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post #1 of 41 Old 01-05-2019, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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question on router bits.

I've been doing working for many years using router bits. One thing I've never thought about is when you going to do a tongue and groove in a board, if you put the groove but in the board, bottoming the bit all the way down into the collet, are bits made so you can bottom the next bit and it will line up exactually right. Sorry I didn't say that very good. I'll try again.

when using a matched set of router bits like in the below picture. If you put the first bit bottomed in the collet, and then if you bottom the second bit, should it come out right or do you have to adjust each bit individually?

I adjust the first bit to where I want it, then change bits and adjust the router up or down to get it where it matches the first cut. It would be much easier if I could just put the second bit in and go. I don't know if the bit are ground to he correct length or not.

Sorry if I still don't make any sense.
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post #2 of 41 Old 01-05-2019, 10:19 PM
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I suppose you could measure them ... ? That might tell you something.

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:
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post #3 of 41 Old 01-06-2019, 01:50 AM
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In my experience, no they are not the same heights. And you shouldn't bottom out the shaft in the collet to begin with, that can cause the bit to loosen as you run it. When you get the rail bit set how you want it, make some reference pieces from the same material. Then when you want to set the stile bit, use the reference pieces to set the height.


Make sure you run more material than you will ever need with the rail bit before changing bits, because it's a giant PITA to try to go back and set the rail bit exactly the same to run more material.


Ask me how I know.


Easiest solution is to set up on two router tables, one for the rail cuts the other for the stiles.
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post #4 of 41 Old 01-06-2019, 05:18 AM
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Never bottom out the bits!

You may not be able to get them out, since a small tap downward will free up a seized bit.

Always make test runs with your scrap stock to use as "set up" blocks when you change bits back and forth and mark them with a Sharpie as such.

If you have a precision router lift, Jessem or Woodpecker, it is incredibly easy to adjust the height of a bit in small increments. If you have to rotate the motor to change heights, it's a pain. If your router has an "above the table" height adjustment, that will be OK, but not as good as a precision lift.





Multiple tables and routers may be beyond the reach of a home shop budget, but that is the best arrangement. A good router, lift and cast iron table in a stand will set you back around $1,000, and that's a lot of money for a small shop which may only run a few profiles in a year. Of course it can be done for less with less than top end tools.
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Last edited by woodnthings; 01-06-2019 at 05:21 AM.
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post #5 of 41 Old 01-06-2019, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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woodnthings.....Good video. I like it when they compare lifts, makes it easy to choose.

I haven't been to the shop yet but I am going to do more investigating and see if I can come up with a easy way to change bits and see if there is a way to make them align with the previous bit.
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post #6 of 41 Old 01-06-2019, 09:39 AM
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Sommerfield has matching height sets. Not cheap!! Appears that they use an rubber grommet in the collet that compresses as you tighten the bit. This apparently allows different bits to rest on the grommet and set at the correct height.

https://sommerfeldtools.com/professi...-sets-are-best

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post #7 of 41 Old 01-06-2019, 10:45 AM
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I use an extra piece of the same thickness hardwood (after creating the molding) to use as setup blocks, as a matched set. To make it clearer for future use I label the set up blocks and hang on pegboard hook. This also gives me a visual permanent sample.
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post #8 of 41 Old 01-07-2019, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeasureTwice View Post
Sommerfield has matching height sets. Not cheap!! Appears that they use an rubber grommet in the collet that compresses as you tighten the bit. This apparently allows different bits to rest on the grommet and set at the correct height.

https://sommerfeldtools.com/professi...-sets-are-best
That little rubber thing is a good idea but I'm not sure mine are the correct length where it will be the correct height. I want measure and check them out.

I also think its a good idea to make a sample piece as mentioned that would work for quicker set up.
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post #9 of 41 Old 01-07-2019, 09:40 AM
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Post no. 4 ...set up block....

See how a set up block works to adjust the bit height here. It won't matter if they are not the same length or inserted down the same distance, once you get the height set properly. Just use the scrap sample you made and labeled as I suggested above. This video is about lock miter bits, but would apply to most other profiles as well:

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post #10 of 41 Old 01-08-2019, 12:07 AM
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OK, lets look at the safety aspects first.

When a router bit is made there is usually a fillet between the cutting part of the bit and the shank. In woodworking terms the fillet is usually shaped like a cove. When the jaws of the collet attempt to hold the router bit and actually grip the fillet, the grip is not secure, not consistent and not safe.

OK so what to do? Make a series of test cuts. When you are satisfied, make a final test cut 6 or 8 inches long. Save the piece. Do the same for the matching or mating cut. On the opposite side of the previous board used for the test cut make a final cut. Save the board for future reference and set up.

The bad news is that you will never get the cuts, absolutely, anal retentive perfect. T & G doesn't matter too much but locking miters do. And that is what sandpaper is for.
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post #11 of 41 Old 01-08-2019, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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After playing in the shop with the locking bit or any bit or bits that have to be set at a certain height, once you get it right, make a setup block and keep it. The bits I am using, stock thickness makes a big difference and the bit has to be readjusted. In this case, I started with thick stock, adjusted the bit and made a setup block. I did this for 4-5 different thicknesses (thick to thinner) and made a setup sample which I keep. It should make it much easier next time.
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post #12 of 41 Old 01-08-2019, 04:06 PM
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When you tighten the collet, it pulls the bit slightly inward. If you have it bottomed out, that can't happen and it creates a risk of the bit loosening. I had this happen a couple of times when I first began using routers. I am puzzled though...you've been using routers for years and did not know this?
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post #13 of 41 Old 01-08-2019, 04:38 PM
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I made an economy lift using a laboratory scissor jack lift that I got from Amazon.com. It works fine and I can adjust the depth of the cut with excellent accuracy. It cost $35.00.

If your budget cannot stand the price of a commercial router lift, then consider this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #14 of 41 Old 01-08-2019, 05:41 PM
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I didn't know either ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwood_1 View Post
When you tighten the collet, it pulls the bit slightly inward. If you have it bottomed out, that can't happen and it creates a risk of the bit loosening. I had this happen a couple of times when I first began using routers. I am puzzled though...you've been using routers for years and did not know this?

I've been using a router for decades and never realized that while I was tightening the bit it moved inward/downward. Maybe I wasn't paying attention ... I donno? However, I always seated the bit a tad up from fully bottomed, because I had heard that was a good practice AND it made common sense to me if it seized, I could tap it down easier than pull it up.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #15 of 41 Old 01-08-2019, 07:58 PM
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I wouldn't put a router bit all the way in until it bottoms. After you run it a while the temperature of the bit will heat and there isn't room for expansion if it's bottomed out. This would put undo stress on the collet. Then I wouldn't trust that two router bits that were alike and bought from the same place on the same day would be identical. It's up to the woodworker to see to it the depth is set accurate.

In matching a coping and sticking set together it's best you use two routers and set the coping up in one router and the sticking in the other. Sometimes when you are running parts a blow out will cause you to dispose of a part and if you have a set of routers set up you can easily replace that part.
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post #16 of 41 Old 01-09-2019, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwood_1 View Post
When you tighten the collet, it pulls the bit slightly inward. If you have it bottomed out, that can't happen and it creates a risk of the bit loosening. I had this happen a couple of times when I first began using routers. I am puzzled though...you've been using routers for years and did not know this?
I knew about not putting the bit bottomed out, but I was just saying that to try to explain easier about the bits being the same length. My first router 35 years ago I did not know not to bottom the bit and I had a hell of a time getting it out. I couldn't tap it down to break it loose. I'm going to try the rubber trick below the bit and see how that works.

I'm going to check out that scissor lift a little more. It might be a cheap and good way to make a lift. I have the 3.5 hp Hitachi router and it won't work with the standard lift so I don't have many other options. Not sure how fine of an adjust it would provide though. I might be able to put a fine thread screw in it. I like the idea and the feed back on the lift from other users. Thanks.
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post #17 of 41 Old 01-09-2019, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tewitt1949 View Post
I knew about not putting the bit bottomed out, but I was just saying that to try to explain easier about the bits being the same length. My first router 35 years ago I did not know not to bottom the bit and I had a hell of a time getting it out. I couldn't tap it down to break it loose. I'm going to try the rubber trick below the bit and see how that works.

I'm going to check out that scissor lift a little more. It might be a cheap and good way to make a lift. I have the 3.5 hp Hitachi router and it won't work with the standard lift so I don't have many other options. Not sure how fine of an adjust it would provide though. I might be able to put a fine thread screw in it. I like the idea and the feed back on the lift from other users. Thanks.
I use my lab scissor lift on an older 3.5 hp Hitachi. On the older units the top is flat. But do make sure that you don't allow the linear bearings to slide out of the base. If you do, the little brass piece that clamps on it will be "in the wind". I bought 3 replacements. I've used 2. I never seem to find the piece once it falls out.

I just looked on line and the newer ones seem to have a flat surface too.

I have mine mounted in my table saw MDF table. I built a box to rest under it for the scissor jack to rest on.

I find replacing bits easier If I lift the router plate up and change it topside. A hinged top on home built table would resolve that issue.

The router lift allows accurate adjustments for me. If I am ever tempted to buy a premium router lift, I would sooner buy an actual shaper from Grizzly for about the same price.
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post #18 of 41 Old 01-09-2019, 11:36 AM
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Router table VS shaper

The shaper has a nut on the top of the spindle allowing it to do ONLY edge profiles, no plough cuts, mortises or dados, a common operation on a router table. They come with "router bit adapters" but the shaper's max RPM is only 10,000 RPM., not enough for smaller diameter bits which need up to 20,000 RPM to cut efficiently. It's about the peripheral tip speed based on the diameter.

I have 3 router tables and a 1/2" spindle shaper which never gets used.
A shaper is great for a production shop where running stiles and rails is an all day long operation. I have a buddy who makes raised panels doors who has several shapers and a sticker. The largest diameter shaper cutter I've seen hanging on his wall is 8" in diameter. It is run in a 10 HP dual spindle shaper. His primary shaper is a 3 HP. The large cutters are for the door moldings and typically they are arched. I have no need for a shaper and no desire to get one. I can raise panels with bit up to 3 1/4" diameter if I ever need to. As it has turned out, I do very little edge profiling to make moldings and such, since my favorite style is Mission.

Just pointing out what may or may not be obvious.......

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-09-2019 at 11:41 AM.
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post #19 of 41 Old 01-09-2019, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packard View Post
I use my lab scissor lift on an older 3.5 hp Hitachi. On the older units the top is flat. But do make sure that you don't allow the linear bearings to slide out of the base. If you do, the little brass piece that clamps on it will be "in the wind". I bought 3 replacements. I've used 2. I never seem to find the piece once it falls out.

I just looked on line and the newer ones seem to have a flat surface too.

I have mine mounted in my table saw MDF table. I built a box to rest under it for the scissor jack to rest on.

I find replacing bits easier If I lift the router plate up and change it topside. A hinged top on home built table would resolve that issue.

The router lift allows accurate adjustments for me. If I am ever tempted to buy a premium router lift, I would sooner buy an actual shaper from Grizzly for about the same price.


Sounds like we have the same router. Mine is about 20 years old, maybe (M10). Only thing I'm concerned with is if the jack is under the router pushing up, it might lift the router and insert plate out of my router table. I've made the router table and there is a plate that I fastened to the router base and it fits in table and lifts out to change bits. If the router base wasn't spring loaded it might not be a problem. Not sure if the springs can be detached or not. I may have to find a way to hold the plate solid in the table yet easily removable.
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post #20 of 41 Old 01-09-2019, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tewitt1949 View Post
Sounds like we have the same router. Mine is about 20 years old, maybe (M10). Only thing I'm concerned with is if the jack is under the router pushing up, it might lift the router and insert plate out of my router table. I've made the router table and there is a plate that I fastened to the router base and it fits in table and lifts out to change bits. If the router base wasn't spring loaded it might not be a problem. Not sure if the springs can be detached or not. I may have to find a way to hold the plate solid in the table yet easily removable.

The springs walked off a while back. My mounting plate is screwed in place into two 1/4" 20 inserts. I unscrew it to lift out the router.

I used these EZ lock thread inserts: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

A flat head machine screw (countersunk) with either a philips head or a allen head screw would hold it in place.

https://www.amazon.com/Socket-Screws...len+head+bolts

When I get home tonight I will remove the screws and see if the router lifts. Keep in mind that my springs have vanished and I keep the shafts lubed with WD-40.

I will report whether the router lifts or not. If it does not, I may skip the screw down entirely. I never gave that a thought.

Last edited by Packard; 01-09-2019 at 12:52 PM.
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