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Discussion Starter #1
When using spiral bits in a table cutting box joints with a jig or just simple slots which type is best? Up cut or down cut, or will either work as well as the other? I want to order 3 different sizes, but really don't have the funds to order all 3 of each kind. I am going to order the Woodhaven Box Joint Jig today and at the same time order the bits also. Having said that as a way to conserve my funds will a straight bit work to cut the box joints? I understand they won't cut as well as a spiral bit, but if I can get by for a few weeks with my straight bits I will do so.

As usual all input is appreciated,

Ken
 

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Make sure the straight bit is a "plunge" type and it should work. Use a backer to prevent tear out.
When you do get a spiral, get the up cut. In the table, it'll pull the debris down and out of the cut.

Here is a site for some good, yet inexpensive spirals.

MLCS
 

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Here's a good buy on spirals, unfortunately looks like they only have 1/2" and 3/8" at the moment. They are liqudators and shopping with those guys is kind of a crap shoot. :eek:
 

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Hey John,
No linky
 

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Here's a good buy on spirals, unfortunately looks like they only have 1/2" and 3/8" at the moment. They are liqudators and shopping with those guys is kind of a crap shoot. :eek:
That was my experience, too, but they got there in the end and their bits are excellent value. Mine were Bosch and American Vermont.
1 x Vermont American 1/2 Carbide Downspiral Router Bit 23217 (23217) = $16.00
1 x BOSCH 85913M 3/8" x 1-1 1/4" Up Spiral Router Bit (85913m) = $14.00
1 x Vermont American 1/2" Carbide Upspiral Router Bit 23212 (23211) = $16.00
1 x BOSCH 85631MC Edge Beading Carbide Router Bit USA (85631MC) = $8..00

As you say, they've nothing smaller at the moment.
Actually, after writing this, I did a quick check and they've some 1/4" shank, 1/8"dia x 1/2" cutting length ones at the moment
http://www.cripedistributing.com/ve....html?osCsid=ee4591b791a5934f135a71c70b19d025

I'm indebted to list member Regis Leonard for kindly bringing mine over here and particularly for his calling specially to the Post Office on his way to the airport to pick them up, after Cripe had been slow dispatching.

Cheers

Peter
 

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Ken, the spiral up cut bits are for solid wood. Spiral down cut bits are for routing in plywood or veneers to help avoid tear out. Compression bits are for edge routing the whole thickness of plywood and veneers. (squeezes them together)
Odds are you will often use the up cut spirals so I suggest you buy all 3 sizes; 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2". Hold off on the others until you need them. You can use a straight bit to practice making box joints; they do a decent job but not as good as the up cuts.
 

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Compression bits are for edge routing the whole thickness of plywood and veneers. (squeezes them together)
It's worth pointing out that compression spirals often leave a discernable witness line where the up- and down- shears meat. This needs to be sanded out on solid wood, MDF and most plastics

Regards

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the input guys. I did order the Woodhaven Box Joint Jig yesterday and after reading through this thread I also ordered a few spiral bits from Cripes as noted in the thread.

Strangely enough I still worked on a box joint jig I had started a week or so ago. All that is left is to drill a couple of holes and assemble it. It is also adjustable from 1/8" to 1". If I feel like it I will finish it today and see if it works.

Thanks again for all the input.

Ken
 
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