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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. New to forums because I didn’t know where else to turn/ask. I just got a Shaper Origin and was making some cuts this week on 3/4 Baltic birch with the 1/4” upspiral bit the SO came with. I haven’t cut that much, but today I was getting awful burning on my piece.

I wasn’t lingering and was using the same spindle speed I’ve been using the other couple times I’ve made cuts (5 out of 6). I also was sticking to cutting only 1/4” per pass. After finishing today, I was reading up that ply’s adhesives will gum up bits and cause heat. I haven’t cleaned the bits at all, but I also haven’t done much cutting. I’ve literally had the SO for a week.

Assuming the adhesive was the issue and causing the burning, is my bit already toast or can I clean it with some bit cleaner (that’s on the way) to restore its cutting ability? I’m surprised I’ve had an issue after only a handful of cuts (I’ve cut less than 100 feet of material between all the passes), so how often should I expect to clean my bits given I’ll be working primarily with ply or mdf?

Thanks in advance.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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How do folks clean their bits and how often?
I've never had to clean a bit. When the feed/speed is right you should get chips that carry the heat away from the bit. If you're getting dust or the bit is discolored then your feed is too slow for the given speed (rpm).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've never had to clean a bit. When the feed/speed is right you should get chips that carry the heat away from the bit. If you're getting dust or the bit is discolored then your feed is too slow for the given speed (rpm).
Thanks. That bit went into the trash. Safety is more important than an Andrew Jackson or two.

I guess I’ll need to practice with the SO because I was pushing through the material at what I thought was a good pace - not lingering, but also not pushing so hard as to cause deflection. The rpms were what was recommended. Thanks for the feedback and advice!
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Pushing it manually is bound to be inconsistent and likely not nearly fast enough feed rate for that high speed of the router.

I'll give you a for-instance; I cut the full depth of 1/2" Baltic Birch with a 1/4" compression bit running at 18k rpm (4HP spindle) and a feed rate of 175 ipm to 250 ipm. Running like that I produce chips, not dust, and the bit is no more than room temp when I finish a cut because the chips are carrying the heat away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Pushing it manually is bound to be inconsistent and likely not nearly fast enough feed rate for that high speed of the router.

I'll give you a for-instance; I cut the full depth of 1/2" Baltic Birch with a 1/4" compression bit running at 18k rpm (4HP spindle) and a feed rate of 175 ipm to 250 ipm. Running like that I produce chips, not dust, and the bit is no more than room temp when I finish a cut because the chips are carrying the heat away.
So I should either push harder (probably not a good idea) or slow down the rpms. Ok, I'll slow it down to a bit and see how that goes.

Really appreciate your time and feedback. Thanks!
 

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What I might question or at least consider is the brand and type of bit used. Up spiral/down spiral carbide/compression or high speed steel. Not being familiar with CNC systems it just seems counter intuitive to cut 1/2" deep on a single pass. But then again maybe CNC because of its consistency can do things we would not consider doing with a handheld router. And then too the hardness of the wood would likely be a consideration. Not real helpful for you but trying to understand.
 

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Not being familiar with CNC systems it just seems counter intuitive to cut 1/2" deep on a single pass. But then again maybe CNC because of its consistency can do things we would not consider doing with a handheld router.
To be honest, this raised a bit of an eyebrow for me as well. I've always heard "no more than half the diameter of the bit per pass." Shaper seems to say effectively "full diameter of the bit per pass is ok." I planned to keep it at a 1/4" deep cut for the 1/4" bit, but slow it down to see how that changed things.

@difalkner, what brand/material is the bit you're using to cut 1/2" deep in a single pass?
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's a great video. I did slow down the bit a little and glided (I hesitate to say "pushed") a little more aggressively and the product turned out just fine. The bit was also slightly warm; certainly not as hot as it used to be*

* Not a true comparison because I threw the old bit out and this was a new one. But the lower heat gives me hope that this one will last.

Thanks again!
 

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We have found that Baltic Birch is also more abrasive than most other plywoods. I echo the above post regarding slowing down the rpm, you want to see chips, not dust.
 
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