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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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I got the Ridgid laminate trimmer after all (a different deal at HD this week combined with a wrong label on the stand meant I got it for $104). I was putting it through some tests today, mainly rounding over small - 2 to 2.5" square, 1/2"- 3/4" thick - pieces of poplar and maple.

I used a 1/8" round over bit on the smaller ones and a 1/4" Roman ogee bit on the bigger ones. Both cutters were out-of-the-box new. I made sure the work was done in passes not exceeding 1/8" at a time.

I started with speeds appx. 24,000 rpm.

I noticed a tendency to burn close to the corners both at the entrance and at the exit (about 1/4" each) of the cutter, only at the cross grain ends. Along the grain all seemed OK.

I suspect this is due to slowing down of the feed at the corners. The exit burn seems to respond to exiting out of the cut fast but the beginning of the cut is a bit of a problem as one hunts for the bearing contact with the workpiece.

The burns got worse with the bigger cutter. I thought I improved things somewhat by slowing down to 20,000 rpm (slowest the trimmer will go) but by then I run out of pieces.

Apart from doing this on a table (convenience of doing this with the trimmer is, however, significant and the shape of the work was pretty good for a small hand-held tool) can anyone suggest a technique to minimize the burning? What tricks do people use when going round corners?

Finally, sanding out the burns is only partially succesful. Can you hide them with dark stain/Danish oil?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 03:28 AM
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This is the one main problem with laminate trimmers being used as routers, see my earlier posts, the speed is much too fast and you cannot stop the burning, nor can you rub it out or colour it to any effect, laminate trimmers are made for a specific purpose, for which they are superb, but much too fast for general routing.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 08:40 AM
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You just have to be quick and have a light touch....I keep a 1/8 roundover in my laminate trimmer and use it often. It takes just a couple minuites to sand out the slight burns if you do get them.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 11:18 AM
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Multiple passes will help.

Try to make the last pass light enough to shear off any burn marks.

Inside corners are the tough ones because of the inherent hesitation, so just be prepared to make "the move" into and out of the corner as quick as comfortable.

If you can keep the burns to a minimum then cleaning them up is easier but you will also find that your sanding/scraping skills will improve as you discover the various ways to clean up those little buggars.

Dark stains may or may not hide burns, I primarily use dyes and if I have a light burn that refuses to sand or scrape without trashing the profile then quite often the dye will camouflage the burn.

Burns take dyes and stains in at a different rate so it's best to at least scuff the burn some and hope for the best.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 11:33 AM
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Just my 2 cents..

Speed is the real key, feed rate and router speed, you must move the bit and not get hung up in the corners and keep the bit down in speed, works the best for me is 6,000 to 8,000 rpm's and push the router as fast as you can, the router has a voice and it will tell you want you need to do..it's real hard to get the burns marks out but with a light cut they can be removed easy..skin deep thing the norm..


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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I need not have worried: I dumped four pieces in Watco Danish Walnut oil and put some red mahogany stain on the last one and the burns are now invisible.

Of course now I have the other problem which has been mentioned here often: The darker end-grain. This in spite of sanding it one grit finer than the rest. On two of the pieces I tried linseed oil to seal the end-grain before proceeding with the oil. I may as well not have bothered.

I think it future I shall stick with gel stains. I do not seem to get the same problem with them, they are less messy, they are quicker and they hide the burns just as well.

One more thing: This may sound familiar to those whose metalworking shop shares the same space as woodworking: Beware of hidden machine oil! I must have transferred some unwittingly on a couple of the pieces and it shows worse than any burns :-)
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