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Forum topic by stevejack posted 11-29-2020 03:54 PM 202 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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213 posts in 289 days

11-29-2020 03:54 PM

I am doing some of my first pattern routing. I am using 2 pattern or flush cutting bits that are 2 fluted. Straight cutting edges. The one I am using on the ALUPANEL with is a 1/8 inch ABC Plastic sandwiched between 2 thin sheets of Aluminum, is taking a beating..

I Am thinking of investing in a 1/4 or 1/2 wide Spiral pattern cutting bit. At almost $100 its a big buy for me.

Question is for any of you with the experience of doing Pattern Routing switch over to a spiral bit and what say you?

2 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile


4372 posts in 2192 days

#1 posted 11-29-2020 04:31 PM

Cutting non-wood with router bits requires some careful consideration to bit geometry, but straight cutter bits are probably the worst. Those spiral cutters, especially the fancy Whitesides with the up/down action are tempting, but definitely spendy.

I pattern cut some 1/4” 6061-T6 some years ago and after getting as close to the template as possible with the disc sander, I ended up using a 3/4” 4-flute spiral HS steel end mill with a 1/2” shaft (oddball bit, usually they have the same shaft diameter as cutter diameter). I use a router bit bearing on the shaft to make it into a pattern bit and everything went well.

Be aware that the larger diameter bits really like to grab and throw things when they catch, be sure you have a good grip!

View LesB's profile


2790 posts in 4412 days

#2 posted 11-29-2020 05:51 PM

Have you looked at machine mill ends? They are relatively inexpensive and probably better suited for cutting metal (the aluminum you are cutting). You would have to change your method of template guide by using a guide mounted on the base of the router and make an appropriate change in the size of your template.

-- Les B, Oregon

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