Router on the way... bits everyone should have?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian J Dupuis, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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    Well guys, took the plunge (nyuk, nyuk) and ordered a Bosch 1613AEVS 2HP plunge router used off Amazon today. After much soul-searching, review reading and gut-wrenching decision making, this seemed like a reasonable deal to get me started on my road to bankruptcy building speakers [​IMG].
    Now that I have the router on the way, what are the basic bits that every aspiring speaker builder should have in his arsenal? I hope that this isn't a FAQ... I did do the requisite site search before popping out a schmuck question at least.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    How bankrupt do you want to be ? Unfortunately, the cheap bits don't work well with MDF. You need carbide and most need a bearing rather than that nubbin. For sub endcaps, a 1/4 spiral is good (looks like a drill bit). A adjustable rebbating for flush mounts. A 1/8 inch straight for cutouts (non circular ports, small jaspar circles). If you want your cabinets not to have square edges, get a large roundover bit. Watch out for shank size. They come in 1/4 and 1/2 inch. 1/2 is better but not sure if your Bosch can use them.
     
  3. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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  4. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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  5. James Mudler

    James Mudler Stunt Coordinator

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    I have, and been real happy with them.
     
  6. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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  7. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    An MLCS outlet is near my shop. [​IMG] Have used them for years with no complaints.
    Pete
     
  8. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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    Thanks for all the input, guys!
     
  9. Shayne Judge

    Shayne Judge Stunt Coordinator

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    I am also considering building the 281 kit by Adire with 3/4" mdf. Any recommendations on a particular router bit to help connect the mdf at the joints?
     
  10. John S Smith

    John S Smith Agent

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    I would recommend your first purchase to be a set of rub collars availlable from any Woodworking supply house, Rockler for example, then a couple of 1/2" straight bits, morticing type, (that is that the bit will have cutting edges on the end as well as the sides which allows you to use your plunge feature wuthout burning out your bit the first time you use it) these are availlable in a bewildering variety, single flute, double flute, upcut spiral, downcut spiral, ad nauseum. Some basic wood/cutting tips. HSS bits will cut faster and cleaner initially but dull faster than carbite, carbide, cobalt, cadmium plated or whatever the latest fad is. End mills usually used for cutting steel can be bought in bulk very cheaply and if used with a set of rub collars can give you good sevice wthout paying for ball bearing guided bits. I presume you will be cutting mostly 3/4" stock as end mills tend to be fairly short, if you use 1/4" masonite for your templates these will work fine. Invest your money saved in a Bosch Jigsaw to hog out the majority of the material prior to routing, this will extend the life of your bits. A roundover bit would be next, buy the rest as you need them, if you buy a set I doubt you will use half of them. Check out Woodworker.com or Woodweb.com for supplies and help from people that work with wood all the time, good luck.
     
  11. David A. Frattaroli

    David A. Frattaroli Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd get the best bits you can afford. I'd rather have 3 great bits rather than a set of 12 average ones.
    Anyway, to answer your question, get:
    3/4" straight bit for dadoes you might use for internal
    braces of 3/4" MDF. A 1/2" straight wouldn't hurt since you may use 1/2" ply for braces in smaller speakers. Plus, in a router table with a fence, these bits can be used to cut rabets.
    1/2" and/or 3/4" round-over bits for rounding off cabinet corners.
    I like a 3/8" rabet bit with a baring because it's great for creating rabet joints for cabinets made out of 3/4" MDF.
    With a baring, you can cut these free-hand if you don't have a router table.
    Right now, I have a bunch of bits because it seems each project requires another. You'll see that is the case for you as well.
    Good luck.
    Beware, I made a pair of speakers once and got sucked into woodworking. So I made this for my son. Now I'm hooked on a new hobby that requires much hardware!
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Vince Bray

    Vince Bray Stunt Coordinator

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    If you plan to build boxes two layers or more thick, you need to consider a large flush cut-off. It's like a straight bit but is only 1/2" radius all the way down, with a bearing at the end. This is used to flush up edges after gluing. I used this method on the last box I made and it's very easy. You start by building a very square initial box (just 4 sides, not 6). Now all the other pieces are cut about 3mm oversize on all sides. Glue the pieces on, then go around with the router and trim. As you build the second box around the first, it will all line up great.

    I would also second the roundover recommendation, and make sure that straight bits you buy are "plungeable", they have a little extra tooth on the very end to eat their way in.

    Vince
     
  13. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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    Damn good stuff here guys. Many thanks. And sweet toybox, David [​IMG].
     
  14. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Brian, I buy all my router bits from MLCS. a 1/4" solid carbide spiral upcut bit is, IMO, a necessary bit for routing MDF. Buy as large a radius roundover bit as you can afford if you plan to roundover your front vertical speaker cabinet edges (to minimize defraction distortion effects). I also highly recommend their "Merle" brand band clamps for holding your cabinets square while glueing them up.
     
  15. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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