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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was routing a groove in an (red) oak board. The bit is a Freud 1/2" straight bit, 2 carbide cutters, and the groove was less than 1/4" deep, probably closer to 3/16". Router (3 hp, no variable speed) was in a router table and fence was about 1/2" from bit (so bit was obscured from view). Bit, although a few years old, has only been used a few times and this cut was the first of the day. Forward pressure was enough to cut a steady pace and was not forced.

After only about an inch into the cut, I heard a bang. Stopped pushing, withdrew the wood and turned off the router. Found a fairly large chip missing from the tip of the bit, triangular shaped, about 1/4" in length along the cutting edge and about the same length along the top edge (so the broken edge was between the two 90 degree edges), with that chip now laying on the table.

The workpiece was damaged to the point that I cannot use it.

So, a couple questions. I am unable to get another bit at the moment, so what is the chance I can continue to use the bit for a couple more cuts? And, has anyone had any experience with getting Freud to replace a broken bit? I have done quite a bit of routing over the years and have never experienced a bit breaking like this. Although I doubt I would be able to prove it, I don't believe my technique had anything to do with this issue. In fact, I was initially going to go a bit deeper into the wood, but decided not to and changed it to take a bit lighter cut.

Any input would be appreciated.

Marv
 

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From your description, I don't think you did anything wrong. I think the bit was either defective from the gitgo or it developed a crack during previous use. Don't use it again. Instead, just make multiple passes with your table saw to get the groove to the width you want. If it is important to have a flat bottom, you may have to do a bit of chisel work. Or, use a rip blade that has flat top grind teeth.
You can contact Freud including a picture or two, but since the bit is a few years old don't get your hopes up.
Or, if you have a narrower straight bit, make multiple passes with it.
 

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Chances are zero! That might not have been the only flaw and you asking to mess up yet another work piece. Not worth the safety or the frustration. If you have another bit, say 1/4", maybe make multiple passes. Or as @bilyo said, a t/s could get it done until you can get another bit.
 

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Was routing a groove in an (red) oak board. The bit is a Freud 1/2" straight bit, 2 carbide cutters, and the groove was less than 1/4" deep, probably closer to 3/16". Router (3 hp, no variable speed) was in a router table and fence was about 1/2" from bit (so bit was obscured from view). Bit, although a few years old, has only been used a few times and this cut was the first of the day. Forward pressure was enough to cut a steady pace and was not forced.

After only about an inch into the cut, I heard a bang. Stopped pushing, withdrew the wood and turned off the router. Found a fairly large chip missing from the tip of the bit, triangular shaped, about 1/4" in length along the cutting edge and about the same length along the top edge (so the broken edge was between the two 90 degree edges), with that chip now laying on the table.

The workpiece was damaged to the point that I cannot use it.

So, a couple questions. I am unable to get another bit at the moment, so what is the chance I can continue to use the bit for a couple more cuts? And, has anyone had any experience with getting Freud to replace a broken bit? I have done quite a bit of routing over the years and have never experienced a bit breaking like this. Although I doubt I would be able to prove it, I don't believe my technique had anything to do with this issue. In fact, I was initially going to go a bit deeper into the wood, but decided not to and changed it to take a bit lighter cut.

Any input would be appreciated.

Marv
Carbide cutters like to run fast. running too slow can result in a broken bit. Although carbide is very hard, it is somewhat brittle. I would not advise you to continue using that bit. Too dangerous. Use a smaller bit and make multiple passes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks much for the replies.

In line with the suggestions, I decided not to try and use the bit any further, even though I had only one cut to complete. Agree that it is just unsafe to do so.

As to Freud, out of curiosity, I emailed them with essentially the same story I posted here. Within 14 hours, I received a response, inviting me to send them the bit (at my expense, of course) for them to inspect and test. If they determine the damage is due to user error, I am out of luck. If they determine it is a faulty product, they will replace. Apparently they have a (limited) lifetime warranty.

Marv
 

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One idea that might’ve caused breakage. Red oak is very prone to tear out and chunk out. If a chunk got broken loose and then jammed between the cutter and the side wall of the dado you were routing, it could’ve caused enough pressure to break the carbide. I’ll admit, it’s somewhat unlikely given the depth that you were routing, but then, I consider it equally unlikely that the bit was defective.
 

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not all bits are equal, they break, even the high dollar ones, sometimes a reason, sometimes a manuf. problem one will never know, damaged bits get tossed, no reason to risk harm or foul for use of a damaged tool
rj in az
 
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