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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes I know, no one routers steel.
I would of said the same thing about cutting steel with a circular saw blade years ago, but steel cutting blades have transformed the small metal shop and they actually work good, technology to the rescue.

SO I noticed metal cutting router bits on McMaster, ,just search for Router Bits for Steel and Stainless Steel
I'd post the link, but since I am new can't.


anyone try them? I need to make a 1/32 to 1/16 inch deep grove on a 12" diameter 1018 steel circle (basically a 11.5" diameter groove along the inside) and this might be just want I need.


If that does not work I will probably use a diamond blade on a grinder. it will look ratty, but functional. Need to do 100 circles like this so was going to use a simple circle jig.

I know I should buy a metal lathe, not in the budget, although I might break enough bits to make me regret that decision. lol.
if you are curious this is to attach UHWM trim and make a very low friction circle for a cnc machine.
 

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I have not but bought a ferrous metal circular saw blade and cut steel roofing with my ez tracksaw. Cut clean and straight as could be. I was very impressed. Blade was from harbor freight. No jagged edges at all just like factory edges .
 

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What speed are those McMaster bits meant to turn?
 

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What speed are those McMaster bits meant to turn?
The cutting diameters range from 1/8 inch to 3/8 inc to 3/8 inch, with shanks of the same diameter, so the rotational speed i probably in the 20,000 rpm range.
 
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No issues with metal fragments being tossed at high speed?
 

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Theo
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No issues with metal fragments being tossed at high speed?
Could wear a jacket, and probably take care of that. What I would like to know, is there any issues with sparks? One of the last things I need to do is burn down my shop.
 

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Who would have thought it, certainly not me. Thanks for posting it Paul/
 

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Here's a guy using a regular carbide router bit on steel. I believe he's running at a much lower speed than on a router though.

Go to 21 minutes in...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZyyb7aeiY0
definitely a much slower speed, and a lot more torque too, that's a milling machine he's using!. carbide milling bits used on steel have a TiN coating to reduce the wear from the action of the iron on the carbide though..
 

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When you think about it, why not, with carbide tooling especially designed for steel cutting?
Not much different then a die grinder in principle. (Or a milling machine)
I think the issue really is controlling the amount of material being removed with each pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I bought the bit from McMaster
this is the manufacturer's website. I have emailed them asking them for recommended speeds and removal rates with router set at 8000rpm. I'll report back with what they say>
onsrudDOTcom/Series/83-300.asp

silly forum rules dont' let me post the weblink, so remove the DOT above and replace with .
 

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I bought the bit from McMaster
this is the manufacturer's website. I have emailed them asking them for recommended speeds and removal rates with router set at 8000rpm. I'll report back with what they say>
onsrudDOTcom/Series/83-300.asp

silly forum rules dont' let me post the weblink, so remove the DOT above and replace with .
What you need to cut grooves in steel are end mills used by machinists. Four flute end mills are used for steel and you'd want the center cutting versions so that the end mills can be plunged into the work. These are similar to spiral router bits in appearance and come in either carbide or high-speed steel. And, the cutting is done on a milling machine with the work mounted to a rotary table, using a cutting/coolant fluid. A router spins way to fast for cutting steel. For cutting a 1/4" groove in mild steel, the proper speed would be about 1200/1300 RPM.

If you want to know the proper speed for cutting steel with an end mill, visit the Little Machine Shop. They have a speed chart and they sell end mills -- littlemachineshop dot com/mobile/speeds_feeds.php
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
budget is factor.

What you need to cut grooves in steel are end mills used by machinists. ….. And, the cutting is done on a milling machine with the work mounted to a rotary table...….
I am aware of the correct expensive way to do things. need to stay under budget. Even a $15 angle grinder can do what I need, just wont' look as pretty.
 

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Theo
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I am aware of the correct expensive way to do things. need to stay under budget. Even a $15 angle grinder can do what I need, just wont' look as pretty.
Oh for goodness sake, you're missing the entire concept. Tool isn't 'pretty'? Then paint the tool, make it pretty. Almost all my power tools, including hand held, are now sunflower yellow. Not only do they make the shop a bit brighter, they also make the shop more cheerful. I think the last angle grinder I bought was about $10. Still works.
 

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Paul
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...Even a $15 angle grinder can do what I need, just wont' look as pretty.
Maybe you can 'trap' the material so it can only turn. Then guide the angle grinder somehow. Maybe hose clamp it to a jig or put it in a vice or something. Then rotate the material.

Here's how I trapped a broomstick to make a round tenon: https://www.routerforums.com/general-routing/46343-round-tenons-2.html#post383313 I used the router table fence as a stop. Maybe use Alexis's method to trap the material, at the beginning of that thread: https://www.routerforums.com/general-routing/46343-round-tenons.html#post382176
 

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Paul and Theo make a good point. Most of the inacuracy in angle grinder cutting/grinding is due to it being hand held (and likely the material as well). If you (we) were able to clamp the material securely, and mount the angle grinder in a stable fixture, performance and appearance would improve dramatically!
 
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