The Daunting Task of Choosing the Right Router Bits
Router bits are some of the most versatile and important tools in a workshop or manufacturing facility, whether they work with wood, metal or plastic. Wood router bits are often used to create decorative edges on shelves, tables, stairs, crown moldings, stair railings and other pieces of handcrafted wood furnishings for the home. Plastic routing has a different purpose – to construct signs, point-of-purchase products, machines, medical devices and valves. Metal cutting router bits, on the other hand, are often used for carving materials used in the aerospace industry and other heavy manufacturing industries.
With the correct wood router bits and a fair amount of practice, it’s possible to form edges, add decorative inlays and make raised panel doors. No amount of practice will help if you choose the wrong wood router bits, though. They need to be sharp, appropriately long and wide for the task at hand, programmed to offer the most efficient cutting movement and properly maintained to last a long time. Wood router bits should cut easily with only a slight reduction in motor speed. Moving it too slowly through the wood may burn it and ruin the temper of the bit, but moving it too fast slows the motor and causes overheating.
Plastic routing is perhaps even more complex than wood routing, because there are problems such as the removed chips of plastic re-welding to the surface material because they are too hot and they melt. Plastic routing requires special programming, tools selection, and maintenance consideration on order to create the right finished products.
Metal cutting router bits also have to deal with different problems such as lifting and unusual chip issues due to the nature of the materials being worked with. Metal Cutting router bits such as “O” flute tools in straight edge configuration reduce lifting for thinner materials, however and left hand and right hand spiral configurations influence chips and parts in a positive manner.
As you can see the choice of the right router bits can seems a bit daunting, but with time and experience any craftsmen should become adept at picking the right bits with little to no trouble.