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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Afternoon,

The specific problem I am having is I have to go very slow when cutting patterns otherwise my router stops cutting and I have to back off and let the router speed back up then cut some more.

Here are the details of what I am trying to do.

I am cutting out Nativity scenes in 23/32 ply, my router is a Kobalt portable router with 2.5hp, I am using a pattern router bit that has a 1/2" shank and has a 2" cutting depth. The bit is relatively new so it is still sharp. It is a straight flute bit not a spiral bit.


The bit is cutting the full width so I am taking 3/4" wide cuts almost the entire way around the pattern.

So...

Should I get a Triton 3 1/4 HP router (I am trying to find a way to justify this so any answers that can lead to this will be great)

Upgrade to Spiral top bearing flush cut bits

Trim my pattern so only 1/4 " is needed to be cut off

Other solutions?

Thanks

Matt
 

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Welcome Mat...

hog out your pattern w/ a jigsaw and trim all of an 1/8'' or less....
your bit isn't as sharp as you think it is... (who made the bit)??
also your brushes are now suspect of not being properly seated...
and heat generated by the tool may be affecting the speed control...
 

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Trim your piece to at the most 1/4" extra with a jig saw. 1/8" is better but you'll need to stay outside the lines far enough to avoid leaving splinters inside the lines. You can't slow a router down to the point where it stops turning without damaging it. As rpm drops current draw rises and the wiring in the router can't handle the heat from that amount of current draw. It may also be possible that the speed control may be faulty if that is happening.

Spiral flush trim bits are pretty expensive and you have to keep in mind that a spiral will leave one edge very smooth but will leave slivers on the other edge. There may be some compression style flush trim bits which will leave both edges smooth but they will be more expensive still and you definitely should not be taking a full width cut with one. Changing to a Triton would be a great move. It's a professional router while the Kobalt is a hobbyist quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I was thinking that i'll have to trim the pattern down to help out the process. Just thinking I could over power the problem with Triton.

Would changing to a smaller diameter bit help?
 

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Stick pegged it. Ply can really build up heat when used the way you're using it. That heat will surely cause damage that will show up as power loss.

Jig saw first with about 1/8th or so left around the pattern. You then use a trim bit with a bearing and a pattern of 1/4 inch mdf or light ply. I have gotten some Chinese ply in the past the center of which was filled with narrow strips of banboo. It you had that stuff, it would have rapidly dulled your bit beyond usefulness, which would also make the router bog down.

Or, just cut the thing out with a jig saw as close to your outline as possible. Lay painter's tape on the surface of the ply where you're drawing the outline, this will reduce chipout. You might want to further clean this cutout by using a 1/8th roundover to eliminate splinters. This method will allow you to make a paper cutout of your project, which will help you apply the tape. Press the tape down well.

I have a Triton TRA001 in my table and it is a delight. Most everyone here who has one, likes it. It is, however, a little too awkward and heavy for me to use it freehand (I'm old). If money isn't an issure, consider just getting one for your table. Sounds like your present router is going in for repairs soon, so this is a perfect excuse to get what you really want.
 

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Welcome to the forum, Matt. As you can see, the vast and unpaid research department here at Router Forums are here to help.:grin:

And I agree with the others. Cut away the waste and your routing experience will be much better.
 

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If youre trying to cut more than half the bit diameter with a flush bearing cutter, youre on a hiding to nothing and its gonna get expensive quickly. dont matter how big the router is.
 

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I was thinking that i'll have to trim the pattern down to help out the process. Just thinking I could over power the problem with Triton.

Would changing to a smaller diameter bit help?
The smaller bit would require less power but the other problems remain the same. Ply is very hard on bits to start with because of the resin glue holding the plies together and burying the bit in the cut produces a lot of heat because the chips don't evacuate from the cut as quickly as if you were just trimming the edges smooth. That excess heat destroys bits pretty quickly. Most members who have the Triton say that is not a great handheld plunge router because it's top heavy and feels clumsy but it gets 5 stars out of 5 as a table mounted router. If you planned on using your plunge handheld then you should go to a store that sells them and see for yourself. If you don't like the feel then try Bosch, Hitachi, Makita, or Milwaukee. Those are all good. I have 2 big Hitachis, an M12V and a V2, and I've been happy with both of them. The V2 also is a good table router.
 

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@Matt Hickman - you've received great answers from others already, so I'll just tell you what you want to hear. Go get yourself a Triton. If you've only got one router then you'll have two and two is better than one. If you've got two routers, get the Triton anyway, cause three is better than two. And if you need justification, Routerforums "said so".

Enjoy your new router.
 

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@Matt Hickman - you've received great answers from others already, so I'll just tell you what you want to hear. Go get yourself a Triton. If you've only got one router then you'll have two and two is better than one. If you've got two routers, get the Triton anyway, cause three is better than two. And if you need justification, Routerforums "said so".

Enjoy your new router.
or move to the head of the class and get a Bosch..
 

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Aside from the actual need, it's call conniving although I don't see it as "given to or involved in conspiring to do something immoral, illegal, or harmful". I actually see it as a means to get what you need/want. After having looked up the actual word and using it for years, I'm wondering why I've used it so much. What you're doing "justifies" by means of being more safe and not overtaxing a lesser tool possible causing damage and unsafe conditions. I have two main routers, the Bosch 1617EVS and the Colt, which should handle my needs with the proper bits and knowledge. Cutting away the bulk of the waste as advised is the safest and best approach before putting the router bit to cleanup the edge. But it's important to realize that size and type of bit along with motor HP is only a part of the issue. How safely you can actually remove the amount of wood including the type of wood as explained is critical to safety as well. Smaller bits are more susceptible to breakage if forced or used improperly. The quality of the bit makes a big difference as well. I snapped a 1/4" straight bit just trying to slot 1/4" hardboard by going too fast (feeding the wood faster) and trying to take the full cut in one pass. I mostly blame it on the bit itself because of its quality but technique played a role as well.

-Steve
 

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Another way is to cut it in several passes at increasing depths. In this case a router bushing rather than a bearing bit will work better. Ride the bushing along the template and increase the depth of cut no more than about 1/4" per pass. This should avoid the need to pre-cut with a saw to within 1/8" of your final dimension.

Charley
 

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Afternoon,

The specific problem I am having is I have to go very slow when cutting patterns otherwise my router stops cutting and I have to back off and let the router speed back up then cut some more.

Here are the details of what I am trying to do.

I am cutting out Nativity scenes in 23/32 ply, my router is a Kobalt portable router with 2.5hp, I am using a pattern router bit that has a 1/2" shank and has a 2" cutting depth. The bit is relatively new so it is still sharp. It is a straight flute bit not a spiral bit.


The bit is cutting the full width so I am taking 3/4" wide cuts almost the entire way around the pattern.

So...

Should I get a Triton 3 1/4 HP router (I am trying to find a way to justify this so any answers that can lead to this will be great)

Upgrade to Spiral top bearing flush cut bits

Trim my pattern so only 1/4 " is needed to be cut off

Other solutions?

Thanks

Matt
Welcome
1. Make sure you have a dust chute on your router with a SHOPVAC sucking.
2. You do not need to cut the full depth. Rout about 1/4 deep. Then use a jigsaw to saw out pattern leaving 1/8" to 1/4" for the router to trim later.
3. Remove the jig. Use a pattern bit to flush-trim the pattern bearing following the already routed pattern.


A 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 HP Router would be better if you do a lot of such jobs.

Good brands include (not in any order of preference):-
1. Triton
2. Bosch
3. Dewalt
4. Hitachi
5. Markita
But buy only if a DUST CHUTE is included or can be optionally purchased at the same time.
 

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Another scenario is the power cord you are using is too long and you have a significant power loss. How long of an extension cord are you using.
 

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Another scenario is the power cord you are using is too long and you have a significant power loss. How long of an extension cord are you using.
too light of a gauge wire in an extension cord will do it too...
 
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