High speed steel bits. - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Default High speed steel bits.

In doing inlays I am using 1/8" solid carbide bits. I am doing the inlays in red oak and I think I am getting little bits of waste between the bit and the bushing causing the bit to brake when I am cleaning out for the inlay. I am going slow so I don't believe I am pushing to fast. I was thinking about using HSS bits because they are cheap. What do you guys think?

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 01:05 PM
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Solid carbide is much stiffer than HSS.
Would not use the steel cutter.
What is the depth of cut here?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 01:34 PM
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If you think it's the bushing causing it can you switch to a larger bushing? Also, is the bit an up spiral? If so a straight bit might work better.

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 #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 01:54 PM
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For other than spirals, carbide rocks and I would never use anything else. Unfortunately, carbide spirals are always solid carbide and very brittle. It's really easy to break them. I have an HSS 1/4" spiral that has lasted an amazingly long time. It's getting a little dull so I replaced it with a carbide bit. Broke it right away not really pushing it at all. Got another. It broke as well with a fairly light load. So, yeah, HSS spirals have their place.

But, I don't use spirals for an inlays, just straight, non-plungable carbide bits. They work fine and I just have to move the bit around to get it "plunged". Since I'm typically going in less than 1/16" deep, it's not a big deal.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 03:06 PM
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Onsrud still makes quite a few HSS bits and they recommend using them in quite a few cases. Although they don't stay sharp for as long, HSS bits can be sharpened sharper than carbide because of the grain size difference.

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 #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 08:39 AM
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For cutting out the inlay I use downcut 1/8 carbide and the only problem is heating because the material jams into the cut slot instead of being blown out. I just go slow and everything works out. I've been thinking of using dense foam instead of MDF for the sacrificial face but hav
en't tried it yet. I think it may not jam material in the slot as badly using the downcuts. I prefer the downcuts as the leave a perfect top edge on the positive inlay that is necessary for a clean tight fit. For cleaning out the negative side of the inlay I use a 1/4 carbide with a larger bushing size sufficient to leave about 1/16 inch around the outside edge that is finished off with the 1/8 carbide bit . This makes cleaning the larger cut outs much faster and no bit breakage. By taking out the middle with the larger bit ffirst it also makes the 1/8 inch run to clean up the edge very easy and is necessary to match the positve inlay which was cut out with a 1/8 bit. I usually use two routers as changing out bits and bushings on the same cutout makes it difficult to get exact depth matching on the two bits. The other thing of course is that the two runs have to be done with the pattern being held securely in place with no movement during the whole process. I usually use up cut spirals on the cutout 1/4 inch. I also have a dust removal kit on the router which helps big time in removing any debris that is brought up.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quillman View Post
Solid carbide is much stiffer than HSS.
Would not use the steel cutter.
What is the depth of cut here?
You are right carbide is hard, stiff, and it's also brittle and that is the reason I had thoughts on using HSS bits. The HSS bits are cheap and if they get dull or break it doesn't cost that much to get another. What I am concerned about is the quality of cut. My depth of cut is 1/8".

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by routergieck View Post
For cutting out the inlay I use downcut 1/8 carbide and the only problem is heating because the material jams into the cut slot instead of being blown out.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 12:45 PM
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I have done my inlays of padauk in maple, always using up-cut 1/8" Spiral bits from Whiteside. I use a VERITAS RT and pin arm system for inlay. The Whiteside bits seem to last much longer in Maple. I found it is much easier to do a fine clean cut with these bits, even for clean out. I just go slow with a shallow 1/8" depth for inlay, and do a second cut , deeper if you want to make the inlay thicker for a cutting board, etc.. VERITAS Tools are available @ Lee Valley Tools.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 12:46 PM
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I saw some pictures on ebay of a guy trying to sell some HSS Onsruds and they cut ash as smooth as a baby's rear end.

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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