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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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What is the best type and size of router bits to start with? I just a Crafts Router at a great price with table also.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 07:47 PM
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Hi Rick. As you are just starting, I would check Ebay and find yourself a starter set of bits. 10-15 bit sets will give you the most common profiles. Make sure you select the proper bit shank size... either 1/4" or 1/2". If you have an older Craftsman, it will probably be 1/4". You will find that you use 3 or 5 bits more than others and these will become dull over time. Replace the dull ones with better quality bits.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 10:20 PM
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What Brian said. There are lots of common routing jobs those bits will cover. After that almost everything could be considered a specialty bit that depend on what you want to do as to whether you need them or not. For a basic set it should have a couple of straight bits, 1 or 2 roundovers, an ogee or classic style for fancy edges, a chamfer bit or v groove or both, and at least one cove bit. A round nose or two would also be good but mostly they are for use with a plunge router.

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 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 11:39 PM
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I'm not a fan of the sets. I prefer buying the profiles you need, as you need them. As it turns out, I have a roundover bit I used just once, a 1/4" pattern bit I used once, and a 1/2" pattern bit. However, I will probably use the 1/4" bit on a future project, AND it is backup in case my 1/2" bit bites the dust, and I don't have any spares. Of course I don't do a lot of the stuff the rest of you do, so a 1/2" bit is actually all I need for what I do.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 12:06 AM
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Hi Rick. Welcome to the RouterForums.
This topic has been discussed several times here, and a good general discussion plus recommendations for a starter set can be found at the web site that accompanied the now defunct tv series Router Workshop. This site also links to a store that is now getting out of the router accessory business. This web page is: Router Workshop: Bobs Choice Bit Set

It takes some digging to find that the recommended dovetail bit is 14. With what I, a hobbyist, have decided is that 14 is too much; the base of the male dovetail in the wood I generally use too often breaks so I prefer a 7 or 8 dovetail bit.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 08:24 AM
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Get some straight bits, any diameter to start.
A straight bit can cut a mortise, make a rabbet, a tongue, a slot,
make a circle, a dado, a gain, mortice a hinge and other templet chores.
Ace out the straight bit, and the others will be trivial.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 10:22 AM
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My most used bits are straights, rounds, coves and ogees...

Then specific projects added spirals (up n down), tongue n groove, bullnose and more complex profiles...

Then came chair molding and crown...

And then slot cutters, rail n stile, raised...and so on...

You can get the straights, rounds, coves and ogees in small sets or you can buy real good ones as you satisfy a sp0ecific project.

Freud, Whiteside and the likes will not disappoint you...cheap 50 and 80 bit sets will likely hurt you when they fall apart...spend the same money on 2-3-4 good bits instead...

When you decide what you're gonna do, ask here for recommendations for manufacturers...

...penny wise, dollar foolish...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry it has taken me a little time to read all of your comments and advice. Trying to get things set-up, before I go and have some surgery. I want to THANK everyone for their advice on the router bits. This will definitely save me time and trouble on which ones to buy. I have a lot to learn about woodworking and using a router. Hopefully being a former machinist will help. I just got the router and it is a Craftsman 14 amp Plunge/fixed with the soft start technology. Again THANKS to ALL.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACE0220 View Post
Sorry it has taken me a little time to read all of your comments and advice. Trying to get things set-up, before I go and have some surgery. I want to THANK everyone for their advice on the router bits. This will definitely save me time and trouble on which ones to buy. I have a lot to learn about woodworking and using a router. Hopefully being a former machinist will help. I just got the router and it is a Craftsman 14 amp Plunge/fixed with the soft start technology. Again THANKS to ALL.
A lot of the processes are transferable in principle from one to the other Rick. One big difference though is not to expect the same kind of accuracy in wood that you are used to in metal. Wood moves constantly with changes in humidity where metal only moves with changes in temperature.
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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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