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Discussion Starter #1
I've been making a couple of jewelry boxes for my grandkids and am coming to the end of that project. I will be getting back into making cutting boards and cheese boards soon. The boards will be made from domestic and exotic hardwoods including maple, walnut, cherry, purpleheart, yellow heart, etc.

Some of the cheese boards will have a groove routed in them to hold crackers, vegetables, whatever. I have made two of these in the past. You can find pictures of what I'm referring to here: http://www.routerforums.com/tools-woodworking/66337-2nd-cheese-board-question.html For the first board I routed out the groove with a bowl bit. It took a while and threw mounds of chips all over the place. For the second board I used a small forstner bit to hog out most of the waste then used the bowl bit to finish the cut.

The forster bit I used was a 1" bit and it took a lot re-positioning to hog out the material in the 1 5/8" groove. My thought this time is to buy a 1 1/2 inch forstner bit and save time. I looked up the speed to run the drill press for that size bit and it listed 500 RPM for softwoods and 250 RPM for hardwoods. Here's my problem and my question: the lowest speed on my drill press is 500 RPM and I'll be working with hardwoods. Can I do this if I take light passes and make sure the bit doesn't overheat or am I opening myself up to burned wood and an overheated blue bit?

I looked up bits on Amazon and the first 3 that came up were Freud, CMT and Steelex all withing a couple of dollars of one another. If this is doable which bit would you recommend? As always, thanks for your help.
 

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That's a nice looking board there. I love making router bowls.

You will be ok at 500 with the bigger bit. Just make sure you've got a good grip on the workpiece as the bigger bits put more torque on the wood. But, I don't think you'll save THAT much time. I'd stick with the smaller one. Also, with the 1 1/2" bit, you won't have a lot of margin for error. When I hog out router bowls, I'm not exactly into accuracy - leaving that to the bowl bit and template. Also, I use a chisel to take out the big stuff the drill bit missed.
 

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Try it on some scrap wood and see. If you take your time, and allow some cooling off, I can't see it causing a problem.

I'm wondering tho if it is necessary. I understand you want to speed up the process a bit, but if you have to allow some cooling off time, maybe you won't save any time. No idea, just throwing that out there.
 

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go w/ a Serrated Edge...
I'm partial to Freud, LeeValley, Bormax and Colt...
peck your way in w/ firm pressure clearing the socket in the process......
half/overlaid holes are your friend...
light easy - burns...
heavy pressure - loads the bit and it doesn't cut cleanly..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Phil, thanks for the compliment and suggestion. I measured the template and it's actually 1 11/16". However, I'm not always dead on accurate. Comes with age although I wasn't when I was younger, either so I'm going with a 1 3/8" bit.

Brian, I always try everything on scrap. I found that, when I don't, I end up with more scrap. Even then, sometimes I still do.

Stick, as always, I value your opinion. I ordered the Freud bit. I ordered it from Amazon so it should be in on Monday. I'll try it as soon as it gets here and let you know how it works on a piece of Purpleheart I have left over from the jewelry box.

Thanks guys, I appreciate your suggestions.
 

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I haven't tried Freud but LV's bits cut very well. The Freud should too. Be careful going too slow. The bit will generate heat if you do.
 
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When I was making some lettered signs I used one half inch round Nicholson rotary file to do rounded out letters. You might look into them and see if they have bigger bits, that you could use in your drill press.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The Forstner bit came in yesterday and I was a bit surprised. (Sorry, couldn't help myself with that one.) I expected it to have a Freud branding since on Amazon it was listed as "Freud FB-010 1-3/8-Inch by 3/8-Inch Shank Forstner Drill Bit" but it came in under the Diablo brand. I may be wrong but I always thought that Freud's Diablo product line, although I've been happy with them, were of a lower quality than the Freud branded ones. In the end, it all comes down to the performance for the job at hand, but still, I was surprised.

I went to test the bit this morning. Reading the detail on the packaging I was again surprised to see the recommended speed for softwood is 1,600 RPM and for hardwood it's 900 RPM. Filling out a morning of surprised, I went to reset the speed on my drill press, which I haven't done for a quite a while, and realized that the lowest RPM is 620, not 500 as I originally stated. I think I'd have had a real problem if I needed 250 for this bit.

Fit and finish: the cutting edges are very sharp and clean. A couple of the inside edges have a small burr on them but they aren't involved in the cut. I'll remove them anyway before I use the bit on my cutting boards.

Moving right along, I grabbed scrap pieces of Maple and Purpleheart. To test the bit I drilled a hole in each to the depth of the bit, using moderate pressure and withdrawing the bit once during the cut. The bit took smooth shavings, that looked like they came off a plane, and did not accumulate in the bit itself. The holes had very clean edges and the bottom was smooth. I had the end of the hose from my shop vac set about 2" from the bit and it collected most of the shavings. The bit felt only slightly warm after making the cut. For my purposes I won't be cutting deeper than the depth of the bit edge. The shop vac will pull cool air across the bit while I preposition the work piece for the next cut so the bit should remain within a reasonable operating range but I will check it from time to time.

So far, I'm happy with the bit after making all both holes. I would recommend this bit. If I were going to use it in more of a production capacity I might consider the Colt Maxi-cut but at more than twice the price I didn't feel that I could justify it. How well the Diablo bit will stand up over time has yet to be determined.
 

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nice review Barry..
thanks...
 
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