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Help with router cutter choice

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philpolish

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Hi everybody
I need some help I have a triton router table and i want to purchase a door cutter set. The hole in the router table is around 3 inches I have seen a few cutter sets but the raised panel cutter is 3 and a half inches in diameter. I want a set for 18-25 mill doors. Anybody out there with a trito n table and has bought a set of seperate cutters.
Thanks in advance Phil.
 

Aragorn

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Hi Phil
When your cutter is larger than the hole in the table, you need to make a false top with an even bigger hole! For example out of 9mm ply.
This way you can set the cutter above the router table height so that it doesn't come into contact with the smaller hole.
 

Midnight

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Phil...
I can't help feeling that possibly the best solution all round is for you to either upgrade or replace your table with one more suited to dealing with large cutters. I realise that this may not be the most attractive answer, but there's a reason behind it.
Every off the shelf table is a collection of compromises, most of them governed by cost. From what I've seen, the net result is a table that isn't much good at anything. Adding a false top as Aragon suggests may get you out of a bind in the short term, another alternative may be to use a vertical panel raising bit, but this too means modifying your fence, making it much taller and stiffer, paying particular attention to keeping the fence square with the table.. even then, there's no guarantee that you won't struggle with it..
Personally, I built my own table based on Norm's design (the old one).. I've found that the table insert can cope with every size of bit I've wanted to use, I've plenty bit and tool storage built into the table, both aspects add to the overall mass of the table making it a very stable platform to work on, and the working height is just about perfect for me; very comfortable to work at for long periods of time...

Whatever method you opt for, you'll need to bear in mind that panel raising bits DEMAND a low router speed. These bits are taking off large amounts of stock in a pass, necessating minute changes to the bit height or fence position for each pass so as not to overload the router. Remember to work across the grain before you work along the grain to minimise the effects of tear-out, and always, always, ALWAYS handle the stock with either push sticks or paddles to keep you at a safe distance from the cutter....
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Phil,

The other consideration is the actual base opening of the router itself.
There aren't very many out there that will take a bit of 3 1/2in diameter, the only pro ones I can recall are the Hitachi M12V which has a base opening of about 88mm and a Porter Cable one with a 87mm opening.
The majority have openings in the region of 60-70mm.
OK, it won't be a problem if the cutter sits above the table,(as pointed out by Aragorn) but it can be awkward to set up as the plunge needs to be set deep enough to push the collet up, making it difficult to get access to the spindle lock and collet nut to tighten up.
It can also lead to inadvertent damage to the router should you forget the diameter and drop the plunge with the cutter spinning. A costly mistake to make! :shock:
You may also find that the plunge isn't enough to cope with a dedicated router table and false top, so a collet extender is needed. I like the Xtreme Xtension (Woodworkers Workshop 0845 1659244)in this situation, it is the simplest router cutter change system i've encountered, and could solve a lot of problems.
Other than this, Trend (0800 487363)have a good range of horizontal panel cutters starting at 45mm diameter.

Andy
 

devonwoody

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I am in the same boat (I have the triton table and router) and have just puchased the perform panel raising kit from Axminster which has a 3" panel cutter.
The aperature measures 3" on the table and I do not feel happy because there is most probably not sufficient clearance.
I telephoned Axminster technical support and I am concerned that they do not and did not advise or warn of problems with these large cutter sets only to say that they must be used in a table. Having the table I ordered but now see the situation in a new light.

Looking again at the Axminster catalogue there is no statement pointing out the necessity for checking aperature openings or the size of the panel cutter,apart from pointing out the 1/2" shank.

I have not yet put the cutters in the machinery, should I return the kit as not a safe setup to use?
 

gidon

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Phil, DW - I would second Andy's recommendation for a collet extension and specifically the Xtreme Xtension. Not cheap but will not only overcome your problems but transform the way you use your table - well for me it does anyway. Wherever the collet is you can change over a bit in less than 10 seconds. Expensive but money well spent. (So can you tell I like it).
Cheers
Gidon
 

ike

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FWIW, I have a pair of CMT collet extensions 1/4" (unused) and 1/2" I'd sell. Nothing wrong with them but I don't use them since I modded the router table to bring the router base up to 1/4" below surface. PM me if you're interested.

Ike
 

devonwoody

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Axminster have agreed to accept return of my Perform door panel cutter set. I explained to them that although their catalogue stated the need for a router table to use with this cutter they omitted to mention the aperature needed to be over 3" to cope with this bit.
At least you can order with confidence from this company and they accept returns gracefully.
 

Aragorn

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DW
No need to return the cutter. Your situation is completely normal for a raised panel cutter. They require a false table to on the router. Trend provide instructions for this with their panel raising set, so the instructions and specs are probably on their website.
 

Midnight

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Your situation is completely normal for a raised panel cutter.
Does this mean I'm A.B. Normal..?? My Freud panel raising bit clears my insert plate just fine....
 

devonwoody

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Re Aragorn,

I did think of going down that road a false table top but a 3" chunk of cutter on an extension collet going even at 8000 revs. got me worried. One member stated on this forum that his extension piece (?????) was useless.
I am going via an upright panel cutter me thinks.
 

Aragorn

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Well good luck with it DW
Do you have to use an extension collet? I don't with mine. My false top is 9mm ply, so it's not much more of a plunge for the router.
As for vertical panel raising - well I've never done it on a router table. Sounds fairly dangerous to me. I think you would need to make an auxillary fence that supported the panel quite high (around 300-400mm?) and it would also need to be held very rigidly at exactly 90º.
It sounds like you've made up your mind about it now anyway. Let us know how you get on...
 

philpolish

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Thanks everybody for your comments. I have also just ordered the perform set. I have plenty of plunge travel as the router bolts right up to the table so adding a false top shouldnt cause a problem.
Thanks again.
 

devonwoody

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Yes philpolish
but the bit has got to start below table level ( You need a 3" plus aperature) and plunge up unless you are fitting a false table .
Then when you have fitted a false table you have to to plunge up and how many mms will that be?
20mm thickness timber less the rebate allowance, plus the false table thicknes.
I'm wondering whether to go down to Q&B and get some of that brown stuff :cry:
 

ike

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Yup, my extension piece is useless :oops: (Mrs Ike was very concerned when I mentioned the bad news :shock: ) on heavy cutters at least.

I bought one for the very purpose of running a horizontal panel raising cutter. I encountered vibration when running light at not much over the minimum speed (8000rpm). The susceptiblity of the cutter to vibrate restricted me to taking very light cuts perhaps 10 cuts to go full profile, instead of 2 or possibly 3 cuts without the extension. At the time, Axminster trashed extension pieces in their catalogue blurb. Guess what, they now happily sell and recommend the damn things.

In light of my experience, my advice to anyone is - do not use an extension piece for a LARGE cutter, even as a last resort. They are maybe OK (but not ideal) for smaller, lighter cutters, but will still restrict you to making very light cuts. I hasten to add, I would have told anyone this, who took me up on my offer to part with them. Of course, the "Router Xtension" may perform much better than the CMT.

Ike
 

gidon

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Ike
I don't get any vibration with my xtreme xtension - this is a well engineered piece of kit - at a price! It comes with comprehensive instructions on how to make sure it is centred in the router - and says it does depend to a degree on your router how much set up is needed. In my Elu 177, I just put it in, tightened up and I was away - first job was routing about 25m of oak with a huge rounding over bit - and couldn't tell I had an extension attached.
Cheers
Gidon
 

ike

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Yes, I thought it might be better, looking at it on their website - it's much chunkier than the CMT. Its odd though, looking at the CMT extension, it's well machined and finished. I dunno, dynamically, it just seems a bit too flexible.

The upshot is - if you really have no choice but to get the job done with an extension, get an Xtreme Xtension, not a CMT.

cheers

Ike
 

devonwoody

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If a collet extension is needed why do not the cutter manufacturers provide a longer shank for these raised panel cutters.
Perhaps they don't like the idea of producing a large heavy cutter on the end of an extended shaft?
 

ike

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DW wrote:

Perhaps they don't like the idea of producing a large heavy cutter on the end of an extended shaft?
Yup, I think so. A longer shaft is more likely to induce a dynamic vibration, less the fault of the cutter bit than the router spindle bearing I suspect. I have a couple of long shaft bits, but they're small diameter,
not large.

Ike
 
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