyna-Glide on to the face of the carbide cutting surface and let it dry. The bit is now ready for use.
31 - Dyna-Glide
33 - Professionally Sharpening Bits
Honing router bits frequently will greatly reduce the frequency at which the will need to be professionally sharpened.

Professional sharpening removes a lot more material from the face of the cutting surface than proper honing does.

33 - Professionally Sharpening Bits
32 - Sharpening Problems
Router bits that have a point in the center, such as a rope molding or point cutting round over bit, will present a problem when sharpening.
32 - Sharpening Problems
34 - Gap At The Center Point
On bits designed with a point, as more material is ground off the face of the two carbide cutting surfaces a gap will appear and eventually widen. Consequently the center point of the router bit will make a very rough cut; at this point the router bit should be replaced.
34 - Gap At The Center Point
35 - Router Options
Legacy highly recommends the use of a variable speed router. Best milling results are obtained when the RPM of the router is adjusted to meet the milling needs for the type of material being milled, for the the size of bit being used and for the nature of the design being created.

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35 - Router Options
36 - Router Bit Turning Speed
As the diameter of the router bit increases, so does the speed of its outer cutting edge. Router speed is measured as the RPM of the shaft itself. The actual speed of the outer edge of the router bit can be determined by using the following formulas.
36 - Router Bit Turning Speed
37 - Calculating The Circumference
First calculate the Circumference of the router bit. Circumference equals pi (3.14) times the diameter of the bit.
37 - Calculating The Circumference
38 - Circumference Example
For example, the circumference of a 2" diameter router bit equals 3.14 (pi) times 2 (diameter of the bit) or 6.28".
38 - Circumference Example
39 - Tangential Speed
Tangential speed (outer surface speed) in inches per minute equals the circumference times the router RPM.
39 - Tangential Speed
40 - Outer Diameter Speed
From this chart you can see that a 1" diameter router bit turning at 10,000 RPM has an outer surface speed of 30 MPH. On the other hand, a 3" diameter router bit turning at 21,000 RPM has an outer surface speed of 187 MPH. By changing the diameter of the router bit and the router speed a dramatic difference in the speed at the outside edge of the router bit occurs.
40 - Outer Diameter Speed
41 - Suggested Maximum RPM
Use this chart to find the suggested maximum RPM for router bits purchased from Legacy Woodworking Machinery.
41 - Suggested Maximum RPM
42 - Speed vs Performance
On a Variable Speed Router the RPM of the router bit can be adjusted to enhance the performance of the router bit. For example, decreasing the RPM can help avoid burning.
42 - Speed vs Performance
43 - Speed vs Performance
Increasing the RPM of the router can decrease chatter. Do not increase the RPM beyond the suggested maximum rpm for your router bit.
43 - Speed vs Performance
44 - Feed Rate
The rate of speed that the router bit is moved along the workpiece is just as important as the RPM of the router bit. A slower feed rate equals more cuts per inch and will usually improve the quality of the cut.
44 - Feed Rate
45 - Router Bit Designs
Legacy has designed a wide selection of router bits specifically for the Ornamental Mill.

These bits, along with many of the standard router bits, can be purchased from Legacy or directly from Magnate, the manufacturer.

45 - Router Bit Designs


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