Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So hello,
I’m new here and to woodworking with small projects at home, as well as new to owning a table router.
Possibly a strange question but how do you know what to set your router bit to in terms of depth? Is it obvious and on the package? I find myself adjusting by going through scraps of wood until I figure it out but, it’s obviously frustrating and not very efficient.
Thanks in advance!
Look forward to learning a lot about what you folks have figured out!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
bits have zilch to do with it - as they can be mounted higher or lower in the collet.

check how much one rotation of the (presumed) screw (height/dept) adjustment makes.
mount the bit, bring it up flush to the table level, turn the screw x.y turns to get the cut depth.

you will pretty much always need to check the real live actual depth on a scrap.

there are gadgets to help:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
Your question needs more details. Besides what bit, are you using a plunge or fixed base router, a router table, are you doing joinery, pattern work, edge work, or something else?

Here are some basic answers.

Always test on scrap. Always.

In general pretty much every bit besides dovetail, slot cutter, flush trim, and cope and stick bits, should be cut in several smaller passes.

If you have a plunge router, you set it to the final desired depth, and use the turret to make shallow passes. Test or on scrap one time to make sure your finished depth is what you want, then you can do all the workpieces.

If you have a fixed base router, start shallow, and use your scrap to test what it looks like, before using your good workpiece at the same settings. Start shallow, test on scrap, cut on workpiece, increase cut, test on scrap, cut on workpiece, and so on until you get to what you like. Same concept goes for a router table.

As to how you determine the "desired final depth" of cut:
  • For edge profiles, such as roundovers, and ogees, it's really whatever you want the edge to look like
  • For joinery, such as mortises, it's whatever you need to put the joint together.
And I will close by saying, always test on scrap. Always.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Which bit?
Any bit really, I didn’t know if there was a specific way to figure it out other than using scrap, or if there was a measurement for each bit.
Also I’m using a table router.
Thank You guys for the quick responses!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
I don't think you are asking how to change the depth. I think you are asking what the proper depth is. If I am correct, there is no single correct answer. The correct depth depends on the end result you need. For instance, if you are cutting a dado for a shelf to fit into, you probably need a depth of about 1/4". If you are cutting a mortise, you may go 1 1/2" (with a different bit). If you are cutting a round over, the depth setting will be such that the curve ends up tangent with the two flat faces (there are variations of that). So, the short answer is: it depends on what you are doing and what you want the end result to be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I don't think you are asking how to change the depth. I think you are asking what the proper depth is. If I am correct, there is no single correct answer. The correct depth depends on the end result you need. For instance, if you are cutting a dado for a shelf to fit into, you probably need a depth of about 1/4". If you are cutting a mortise, you may go 1 1/2" (with a different bit). If you are cutting a round over, the depth setting will be such that the curve ends up tangent with the two flat faces (there are variations of that). So, the short answer is: it depends on what you are doing and what you want the end result to be.
I’m looking at how to properly set the depth for the specific profile on each router bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
What Rebelwork said. You can start out by eyeballing the position relative to the table top or router base. Or you can measure if you prefer. Then do a test cut and adjust as needed. Each bit is ground to produce a certain profile. You can vary the end result slightly by your adjustments to suit your preference.
If you are asking how to physically make the adjustments on your router, each is different and you need to refer to your owners manual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
981 Posts
how do you know what to set your router bit to in terms of depth?
I find myself adjusting by going through scraps of wood until I figure it out
this is how i've always done it.
even the commercial shops run test pieces before a production run
they can ruin a pickup full of hardwood in a heartbeat setting up a machine
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top