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Questions about bits for getting started

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Steven Hickerson, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. Steven Hickerson

    Steven Hickerson Well-Known
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    Hello everyone,
    I got my C-Beam in the mail last week and haven't had a chance to start putting it together yet because I was finishing my 3d printer build, but I will most likely be starting on it tonight. I'd like to go ahead and get some bits ordered.

    So, does anyone have any recommendations on good bits to start out with? I'm using a Dewalt DWP1611 for my router right now, and should have a 1/8" collet in soon for it. Reading online there seems to be 4 main varieties to bits if I'm understanding them correctly. End mills, round nose end mills, v engraving, and edge finishing bits. One thing I'm seeing is the obvious recommendations to use bigger bits for rough work and smaller for detail. So with that said, do they make 1/2" bits with 1/4" shanks?

    I know that I want some metal bits because I plan to mess with aluminum some. Also wood, acrylic, and pcb are likely to be on my list of materials. Not sure if that means I'm going to need 3 different sets of every bit for the different material types, or if one bit and different speeds and such will work for the different materials.

    As for v engraving bits, I read they can be good for PCB work. What is the difference in the degree on those? I see a lot on Amazon in 30 degrees, but they apparently come in 60 and 90 as well.

    Also, where is a good place to get the bits? I looked on Amazon and they have a wide selection of bits, but the majority of what I can find on there is smaller 1/8" shank stuff. Using a 1/8" shank 1/8" end mill to do some large work like say a guitar body would take forever lol. I don't see any 1/4" shank 1/2" bits on Amazon, so not sure if they even make those.

    It would be awesome if someone sold just a nice variety starter kit of bits for CNC routers lol....

    Thanks for any direction!
     
  2. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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  3. EvanBruner

    EvanBruner Veteran
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    I get all my bits on Amazon so far. I've tried the cheap 2 flute 1/8" bits that you can get a ten pack for $14 and they are ok, nothing to write home about though. My favorite has been the Primate 1/4" 2 flute carbide cutter. Thing plows through aluminum and doesnt chip weld without a coating, air assist, or coolant. It's a bit pricier at $11 a piece. A good place to go would be endmilldiscount.com for your larger tools (1/4", 1/2"...) They have good prices especially if you buy a lot. I wouldn't buy and tools 1/8 and smaller for more than a dollar or two a piece, those bits are so easy to break you'll just be throwing money away on better bits.

    V Bit angle is great if you want to do detail work or PCB's. The 30 degree V bit is probably the best for PCB as your cut width wont vary as much if you pcb isnt perfectly flat and level.

    Do yourself a favor and go to your nearest harbor freight and pick up these: Carbide Tip Straight Router Bit Set 3 Pc
    Theyre only 7 bucks with a coupon and are some of my favorite bits. I use them to face aluminum and have been able to scrape off a 40 thou cut at .3 stepover and 100 IPM with the 3/4" bit. They also make great spoilboard levelers and can be used for pocketing if you set your CAM to ramp into the piece.

    Let me know if you have any questions!
     
  4. Steven Hickerson

    Steven Hickerson Well-Known
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    Would those HF bits work good for roughing work on wood and such? What do you mean by "face aluminum"?

    I was looking at some of those 2 flute end mills you mentioned because the c-beam video they show cutting aluminum mention using a bit 1/8" 2 flute end mill to do it hehe.

    To bad there aren't any stores locally that sale bits like the 2 flute end mill, so I could go talk to someone and have a local place to pick them up if I'm using one and break it lol.
     
  5. EvanBruner

    EvanBruner Veteran
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    Facing is just flattening the stock, for aluminum it's purpose is to get a good surface finish instead of the mill finish that the aluminum comes as.

    The HF bits can be used for anything other than going straight down in to the material. There is no cutting edge in the center of the bit so if you want to use it to cut a pocket you have to zig zag down into the material.

    Locally, you can get bits at a rockler or woodcraft but they are really overpriced. You can ask local machine shops for their used bits but I always just buy a ton online in case they break.
     
  6. Steven Hickerson

    Steven Hickerson Well-Known
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    What about this set at harbor freight? They seem to be the same thing but come with more, although they are a different color. It has the 3 bits you linked in this set, but would give me other bits for edging and such: Carbide Tip Router Bit Set 12 Pc
     
  7. EvanBruner

    EvanBruner Veteran
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    I personally don't have a use for any of those other than maybe the v bit that's included. Usually if you want to decorative edging like that it's best to just hand route it, programming would be much slower. If you want to do decorative work in wood maybe you can find a use for them but for my money, I'll pass and get the 3 pc set. Up to you.

    I also know the 3pc set are very good quality but I can't speak for the bigger set.
     
  8. pitzerwm

    pitzerwm Well-Known
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    Total newbie here. I have an OpenBuild machine and am getting a Makita RT0701C. It comes with a 1/4" collet. Seems that getting an 1/8" collet would be smart. Went to Elaire to find one and the also have an 1/4 to 1/8" adapter. Can you just use the adapter, or just the 1/8" collet or both?
     
  9. EvanBruner

    EvanBruner Veteran
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    Get the collet for each size you need. The adapters add a lot of runout and reduce clamping pressure. Its a $5 difference too if i remember right.
     
    pitzerwm likes this.
  10. Paul Pridday

    Paul Pridday Journeyman
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    I picked up a cheap set of straight router bits (1/4" shank) at Menards for about 8 or 9 bucks. Should be good for foam or wood... Seems to work fine on the foam so far...

    P.
     

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