Thread: Router Cutters

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  1. #1
    Can anyone help?

    Having recenlty invested in a home CNC and got it talking to Mach3. I require some router bits to test cut and start working I guess.

    Whats the difference with HSS and Carbide?

    The collet in my router is 1/4inch and I have sourced some 12mm MDF and 3mm mirrored di-bond for test cutting. At this point I have no cutters and would like to order some for delivery.

    Any advise would be appreciated.

    Also, it is wise to invest in a collet reducer thus allowing the purchase on 1/8inch bits also for detailing work?

    Finally, I have a 4th axis, not turning yet but does anyone know of a good supplier for a tail stock? Oh, whilst I remember is a t-slot table for clamping easy enough to build?

    So many question. Thanking you all in advance for you wealth of experience, hopefully I will return the favour with some design/cad/modelling knowledge.

  2. #2
    Without being derogatory you are going to make mistakes and break tools, just part of the learning curve. So start off cheap so you can afford mistakes, really pi$$'s you off when you snap a 12 tool right into the work because you have got the wrong tool offset [ don't ask !! ]

    Do a Google for Toolstation, bit like Screwfix but good bit is it's post free over 10, they do some Silverline router cutters, the 1/8"ones are 1.00 each and they last quite well and lets face it a pound a cutter is a consumable.

    I cut a fair bit of Tufnol sheet and it's very abrasive, I have been using Trend cutters off Ebay and to be honest these 1.00 cutters are lasting the same amount of time.

    The Silverline cutters have a good range of sizes but still retail the 1/4" shank.

    Need a decent picture of the tailstock and centre hight to help here but it could be your first job.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Two bits of MDF for the uprights, counterbored to take two nuts thwacked in, base, upright spacer and a sharpened length of all thread for the spindle.
    Alter recipe to suit ingredients.

    Tee slot table isn't a start up job, take a bit of work, my Techno - Isel router has a teel slot table from new but i keep a piece of 18mm MDF bolted to it and secure everything to this with panel pins.

    Advantages are you always have a 'slot' to secure to <g>, disposable, and no worries when you set your cutter 1mm deeper to clear thru a component.
    My nephew has a Kitchen and bathroom business and he cuts all his offcuts of MDF up to fit my bed on his CNC saw every so often when he has a sort out but even without a connection like that it's easy to get offcuts to do the same job.
    John S -

  3. On the subject of clamping and t-slots. A cheaper and easier to replace solution is a sheet of 12mm MDF, drilled out with 5mm or 6mm holes in a grid (easy job for the CNC machine!), then hammer in some matching size t-nuts from the reverse. They're cheap and when you've accidentally ploughed the baseboard you simply hammer them out and replace the board...

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to irving2008 For This Useful Post:

  5. #4
    Thanks for the cutter info John, unfortunately I spent much more than just the cutters.
    Oh well!

    It's only money!


  6. #5

    Forgive my ignorance but the cutters you have suggested are completely different to those i've seen and used before.

    I have had access to an AXYZ router that used end mills and ball mills etc that looked more like drill bits ( do good examples for around 5.00) and I would be greatfull if you could educate me as to the difference.

    These milling cutters are twin, 3 and multi flutes. Therefore I am now confused.

  7. #6
    Milling cutters are for Aluminium,Brass,Perspex,ect,ect....if you're cutting MDF then a Straight flute wood router bit is what you need.

  8. #7
    jonm's Avatar
    Location unknown. Last Activity: 19-06-2011 Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 89.
    been using carbide mill ends and ball nose cutters to cut soft woods ,hardwoods and mdf , with better results than straight flute router bits the spiral flutes clear the cut as they go
    spiral cut router bits are also very good, they are to all effects a mill end

  9. #8
    TMy's Avatar
    Location unknown. Last Activity: 18-09-2010 Has been a member for 6-7 years. Has a total post count of 2.

    Do you know any good suppliers of carbide end mills in the UK? They need to be 1/8" shank and have a ring collar. I have been using Drill Bit City in the US, these have been great cutters, and these guys have a great selection, but the postage is so expensive.

    Would like to find a recommended supplier in the UK.


  10. #9
    hi all
    HSS is not as hard as carbide so can get a sharper edge which will give an inproved finish on plastics and softwoods - but there is always a cost. HSS does not give the same long life as carbide tools.


  11. #10

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