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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a dewalt 618 fixed/plunge router on craigslist for $90
thing's like brand new!
i need to get bits
1/4 spiral up cut and 3/4 flat bottom right?
Carbide for sure.
Where do you all get your bits or what brand do you use?
There seems to be big price differences
 

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To be honest I buy cheap bits and stuff but I do like good quality tools over the cheapies. Just doing the occassional hobby/DIY project there's no need for fancy bits that will live longer before they go dull. IMO. It's not like you're a contractor or something using these things daily (or are you... jk)
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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It depends on what you will be working. I rate my bits in three categories:

Premium hardwoods
Plywood / cheap board wood
MDF/Particle

Usually I buy a premium carbide bit and as it dulls move it down a notch. One that tears out figured maple might still cut like glass in MDF. However, if I am making a project out of MDF and it's a special pattern or bit type, then I won't go hog wild on an expensive bit, since I'm about to dull it anyway (MDF is hard on bits).

As for where to buy:
www.rockler.com (selection, not the cheapest though)
Woodcraft or woodcraft.com (if you have one local they sometimes have great sales on variety bits)
www.amanatool.com
www.infinitytools.com
http://www.whitesiderouterbits.com/catalog.html
http://www.eagleamerica.com/

Home Depot and Lowes sometimes carry Bosch bits, which are great and the Freud line is fine for MDF and light use. Freud makes some fantastic bits, but the Diablo line they sell at the big box stores is an entry to medium quality.

Not all carbide is created the same. As long as it resembles the right chemical compound, they can call it carbide. But good carbide bits are a lot more expensive and hold their edge much longer. I have some CMT and Bosch carbide bits that I use all the time and don't have a hint of dulling. I have some Freud, Craftsman, and other "grab bag" bits that dulled after one project.


That all being said, if I was about to get into speaker building, I would get.
A spiral upcut bit 1/4" or 1/2" preferred (these things break if you stress them too much)
A spiral downcut bit *
A set of roundover bits (for cabinet edge shaping) *
A set of straight bits (1/4, 1/2, and 3/4" for MDF, some have slightly undersized versions if you are using plywood)
A rabbeting bit set, usually just one bit with a series of bearings you can change on top) *

* optional

You can make just about any box out of MDF or plywood, cut circles and put a decorative edge with those.

Some sell full bit kits for about $200 that will have most of those, but you will need to get a spiral bit separate. If you only get one spiral bit, get an up-cut. It might give you more tear-out on the face, but you can make blind holes and clean stopped holes (like the recess for a speaker driver). The downcut is better on the face , but the chips are forced down and it really only works for through cuts or edge cuts.

http://www.infinitytools.com/13-Piece-1_2-Shank-Dream-Router-Bit-Set/productinfo/00-114/
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/20...iKickback-Router-Router-Bit-Set-12-Shank.aspx (this is the newer version of my multi-set)

http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-85914M-Carbide-2-Inch-Straight/dp/B000GYBU04 (the 1/2 shank version of my spiral bit)

Oh, and if you have the 1/2" collet, always get the 1/2" bits. The unit vibrates less, you get better cuts, and for the spiral bits -- they break less.

Sorry for the firehose of information. Let me know if you have any other questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's not like you're a contractor or something using these things daily (or are you... jk)
lol that's a good point. some of those bits are designed for all day, every day use.
nope, i worked for a contractor back east for a short while and i was a gopher when i was younger but i'm certainly no contractor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry for the firehose of information. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Not at all. This is great!
Thank you

So if your doing a recess for flush mount you can use an up cut spiral for the cutout with no worries that it's hard on the face since the cutout edge is covered by the speaker, right?
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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If the bit is new/sharp the upcut tearout will be minimal and can be sanded off with no worries. More of a fuzz really.

With MDF, it should not be any worry at all until the bit gets really dull. The only circumstance I would worry about is plywood or heavily figured woods, which are more prone to "chipping" with the tearout. Again, when things are sharp there is no need to worry about it. Also, tearout is greater if you hog off a large cut at once, so if you make your first plunge cut very shallow you are cutting that initial "lip" with the face of the bit. Then the subsequent cuts go deeper, but have that face lip for support and don't tear out.

Sorry if I talked in circles there -- I didn't mean to scare you about tear out, but it is the primary reason to get one spiral bit as opposed to another. I have the upcut and use it all the time in ply and MDF with zero issues.
 

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For some reason, I really like reading threads about router bits :). Maybe it's because there are just so many different kinds of them that it's confusing to the woodworking newbie.

I'll be doing a sonosub in the not-too-distant future, and I'm trying to figure out the bits I need. I've got myself a 1/4" CMT spiral upcut bit so far. Also, in this post in the speaker building tutorial sticky thread, a 3/4" straight bit is also recommended. I was confused about "plunge-ability" of these straight bits, and came upon this article that discusses the issue. In there, the author says that straight bits are "plunge-able" to a depth that's typically 1/8". I really like the picture that shows the effect of plunging with a straight bit. That picture really tells a story, at least to me. But I also noticed there is yet another type of bit called a "straight plunge-cutting bit" or similar name. I guess the cutters on these overlap, making them fully "plunge-able". My question is, "Are these straight plunge-cutting bits worthwhile, or should I just get a normal straight bit and limit my cut depth on each pass?"

Another question related to router bits. I'd like to do rounded edges on the outer portion of the sonosub's top and bottom end caps. This would be for 3/4" MDF. At first I thought I could get a 3/8" roundover bit, do 90 degrees of roundover, then turn the piece upside-down and then do the remaining 90 degrees of roundover. But then it occurred to me that on the second pass, there would be no flat edge for the bit's guide wheel to rest on (because of the previous roundover). So it seems my thinking is in error, but I can't figure out the right way. What's the best way to do this?
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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The straight bits mostly do not plunge well unless they are specifically designed for it. The spiral bits are all designed to plunge (unless there's a bearing at the end). I have a CMT straight bit that does do plunges pretty well, but I had to look at several to find one that would work (I was using it for mortises). In hindsight, I wish I had bought the 1/2" spiral bit instead, but I was unaware of them at the time.

As for the double-roundover, you need a fence or router table (with a fence) for the reasons you mentioned. I have also seen full bullnose bits that do both sides in one pass. Some even have a top bearing so you can screw on a guide circle that you can remove after the routing. But yeah, the double roundover is tough without some setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
straight bits are "plunge-able" to a depth that's typically 1/8".
but they just went straight down. i have almost no experiance with a router but i thought plunging was the ability to move down into the wood while routing or moving to the side. like a shark fin disapearing into the abyss. lol even the machine in the video moves side to side slightly as it plunges. i dont know

hopfully my homedepot has a decent bosh bit i can pickup tonight so i can mess with it a bit

oh, i made a pun!

Can you use a 1/2 shank straight or spiral with the jasper jig and just subtract 1/8" from your center pin placement?
 

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The Jasper jig has a formula in its instructions for which hole position to use for non-1/4" bits, so that should be fine.

As far as plunging, my router has a plunge lock lever that locks the mechanism once you've plunged straight down. So it's plunge -> lock -> route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ooo i hope mine has that!
i was wondering how keep the depth where you want it when doing the recess.
nice!
 

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The lever should be right next to the handle so you don't have to take your hand off the handle to lock the mechanism. There should be a turret thingie that allows you to quickly increment the depth so you're not going too deep on each pass. So the depth is only calibrated for the final cut, not the intermediate ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
oh, cool
i'll go check it out. i also gotta rig up some kind of table.
there are 2 saw horses and i think i can get an old door

this is my work space lol
just makin' do man, just makin' do

 

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Solid carbide router bit and Carbide tipped router bit are more costly than different choices, however they are justified, despite any trouble since they keep going long and don't go dull without any problem. Regardless of whether you are chipping away at hard wood or hard plastic, you will never confront any issues. You can without much of a stretch perform activities, for example, design cutting and mortising. You can read this to get deeper info about Carbide Router Bit
 

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I have been collecting them for years, and buy anything that is carbide and cheap.
For speaker building:
Flush trim - bearing on the bottom
Mortising Flush Trim - Bearing on the top (use with template)
You can get a long way with these and some scrap wood for templates (1/2mdf)
 
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