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Best Compression Spiral for 1/2" Baltic Birch

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Forum topic by wilschroter posted 01-29-2022 12:26 PM 584 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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wilschroter

205 posts in 1978 days


01-29-2022 12:26 PM

Curious what folks here are using for cutting (no dados) 1/2” Baltic Birch? I’m cutting on an Axiom Pro if that makes any difference.


6 replies so far

View DS's profile

DS

4103 posts in 3873 days


#1 posted 02-01-2022 05:22 PM

A solid carbide 2 flute spiral compression bit will be very durable for this purpose.
I prefer 1/2” diameter compression cutters as they seem to outperform the 3/8” diameter cutters I’ve used, although, on your machine, the 3/8” bit will probably never “max out” the chip removal capacity of the bit.

You can get a 2 flute spiral compression bit that has about 3/16” on the up cut, which will work fine with 1/2 Baltic Birch.

You can get chipper/finishers and all kinds of special cutters, but the smaller CNC routers will not be able to take advantage of them properly. Those ‘fancier’ bits are nearly all designed to clear wood chips faster to allow high speed cutting.
Unless you are cutting above 600 IPM, those bits will not be worth the extra expense. (I’ve run them at 1100 IPM personally)

There are a few name brands and some coated bits that claim longer life (I’ve never achieved even 25% of the claimed performance with those, btw.), but, I’ve had good results from nearly all the ‘generic’ solid carbide bits as well.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS

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JAAune

2133 posts in 3770 days


#2 posted 02-01-2022 05:56 PM

Vortex 3010 1/4”dia 1-flute is what we use.

Since our older CNC with an under-powered spindle doesn’t do well cutting past 300ipm (usually cuts 220-250ipm) the single flute runs cooler.

-- See my work at http://altaredesign.com

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DS

4103 posts in 3873 days


#3 posted 02-01-2022 11:37 PM

+1
A two flute bit at those lower speeds (<250 IPM) will tend to run warmer, especially when turning into a sharp corner where it stops to change direction.

A single flute bit makes total sense there, I’ve just never had an occasion to use, or need, one.
I suppose I’ve been spoiled by the larger industrial machines.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS

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JAAune

2133 posts in 3770 days


#4 posted 02-02-2022 01:28 AM

Yes, the 1-flute bits are a life-saver for weak CNC machines. We used to run a PC 892 router and Vortex 1230 2-flute upcut bits would break constantly. The single flute version lasted several times as long.

-- See my work at http://altaredesign.com

View wilschroter's profile

wilschroter

205 posts in 1978 days


#5 posted 02-02-2022 11:36 AM

JAAune – what’s considered a weak CNC machine?

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JAAune

2133 posts in 3770 days


#6 posted 02-02-2022 02:55 PM

Any CNC that can’t run fast enough (due to under-powered spindle, small steppers, flex in the frame/chatter, etc.) to cut at the bit manufacturer’s recommended chipload. If the bit calls for .010” chipload and the spindle is running at 15,000rpm, ipm = .01×15,000 x (# of flutes). So 300ipm for a 2-flute and 150ipm for a 1 flute.

In our case, we’re using the Vortex 3010 at 220ipm in Appleply or baltic birch and roughly 17,000rpm. Chipload is around .013” which is on the high end of Vortex’s recommendation for soft plywood.

-- See my work at http://altaredesign.com

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