MLCS has done it again!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Bunge, Jan 11, 2002.

  1. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    That's right! The Merle band clamps are on sale again! You can pick up two of these for $44.95 (regularly $39.95 each)!
    Click here for more info!
    Brian
     
  2. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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    [​IMG] Yeah, after Hank's recommendation, these went on order along with my spiral upcut bit and 1/4" roundover. Those are some nice clamps, that's for sure.
     
  3. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I'm going to make my first sub soon, and want to get a spiral upcut and 1/4" round over bits for router. What ones do you recommend from the MLCS site? I'm a total router newbie, but these look very good. I'm getting 2 Merle clamps and 2 can-do clamps as well, they look like a good team for building speakers. Any other bits or pieces of hardware you deem invaluable for speaker building?

    Is there something that helps you drill holes straight into the sides of the MDF so you don't miss the edges or the connecting board?

    Thanks, sorry so many questions. . .

    Wes
     
  4. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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    Well, I'm rather new here, and just did my first routing yesterday, but I've received some good advice here that I'll pass on.
    1) I bought the standard 1/4" spiral upcut bit from MLCS. Worked very well! I bought the Katana 1/4" roundover bit from MLCS, and while I haven't used it yet, it appears to be a very well put-together bit.
    2) I got the General Tools precision drill guide on recommendation from here. No, I didn't buy it from that link, but that's the only one I could find right now. Works great! Good for drilling perpendicular holes in flat stock, as well as on edges.
    Good luck, I'm just now getting my holes cut. Should be done with the routing today, and will be using my Merle clamps today to hold everything together [​IMG].
     
  5. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Hi guys! Glad you like the Merle clamps, Brian (both of you). One thing about cabinet edge (the front vertical edges) roundovers: a 1/4" radius roundover bit is okay for looks, but if your're going to glue laminate or veneer on your cabinets, that's a very small radius and opens up the possibility of cracks, especially in laminate. You should probably use a heat gun and heat laminate so it bends easily around the radius. For full-range main speakers, the corner radius takes on a new function - edge diffraction distortion. Small radiuses do nothing for that phenomenon. For good effect, you need a very large radius roundover. I've been using a 1" radius bit and just bought an MLCS 1 1/4" raduis bit. I use them in my Freud 3 1/2 horse monster router mounted in my router table. I recommend you do not use bits that large in a hand-held router. Also, for large bits, you need a big router with variable speed so you can slow it down for those huge bits.

    Make some sawdust!
     
  6. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Hank,

    I ordered a couple of the can-do clamps, thinking that they will be good to attach to our workbench and line up really large panels for gluing and nailing (with the nail gun). As far as the large router bits, have you used them on your SCH speakers?

    Brian
     
  7. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    No, I haven't built any main speaker cabs in several months, so I haven't broken in the 1 1/4" radius monster bit yet. BTW, MCLS sells a 1 1/2" radius bit! I think its around $50. Are you planning to edge-join some hardwood for laminating onto MDF cabinets? Ala ACI?
     
  8. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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  9. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Hank,

    I have 4 pieces of red oak (25" long x 21" wide if I remember correctly) that were edge-joined so that I can attach them to the sides of my SV12 cabinets. I have yet to stain the oak as I have 1 board that will not lie flat. I have all 4 pieces clamped together to try to straighten out this last piece. Then I have to route a 1/2" roundover and sand and stain them. I'm only using a 1/2" roundover since the oak will not extend to the actual edges of the cabinets. The oak will be about 1/2" to 3/4" shorter than the actual cabinet dimensions all the way around (just like my Emeralds).

    Brian
     
  10. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a 1/4 solid carbide upspiral "viper" bit from Home Depot and it works great. One thing to remember about these types of bits is if you plan on routing through a veneer you may have some tearout because of the shearing action of the bit. My advise is to use a straight flute bit if you are dealing with a veneer. In plain MDF the spirals work great.
     
  11. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Kerry,

    I had one of those Oldham Viper bits and it was a piece of junk. I guess I got a bad one or something because I plunged in about 1/4" and it totally burned the MDF and bogged down no matter how slow I went. Needless to say I took it back and went back to my year old Whiteside bit. It works like new compared to the Viper. Thankfully I wasn't using any real wood or nice ply.

    I do have a couple of Viper flush trim bits and they work fine. I still can't figure out the problem with spiral upcut bit.

    Brian
     
  12. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Guys, if you're routing through a veneered piece, please use a carbide spiral DOWNCUT bit. I used one on three cabinets I'd veneered with rosewood, and it worked perfectly. The bit action slices down through the veneer and leaves a smooth intact edge. Non-veneer routing should be done with your standard spiral UPCUT bit, as it pulls the dust up out of the work.
     
  13. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking at the MLCS page right now, and there are a number of spiral upcut bits to choose from. I'm probably at this point going to be limited to the 1/4" shank as I'm borrowing a nieghbors router until I can get my own.

    What's the recommended size for cutting through 3/4" MDF?

    Thanks

    Wes

    ps with a 1/4" shank, would a 1/2" roundover bit work well for edge rounding as discussed above?
     
  14. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Wes,

    I always use a 1/4" spiral upcut bit for cutting through 3/4" MDF and it works great. It's especially helpful with the Jasper Circle Jig since it's calibrated for a 1/4" diameter bit.

    I've also used the 1/2" roundover bit quite a bit. I'll have to post a few pics of my ACI Emeralds which I used the 1/2" roundover on. They came out great!

    Brian
     
  15. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,

    Thanks for the info!

    On the MLCS site, there are several sizes/lengths of 1/4" spiral upcut bits to choose from, so I'm wondering if it matters which to get? Is there a certain length that works better than others, etc?

    Thanks again,

    Wes
     
  16. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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    I think I can answer this one. The primary thing you have to choose from is the shank size. You mention that your neighbor's router is a 1/4" shank. That pretty much settles it. If you're going to be using the Jasper circle cutting jig mentioned (praised) here so frequently, it's calibrated for using a 1/4" bit. So for MLCS bits, you have two choices... #5157 or #5146. Both are 1/4" shank, 1/4" cut, but one has a 1" cutting length and the other has a 3/4" cutting length. The longer the cut, the longer you can cut [​IMG], so I'd get the 1" cutting length to be able to cut deeper into your piece... not necessarily in one cut, but you can reach deeper in successive cuts. That leaves one choice: the #5146 bit. Which, amazingly enough, is the one I bought (excecpt I got the one fitted for 1/2" shanks... only difference is the 1/2" shank one comes with an adapter). This is a fine bit that seems to work very well.
    Good luck!
     
  17. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Wes,

    I agree with Brian D. 100%! Go with the 1" cutting length bit. It comes in very handy when you have a 2" thick baffle (something I have done twice).

    Brian
     
  18. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    You guys are incredibly helpful! I'm going to finalize my order from MLCS, and have one more question. I read about people who are cutting their top and bottom pieces a little too wide, and then using a flush cutting bit to exactly match up the top or bottom to the sides.

    1. What would be the right bit for that application?

    2. If I was planning to use a 1/2" round over on the top edges, would this be an issue at all?

    Thanks,

    Wes
     
  19. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Wes,

    1. Assuming you have a 1/4" collet in the router, the #15503 would be perfect.

    2. Just trim the excess first. Then go back and use the roundover later.

    I'll post some pics of my Emeralds after lunch!

    Brian
     
  20. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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