Top Bearing Flush Trim Depth - Router Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Default Top Bearing Flush Trim Depth

Hey all,
I recently picked up a 1/2 inch wide x 1 inch height, top bearing flush trim bit. I want to use this to rout out a 1/2 x 1 inch channel in a cedar 4x4. The problem is my table router causes the bit to stick out approximately a 1/2 inch from the bottom of the table. Ideally I would like to make 4, 1/4th inch passes to get to the final depth of 1 inch, but I don't believe I will be able to do this based on how my table is set up. Can anyone confirm if it would be okay to make a 1/2 cut as the first cut? My concern with the 1/2 inch cut is that it will be difficult to control, but also that it could put premature strain on the bit.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 10:04 AM
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Mitch if the cedar is western cedar or the white wood on eastern cedar I think you might be okay. Just go slow. The red wood in eastern cedar is really hard so I would say no to that.

You could also not use your router table. Make a jig so the edge of the base of the router will follow the fence on your jig or if you have an edge guide use it. With a router there is so many ways to do most anything.

PS; I love routers.

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Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hawkeye10 View Post
Mitch if the cedar is western cedar or the white wood on eastern cedar I think you might be okay. Just go slow. The red wood in eastern cedar is really hard so I would say no to that.

You could also not use your router table. Make a jig so the edge of the base of the router will follow the fence on your jig or if you have an edge guide use it. With a router there is so many ways to do most anything.

PS; I love routers.
That's are some good suggestions, the wood is Western Red Cedar. Maybe what I could do, is create a jig to go on top of the table that gets secured by clamps. Attach a fence to the jig to create a square edge and take some shallow cuts until I get to the 1 inch depth that I need. Do you think this would be a good route to take?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 12:10 PM
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Mitch, another option is to add an auxiliary table top. This would be a piece of 1/4" Masonite or plywood with a hole for the bit. Clamp it in place and you are ready to rout.

Making a pass with a different bit to remove part of the wood before using your pattern bit is another solution.

Spend a minute to fill out your profile; knowing what router and table you have could make it easier to recommend a solution.

Dig out your passport and come visit us in the D some weekend. You can visit a Rockler and a Woodcraft store; A DeWalt/Porter Cable service center and lots more. I am going to shoot for having a "Sawdust Saturday" before the end of the month. I invite all the local forum members to come make sawdust on my driveway and it is usually a good time.

(I wasn't really going to baptize Moderator BrianS... the bucket is empty. )
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 12:16 PM
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Mitch, you can easily build this dust collection fence and it works great. Use a 2-1/4" hole saw and the fence will accept most brands of shop vac hoses. Perfect for use with an auxiliary table top too.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 12:50 PM
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1/4" shank? Then don't use it.
Better you get a 1/2" cutter (x 1/2" shank) and change the height as necessary.
For straight line work on the router table, use the fence.
A bearing guided bit is just another place you'll pick up unwanted vibration.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 10:33 PM
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Hi Mitch and welcome to the forum. There are 2 general rules to using power tools. If the piece is small it is usually better to take the piece to the tool (router table, drill press, table saw, etc). If the piece is large it is usually easier to take the tool to the piece (handheld router, drill, circular saw, etc). Your 4 x 4 could fall into either category.

A flush trim bit (bearing at the bottom end of the bit) is the wrong bit for cutting slots on a router table or free hand. A pattern but (bearing on the shaft of the bit) will but there is usually no advantage to using one. Quillman is correct in saying you might as well use a 1/2" straight bit and a guide, either a straight edge working handheld or a fence on the table. Personally I prefer to go handheld because the safest way to make a slot (at least a blind slot where there is still wood at both ends) is by using a plunge router to make it. If you are making an open slot (at least at one end) then a router table will also work.

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 #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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I ended up making a jig with a fence attached to it (as a straight edge). I took several passes until I got to the desired depth of 1 inch and it worked perfectly. Thanks for all the advice guys. I am just starting to use my router more and I am already impressed with the things that it can do!
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