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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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Wink Router speed control

i noted that there are few router whom offer variable speed and others are just 1 kind of speed. as newbie, i wonder:

1. what is the different with speed control and non?
2. what are the advantages and disadvantages? (for a normal user)
3. under what situation or project that u need to have speed control router?

have a nice day.

tony
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 04:34 AM
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Variable speed is a must! If you consider that a 50mm slotter's circumference is travelling far faster then say a 6mm straight bit's circumference and it must be slowed down or it will overheat and burn the wood.

I'm quoting from Bill Hylton's "Guide to the router table". He says that the maximum safe speed is 130 mph. A 3.5 inch bit spinning at 22,000 rpm has an edge moving at 228 mph.

So unless you are always going to be using small diameter bits don't buy a single speed machine.
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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodtony View Post
i noted that there are few router whom offer variable speed and others are just 1 kind of speed. as newbie, i wonder:

1. what is the different with speed control and non?
2. what are the advantages and disadvantages? (for a normal user)
3. under what situation or project that u need to have speed control router?

have a nice day.

tony
This goes in a whole bunch of directions, all at the same time.

The dominant criteria is the bit. David nailed it. The tip of the outside of the cutting edge is where everything is happening. Too fast and the bit spins and doesn't get moved fast enough so it sits and burns. Remember, that at 25,000 rpm that's 50,000 "cuts" per minute. Can you move your router fast enough to get a clean cut each time without overloading the motor?

The speed control (either internal or external) is the method used to control the speed of a router motor and subsequently the bit. The larger the bit, the more horsepower it takes to push that bit through the workpiece but the bit must work at a slower speed. Here's where I have a problem. Is a large bit balanced the same way a small one is? What happens when a large bit is overspun? Does a high-quality large bit spin faster than a cheaply made one? I have several large bits, some good quality and one really cheap one. The biggest expensive one whines. The biggest cheap one grumbles.

The speed control actually takes on two aspects. You have your starting speed. This is the maximum speed that your bit is intended to run at. Then you've got your operating speed. This is controlled by your feed rate. Too fast and you bog down the motor, too slow and the bit doesn't get enough of a bite and it sits there and burns the cut.

Listen to your router. It will tell you when it's working proficiently. Push it too hard and the tone will lower. Maybe as much as an octave. Let it sit and it will not change at all but will burn the cut. (it must be said that dirty bits also cause burning as do dull ones.)

Most production level routers (> 3HP/2100W) have built-in variable speed controls. Porter-Cable is the one exception. They have some fixed speed models and some single speed models on their 3 1/4 HP lines. This is a pretty good explanation why Porter-Cable proponents thrust PC's low power models as a direct competitor to the Production Routers of other manufacturers.

Makita is renowned for having produced 4-pole motors for hand power tools but I can't find information on which models have that motor. This makes a very powerful motor and a more compact package. Variable speed on 4-pole routers is more complicated but the result can be excellent == more power at lower speeds.

Consider that variable speed gives you access to a broader selection of router bits and a larger number of methods of using a router. Roughly half of the router methods use variable speed.

This isn't going to help a bit but maybe it can be a basis for expanding this discussion and developing some real answers.

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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Firstly, thank you to David and Ron (Allthunbs) on your feedback.

here, i am little bit of confusion. as per according to David's comments. Variable speed is a must. But as per Ron's, it is not nescessaary and all depands of the bit sizes. (If i am not wrong of understanding).

Beside, i have checked others that its also depands on your hand speed, movement of the router over to the work piece. Can we have consistency of speed of movement, whether the router is place on table or plung type? Is it true? this will also affecting the comments of Ron's.

Please need to enlighten more information. Thank you.
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodtony View Post
Firstly, thank you to David and Ron (Allthunbs) on your feedback.

here, i am little bit of confusion. as per according to David's comments. Variable speed is a must. But as per Ron's, it is not nescessaary and all depands of the bit sizes. (If i am not wrong of understanding).

Beside, i have checked others that its also depands on your hand speed, movement of the router over to the work piece. Can we have consistency of speed of movement, whether the router is place on table or plung type? Is it true? this will also affecting the comments of Ron's.

Please need to enlighten more information. Thank you.
Hi Tony - No need to complicate it to much. I attached a speed guideline chart published by infinity tool and displayed at the NewWoodworker.com site. Speed control is fundamentally governed by bit diameter and, to some extent, length. Don't let length throw you a curve, it's just common sense. A long bit, say 2" or so, will amplify any runout of the armature, chuck or bit when brought up to 20+K rpm. Any bit 2" or longer I drop to about 16K and reduce feed rate accordingly. That's per MLCS published guidelines. In many cases, especially with name brand bits, there will be a max speed spec on the packaging.
Any discussion on motor loading or straining would have more to do with stock density, depth of cut and feed rate than bit speed. JMHO. keep it simple
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 08:17 PM
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This isn't going to help a bit but maybe it can be a basis for expanding this discussion and developing some real answers.
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 12:16 AM
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Tony,

Let me try restating what others here have said a little differently.

A single speed router has one speed: high. High speed is used with small diameter bits.

Variable speed routers permit you to slow them down for handling larger bits, if you think you'll want to use them. Most people will want this feature although it is not technically necessary, depending upon your usage.

Check out that new high-tech cordless router.. wireless and no recharging required!!

Last edited by BigJimAK; 09-01-2010 at 08:06 PM.
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Once again, a big thank you to John, Zerodyn and Jim of your feedback.

Apparently, i had checked at my local place of their router. none of the router offer veriable speed, e.g. Makita, Bosch, Maktec. Even the mini router or trimmer also offer only 1 type of speed. For your information, i am living in Malaysia (South East Asia).

Beside, i am surprise that the DIY are not popular here. So, resulted the manufacturer do not bring in the wide range of power tools. Only 1 or 2 model for the category. so, its give me limited choices.

Apparently i am looking at the Makita 3612BR 1/2" Plunge type Router (so called latest or available model). The speed is 23000rpm. i wish to convert to table router, which i need to build my own router table for it. OMG

will this going to be my nightmare starting point -- ??????
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Question

If i intended to use the one speed. will it be a problems to a newbie. what cautions or advice from you all, master woody.......

noted that the Makita 3612BR do accept the bit for 1/2 and 1/4. believe that the speed do not affect the bit size????
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by woodtony View Post
If i intended to use the one speed. will it be a problems to a newbie. what cautions or advice from you all, master woody.......

noted that the Makita 3612BR do accept the bit for 1/2 and 1/4. believe that the speed do not affect the bit size????
Hi Tony - 3612 looks to me to be an excellent table router. I couldn't find out whether that machine is equipped with a soft start feature or not. If not an external speed control could be added although availability of those in Malaysia may also be an issue. The speed control is something of a safety issue when running larger diameter bits. There are several Makita fans here on the forum, perhaps one could jump in with some better information.

John Schaben

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