Wrong bit or wrong technique ? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Default Wrong bit or wrong technique ?

I purchased the smaller box joint jig from Rockler recently. I have been making some test cuts to get this down before I try it on a project. I have been having a lot of problems with chip out. At least that is what I am calling it :-) What is happening is that each time I move the wood to the next key, I am losing the tooth that preceded it. So when I am done, all the teeth have been knocked out. In looking at the comments on the Rockler website, I think I saw at least one comment that said you need to use a spiral bit, which I am not. I was also wondering if it was a simple matter of my going too fast with the cut ? I am using 1x4 pine if that makes any difference rather than a hardwood. I have also found that the Rocker jig, being very light weight is not real easy to keep in the track, so I am finding it difficult to get the same height on each rout also. But that is more me than anything else.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 12:49 PM
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If you are cutting the fingers in the side grain then that is why you are having trouble. Box joints should only be cut in the end grain of boards. If the grain is squirrelly then you may still have some chipout even when cutting the fingers in end grain.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Side grain...yes, I was doing that. I will try the end and see if that works better. What I was doing was routing on the long edge to make a "guide" to see if I would have full fingers on the end of the board using 1/2" box joints. Thank you.

Gary
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gjackson52 View Post
each time I move the wood to the next key, I am losing the tooth that preceded it. So when I am done, all the teeth have been knocked out.

Gary
Does this mean the bit is cutting the pin out when you move it or that it is chipping a small piece of the wood...?

If the bit is cutting the entire pin out it sounds like a positioning error during setup. The spacing should be 1/2" for the bit (assuming that is the bit size), a space equal to the bit diameter and then the guide. Is this the way you set it up...? If the bit winds up right next to the guide, it will cut everything out as you described.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 01:44 PM
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Gary, you can make dovetails, finger and box joints with the grain on an angle but not parallel.

Solid carbide spiral up cut bits make a huge difference in your results. Be sure to use a backer board to help prevent tear out.
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Last edited by Mike; 08-06-2015 at 01:47 PM.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to have to go back and double check to make sure it was set up ok. Thank you for pointing that out.


Gary
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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I went and doubled checked the setup, it seemed fine according to the setup guide from Rockler. I am using the 1/2" key that Rocker supplies and I have a 1/2" gap from the router bit for the finger. I also looked closer at the grain. I noticed that ends that are breaking out had what I would call a swirl or sort of circular grain that leads to a knot. This seems to be hugely prone to chip out. As luck would have it, 3 of the 4 boards I have cut out for this purpose have that type of grain. So I am thinking that I need to go to plan B...as soon as I think of what that is lol Maybe pocket holes.

Thanks guys !

Gary


P.S. Yes, I was using a backer board. Would it help to also put a board in front of my piece for support ?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 08:03 PM
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No Gary, a spiral bit cuts cleanly but the back edge needs the support to prevent tear out. You should invest in three solid carbide spiral up cut bits; 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2". MLCS offers a set of these three for a reasonable price.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 09:20 AM
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Backer board and spiral up cut bit of Carbide will end many of your problems. If you think about it, you can see that the area swirling around a knot gets more dense and harder, a little like glass. So when you cut into that zone, it is likely to chip or break chunks away.

Nifty hobby, woodworking is.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, it is a nifty hobby and definitely has a learning curve. But having a resourse like you guys does take a lot of the frustration out. Except the budget committee is getting a little unhappy with me. :-)


Gary
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