Pantograph vs moron - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Pantograph vs moron

I feel like a total absolute moron.. I have a milecraft pantograph been trying for hours to make anything cut correctly.

I start the router, wait till it gets to full speed then lower it into the wood. It cuts about an inch then in I have to force it hard to get it to move which almost always results in a more shallow cut and a bent line. If I let it sit with light pressure it does nothing, I have to push hard. I get this on every board I have tried, new, old doesn't matter. It was slightly better on the new 1x3 but the lettering stencil doesn't seem to scale that small but even trying to freehand it didn't work.

If I adjust the depth on the router it burns or hardly makes a mark even with little half turns so it barely moves 1mm from where it was, if I adjust it on the corner sticks it either doesn't cut or cuts in two depths. I've tried it at a million depths adjusting all 3 points with different boards at different thicknesses... but I can not get it to make a single letter smoothly anymore.

I did one sign, in the modern script. I was moving the board over, using the start points. I did have to shove it a bit after the inch but it worked.. once.
Is my bit dead? Or am I just stupid? Its probably me, I feel utterly beyond stupid.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 05:15 PM
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I used a cheap pantograph fitted with a Hitachi TR-8 800 watt router, to make many signs particularly in hardwood - Ash. Never had a problem.

I used a single flute solid carbide 1/8" diameter bit from memory and it cuts like a knife though butter, the bigger the bit the harder it will be, some people use a V bit.

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Last edited by Hypnotoad; 08-22-2018 at 05:37 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 05:27 PM
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Lana; LOTS of sign makers here...Phillip and others will sort this out for you! Sorry, I'm not a sign maker; can't really help, but yeh I'd be suspicious about the bit.
There are no stupid questions! There's a Hell of a lot to learn in woodworking, and routing in particular. It'd be great if we all had a private mentors but this forum may be as good as it's gonna get for most of us. I learn something new here every day...unfortunately they have to re-teach me after coffee breaks.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 06:51 PM
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I was looking for sign carving bits and I realized you hadn't mentioned what you've actually got in the collet, Lana.
Could you please give more info on your bit? Maybe even a picture of it? If you can either scan an image or take a picture, upload to your hardrive (Desktop) then slide it over into the green bordered field below your comment, that'' be excelent.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 08:27 PM
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Interesting In just order a miles craft pantograph Pro . I'm interested in this thread. Just got the plywood to mount the pantograph to. Do you have Pro or copyier version.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 09:18 PM
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Using the router on a pantograph should be no different than using it handheld as far as its ability to cut. Sounds like the bit. What brand, what type, what size, and is it new? Keep in mind if using a straight bit that not all are meant to plunge and that could be part of the problem. You have to be able to plunge the bit into the wood.

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 #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 10:04 PM
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I don't plunge, or make signs. But way back when I was making small figure banks I would plow thru 1/2" plywood. Bit was a 1/4" shank, and 1/2" pattern bit, powered by an old Craftsman, either 1/3HP or 1/4HP or 1/2HP, somewhere in that range. Don't recall, but not much compared to what most here have.

Went thru with no problem, did go slow, and if it seemed it was starting to have a hard time of it, would stop for a second, then start again, slower than before.

Going by that, I would say your bit. And like was said, a picture would help, also the brand, style of bit, and whatever.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 10:47 PM
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From Lana's description it sounded like it went in OK but wouldn't advance horizontally without some serious pushing, to the point of not being able to accurately follow the design(?).
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 11:06 PM
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too big a bite and a dull bit...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-23-2018, 09:08 AM
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Maybe she was trying to cut it thru completely.

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