How long will a bit last after heating up? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Default How long will a bit last after heating up?

I was using a straight bit doing plunge routing and ended up slightly burning the wood. I probably should have bought a spiral bit for the purpose. Anyway, the router bit got very hot but I don't think it changed color. Question is how much life does the bit have left. It is a Whiteside bit.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 08:26 PM
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You might have been feeding the bit a little too slow. Usually when I burn something that's why. How much life left is impossible to answer. Depends on the woods you rout and technique.

If you are routing pitchy wood clean the bit regularly. That can help.

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 #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Yep. I was slow feeding into red oak. So is there any good way to check if the bit is still in decent shape?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 12:43 PM
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The quickest way is to use it again. I doubt very much that the bit is finished. That is why carbide is so popular, it can take lots of heat. Pass it through a piece of scrap and check the finish and how it felt as it went through. There is no way to check it other than microscopic inspection. If you don't trust it, throw it away and get another one.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 01:41 PM
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I realize I didn't read your original post closely enough. Make sure the bit you are using is meant to be plunged. Not all straight bits are. Unless you are plunging a small distance I would drill a starter hole at the least and possibly hog as much waste out by drilling as possible. Most drill bits will remove waste as fast as a router and much more cheaply.

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 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 10:54 PM
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Being a machinist I've seen carbide with steel chips rolling off of it red hot and you'd be amazed at how long they'll last doing that. Like Cherryville Chuck said if your bit is designed for plunge cuts you didn't hurt the carbide. Make sure to clean any pitch off and it's likely not hurt at all.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-17-2015, 08:47 PM
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Until it gets to dull to cut cleanly.
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