routing table edge has rough edge
I have a round tabletop made of poplar. I am routing the edge and started with a single flute 1/2″ dia straight bit. I found the endgrain area was rough (almost torn out). Changed to a double flute, but it still is rough. I know that a spiral bit might be better, but I don’t have one and didn’t think it would make THIS much difference. any ideas? The other areas are fine.
Yes, I have an idea how to fix the problem but it sounds like you've already done your cutting so just sand it. In the future, you might want to buy a book and learn how to climb cut. Its not difficult but it can be dangerous so I wont explain the process here. When you read about it you'll understand my lack of willingness to explain in detail.
Steve - in Northern California
Oh, I climb cut and possibly it would have helped here. In fact, on one area where I was cutting almost parallel to the grain and I was afraid of splintering it, I did climb cut. What I was wondering was if a smaller diameter bit might have presented a blade edge such that it might not have torn the fibers? In other words, what would the difference in diameter of a straight bit make in this case in the edge quality? I know that the peripheral speed would be higher, but other than that, what would the effect on the surface quality of the wood be?
My experience is that dull bits cause a lot more tear out than sharp bits, and sm. diameter more than larger dia. When routing a large circle, I try to judge grain direction, and not just take the router around the circle, but divide it in quarters and try to go the direction of the grain. Not easy to judge, but always gives better results. If I were doing a solid table top, I wouldn't use anything but a new bit. Hope this helps,
I think you are on the right track Eric, bit size does matter quite a bit in my experience. I use a 1 1/8 dia. pattern cutting bit to cut most of my work that requires a nice edge (like table tops). Be sure that it is sharp too! The other problem I think you are having is the poplar, which is fairly soft and prone to tearout, even on the end grain. Good luck.
Experience tells me to make sure the bit is sharp and if it is a straight bit, make sure the cutting edge tapers to provide you with a "slicing" angle of cut and not a 90 degree chipping cut. I hope you understand that. Also, feedrate and speed of the router have a lot to do with getting a smooth cut on end-grain.
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