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  • Router bit advice needed

    My current speaker project is in 3/4" Red Oak Plywood. The front baffle will be double thick , and I want to flush mount the drivers. What type of bit/method should I use for the driver recesses to prevent the edges from splintering? Can I use the same bit to cut the through holes? Should I cut the through holes on one sheet at a time then laminate them , or will the router make it through the 1.5" baffle? I'm sorry if these sound like ridiculous questions , I've only ever worked with single layer MDF in the past , and I don't want to ruin my material. Thanks , Mike Price.

  • #2
    Re: Router bit advice needed

    i've not used one, so i can't say from experience, but i would think a spiral downcut bit would be what you'd want to use for the recesses. you could certainly use the same bit to cut the through holes, although an upcut or a regular straight bit will clear the debris better as you go.

    i have done double thick baffles before, and i would certainly recommend laminating them prior to any cutting. that way you're sure to get the cuts to line up perfectly. as far as your router making it through the 1.5" baffle, that of course depends on your router and the length of the bit you're using. with most router/bit combinations it should be possible (over the course of many passes, obviously).

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    • #3
      Re: Router bit advice needed

      A spiral downcut will give the smoothest cut with least chance for tearout. The downside is a small cut width, so you'd have to make quite a few passes. A shear angle straight bit would also likely not result in any tearout and will cut more each pass.

      FYI, if you get a spiral bit go slow using it in MDF ... they break very easily.

      Cutting through 1.5" is easy, just go about 1/8" - 1/4" deeper with each pass. Once the cutting channel gets full of dust, take the router off and clean it out with a screwdriver. Obviously a plunge base will make this job easier.
      Vapor Audio

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      • #4
        Re: Router bit advice needed

        (I guess I should have posted this before I went to a meeting. Now I just look like I copied abs and DT. Or, maybe brilliant minds think alike???? )
        I have not routed plywood but I just did some 3/4" solid oak. I had no splintering and the tweet and woofer recess in the TriTrix only leaves about a 1/16" of surface material between them at two points. For the recess I just used a 1/2" straight bit from WoodCraft. For the thru cuts I used a spiral cutter. It would sure be a lot easier to cut both plywood layers at the same time. As long as only cut /18" - 1/4" per pass your only limit would be your bit length.
        Last edited by MrkCrwly; 06-02-2010, 11:16 AM. Reason: Delayed post
        Mark
        My TriTrix Build
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        • #5
          Re: Router bit advice needed

          Ok , so it sounds like maybe I should pick up a down-cut spiral , and a straight-cut , and possibly start my recesses with the spiral down-cut , and then switch over to the straight bit to finish them out in less passes , less risk of breaking the spiral bit. I will be routing out a lot of holes , I plan on recessing a 15" woofer , two 7" mids , 4" tweeter and about a 7" port flange , in each speaker. I see on routerbits.com that in a solid carbide straight bit there are several options available in 1/4" shank. They come in single and double flute , multiple cutting lengths and diameters , any recommendations?

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          • #6
            Re: Router bit advice needed

            if you're using a circle jig (which i would highly recommend if you're cutting that many circles), you'll want to make sure you get the right diameter bit for the jig (if the jig requires a certain diameter). the jaspers, which many of us on here use, require a 1/4" bit to use the measurements on the jig.

            as far as flutes, i would get as many as possible. mlcswoodworking.com has some bits that come in a 3-flute design. not sure if the straight bits do or not. they have great prices and i've had good luck with their bits so far. the more flutes, the easier it is for the bit to make a cut, and the cleaner the cut will be (theoretically). also, carbide (either edged/tipped, or solid) is a good thing.

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            • #7
              Re: Router bit advice needed

              Originally posted by absolootbs View Post
              if you're using a circle jig (which i would highly recommend if you're cutting that many circles), you'll want to make sure you get the right diameter bit for the jig (if the jig requires a certain diameter). the jaspers, which many of us on here use, require a 1/4" bit to use the measurements on the jig.

              as far as flutes, i would get as many as possible. mlcswoodworking.com has some bits that come in a 3-flute design. not sure if the straight bits do or not. they have great prices and i've had good luck with their bits so far. the more flutes, the easier it is for the bit to make a cut, and the cleaner the cut will be (theoretically). also, carbide (either edged/tipped, or solid) is a good thing.
              GREAT INFO! That was actually another question I had and forgot to ask , I do intend to use the Jasper jig , so 1/4" cut diameter it what I need to be looking for , and as many flutes as possible should make a cleaner cut was my first intuition. Thank You very much , I will check out that website also , as I plan on ordering a couple of bits today.

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              • #8
                Re: Router bit advice needed

                Red Oak plywood splinters and chips very easily.
                You definitely want a downward spiral bit. Two flute is fine.
                ~99%
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                • #9
                  Re: Router bit advice needed

                  I just ordered the 1/4" two flute spiral downcut bit from MLCS. Hopefully that will do the trick.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Router bit advice needed

                    Be careful. The 1/4" spiral bits can snap if you work them too hard. Happened to me.

                    I now use a 3/8" diameter.
                    Later,
                    Wolf
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                    • #11
                      Re: Router bit advice needed

                      I will be careful , I'll probably only use the spiral bit for the recess , and take it out in 1/8" layers , slowly. then use a straight cut but to cut through the baffle. I ordered the 1/4" because it works with the Jasper jig , although in retrospect I suppose all you need to do is move the pin to a 1/16" smaller hole than is needed and a 3/8" would have worked as well.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Router bit advice needed

                        Originally posted by mike price View Post
                        Ok , so it sounds like maybe I should pick up a down-cut spiral , and a straight-cut , and possibly start my recesses with the spiral down-cut , and then switch over to the straight bit to finish them out in less passes , less risk of breaking the spiral bit. I will be routing out a lot of holes , I plan on recessing a 15" woofer , two 7" mids , 4" tweeter and about a 7" port flange , in each speaker. I see on routerbits.com that in a solid carbide straight bit there are several options available in 1/4" shank. They come in single and double flute , multiple cutting lengths and diameters , any recommendations?

                        The spiral down-cut is my choice for recesses. Never a problem with build-up in the cut, just take about 1/8" per pass. For the other bits, get something that has a "shear" to the cutting edges. Using the spiral for the initial cut, then switching to the shear straight bit is a good idea...more flutes, the smoother the cut and end result. I've never broken a spiral in over 15 years of using them. Also, make sure you keep the cutting edges clean. Even with MDF, there's a gray/black build-up on the carbide. I use some of that bit/blade cleaning sauce and an old, stiff toothbrush or plastic scraper to get the goo off. Been using MLCS bits for years, never a problem with quality on their house-brand bits. The Katana brand is a higher-cost option, but they're worth the price. Whiteside bits are very good, as are CMT, Freud(sp?) and Amana. MLCS offers free shipping in the lower 48. Their bottom double-bearing spiral down-cut bit is the best bit I've found for trimming veneer edges.

                        John A.
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