Routing small circles? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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Default Routing small circles?

I have been routing 3 and 4 inch circles and I have had issues with tear out and burning. The tear out is when I get to the end grain and the burning is when I stop to get a better grip on the small circle. It's really hard to get a smooth and constant feed on small circles. I am using a MLCS #7821 bit which is a cheap bit but it is sharp. I have ordered the same bit from Whiteside so y'all will be happy. (I am kidding) Also I am running the bit at the right speed and using my router table. I can't think of any more information so what is your suggestions?

https://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shop...highlight=7821

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 07:05 AM
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climb cit the end grain...
smaller bites and the bit is not as sharp as you think...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 07:08 AM
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I do small circles on my table upside down not sure that will help you
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 07:39 AM
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If the holes are always the same size (and relatively small), why not make a female template - oversize hole to compensate for the guide bushing - and cut with a plunge router? When you make the template, make layout lines that extend past the outside of the hole and use them to locate the template on the part. It's a good idea to fix the waste circle to the backer so that it doesn't move when the cut is complete and jam on the router bit.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 07:54 AM
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What kind of wood are you cutting? Fruit woods, like cherry and apple, burn very easily. A very sharp carbide bit run slow is my best suggestion for this. Speed = friction = heat and burning.

Can you stop cutting (separate the bit from the wood) when you need to change your grip and then begin again after you have changed your grip?

Are you putting your fingers that close to the bit to hold these small circular pieces (very unsafe) or are you using some sort of holding tool/device? "Small rounds" leads me to believe that your fingers are way too close to the bit.

Have you tried using a slightly larger bearing on the bit to make a rough first cut and then changed back to the correct bearing for a final lighter cut? This would reduce chipping in the final cut and hopefully reduce burning and remove any burns caused by the rough cut as well. For this last light cut, climb cutting of the end grain could help too, but be very careful.

Small rounds can be made much safer and with less burning on a lathe, if you have one, but you will have more difficulty achieving that ogee shape repeatably.

Not sure how small your "rounds" are, but if a center hole can be drilled, or if a screw can be put in the center, you can fasten a piece of scrap to use as a handle to keep your fingers above and away from the bit. This handle could be a stick with the "round" screwed to it near the end. You would need to cut part way, then loosen the screw and turn the round, and then tighten the screw and cut further. A piece of sticky back coarse sand paper on this handle between the round and handle would keep the "round" from spinning free.

I hope some of this gets you the results that you want, and without sacrificing your fingers in the process. The 6" Rule of keeping your fingers and body parts at least 6" away from the sharp spinney thing definitely applies to this task.

Charley
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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As usual I didn't explain my self as well as I needed to so I took some pictures to help me say what I need to convey to you guys. I am having the tear out problem both when I cut the circle with my M Power CBR7 and when routing the decorative edge on the circles. I bought a Whiteside 1/4" 100% carbide flush trim bit to cut the circle the first time. That leaves the decorative edge. The burning comes from stopping to get a better hand hold on the circle. The wood is 1/2" Alder and a few out of Walnut and I am cutting it in three passes. As you can see in the pictures there is a 1/4" hole in the center.



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Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.

Last edited by hawkeye10; 04-24-2017 at 08:51 AM.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 12:20 PM
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@hawkeye10

As you seem to be making enough of these to warrant a little work in making a fixture, how about a fixture made of two pieces of plywood; a solid bottom layer and an upper layer of plywood with a hole in the center large enough to accommodate the part plus the diameter of the bit, with a disc of 1/4" thick (or as needed to bring the part even with the top of the plywood upper layer) plywood, slightly smaller than the part, fixed in the center of the hole. You can use double-stick tape to hold the part in place or, and I like this option as I find that it works very well, use a pattern of blind nails in the disc to hold the part. A router with an extended base to clear the hole in the jig will support it while routing - if it's clear, you will be able to see the part while you're routing it and feed in reverse when you hit end grain. Ash is similar to oak, and it going to be prone to splinter and chip so taking a couple of cuts to get to full depth would be advised.

The photos show how I used the blind nails to hold plywood rings while routing a roundover on the outside/inside, I'm guessing that four of them would hold the parts securely as you're really not taking that large of a cut.

As your parts have a 1/4" hole, a matching hole in the center of the fixture could be used to align the part with the blind nails when installing it.
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Last edited by tomp913; 04-24-2017 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Clarification
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 12:38 PM
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I think I would rough cut them out and then profile the edges since you are saving the centers. Don have have you ever seen a circle cutting jig for a bandsaw that utilizes the miter slot to advance the wood into the blade? I would do the same thing to get the blank round and then profile it unless you have a profile bit with no bearing then it would cut to the right diameter.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
I think I would rough cut them out and then profile the edges since you are saving the centers. Don have have you ever seen a circle cutting jig for a bandsaw that utilizes the miter slot to advance the wood into the blade? I would do the same thing to get the blank round and then profile it unless you have a profile bit with no bearing then it would cut to the right diameter.
Chuck I cut these out with a M Power CRB7 and it was a pain. I was using a White Side solid carbide 1/4" spiral bit. When I started this I thought it would be a piece of cake. That shows how little I know. Even if I get a smooth cut circle I still have to put the decorative edge on it.

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 04:00 PM
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It seems anytime you have wood all around the bit it slows it way down. Do the blamks have to be any certain size or is close okay? Because if close is okay then hole saws would be the fastest and easiest, would leave a perfectly round shape, and be decently smooth.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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