Newbie question-- 3/8 cove bit use.
Hi, I am finally trying my hand at using the router on the table. I have an older craftsman router and table inherited from my FIL. Once I improve my skills a bit, I will be upgrading to a better table and router set up. Right now I am making a box that houses a gameboard. I've made LOTS of mistakes, but I have been able to correct most of them.
The lid of the box is supposed to have a roundover on the lower edge, the plans don't spec a size. I am trying to use a 3/8 cove bit without a bearing. I tried the cove bit with a bearing, but couldn't figure out where the bearing should touch. Anyway, I ran a couple of practice passes at various bit heights and noticed an inconsistent cut and a lot of roughness on the cut. The wood seemed to move away from the infeed side of the fence as well. I didn't have that trouble with the rabbet and dado cuts I made. I am feeding in the correct direction.
The router has a 1 piece wood fence (made by FIL). Does the fence need to be 2 pieces and staggered on each side of the bit? (Outfeed fence a bit further forward)
BTW, the wood is pine, 3/4 x 2" tall.
A round-over is the opposite of a cove cut. Just saying. A round-over will make the edge smooth. Is that what you are trying to do?
Here is an example---
Round-overs come in different sizes such as 1/8th, 1/4, 3/8 inch, and of course, different shank sizes such as 1/4 inch of 1/2 inch shank.
Hope this helps.
The first picture is a 1/4 inch round-over that "rounds" the edge.
The second picture is the result of using a cove bit to create a shallow groove...like for the pencils to rest in.
Hope this helps.
You might try cutting in a few passes, Tim. You don't need a staggered fence for that kind of cut. Try cutting about an 1/8 of an inch at a time. Are you feeding the wood right to left?
Thanks for the replies. I was using the wrong term, I meant a round-over bit, not a cove. I am attaching a couple of pics of my equipment and what I am using.
First, my router with the roundover bit and the fence.
The roundover with out a bearing.
And hard to see, some of the poor cut I got on this piece of pine. The first cut was actually better, but not deep enough to completly round the edge.
I was feeding the wood right to left, with the wood laying flat so the bit was cutting the 3/4 edge, and the 1 1/2 inch face was on the table. Should the wood have been turned the other way? (Tall side against the fence).
I think I'd replace that bit find yourself something with carbide and a bearing.
I agree with John. That bit is a very old either Sears or Vermont American HSS (high speed steel) bit with pilot. The pilots were a cheap alternative to a bearing but they would burn themselves into the wood at times, especially soft woods. The steel also does not stay sharp for long. Roundover bits are common and relatively cheap with the 1/4" radius being the most commonly used of all. Get a decent quality one because it is something you'll use a lot if you pursue woodworking. You can set them various ways depending on what you want it to do but the most common setup on a table is to use a straightedge and set the bearing flush to the face of the fence.
The pushing of the piece away from the fence is an indication of either the bit being very dull -or- feeding from left to right which is the wrong direction.
Chuck is right on. Get rid of that HSS bit and go with the carbide with a ball bearing pilot. Then you can do it with or with out a fence or table.
Some times, I don't use a fence at all. The bearing does the work. That works if the workpiece is laying flat on the table.
Best thing you can do with that bit is throw it away. Now before you try to give it one more chance.
It looks like something is moving. Is there a lock on the router's height adjustment that's not locked? Is the wood staying tight to the table and fence while making a pass? When you tighten the bit into the chuck, it should not be right to the bottom. Leave a 1/16 to an 1/8 or so from the bottom because many collets won't tighten properly if the bit is bottomed out (dangerous).
I agree with the others who say that is a poor bit but I think you should be getting better results even with that bit, unless it's very dull or gummed up.
Thanks everyone for the replies. I tried the crappy bit a few more times and trashed it. It seemed to be scraping the wood away instead of a clean cut.( Lots of small divots in the cut area) I was able to get a better cut with the other bit. Now, time for more practice cuts.
I have some carbides with small brass pilots that I use for tight spots where the ball bearing pilot is too large to get in and out of, but for the most part don't use them for general routing.
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