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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone recommend what router bits I should start out with?

I know we discussed it once in another thread, but I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.

Basically, what would I need if I were going to build a subwoofer box?

Thanks!
 

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Hi there Sonnie,

here's what I use:

A narrow straight bit used for:
- plunge cutting openings in shelf braces
- cleaning up edges of panels that have been cut slightly oversize with saw
- cutting driver openings
- cutting undersize port openings

A wider straight bit used for:
- Cutting driver rebates

A flush trim bit used for:
- Cleaning up overhang from joints
- opening up port holes

A rollover bit used for
- Cutting port flares
- Rounding off edges if cabinet is not to be veneered
- Edges of grille frames

A 45 degree chamfer bit used for
- Opening up around deeply recessed amps
- Edges of grille frame

Some of the straight bits could be duplicated with spiral upcut bits which pull the cut material out of the work area

regards
Collo
 

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+1 to what Collo said.

I use 1/4" straight cut bits because I have a small router and that is what the Jasper circle jigs are calibrated for. I have used a spiral upcut bit, and they are great for cutting nice flat recesses, but I find them to be more fragile for most heavy cutting work. In either case - if you are using the router to cut 3/4" MDF you probably want to make several passes for each cut lest you break a bit or burn up the bearings in your router.

As far as the roundover bits, you can probably get by with just a 3/8" roundover. However, you can often get a set of many sizes for about the price of two bits.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Would something like this be a good start...

MLCS Woodworking 15 Pc. Carbide-tipped Router Bit Set, 1/4" shank



High quality carbide-tipped set includes 4 Straight Bits (3/16", 1/4", 1/2", 3/4"), 1 Round Over Bit (3/8"), 1 Cove Bit (1/2"), 1 Roman Ogee Bit (5/32"), 1 45 deg Chamfer Bit, 1 Flush Trim Bit (1/2"), 1 Rabbeting Bit (3/8"), 1 Dovetail Bit (1/2" x 14 degree), 1 V-Groove Bit (3/8"), 1 Hinge Mortising Bit (1/2"), 1 Panel Pilot Bit (1/4"), 1 Round Nose Bit (1/4"), 1 Allen Wrench and 1 bearing to convert Round Over bit into Beading bit.

$40
 

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Would something like this be a good start...

MLCS Woodworking 15 Pc. Carbide-tipped Router Bit Set, 1/4" shank



High quality carbide-tipped set includes 4 Straight Bits (3/16", 1/4", 1/2", 3/4"), 1 Round Over Bit (3/8"), 1 Cove Bit (1/2"), 1 Roman Ogee Bit (5/32"), 1 45 deg Chamfer Bit, 1 Flush Trim Bit (1/2"), 1 Rabbeting Bit (3/8"), 1 Dovetail Bit (1/2" x 14 degree), 1 V-Groove Bit (3/8"), 1 Hinge Mortising Bit (1/2"), 1 Panel Pilot Bit (1/4"), 1 Round Nose Bit (1/4"), 1 Allen Wrench and 1 bearing to convert Round Over bit into Beading bit.

$40
Yes, HOWEVER I'm not familiar with the brand. At $40 for all those bits they will probably wear out faster then more expensive bits (you can easily pay $20 per bit for good stuff). That being said, if you are doing this as a hobbyist and/or just need some bits to learn on it is probably a great choice.

I will also re-emphasize - don't try to cut through 3/4" MDF in one pass - especially with these bits!
 

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Do you mean cut 1/4" deep each pass?
1/4" to 3/8" per pass would be good. If you can, blow out the dust between passes too as trapped dust can cause irregular cuts. With more expensive bits and routers (Bosch, Porter Cable, DeWalt) you can do more but with cheaper stuff it is hard on the bits and bearings and will cause both to wear out early.

Please note I'm not being snobby here - I use a 15 year old 5/8 HP Black and Decker router - not fancy by any stretch of the imagination. It's why I'm intimately familiar with the limitations of the cheaper stuff. One of my woodworking buddies had "good stuff" and he can get away with more tool abuse then I can.
 

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Boom is right on the mark with his comments. Sharp bits perform better and are safer to use. It's extremely annoying to put hours into routing something only to have the router kick back at some point because of a dull bit and ruin your work. In my opinion, even if you are doing one job, chances are that you'll only need a few bits so it would pay to buy good ones. Anyone can use a router but if you learn to use it correctly, it makes a huge difference. Compare it to just listening to speakers versus listening to speakers in a treated room. There are several web sites that provide some excellent tips on using routers and there are some really great accessories that are available.

Bob
 

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When buying the flush-trim bit, make sure it's long enough to cover your 3/4" MDF. Some bits are shorter.

The size of rollover bit depends on whether you have a small or large router. For the smaller shank, the biggest you'll find if 1/2" radius. In the larger shank, you'll be able to find radii over 1"

When buying these bits, pick up a couple of spare bearings for each bit. The smaller bits tend to have smaller bearings which wear out more quickly.

I like to oil the bearings after use, but make sure when you come to use them you do a pass or two on some scrap to fling out any excess oil. You don't want it getting onto your raw timber.

Before each cut, I turn the bearing by hand. If there's any roughness, that means some MDF dust has gotten in. Re-oil will flush this out.

Check again. If it's still rough, or if there's any play, it's time to replace the bearing.

If you don't do this, the bit will heat up. If you're lucky it will seize. If you're not lucky, it will throw off the outside of the bearing resulting in a gouge into your job.

The worst aspect is that you're generally using this type of tip fairly late into the project. That's a lot of work to redo if you mongrel an edge!

Happy routing!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The worst aspect is that you're generally using this type of tip fairly late into the project. That's a lot of work to redo if you mongrel an edge!
Yup... I'll be :hissyfit:

Here's the router I have... haven't even broke it out of the box yet.

Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 Horsepower Electronic Variable Speed Plunge and Fixed Base Router Kit

 

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Yup... I'll be :hissyfit:

Here's the router I have... haven't even broke it out of the box yet.

Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 Horsepower Electronic Variable Speed Plunge and Fixed Base Router Kit

Much nicer then mine. You are off to a good start. Buy some good bits to match the router.
 

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I like using a carbide 1/4" up-cutting bit. It does a better job of getting the dust out of the rabbet (rebate).
 

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I have about 40 bits and two two porter cable routers. All the advice in this tread is good. I would also recommend a router table. Tables do not have to be expensive. The newer routers have controls that easily allow you to adjust the depth of cut from above the table. With someone who is new to the machines, I think you get better results on a table for work pieces that you can easily handle. For larger pieces, free hand or a clamp on straight edge is the way to go.

The bocsh is great. If I had to buy a router now that would be one I would consider. The controls are very intuitive. I won a bosch cordless kit a year ago. This was my first intro to the line and I find that I and alway reaching for these tools over my old corded versions.
 

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I'd buy 1/2" shank bits only. I've snapped 1/4" bits before and it ain't pretty. 1/2" shank are more stable as well, especially for routing 3/4" material. Collo and bliss53 have some good suggestions. I also like Porter Cable. I have 3 of their routers. Get yourself a Jasper jig too.
 

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I have about 40 bits and two two porter cable routers. All the advice in this tread is good. I would also recommend a router table. Tables do not have to be expensive. The newer routers have controls that easily allow you to adjust the depth of cut from above the table. With someone who is new to the machines, I think you get better results on a table for work pieces that you can easily handle. For larger pieces, free hand or a clamp on straight edge is the way to go.

The bocsh is great. If I had to buy a router now that would be one I would consider. The controls are very intuitive. I won a bosch cordless kit a year ago. This was my first intro to the line and I find that I and alway reaching for these tools over my old corded versions.
You'll find cordless tools, especially drills, are a necessity. I'm serious. A few years ago I bought a Makita cordless and it's my favorite tool. I recently bought a Bosch 18v cordless drill for heavier duty work. My good old DeWalt 1/2" drive corded drill sees little use these days. The only advantage of corded I think is the torque involved.

The Bosch 18v however is very torquey and perfect for jobs where you don't need to spend alot which leads to many battery changes when using it hard.

Glad to see you got the cordless tools. What a price too. The longer you use them the more you'll like them. I see electricians almost never use corded tools anymore. They even use Sawzall's that are cordless.

A cordless drill is also the greatest screwdriver extant. Plenty of torque for this job and much faster too. My wife even loves my Makita. It's a 12v model and can do alot of work, plus it's much lighter than the Bosch.

You can't go wrong buying Bosch tools. No matter what they're at the top of the heap. There are places where a Milwaukee may be better but it's like audio gear where personal taste comes into play.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Do these look like a few good bits to start with... mostly cutting and rounding edges:

BOSCH 85941M Solid Carbide 1/4-Inch x 1-Inch Down Spiral LH 1/4-Inch Shank Router Bit
$14.59

BOSCH 85680M 1/2-Inch Diameter 1-Inch Cut Carbide Tipped Top Bearing Straight Trim Router Bit 1/4-Inch Shank
$17.09

BOSCH 85989M Solid Carbide 5/16-Inch x 1-Inch Straight Double Flute 1/2-Inch Shank Router Bit
$30.39

BOSCH 85595M 1-1/2-Inch Diameter 53/64-Inch Cut Carbide Tipped Roundover Router Bit 1/2-Inch Shank
$24.69



I might wanna pick up one more roundover... but I'm not sure what kind.
 

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Sonnie,

I'd get a 1/4" spiral UPCUT bit at least 1.5" long for through holes.

For recesses I use a 3/4" straight bit, 1" long, 1/2" shank.

For roundovers I use both 1/2" and 3/4" radius bits

And for trimming down oversized panels (like 1.5" thick baffles) I use a 1/2" flush trim bit, 2" long, bottom bearing. I now pretty much buy all my bit from MLCS.

Oh, and sell the Bosch router and buy a DeWalt DW621 for $200. You'll love the dust collection feature it has.
 
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