Messages Archive

Routing and mortising
Response To:
Re: End mills? ()

Ellis Walentine
End mills can be used in routers instead of spiral cutters, assuming you have the appropriate collet to make them fit your router arbor. If you have up-cut and down-cut bits, be sure you're protecting yourself from unexpected stock seize-ups.

You can also use them in your drill press for free handing mortising and slotting, but be sure to have hold-downs and fencing, particularly with up-cut bits.

A big advantage of end mills is that they are ground all the way to the center, so you can plunge with them. I still recommend keeping the workpiece moving at least a little bit to transfer the cutting force to the wings.

FWIW, I'm an old end-mill mortising guy. We had a mortising machine with draw collets for a complete range of end mill diameters, and we did almost all our mortising on that machine -- from picture frames to driveway gates. It is a valid way to go. Be aware that tool-steel bits will dull faster than carbide, so you'll have to anticipate your burn out rate based on the woods you're routing.


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