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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, this was a bad day in the shop, I am discouraged but will learn something from it.

I had worked so hard to get the miter lock bit set just right and cut the edges to be cut with the bit off at 45 degrees. Got the set up with feather boards all set and started in on the eight parts that were supposed to be used to create the four corner styles for the cedar chest project.

Then came the disappointment. The bit just chattered and ripped and ruined the parts. Once the first part was messed up I went ahead and tried to cut the rest of them and they are all no good.

So, my first question is this. Does anybody have any idea as to the life of a miter lock bit? I'm cutting QS white oak which is very hard and the cutters do seem to be dull to me.

Just have to ask if anybody else has experienced what I have described. I don't recall having this problem when the bit was new, so I do suspect that it is to do with the being dull. If that is the case I suppose that if a person wants to use the bit that they might need to buy more than one of them so that they can ash can a bit when it quits cutting.

Gosh, it's hard to admit that I really screwed up, would have liked to have been able to say that things really went well.

I just ordered a new Whiteside bit, I'll see if I like it any better that the Infinity.

Jerry
 

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Jerry...how old is the bit, in terms of cuts...?

...and might something else be wrong...? are you cutting edge or grain...? router speed...? is the router clamped tight...? is there any gunk on the cutting edges...?

if you're cutting end-grain, is the piece clamped tight to your miter...?

...do you have something like this http://www.amazon.com/Trend-DWS-P3-...8507&sr=8-8&keywords=trend+diamond+sharpening

...if I recall correctly, your method would allow you to set the height and then the fence...this would allow you to take smaller bites moving up to the edge line...?

Sorry if my questions are too basic...didn't want to ignore the "back to basics" approach...
 

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Jerry, did you try and take small bites at a time...or cut the full depth at once?

Considering that the wood you're using is damn hard, small bites may help.

Are the bits 1/4" or 1/2" shanks?
 

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Jerry...how old is the bit, in terms of cuts...?

...and might something else be wrong...? are you cutting edge or grain...? router speed...? is the router clamped tight...? is there any gunk on the cutting edges...?

if you're cutting end-grain, is the piece clamped tight to your miter...?

...do you have something like this http://www.amazon.com/Trend-DWS-P3-...8507&sr=8-8&keywords=trend+diamond+sharpening

...if I recall correctly, your method would allow you to set the height and then the fence...this would allow you to take smaller bites moving up to the edge line...?

Sorry if my questions are too basic...didn't want to ignore the "back to basics" approach...
You and I were thinking the same thing! You beat me by a minute!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jerry...how old is the bit, in terms of cuts...?

...and might something else be wrong...? are you cutting edge or grain...? router speed...? is the router clamped tight...? is there any gunk on the cutting edges...?

if you're cutting end-grain, is the piece clamped tight to your miter...?

...do you have something like this http://www.amazon.com/Trend-DWS-P3-...8507&sr=8-8&keywords=trend+diamond+sharpening

...if I recall correctly, your method would allow you to set the height and then the fence...this would allow you to take smaller bites moving up to the edge line...?

Sorry if my questions are too basic...didn't want to ignore the "back to basics" approach...


Nick,
I have used the bit quit a lot and the cutter looks like it is dull. I do have the the larger bit for thicker material and it has never been used so I could compare its cutter to the one that I have used so much, but the best test will be to try a new Whiteside bit.

I am not doing end grain cutting. The cuts are on the edges of 24" long workpieces that will form the corners and/or the legs of the chest.

Due to the nature of the miter lock cut you can't sneak up on the cut, you have to make in in one pass.

I do not have the stone that you mentioned, maybe it would be a good idea, I'll call Infinity on Monday and talk to them about using a stone and ask what they think the life of such a bit should be.

Thanks for the interest and trying to be of help.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jerry, did you try and take small bites at a time...or cut the full depth at once?

Considering that the wood you're using is damn hard, small bites may help.

Are the bits 1/4" or 1/2" shanks?



Keith,
The bit has a 1/2" shank. As I said to Nick, you can't sneak up on the cut due to the way the bit is configured.

Jerry
 

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kp91 is quite right when you have your fence set up you can use a couple of aux fences to cut down on the thickness you take in one pass.
 

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I have used my Whiteside miter lock bit to mill at last 150 lf of running length corners. Mostly in Ash or poplar. I do touch up my bits after use to keep them sharp longer. My first lock miter was an Infinity. I could never get it set right. The bit was off. However that exercise did pay off in being able to set a lock miter easily now. I am waiting to hear if it was your infinity bit.
Though I have not done so, I do think it can be milled in several passes. Instead of feathering the fence, I use chock blocks behind the fence that I fasten to the table. Mine are mounted in the t track the fence uses on one of my tables. I use scrap and c clamps on another table. After I chock the fence I loosen it and put shims between the chock and fence.
 

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Jerry, I use a set of diamond hones made specifically for router bit touch ups. It does help.
You might also be able to cut away some excess material before using the router. QSWO is tough. I'm just finishing a couple Morris chairs in QSWO. Even just cleaning up after using a mortiser rapidly dulls my tools.
 

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I used a lock bit once and never touched it again. It wasn't worth the effort it took to set it up. It also wasn't worth the money it cost. I seldom need a miter joint. If i do then I simply glue it. If I want to get fancy Ill add a spline. Either way I can finish faster than trying to set the bit up correctly. I have used a 45 degree bit in the past to make a miter joint. They are simple to use and give a very accurate cut. Your problem could be some bad wood and not the bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think you can sneak up on a cut if you shim the fence. Add an aux fence in front of your fence after you set up. Then after the first pass, remove the aux fence and make the finish cut.



Doug,

The shimmed fence idea is certainly something that I going to try. It makes sense to me.

I am wondering if the fact that I had cut the edges to 45 degrees before running the parts over the bit and this may have been a mistake. I'm not sure yet.

In regard to the shims, how thick do you think the shim should be on a quarter inch thick piece of material.

I am going to rip off about a half an inch of the material where the failed cuts are and try the shim idea and see if I can salvage the workpieces.

Jerry
 

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IMHO 1/4" QSWO is to thin. It splinters thicker than details on the smallest lock miter bit. Maybe with shallower pass it will work
 

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Discussion Starter #14
IMHO 1/4" QSWO is to thin. It splinters thicker than details on the smallest lock miter bit. Maybe with shallower pass it will work


Bill,
Help me out here, I do not understand what you are saying or trying to explain to me. I'm using 3/4" material and was thinking about using 1/4" MDF for the shim to be placed against the fence for the first pass and then removing that piece of MDF for the second pass. I know that I would first let the bit cut through the shim before making that first pass so that the shim can be attached to the fence.

Jerry
 

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Can I ask what type of router you use?

Those bits actually work best full pass in my experience, I used them in my 1.5 hp Jet mini shaper that has an induction motor.

I would never use anything less than a 3-3.5 hp router using that bit. Using an under-powered router normally means the RPM has to be cheated up to try to compensate the lack of power. More than one pass and under powered router all adds up to a poor cut and dulling the bit faster. These type bits are really close to shaper type operations.

For people that never used the bit at all, I know you have, below is a link for some basic instructions that show how to use the bit and set blocks to adjust the bit height and fence:

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/graphics2/TM26-29lockmitre.pdf

From experience if the wood isn't dead on flat and straight forget about using this type of bit altogether. I always, 100% of the time, use perfectly flat plywood in the same thickness of the hardwood to test all my cuts especially using a bit like this. I never cut any hardwood until I can get the ply to mate perfectly. If you can't get the ply to mate up it can only be a few things that can be wrong. The set up is wrong. Either fence and bit height is off, the feather boards are not keeping the stock exactly flat and tight against the table or the bit lost its profile. Other than an under powered router there isn't much more it could be. The ply take the router power and bad lumber out of the equation.

If the plywood works perfectly and I suspect it will with your new bit, then we know it's the wood. It's most likely not the same thickness throughout and/or some other defects to it.
 

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I thought you were trying to use 1/4" stock I misread. White oak can "shatter" not a good term but in my limited time with it I have had to be careful with grain direction or it will splinter off. to see if its the bit try milling some pine
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Can I ask what type of router you use?

Those bits actually work best full pass in my experience, I used them in my 1.5 hp Jet mini shaper that has an induction motor.

I would never use anything less than a 3-3.5 hp router using that bit. Using an under-powered router normally means the RPM has to be cheated up to try to compensate the lack of power. More than one pass and under powered router all adds up to a poor cut and dulling the bit faster. These type bits are really close to shaper type operations.

For people that never used the bit at all, I know you have, below is a link for some basic instructions that show how to use the bit and set blocks to adjust the bit height and fence:

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/graphics2/TM26-29lockmitre.pdf

From experience if the wood isn't dead on flat and straight forget about using this type of bit altogether. I always, 100% of the time, use perfectly flat plywood in the same thickness of the hardwood to test all my cuts especially using a bit like this. I never cut any hardwood until I can get the ply to mate perfectly. If you can't get the ply to mate up it can only be a few things that can be wrong. The set up is wrong. Either fence and bit height is off, the feather boards are not keeping the stock exactly flat and tight against the table or the bit lost its profile. Other than an under powered router there isn't much more it could be. The ply take the router power and bad lumber out of the equation.

If the plywood works perfectly and I suspect it will with your new bit, then we know it's the wood. It's most likely not the same thickness throughout and/or some other defects to it.

My router is the Porter Cable 890 2 1/4 HP, which might sell be the problem.

When I first got the bit and made a cedar chest using the Infinity miter lock bit with the QSWO, I had relative good luck with it, not perfect but with some glue and sanded dust to fill in the error all was exceptable and the appearance of chest is alright.

Of course the bit may be dulled by now and will only know after trying the new bit, but you sure have me thinking about the power of the router, ummmmm

I use my jointer and planer to mill the wood to be as flat and straight as can be accomplished with such tools.

By the way I do have the speed of the router dialed down as slow as it will go just in case anybody wonders.

I my earlier thread I explained how I am doing the set up and am confident that it is dead on.

Today I cut about a quarter of an inch off of the edge of a couple of the workpieces that I had messed up with the bit and re-cut them, they cleaned up pretty well but not enough to salvage the parts.

These challenges are what makes me both frustrated and the challenging. I'm going to keep trying to get it right, a larger router more powerful router might be the answer.

Jerry
 

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OK Jerry you have narrowed it down. Might try higher speed I think it will help Just for fum trying honing the bit and see if it helps
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK Jerry you have narrowed it down. Might try higher speed I think it will help Just for fum trying honing the bit and see if it helps



Bill,

I will try what you suggest, but I do know that when I first got the bit and was having trouble with it I phoned Infinity and the first thing that they said to try was to slow the router down as slow as it would go.

I think that it would be a good idea to try the bit in some softer wood like walnut and see what happens.

I had another idea, the parts that I'm using are only 2.5 inches wide, a little hard to handle on the table compared to say parts that are five to six inches wide.

Maybe I'll try a wide board, cut the horizontal cut on one edge and the vertical cut on the other, then rip the edged to the desired width.

Jerry
 

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Bill,

I will try what you suggest, but I do know that when I first got the bit and was having trouble with it I phoned Infinity and the first thing that they said to try was to slow the router down as slow as it would go.


Jerry
In that case, I think I would be inclined to do two tests. One at low speed and the other at wide open throttle. That should take care of that question.
 
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