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Hello friends. So, I bought a rather large set of router bits off of Amazon, pretty inexpensive, considering the number of bits included. I was very much taken by the profile of the Roman Ogee, and routed the edges of a few pieces of pine with it. Long story short, the results were not great: not a very clean rout, lots of "fraying," if that's what you could call it. The bit was brand new, but, like I said, very cheap. Was the bit likely the problem, or was it the wood. The lumber (pressure treated pine) could have been a bit dryer, so that may have been the culprit. Any advice appreciated, thanks.
 

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Doug
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David,
Probably a bit of both. Some woods rout better than others, but usually you can get acceptable results with a sharp bit.

If you have a thin diamond stone or a slipstone you can hone the edge a bit and improve the cut.

If the wood is really uncooperative,take a lighter first pass. If you are using the router freehand you can swap on a larger bearing for the first pass, and then make a lighter final pass. If using the router in a table, just move the fence in for the first pass.

Other cause could be feeding the bit from the wrong direction
 

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There are various factors that affect the finish and moisture content is one. Overly wet wood is stringy when you machine it. Overly dry wood can be a problem too. I work with a lot of white birch and it tends to chip easily when it's too dry. Grain direction can make a difference too but it can be hard to adjust for. If the grain has slope instead of running parallel to the edges then it can splinter and rip out and also cause a rough finish if you are going against the grain instead of with it. The bit can make a big difference too. Good bits feel really sharp on the edges just like a sharp knife does. Any decent bit is sharpened to 600 grit at which point you can't see any grooves from the abrasive without a magnifying glass. If you can still see them easily then they were only sharpened to 300 or 400.

You can try to sharpen them better with 600 grit or finer diamond hones. I touch mine up occasionally that way for ones that I'm just using for utility jobs like making grooves. It helps and you can tell a difference after honing. One of the advantages of a cheap bit set is that it gives you a chance to try out a bunch of the profiles to see how you like them or to find out what they do. You would be hesitant to shell out $30 to $40 for a good one if you weren't sure but for $2-3 per bit if it turns out you don't like it it's not a big deal. I originally liked the ogee profile but over time I find it to look too busy and that it often takes away from the overall look of a piece so I rarely use mine any more.
 

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Re the Diamond honing ...

It's critical that you DON'T try and hone the profiled edges, only the flat backs of the cutters.
In theory you shouldn't have to do this with a new bit, the factory was supposed to do it properly in the first place. But since you're having issues, it can't hurt, eh?
I agree with your suspicions about the wet wood being a problem.
 

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Sharper is better, and cheap bits often have poor brazing of the cutters to the body of the bit. It may also be thinner. If you like a profile, treat yourself to a good quality version. I am fond of Freud bits for most individual profiles, but I popped for Sommerfeld's matched bits for door making sets where you use 3 or 4 different bits to produce all the profiles. Freud also has matched bit sets for door and panel making. Matched bit sets have exactly the same length of shaft on every bit so you set the height for the first bit and all the rest match. To accomplish that, you drop a small grommet into the collet so all bits go in exactly the same depth.
 

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Virtually every bit from China I found to have one or more of these issues...
to name a few...
poor QC... Can we say sucks here??? We are the QC department for them and you are pretty much on your own...
little or no CS at all...
poor balance... out of balance bits are hard on the router...
poor brazing.. you can ask my ear about that...
dull out of the package... this means they don't shear their way through the wood, they chop making for additional finishing time and materials.. tear out is a common thing for them...
softer carbide.. short production life due to dulling...
piss poor performance...
fragile.. carbide chipping/breaking when hitting a dense knot..
cutting edge came already chipped/serrated right out of the package...
shank diameters aren't as advertised...
two piece construction.. body to shank which during use would separate/break...now we have an out of control projectile on the loose...
same part number/same manufacturer/same profile... but one bit's profile to the next doesn't match..

bottom line, china was very expensive no matter how little was paid for a product from there... dangerous too.... this makes them expensive iven if they are free to you...

NOTE:
there are a lot of NAME BRAND knock offs and counterfeits coming out of china...
something they're virtually infamous for...


You could buy another cheap machine and hope it's better, but as the saying goes, "Good ain't cheap and cheap ain't good."
 
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Not a good idea at all, using pressure treated wood. It may, or may not, have been the problem, but that is not it's intended use.

I purposely buy cheap bits once in awhile. Try it out, and if I like the results, buy a good one. If I don't like the results, possibly save it for whatever reason, or toss it. I do not buy one for day to day use, just testing.
 
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Virtually every bit from China I found to have one or more of these issues...
to name a few...
poor QC... Can we say sucks here??? We are the QC department for them and you are pretty much on your own...
little or no CS at all...
poor balance... out of balance bits are hard on the router...
poor brazing.. you can ask my ear about that...
dull out of the package... this means they don't shear their way through the wood, they chop making for additional finishing time and materials.. tear out is a common thing for them...
softer carbide.. short production life due to dulling...
piss poor performance...
fragile.. carbide chipping/breaking when hitting a dense knot..
cutting edge came already chipped/serrated right out of the package...
shank diameters aren't as advertised...
two piece construction.. body to shank which during use would separate/break...now we have an out of control projectile on the loose...
same part number/same manufacturer/same profile... but one bit's profile to the next doesn't match..

bottom line, china was very expensive no matter how little was paid for a product from there... dangerous too.... this makes them expensive iven if they are free to you...

NOTE:
there are a lot of NAME BRAND knock offs and counterfeits coming out of china...
something they're virtually infamous for...
Yeah, Stick, but other than all of the above, they're a good buy, right??

Having experienced some of the issues that Stick listed with imported bits, and trying various brands over the years, I'm at the point that I only buy bits as I need them. My preferred brand is Whiteside. They aren't cheap but, to me, they're worth it. They are well made, they are sharp and they have mass behind them.

Also, as has been said before, unless your experience with the bit and the wood you're routing tells you different, it's a good idea to take off a little less than the final depth and then make a final pass with, what I call a skim pass. On a router table I've done this by putting a piece of blue tape on the fence, make my cut (s) and then remove it for the final pass. Does a nice job cleaning up any fuzz or light burn marks.
 

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The Chinese made bits often have issues. Taiwanese bits are not the same. In the bit test I mentioned Lee Valley's bits came in 2nd and they are made in Taiwan. I have some and they are excellent. I bought a cheap set from Canadian Tire up here that they had branded with their name (like Sears did with theirs and they were made in Taiwan) and they have been decent bits but I did get one with with an oversize shaft that they replaced for me. I found one cheap set on Amazon that I had never heard of that everyone who had bought them rated them 4.5 to 5 stars out of 5 and some of the users said they were experienced router users with many other brands to compare them to.

My original comment still applies that you now have a bunch of bits to try and more than once I've starting holding bits against the end of a board to help visualize if that was the right bit for the job I was doing. You may be able to improve the cut with honing the bits which is easy with the right diamond hones (some aren't expensive at all like the E Z Lap little 1" by 3" paddles). Even with good bits you usually have to sand a little. With cheap bits it's usually a little more.
 
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