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Using End Mills In Routers?


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So I just got a new router (Bosch 1617evs) and I'm so excited that I can now use 1/2" shank bits. I feel like my dad just took off the training wheels or somthing. Anyway, I am trying to assemble a collection of 1/2" shank bits and I decided that it would be nice to have a decent assortment of straight cut bits. I figure it would be useful to have like a 1/4", 1/2", 3/4" and maybe a couple other sized bits for general work like making jigs and storage shelves and what not (still getting my shop together). I also am considering making one of Setch's thicknessing jigs. I know this has been touched on a little in other threads before but my question is this, I have a couple mahine tool catologs and 1/2" end mills look like a really cost effective way to get good bits. I don't imagine that I would have an issue running a 1/2" shanked end mil in a router but would they be suitable for use in wood? Would I want to spring for carbide end mills or would HSS be adequet? What speed should I run them at?

One of the places I looked was Victor Machinery. For some reason I cant link straight to product pages but if you go their website and type in "hs 4 flute single" you will see that a 1/2" HSS end mill is about $5. If you type in "carbide single" you will see that the same size bit in carbide is about $25 which is still cheaper than whiteside's 1/2" spiral bit at $36.

So anyway, anyone have any opinions on this? xlr8, you have what appears to be an end mill in your pin router, do you have any advice? Thanks guys!

On a side note, if you search "jewelers" you will see jewelers saw blades that look similar to the stewmac and LMI fretting blades. If you scroll down you will see that the .023 kerf blades are considerably less than the ones mentioned ($12-25). You would still probably want a stiffener and Im not sure but it looks like a 1/2" arbor is needed. I dont know what that means in terms of compatibility but there they are.

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Today's your lucky day. I've been around long enough tht I remeber when HS steel was the good stuf and carbide was industrail black magic.

HS steel ends mills will do a very good job in a 1/2" chuck router.

Welcome to the deep end of the pool.

Be aware that they are just not going to hold up anywhere near as long as a carbide.

I've got an old apprentice who builds really high end furniture. He uses an acurouter 3 axis shaper and does most of his mortice and tenon work with an end mill. He works with some really difficult wood and swears by the steel over carbide because it doesn't chip as easily in really hard, squiggly wood with knots, like Carpathian elm burl.

Remember that it is easier to heat it up and burn thatn carbide and you should probably use a woodworking spray lube on it.

Grab on tight and enjoy the ride.

You might also check out Ridge carbide. An old small user friendly company that makes really top drwer bits and sawblades for woodworking. I'm pretty sure that they have a web site.

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Hey Jay5,

I believe you are in the states. Right? Check this place out

CME Tools

I use these endmills in my work every day. I don't think you can find a better price on solid micrograin carbide cutters. They are USA made and I have had great success with them.

This place is in or around Detoit and I am in Grand Rapids, MI. If i phone in my order I always recieve it the next day, YMMV depending on where you live.

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like I said alot of it is import from china. But I haven't found anyone that could touch those cutter prices.

I work in a tool and die shop, and have used some of their precision measuring tools as well. They are dead on. And at $15 (for say a 6" caliper) who cares if you drop them. :D

Edited by jer7440
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