By abeb, 22-May-2012 21:52:00
Straight router bits have been used by woodworkers, both newbies and experts, ever since their first projects. You might find this as an exaggeration, but woodworking wouldn’t really feel the same without straight router bits. From simple straight cuts to grooves, rabbets and dadoes, to holes, mortises, panels and various shapes, straight router bits are so versatile you can use them in all of your woodworking projects. Because of their many uses, straight router bits are available in a wide array of lengths, sizes, flute patterns, etc.
The straight router bits that are most commonly used are the straight-fluted bits. A straight-fluted bit is made up of two flutes (parallel cutting edges). Also, there are straight-fluted bits with only one flute. The main function of the straight-fluted bit is to perform simply cutting jobs. These simple-styled bits are usually used to rout inlays because of their small sizes. Some straight-fluted bits are large, though, but the general rule is that the larger the straight-fluted bit is, the poorer the quality of the cut is. Straight-fluted bits that contain two parallel flutes are used for cutting dadoes or rabbets on board edges. Mortises that are shallow can also be made using a straight-fluted bit with two flutes. Take this warning: never use a straight-fluted bit for plunging because of the side-oriented cutting edges.
Flush Trimming Bits
Also called as bearing-guided router bits, flush trimming bits are used to shape the various identical parts of the wood with the help of a template. To follow the template, the bearing of the router bit becomes a guide so that the cutting edge trims the wood according to the template. The two types of flush trimming bits are that wherein the bearing is placed on top and that wherein it is placed under the router bit. To choose the appropriate type of flush trimming bit, look at the position of the template. If you anticipate some variation in the grain direction, buying both types of flush trimming bits is a wise move.
The router bits that are meant for plunging downwards are called spiral-fluted bits. The cutting edges of a single spiral-fluted bit can be seen extending up to the bit’s center part, which makes this router bit look like a drill bit. Whether it’s an upcut or a downcut, spiral router bits can do the job. Take note that a downcut spiral-fluted bit leaves the top of the wood surface with a tear, but the bottom part stays smooth, while this is reversed when using an upcut spiral bit. Mortises are easily done using an upcut spiral-fluted bit. If you want both the top and bottom edges to have a clean cut, you may opt to use a compression router bit rather than a spiral-fluted one.
Raised Panel Bits
Often utilized in combo with stile & rail bits, raised panel bits are specifically used to create a profiled edge on the wood, particularly on a door panel. There are two types of raised panel router bits: the vertical bits and the horizontal bits. The safer to use between these two is the vertical router bit, since it has a smaller length than the horizontal bits.
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