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Hello folks - I am a hobby woodworker and quite recently added a router table to my shop to which I mounted my Ryobi r163 fixed base router. I have the following questions.

1. I am trying to make a small box with rabbets along the edges. For this I am using a straight 1/2 inch bit and not a rabbeting bit. I would like to make 3/4 inch width cuts so that another plywood of 3/4 inch can fit and from a height perspective I would cut 3/8 inches. When I did the cuts yesterday I took out 1/2 inch in the first pass but found burn marks and cut very rough. When I reduced the cut depth and width it was a bit smooth. What is the right increments to use for multiple passes? Also I purchased a milescraft depth gauge so that I know when I got the 3/4 inch and 3/8 inch marks. I would slowly move the router depth and fence based on this. Is this the right approach?

2. Any cost effective way to clean my router bit and sharpen them?

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About 1/8" increments. Set speed based on bit diameter. To help get the exact width you could use an auxilliary fence clamped to the main fence. Set the main fench to final depth. Install the auxilliary fence and take a pass, remove the auxilliary fence and take final pass.
Get some bit and blade cleaner....I get CMT.....it's biodegradeable.
Get a diamond sharpening card to do an ocassional touch up.
 

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You can clean your bits with WD40 or kerosene and some silicon carbide paper , use finer grits like 400 600 800 grits to clean and sharpen the bits.
To sharpen the bits mount the paper to a flat surface like a 6 inch scale / ruler.
You can also get a set of these Diamond Sharpener Set there are several varieties on Amazon the link here is just one example.
calabrese55
 

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I've always used the same stuff I clean saw blades with on my router bits. It's supposed to clean resin and pitch. I think I got mine from Amazon or Rockler. The brand is Trend. For cutting depth I agree with 1/8" but I think it depends on the stock, sharpness of the bit, speed and torque of the router. I'm a hobbyist too and generally think less is better.
 

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Use the Trend or Rockler's saw blade cleaning fluid. Soak a little, use either a brass brush or a really stiff brush to clean any stubborn spots.

Sharpen with a diamond card or the sticks shown above. Clamp whichever you use to the table and stroke the flat of the cutter, NOT the outside edge. A diamond stone should take no more than3-6 strokes total. 3 on medium grit, 3 on finer grit. Clean first, of course.

Cutting no more than 1/8 inch per pass is a pretty safe rule for any router cuts.
 

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WElcome to the forum.
 
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I think the general rule is to set the cutting depth no larger than the diameter of the bit. For hardwoods, probably doesn't hurt to keep it a bit smaller than that. For bit cleaning, I use the orange oil based stuff - CMT I think. It comes in a spray bottle, which I use for my RAS blades, etc., but for router bits, I have a small diameter glass jar with a lid that's filled about 3/4 full with CMT. I just drop the bit in the jar and let it soak for a few minutes, then fish the bit out (I have a small, blunt point tweezers that works great for this). I have a small wooden brush with brass wire bristles that I use to brush the bit. I haven't had to replace the CMT in the jar in quite a while. I do find that the brass bristles deform after a while, so I eventually replace the brush. FWIW, I remove the bearing from any bearing bit before dropping it into the jar. When I put the bearing back on the bit, I hit it with a drop or two of fine machine oil and spin it a few times.
 
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