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post #1 of 10 Old 04-18-2017, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Router Bit Help

I'm beginning my foray into slab tables, and build myself a router sled to flatten my pieces. I haven't done much work with a router before and got overwhelmed when I walked into Rockler's and saw a giant wall of bits.

What bit should I be picking up to take off a lot of material and flatten my slabs?

Collet is 1/2 inch
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-19-2017, 12:35 PM
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To flatten a slab you need a jointer.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-19-2017, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canarywood1 View Post
To flatten a slab you need a jointer.
I think they are looking for more of a bit that can be used when you build a flattening jig like this one...

I have no idea who this guy is, it's just the first video that came up on a Google search for router jig to flatten slabs.

I'm sorry that I don't have a bit suggestion for you because I have never tackled a project like that.

Scott
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-19-2017, 02:15 PM
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Some tips: since the bit will be doing a shearing cut there will be some fiber tear that you will need to sand out after flattening. The bigger diameter the bit the faster the cutting edge is traveling and the better the cut for a given feed speed. Get a fairly large diameter straight bit, 1.5"?? Since you will be cutting fairly shallow the length of the cutting edge doesn't need to be any longer than absolutely necessary. Shorter is better than longer. How fast you can move the router will depend on how much power it has and how deep your cut is. Hang on tightly as the bit may want to accelerate the router if you start climb cutting. Make sure your rails are sufficiently stiff so you end up with a flat cut. Shim any twist to average out the cut.
Many people use router sleds, slow but get you there. You can surface about any width of slab, not true of a jointer. I have a 16" jointer and a 5X10' CNC router. We have been surfacing big walnut slabs for a man who makes tables. Even with 12 hp & a 4" diameter cutter it is still not super fast when some of the slabs have a lot of twist... We also have a 36" widebelt sander to do the final sanding and take out the grain tear. It can take up to 40 minutes to surface & sand both sides of a big slab.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-19-2017, 02:16 PM
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I've never done it, but I believe they use this type of bit. flat cutting bottom and eased edges so it doesn't leave lines.


https://woodworkersworld.net/whitesi...bits-1374.html
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-19-2017, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Larry and Tim, thanks for the help. I appreciate y'all taking the time to set me straight. I'll be smoothing my first slab this weekend.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-19-2017, 08:05 PM
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I use a Freud 12190 two flute 1 1/2 inch flat bottom cutter. It works pretty good.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-19-2017, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canarywood1 View Post
To flatten a slab you need a jointer.
I would like to see some pics of that procedure.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-20-2017, 02:00 AM
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To flatten a slab in any sort of reasonable amount of time you want the largest diameter bottom clearing bit you can run in your router, something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Magnate-Surfa.../dp/B0006B0QXO

The wider the bit the fewer passes you have to make, which is always a good thing. Of course, the larger the bit the larger the router needs to be to run it, can't really run a bit like that in a trim router after all. The bit I linked to would be great if you have one of the hefty handhelds, like the triton my stringer is using in his pictures. If you're running something smaller, porter cable 690 say, you'll probably want something slightly smaller in the 1 1/2 range.

The key thing you want to search for is "bottom clearing (or cleaning) router bit" in whatever diameter you want. If the 2 1/2 bit is a little large for you, check out Grizzlys offerings, they've got 1 1/2 and smaller bits at pretty reasonable prices

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-21-2017, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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MT and Epic, thanks. I'm going with a 1.5" width for now, but I may try to go wider on the next one; it definitely takes a lot of passes. In theory a 2 incher would get me done 25% faster. I'm running with the Porter Cable 7539.
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