Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spiral Router Bits

Question:-I have a question about spiral router bits as I have no experience using them. I have a chance to get a couple but with limited funds right now, I only want to get ones that I would use frequently. What type (up/down/compression), what diameter, and what function would you use them. From everything I’ve read it looks like an up-cut bit is used for hand-held routing when doing mortises and a down cut for router table work for dadoes, rabbets grooves. What are your thoughts? Thanks and keep up the great work!

Answer:- Quality solid carbide spiral bits combine effective chip removal with a continuous shearing action cut not obtained from a standard straight bit. You’ll get smoother cutting action with better results.

Up-cut Bits provide faster cutting while they pull chips up and out of the work or towards the router. They are excellent bits to use when cutting material in a router table since they tend to hold the work piece to the table itself. Ideal for mortise and tenons, grooving, slotting or routing deep blind holes. Down-cut Bits cut slower and push chips away from the router to eliminate top surface splintering. Use for pattern cutting or when going completely through the board as it allows clear vision of the cutting line. Ideal for fine finish work such as veneers, laminates, inlays and repairs because they prevent upper edge tear outs. Use Down-cuts for trimming and sizing.

Compression Bits Cuts through stock and gives clean cuts in both top and bottom. No tear out as bit is designed to pull work into the center of the stock. Ideal for double sided veneer plywood, melamine, and laminates. As for size recommendations, it really depends on the specific application you intend to use the bit for. We find that the 1/8″, 1/4″ and 1/2″ Up-cut and the 1/4″ and 1/2″ Compression bits are the most popular for our customers applications.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Knowing your CNC Router Machine Software

We all know that what sets the CNC machine apart from all other manual tools in the manufacturing industry is its computerized nature. Instead of having to manually operate certain tools, we use computers to input commands and allow the machine to follow your instructions to the dot. For our part, it makes everything more convenient and accurate. This is why the software is important. It’s the software that translates your data into something that could be understood by the machine. That way, the machine can process the raw material and turn it into the exact result which you imagined and patterned.

However, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all type of software. Naturally, different manufacturers and brands compete by offering the best CNC router machine software that they can develop. They also build different types of software to best fit the purpose of a particular model. CNC machine software is often classified in two perspectives:

  1. Software availability (i.e. freeware, built-in, and independent)
  2. Purpose (i.e. as to the machine’s main function?)

If you’re planning on investing in CNC routers, you’ll eventually have to deal with the software. It’s ideal that you know how each of these types varies from one another. That way, you can make better choices when you need to replace the built-in software of your machine. Anyway, it’s not so hard to figure out the classification of the software in terms of purpose, since it’s all about matching the software to a type of machine, which could either be:

  1. Router;
  2. Engraver; or
  3. Plasma Cutter;

These three require different kinds of software simply because they function differently. CNC router machine software is designed to let users input dimensions in cuts and shapes more accurately in wood routing. A router’s main function, after all, is to cut through wood at a specific depth and angle. CNC routers may also differ in terms of axis flexibility. Thus, a 5-axis router might work better with a certain type of software as opposed to the typical 5-axis router.

The CNC engraver, however, focuses more on tasks that require a bit of intricate design. Instead of straight and measure angles and depths, you need to work with patterns and images which you have actually drawn. That’s why this type of machine would need CNC engraver machine software.

There are those who might say that a CNC plasma cutter has the same function as a router. This may be true, since both do cutting tasks. The only difference is that they cut different materials. Routers cut wood, while plasma is intended for sheets of metal. But this difference on the raw material used alone calls plasma cutters to use CNC plasma cutter software.

Keep these things in mind next time you plan on getting new software for your CNC machine. If you’re still confused about matters on compatibility and the different features of different programs, you can always ask your manufacturer for advice.

About the company:

At ez Router, we've made it our business to offer robust, affordable and easy to use hobby CNC and business CNC cutting machines. We've got a model for every place and space in CNC routers, oxy-fuel and CNC plasma cutters.