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I am new to sign making and need to choose a router/bits to use on HDU foam board.
My signs will be on the larger side; typically 1" board.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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Hi Stacey,

Welcome to the forum
 

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I am new to sign making and need to choose a router/bits to use on HDU foam board.
My signs will be on the larger side; typically 1" board.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Hi and welcome to the forum. Although I don't know diddley-squat about foam board and sign making, I'm sure there's plenty of people here that do. Given that disclaimer, I'd say that if you were cutting the letters/objects free from the foam board, I'd choose a spiral upcut bit that has a long-enough cutting length. In wood, you don't cut deeper per pass than the diameter of the bit, such as 1/2-inch deep maximum cut for a 1/2-inch diameter (cutting edge, not shank) bit. I don't know how the foam board behaves compared to wood, so I'd begin with that rule of thumb to be safe.

You can also get straight bits that have a ball-bearing mounted above the cutter, below it, or both (mine has both--it's from Whiteside). With those type of bits you would have the bearing ride against a template, commonly made from MDF or some other smooth and stable material, while the cutter removes material from your stock. This could also be used for relief cutting, where you're removing some material from the face of your stock, but not cutting all of the way through it.

There are some specialty bits that you may be interested in, such as a dish-carving bit which cuts both the side wall of the dish, the bottom, and has a smooth radius between the two. This would be useful for relief cutting, not through cutting.

Regardless, I'd choose the bits that you need first, and then the router. Not much point in buying a 1/4-inch shank router if one of your bits is 1/2-inch shank, nor would it make sense to buy a 3.25HP 1/2-inch shank 16-pound monster plunge router, if a 1.25HP router would work as well (and weigh considerably less).
 
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