Bits for Machining Solid Wood

      CNC pros discuss bits for solid wood machining that will get the job done and last a long time in service. August 14, 2009

Question
What is the best bit to use when machining solid wood? We cut solid wood once or twice every couple of months. Currently, I am using a 3/4" compression bit and making several passes, utilizing the upcut portion of the bit. We fasten the lumber down (usually no more than 8" wide), then make repeated passes at lower and lower depths. Is there a better way to machine small pieces of solid lumber (usually for bullnose edging on countertops with radiuses)?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor A:
If you are machining it again later with a round over, I would use an Onsrud 60-053 or similar and be done with it. They really reduce chipping, blowout, etc. and produce a smaller amount of side force on the work. It cuts very nice conventional or climb. If you need a nice finished edge, take a cleanup pass in climb with a high speed steel finisher like the 60-200 series slow helix finisher. You can also get the best of both in a chipbreaker finisher style. They work well, but for really nice results use the two bit method and just wheel it into the finish room.



From contributor B:
Why are you only using the upshear part of the bit? Compression bits and even downshears will cut hardwoods just fine without filling the slot with chips any more than an upshear if the feeds and speeds are correct. For thicker stock, I used to run a couple of passes down through, but a whisker outside the final dimension. Then I would make a cleanup pass to the final line at full depth to eliminate any lines.


From contributor C:
A chipbreaker finisher (if you are trying to achieve a finished edge) or a "scalloped edge" rougher spiral are the best solid carbide spirals in solid wood. These bits reduce the cutting pressure and allow for higher feed rates and deeper cuts (less passes), than smooth cut spirals. There are staggered tooth carbide-tipped and stagger-toothed insert bits that are fantastic, although the diameters will be bigger. The absolute best tool I've ever applied, though, is called a Novitech. It has interchangeable tips that can be upshear, downshear, or no shear and have a curved face to help curl the chip. These tools, in 3/4" diameter are capable of cutting 2" thick hardwoods in a single pass at aggressive feed rates.


From contributor D:
As another person stated, using a ruffer will provide for a single pass cycle, then use your bullnose on the final pass. A ruffing tool will outlast the finish tool by 3-4 times - a cost savings, and a cycle savings.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization: CNC Machinery and Techniques


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article