Jump to content

Routing - any gurus here ?


fleabag
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was thinking of  scoring meself a palm router,  despite preferring to get routing done professionally.  Its just the wait for someone else to get it sorted that i want to avoid.

I know my local bloke will take 2 weeks to book it in and another 2 weeks for the job, and its just for routing soapbar pickups.  Lemon squeezy

 

The last time i had a router , it was too big, so moved it on. So i thought a smaller palm jobbie would be ideal,   1/4"  or bigger ?

 

So .. they look like they dont plunge, but is a plunge router even necessary ?

 

The router bit ..  does a straight router bit only cut as wide as it's shank ?   Or does it have be a top bearing pattern bit ? 

 

Since the palm router doesnt plunge, and i use a template for pickup cavities,  the top bearing pattern bit has to have the bearing run on the template, so cannot be moved down as the cavity gets deeper -  cavity needs to be 20mm deep, minimum.  Having said that, if i had a 20mm thick template, that would allow the bearing some leeway on routing downwards.

I suppose then, with no plunging action, i would have to keep extending the bit out of the router ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Katsu palm router has a sort of rack and pinion adjustment for depth (like quite a few of this design). Not too expensive and pretty decent. I’ve ended up using it more due to it being lightweight.
 

The plunger base was almost as expensive as the router but makes a great unit.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree on the plunge doubling the prices of palm routers, as i've been window shopping.

 

So if using a top bearing bit, what do you do when you want to rout deeper ?  Surely the bearing drops below the template ?  

 

Also, do all cavity routing bits with top bearings, make the bottom of the cavity nice and flat/clean   ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Not a guru but ...

 

By the time the bearing drops below the thickness of the template the thing you are routing should be the right shape at the top where the bearing now runs, and will guide it.

Also remember you can get bits with different lengths of cutting surface.

And yes, so long as you are careful the bottom of the surface you are routing can be super clean.

 

I bought the Erbauer palm router from screwfix earlier this year to supplement a big heavy plunge router, and am very happy with it.

Being lightweight with a slow start it's easy to handle, and cheap

I'd suggest the most essential accessory is a lump of perspex sheet to make a bigger base for it.

The bigger base will make the router more stable so it is safer, less likely to tip in use, and able to rout wider holes with a clean flat cavity.

Whatever router you use remember there is a horribly sharp whirling bit, and keep your fingers away. (the bigger base helps with this)

Edited by Random Guitarist
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Random Guitarist said:

By the time the bearing drops below the thickness of the template the thing you are routing should be the right shape at the top where the bearing now runs, and will guide it.

 

 

Ah, yes. I didnt think about that.  So the sides of the rout  ( pickup cavity ) become the template as you get further down , because the bearing will run round the edge as if it was running round the template ?

 

Are the bearings the exact same size as the cutting part  of the bit ?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find plunge routers to be better for use with templates so I use a 1/2” router for routing the body with a 50mm top bearing trimmer bit and a 1/4” router for the cavities with a top bearing 12mm trimmer bit and on the rare occasion I used to use a palm router just for rounding over the edges as I found the depth of the plunge on them was a bit poor unless as Jabba said you buy an extra plunge attachment which seems an expensive way of doing it? 👍🏻

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Jabba_the_gut said:

Oh, and you can get plunger bases for palm routers. I bought a Katsu one and it’s great.

One of those sentences where it's possible to misunderstand almost every word.

I take it you're describing the rubber end of a tool for unblocking sinks, attached to the bottom of a  network device made from the wood of broad-leaved tropical trees. And the one you have is curried? 

  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Second vote for the Katsu one. I think I paid £22 from eBay for mine and its perfect for the smaller jobs such as pickup routes and also for making scratchplates. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Not sure about using a 12mm as a routing bit for pickup cavities.  Isnt the radius a bit big for the tight corners ?  I was thinking 6.3mm  bit

 

I am now thinking it might be easier to find a non bearing straight bit. Shank same size as cutting blades, and use the shank to run along the template ?

Edited by fleabag
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, fleabag said:

Not sure about using a 12mm as a routing bit for pickup cavities.  Isnt the radius a bit big for the tight corners ?  I was thinking 6.3mm  bit

 

I am now thinking it might be easier to find a non bearing straight bit. Shank same size as cutting blades, and use the shank to run along the template ?


I’ve never had an issue with using a 1/2” router bit the corners come out fine with the pickups I’ve fitted on my builds but I generally clean up the corners with a chisel if needed but yeah a 1/4” will work just as well 

 

I wouldn’t recommend not using a bearing as you will knacker your template really quickly and it won’t run true you will end up taking chunks out of your template because the shank will burn the template!

 

if you want to go down the straight flute cutter then you will need a guide bush on the bottom of your router and enlarge your templates to allow for the difference between the cutter size and the guide bush diameter 👍🏻

Edited by Jimothey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I decided to go the straight double flute bit, no bearing at all

 

The template only has to last 2 pickup cavities.

 

It's aslo a bottom cleaning ( ooer ) bit so the floor of the cavity is as nice as the sides

 

I cant see a bearing on the bottom of the cutter is any good at all .  How would that work ?

 

 

 

Edited by fleabag
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a router but with a bearing on the bottom - it came in handy for finishing off a custom scratch plate. 
 

I’d already routed the pickup cavity, so in effect that became my template. I cut out to approximately the correct size and shape in the scratch plate, then screwed it to the body, lowered the router bit into the cavity, and simply followed the contour of the cavity with the bottom bearing to finish off and neaten the hole in the plate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed Paul, cutting your scratch plate that way seems perfect, but thats not the same thing

 

Cutting a cavity with a router bit that has a bearing on the bottom doesnt seem  feesible to me

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, fleabag said:

I decided to go the straight double flute bit, no bearing at all

 

The template only has to last 2 pickup cavities.

 

It's aslo a bottom cleaning ( ooer ) bit so the floor of the cavity is as nice as the sides

 

I cant see a bearing on the bottom of the cutter is any good at all .  How would that work ?

 

 

 


I still don’t think just using a straight cutter just on the shank will give you a nice accurate clean cut as the cutter could still wander

 

top bearing cutters do exactly the same thing as straight flute they both bottom clear the only difference is one has a bearing 
 

you use a bottom bearing when you have the workpiece upside down or use a router table so the bearing still runs on the template 👍🏻

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So this is my Katsu palm router as it comes - this shows the rack and pinion type depth adjustment.

4G8zEOv.jpg

 

This is the plunger base for it. Yep, makes it more expensive but it still lighter and easier to use than a 'normal' 1/4" router

qSb6eTI.jpg

And these are a selection of bearing cutters I use. The large one is a 1/2" one for trimming sides (scares me...), the middle one is a standard 12mm template cutter and the small one is a 5mm diameter template cutter for really tight corners!!

nQa4ruz.jpg

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Jimothey said:


I still don’t think just using a straight cutter just on the shank will give you a nice accurate clean cut as the cutter could still wander

 

top bearing cutters do exactly the same thing as straight flute they both bottom clear the only difference is one has a bearing 
 

you use a bottom bearing when you have the workpiece upside down or use a router table so the bearing still runs on the template 👍🏻

I'd also be careful using a non-bearing cutter. If your template is plastic you might find it melting with the friction and the bit wandering. I've had this happen once when I was using a bearing cutter!! Must have had the speed all wrong.......

Edited by Jabba_the_gut
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Jabba_the_gut said:

I'd also be careful using a non-bearing cutter. If your template is plastic you might find it melting with the friction and the bit wondering. I've had this happen once when I was using a bearing cutter!! Must have had the speed all wrong.......


It will still do the same to MDF as well it’s also happened to me when a bearing exploded I now religiously WD40 the bearing before every use!!

 

I think when it comes to routers use whatever your comfortable with I use my 1/4” Trend T4 one handed ad I’ve used them so often over the last 20 years of being a carpenter 

 

The only time I got scared was using a 2 /12” rounder bit in my trend t10 1/2” shaping the back of a neck that’s why I bought the modern C router bit to use in my router table!!


786C00CE-5A42-4435-A8F1-2CD10A43808C.thumb.jpeg.12dd05a30bbd6c2825362b26fe521ace.jpeg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Jimothey said:


I still don’t think just using a straight cutter just on the shank will give you a nice accurate clean cut as the cutter could still wander

 

top bearing cutters do exactly the same thing as straight flute they both bottom clear the only difference is one has a bearing 
 

you use a bottom bearing when you have the workpiece upside down or use a router table so the bearing still runs on the template 👍🏻

 

I might look for a top bearing in that case.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...