Hello all from a novice. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 Old 12-31-2009, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
10 fingered novice
 
blktoptrvl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 24
View blktoptrvl's Photo Album My Photos
Hello all from a novice.

As I said in my intro title, I think of myself as a novice.

Not because I have not completed any projects (I have, see below) but because I have not completed my projects correctly or well (IMO).

So, I have come here to learn a few things about design, tools, tool safety, and the best ways to move forward.

My project thus far include:
  • Building a frame for a piece of stained glass art I created.
  • Casing the windows of my house (windows were wrapped in drywall only).
  • Completing a 16x13 foot rec room (which had been raw concrete walls).
  • Building a display case for my Hot Wheels collection (It is a problem I encountered on this project that brought me here.)
All of the above projects were completed using basic tools (5" cordless circular saw and drill, hand saw). After completing the first version of my hotwheels case, I decided to purchase a table saw. I chose a Skil X-Shop set and have been pleased with the results I am getting with it - although if I were to search today, I think I would buy something else.

Back to the reason I am posting...

A few minutes ago, while using the router on the x-shop to cut a 1/4" groove in a 1"x4" plank of pine, I got within 5 inches of the end of the 4' cut when I snapped the head off the bit. (Still have no idea where the tip went. Glad I was wearing safety glasses.)

I didn't think I was applying too much pressure on the bit, but I had nothing to compare it to.

I was using "Columbia (Yellow)" router bits purchased from Northern Tools to make the groove



Questions:
  • Could it be that I was trying to make too long a cut and should have let the bit rest every few inches?
  • Could it be that I simply used too much pressure when cutting?
  • Or is it more likely that the bit I was using was not that tough (it was an inexpensive set?)
Any insight into what I did wrong would be appreciated.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Room2.jpg
Views:	75
Size:	73.5 KB
ID:	12539  

Attached Images
   

Last edited by blktoptrvl; 02-12-2010 at 11:53 PM.
blktoptrvl is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 Old 01-01-2010, 12:30 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 294
View daryl's Photo Album My Photos
You must be wanting to talk to someone else because I can see from your work that your above my expertise level. Nice work

Last edited by daryl; 01-01-2010 at 02:55 AM.
daryl is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 01-01-2010, 09:55 AM
red
Papa Red
 
red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Denver NC
Posts: 1,165
View red's Photo Album My Photos
Welcome to the forum.

Red

Red
red is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 6 Old 01-01-2010, 11:50 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Northern Nevada
Posts: 59
View Dusty82's Photo Album My Photos
Let me first echo the sentiments above by welcoming you to the forum, and by saying that you are doing some excellent work - especially with the limited tools you've described.

As to the router bit snapping, you're luckier than you think. When you consider how fast that bit was spinning, it could have come back and hit your torso, requiring a trip to the hospital to have them dig it out of you.

My first thought is to ask you how far into the router's collet you put the bit shank. The shank of the bit should slip into the collet of the router as far as it can go without the cutting head of the bit actually touching it. I put my bits into the collet until the cutting head touches the collet, then pull it back out about 1/16th of an inch maximum. When you apply pressure on a bit like that, the more of the bit shank you have exposed the more likely the shank will flex. It won't flex much, but it will flex enough. (I'm assuming that you're using router bits with a 1/4 inch shank.)

My second thought was the quality of the bit in question. A cheap bit is just that. You'd be better off getting a better quality bit at Lowe's or HD. They carry some decent quality Freud or Bosch bits that, while they're not top of the line, will perform much better. Also, don't waste your time and money on HSS (Hight Speed Steel) bits - go for carbide tipped bits. They'll stay sharper for a lot longer than a HSS bit will, and will cut a lot cleaner. You'll pay a little bit more for the bit, but you won't be buying 2 or 3 of them to finish a project.

The quality of the bit dovetails (no pun intended) with my next thought. Were you trying to cut the 1/4 inch deep groove in one pass? Smaller routers and cheaper bits can't handle hogging out that much material all at once. It's better to set your bit depth to take out the material in steps - say 1/8th of an inch at a time in your case. Not only is there less material for your bit to try to cut through and less strain put on the router's motor, but when cutting a groove like that, there's nowhere for the sawdust to go. Sawdust build-up can clog the bit and build up even more heat than the spinning bit naturally creates.

Bit failure like what happened to you isn't all that common, but when you put a combination of all of the above factors together, it can happen - as you saw. Now I may be totally wrong here, but unless the bit hit something hard that was embedded in the wood like a screw or nail, I think that a combination of the above may have done it.

My suggestion would be to get a better quality carbide-tipped bit, make sure you put the shank of the bit as deeply into the router's collet as you can without the cutting head actually touching the collet, slow down your feed rate, and cut the groove in a couple of shallower passes. Oh - also, make sure you're feeding the material into the bit from the right direction. If you're feeding it from the wrong direction, you'll know - the work will want to pull away from the fence rather than stay snug against it.

“It’s what you learn after you already know everything that counts.” –Chip Foose-
Dusty82 is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 01-01-2010, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
10 fingered novice
 
blktoptrvl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 24
View blktoptrvl's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty82 View Post
Let me first echo the sentiments above by welcoming you to the forum, and by saying that you are doing some excellent work - especially with the limited tools you've described.

Thanks for the welcome. Hopefully this site is better than most of the car sites where rancor and political devisiveness is the order of the day.

As to the router bit snapping, you're luckier than you think. When you consider how fast that bit was spinning, it could have come back and hit your torso, requiring a trip to the hospital to have them dig it out of you.


I thought about that issue today before I started cutting again. I decided to wear my heavily padded overalls and an apron over them. I also decided that before I cut again, I will hang a sheet metal dam around the router just in case I snap another one.

My first thought is to ask you how far into the router's collet you put the bit shank. The shank of the bit should slip into the collet of the router as far as it can go without the cutting head of the bit actually touching it. I put my bits into the collet until the cutting head touches the collet, then pull it back out about 1/16th of an inch maximum. When you apply pressure on a bit like that, the more of the bit shank you have exposed the more likely the shank will flex. It won't flex much, but it will flex enough. (I'm assuming that you're using router bits with a 1/4 inch shank.)


I had assumed that the shank should pass all the way through the collet. The reason for this thought is that the yellow color on the bit shaft stops and then continues leaving what appears to be a guide as to the proper depth. See the pictures below.

My second thought was the quality of the bit in question. A cheap bit is just that. You'd be better off getting a better quality bit at Lowe's or HD. They carry some decent quality Freud or Bosch bits that, while they're not top of the line, will perform much better. Also, don't waste your time and money on HSS (Hight Speed Steel) bits - go for carbide tipped bits. They'll stay sharper for a lot longer than a HSS bit will, and will cut a lot cleaner. You'll pay a little bit more for the bit, but you won't be buying 2 or 3 of them to finish a project.


I was taking out a quarter inch in one pass with the snapped bit. The bit I purchased today to replace the broken one is made by Skil (Bosch) the packaging says they are heat treated top to bottom, but it says nothing about them being carbide.

However, this bit was able to make the cut without incident. In the future I will make more than one pass when cutting a channel. I did some more reading today and noted that there was a lot of dust (in addition to chips) in the air. From what I read this and the burning smell indicate that I was moving the wood too slowly.

I would still be curious to know from someone here what they think an optimal feed speed should be (ballpark) is it inches per minute or feet per minute.

I also heard and felt each time the bit hit bad wood. The knots definitely gave a kickback.
Not sure which groove was cut by the old and which was cut by the new bit. I will have to pay more attention with the next pass.

Regarding making multiple passes, after thinking about it, I would think that the router should be able to handle it... After all you can't make multiple passes with a joining bit can you?

Either way, thanks to you all for the welcome. I hope I can make some contributions. See you around the forum.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Bits 016.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	61.5 KB
ID:	12552  

Attached Images
   

Last edited by blktoptrvl; 01-01-2010 at 08:52 PM.
blktoptrvl is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 01-04-2010, 12:50 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,289
View Texas Sawduster's Photo Album My Photos
Welcome from Texas

Well first welcome to the forum.

I don't want to string out this thread by staying on the topic here, but I will say that in referance to a "Feed and Speed" issue, I don't have all the figures but there is a starting point. It is best to work with a variable speed router so you can adjust the rpm's depending on the density of the wood.
Buy yourself good quality router bits. I would start by just buying what you need for a particular job. It's easier on the wallet that way.
The feedrate will be a learn as you go type of thing. I take multiple depth of cuts in all types of wood just so I don't have any tearouts or limit the number of tearouts at the ends of the boards.
If the woods burns you are moving too slow and there may be sawdust/shavings sticking to the bit causing it to re-cut the sawdust/shavings. This will also affect the finish.

Tools are like guns, You can never have enough.
Where did I put that tape measure???
Texas Sawduster is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Novice to turning. Any advice? xphnmn Woodturning 7 12-10-2009 08:32 PM
Novice woodworker with a problem jigsaw jpeccerillo New Member Introductions 19 12-30-2008 11:07 AM
Total Novice - in over my head, you decide!! aus83 Design & Plans 17 02-01-2008 10:32 PM
Mostly for the novice finisher Rob Wood Finishing 5 01-12-2007 09:11 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome