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Translam Subwoofers with 18" Passive Radiators - The Jedi Mind Tricks

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  • #16
    I don't know Keith, guess it's possible it was defective from the factory but not very likely. When watching the video, I can see the bit flexing as you are trying to make the cuts. Like Gordy was saying, it acts like the top of the cutter is shot. Do you have a regular straight flute cutter you can try? Home Depot carries the Freud brand. If you decide to try another cutter, stick with the 1/2" shanks for this.
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    • #17
      Keith,
      when I use the router and a template to cut material (I've only done this with 3/4" MDF) I get pretty close to the line with the bandsaw so I'm just skimming off a thin portion of wood.

      It looks like you've left a good 1/8" or more in a lot of places, especially where the curve is. My bit acts like yours is acting when I try to remove too much material at one time. It's a thick bit, so If it's flexing, you're just pushing too hard. Increase the speed until you can take off 1/16" at a slow-to-medium pace with no flexing and minimal burning. It's going to burn in a few spots, there's no way around it here and there, but a light sanding which you will need to do anyway should take care of the majority of it.

      If the blade is already less than prime near the bearing due to glue and gunking, you can make up a 1/4" MDF or plywood spacer plate a smidge smaller than the profile and two-way-tape that to the underside of the template to create a small gap so you're using a fresher part of the bit. I wouldn't go thicker than that or you may get some imperceptible 'leaning' of the piece as you cut. My bits frequently get 'pitched' up with glue and stuff so hitting the bit every so often with cleaner will help too.

      I just think the fact that you're taking so much material off makes the speed-of-feed slow enough to cause some burning. Speed that up a bit with less material removal and you'll be fine I think.

      They're looking good, I'm looking forward to seeing these at Ohio soon.

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      • #19
        I think you should try a new bit and keep the rpms up at the router max. Make sure you are using carbide and not high speed steel bits. Also make small adjustments to the bit height so the glue lines in the plywood can be spread over a little more of the bit. The glue lines in plywood can be pretty tough on tooling.

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        • #20
          Thanks for all the helpful suggestions guys. I do have a whiiteside 1/2" flush trim straight cutter that I may try. At the moment it seems I'll have to give this spiral flush trim bit a bath every day to keep it fresh. I've left it to soak in some bit cleaner while I'm at work today so I won't have to brass brush it so much later on.

          On the topic of bit deflection, I agree it shouldn't be budging. Since I went the DIY route with my router table / router lift (Stumpy Nubs Router Lift) I wonder if that assembly isn't quite stiff enough.

          I did contact Whiteside tech support late last night via email. I gave them the run-down on what I was doing and seeing, and sent them my youtube link. Hopefully they don't take it as me being smart by posting a video where their router bit doesn't seem to be performing at optimal!
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          • #21
            Keith, you may want to take the time to build and try one of these. Stating the obvious, the closer you can get with the bandsaw cuts, the easier it's going to be on the router bit. With a guide like this, you wouldn't have to worry about overcuts. Here are a couple of different versions where the follower would guide off of your template and leave however much material you feel is right. Not sure how it would work out for you on those tight inside corners, may still have to do them by freehand.

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            • #22
              Keith is there any chance that there is some sawdust or dirt in the chuck of the router that is making the bit wobble instead of run true? I agree that it doesn't appear to be cutting well in the video. I always get mixed up on the rotation of the bit too, are you certain you aren't climb cutting?

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              • #23
                Originally posted by KEtheredge87 View Post
                Thanks Gordy, the bit I'm using actually is Whiteside's RFT5200 flush trim spiral bit. My template is 1/4 inch aluminum since I wanted it to last for the whole project. I'd feel a pretty jipped if Whiteside actually sold me a bit that came dull from the factory. You thinking that's a possibility here?
                I don't think Whiteside sent you dull bit. I do think that the bit might work better if it can get a little more bite on it. This would mean raising the bit up in the table. You could put 1/4' spacers (get at the local HD even aluminum) under the aluminum template and raise it up This would allow the bearing to ride higher and get 1/4" more of the trim bit removing material.

                When I mentioned the Whiteside flush trim bit I use, I was referring to the 2407 bit. It is a carbide bit and only $20 (Prime) on Amazon. Even if you went through a couple of them they are only $20. I use this bit to radius corners on cutting boards I make. Those corners are Beach and Walnut. I run it at full RPM on with the same router motor you have and do not get any burning. Also keeping the blades on the bit clean are a must. Any buildup will cause the bit to heat up quicker and thus burn.
                "A dirty shop is an unsafe shop, if you injure yourself in a clean shop you are just stupid" - Coach Kupchinsky

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                • #24
                  Originally posted by skatz View Post
                  Keith is there any chance that there is some sawdust or dirt in the chuck of the router that is making the bit wobble instead of run true? I agree that it doesn't appear to be cutting well in the video. I always get mixed up on the rotation of the bit too, are you certain you aren't climb cutting?
                  There's certainly a chance that some sawdust or dirt has put the bit slightly off kilter. I've got the bit soaking in a vat of CMT Formula 2050 bit cleaner today, so I'll clean that and vacuum the router collet off very well before trying again.

                  As for the direction of cut, I'm pretty sure I'm doing it right. the bit is an UPcut spiral, that's being used in a router table... thus making it a DOWNcut bit. Following the right hand rule and watching bit rotation, the cutter edges are spinning counter clockwise, so I also push the material counter clockwise against the bit rotation to make sure I'm not climb cutting.

                  Also, I can tell when I start climb cutting since the bit will grab the material and try to pull it away from me!

                  Outside of that particular discussion, I did contact Whiteside. They seem interested in me sending the bit back to them for an investigation. That would take me down for a bit, but I suppose I could pre-process some of the parts and bandsaw trim a bunch while the router bit gets sorted out.
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                  • #25
                    I am not a router expert, but I would strongly suspect the DIY router lift.
                    You can put a video camera (phone) under the table and test routing some scrap.
                    I'll bet the whole router assembly is wobbling, rather than just the bit.

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                    • #26
                      Originally posted by donradick View Post
                      I am not a router expert, but I would strongly suspect the DIY router lift.
                      You can put a video camera (phone) under the table and test routing some scrap.
                      I'll bet the whole router assembly is wobbling, rather than just the bit.
                      Solid idea Don, I'll try that later tonight. Thanks for the brainpower!
                      Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
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                      • #27
                        Originally posted by donradick View Post
                        I am not a router expert, but I would strongly suspect the DIY router lift.
                        You can put a video camera (phone) under the table and test routing some scrap.
                        I'll bet the whole router assembly is wobbling, rather than just the bit.
                        Good thought, I didn't realize that the lift was home made. Could be the explanation.

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                        • #28
                          Looking at the video again, I kept my eyes on the socket on top of the bearing while you were routing (in the correct direction!), and I could not see any wobble.

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                          • #29
                            Hey Keith, since I recommended the cutter you are trying to work with and it's giving you fits, curiosity has got the better of me and I want to determine whether this is a bit issue or something else. I've taken the liberty of ordering one of the router bits Gordy uses (Whiteside 2407) and it will be at your house tomorrow. Give it a try and see if there is any improvement. If you decide to try to cut some more parts tonight with the spiral bit, give Gordy's suggestion a try on raising the template with spacers, that would get you into a fresh part of the cutter and may help. Also make sure you are chucking up as much of the router bit as you can into the collet.

                            I'd still check for some of the other things like Don and Skatz suggested. If the lift is the issue, can it be firmed up? Good luck man!
                            My "No-Name" CC Speaker
                            Kerry's "Silverbacks"
                            Ben's Synchaeta's for Mom
                            The Archers
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                            The Gandalf's

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                            • #30
                              Originally posted by Kevin K. View Post
                              ...I've taken the liberty of ordering one of the router bits Gordy uses (Whiteside 2407) and it will be at your house tomorrow.
                              Thanks Kevin! I appreciate the help as always. I actually have a Whiteside 2405 bit, which is the same profile as the 2407, just with a 1" cutting length instead of a 1.5" cutting length. You can decide If you want to cancel that bit purchase or not. Either way, I'll be trying a version of that bit tonight to see how it goes.

                              Also, on the spiral bit itself. This afternoon I shipped it out to Whiteside so they can tell me what's going on with this bit. It should arrive by Friday and their production manager said he could tell me what's going on within an hour of it being in his hands.

                              In the meantime, I can do some of this router setup investigation, and do some batch work getting the parts bulk trimmed on the bandsaw. That way I can reattach the templates and get some work done on the router table when the bit is understood.

                              I really appreciate all the help and advice that everyone is offering. Another prime example of this forum being the best! I'll keep everyone updated on the progress we make here so we can all learn something.
                              Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
                              Translam Subwoofers - The Jedi Mind Tricks
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