We are running 3/4" thick laidup panels with white liner on the back, 11/16" pb substrate, and plastic laminate on the face - typically vertical grade. Cutting with a 3/8" compression bit, usually Amana.
We are buying a lot of new bits.
How many sheets should we get out of a bit? They can be sharpened, yes? How many sheets after sharpening?
I cut similar material and standard industrial grade melamine, as well as plywood. I've been using the Vortex tool 3130 and the 3130XP. I prefer the 3130 because the XP just seems to be a harder, and thus more brittle, grade of carbide. I had been using the Amanas but the vortex bits seem to last longer. I push these 2 flute bits @ full depth 600IPM, 14000 RPM. I get about 2 hrs of run time, or about 40 sheets. If you buy 25 at a time, there is a significant price reduction from vortex making these very economical. I get about 2 resharps out of them, and they are nearly as good as new each time.
Its hard to put a firm number on the number of sheets that you will get. Everyone's application is so different.
I will say that we are flute sharpening the coated bits which does not remove the coating on the diameter which does make them last longer.
We have had great results with our new coated bits in the 2017 catalog. We have had feed rates well over 1000 IPM. Feedback from the AWFS show, people are saying they went from running 40 boards to over 300.
We have switched to the Onsurd Marathon coated bits. 16,000 @ 600", 2 flute. Much better life in HPL laminated panels. Any coated bit will lose its advantage when sharpened. How many sheets you can get depends a lot on what you consider an acceptable finish cut.
Our experience cutting melamine with 3/8" mortise compression bits like Vortex XP or Onsrud Marathon has shown us that the characteristics of the melamine you're cutting has as much to do with bit life as anything.
Overnight we went from getting 200+ sheets to barely 20. Sometimes only 5 or 6. This was domestic melamine (I won't name names or try to assasinate any brand, this was several years ago).
We switched melamine brands but left all other variables the same. Still a domestic melamine. Sheet count rose to a predictable 40, sometimes 60, but still DISMAL.
We then started suspecting our bits, so we tried several, none of them gave us better than 40-60 sheets.
Finally out of exasperation we tried a very high quality import from Chile. I've been cutting this product for 2 solid years now and I have only good things to say. We consistently exceed 200 sheets and rarely have defects in the melamine.
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