How do I know which size router bit to use ?

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  #1  
Old 04-25-03, 11:51 PM
CFD323
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How do I know which size router bit to use ?

How do I know which size router bit to use on my kitchen drawer front ? I'm new to routers and I'm now using one to router one edge on my drawer front. The drawer front is too wide so I have to cut it down to the right size and then route the one edge so it matches the 3 other sides. I know I need a roundover bit but when I looked at Home Depot I found sizes of 1/8, 3/16, 1/4 and so on. How do I measure to find the correct size router bit ?
 
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Old 04-26-03, 01:02 AM
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CFD323:

An inexpensive tool that will do it for you:



Description: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...tegory=1,44047

You could also make one by drawing a certain sized circle on a piece of cardboard and cutting it out.
 
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Old 04-26-03, 08:02 AM
texdiyguy
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Since a router bit only cuts off 1/4 of a circle, the tool shown probably wouldn't work for you.
 
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Old 04-26-03, 08:26 AM
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Red face Good point!

texdiyguy:

If that's the case then could you guage the profile with this tool and then double the number to select the bit?
Or use a caliper to measure the width of the profile and double that?
 
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Old 04-26-03, 11:20 PM
NutAndBoltKing
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I noticed that the original post said that the person was new to routers, and that the drawer they were going to modify was too wide. I may be wrong, but if a drawer is too wide it sounds to me that the 'end grain' of that board is going to be re-routed, and if that is the case, splintering or blowout can happen as you exit the corner.

There are a couple ways to avoid splintering and blowout when routing the end grain of boards. One way is to do the end grain first, and just let the corners blow away, which will clean up when the long grained sides are cut. In this particular case, three sides of the drawer front are already done so that strategy will not work; but splintering can still be avoided by clamping two scrap boards to the edges. Just cut right into the scrap and let the scrap splinter and blowout - not the workpiece. Some folks may also suggest avoiding splintering abd blowout by making the pass with the router in the wrong direction.

If you're new to routers I'd also like to suggest that your bit should not bottom out or be inserted all the way into the collet. Slip it in so it bottoms out, but then pull it out an eigth inch or so, and then tighten it up.

I'd also like to give my 2 cents on bit selection and purchases for those new to routers, or for the occasional router user. Roundovers for example are commonly available in 1/16 th inch graduations from 1/16 to 3/8, and then in 1/8 th inch graduations from 3/8 to 1 1/2. The type (solid or assembled), and what they are made of, or coated with can run into lots of money. It's not at all unusual to see a serious woodworker with router bit cases having estimated values in the thousands.

IMHO one way for someone new to routers to get the most bang for their buck is to buy assembled or interchangable router bits so that different sized and types of bits and cutters and pilots can be utilized and mixed or matched. Some manufactures even sell interchangable router bit kits, example; one arbor or shank with 3 roundover (1/8, 1/4, & 1/2) bits, with both solid or ball bearing pilots. Other bits, for cuting biscut slots or whatever else, can later be purchased and used with the same arbor and pilots. IMHO buying assembled or interchangable bits allows new or the occasional router user to stretch their dollars.
 

Last edited by NutAndBoltKing; 04-26-03 at 11:55 PM.
 

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