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Creating Natural Art, Surfacing Wood Using Amana Tool Industrial Insert Spoilboard CNC Router Bits

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For Your Safety

  1. The methods illustrated here are only intended for use with a CNC machine.
  2. Make certain that the workpiece is secured and that all components of the fixture are securely fastened to the table.
  3. Use a guard, eye and hearing protection at all times.

Watch Stu as he surfaces a slab of camphor laurel wood with this large, industrial Insert Spoilboard CNC Router Bit #RC-2251 and turns the wood into "Natural Art". Stu, from Stu's Shed briefly talks about the comparison of the 3/16" and 1/4" Dia Miniature Flush Trim Plunge Template Router Bits with Upper Ball Bearing Guide versus the size of the 2-1/2" Dia Insert Spoilboard CNC Router Bit.

Once the slab of wood was secured, the insert router bit bit handled substantial cuts. At one point the cuts were exceeding 5mm deep across the majority of the width of the bit. The slab of wood was intended to be a table top, however after seeing the wood being surfaced, Stu decided to hang this on his wall and call it "Natural Art".

Router bits used in this video:
Insert Spoilboard CNC Router Bit #RC-2251
Miniature Flush Trim Plunge Template Router Bits with Mini 3/16" Upper Ball Bearing Guide #47222
Miniature Flush Trim Plunge Template Router Bits with Mini 3/16" Upper Ball Bearing Guide #47224

Video Transcription:
Well good day and welcome to Stu's Shed. Today I've got a couple of different concepts of router bits for you, and the difference between them is literally of biblical proportions. Now they both come from the Tools Today stable and the first bits I've got here are the smallest of Amana Tools and it's a couple of different types of patent copying bit. Now, it's going to be pretty small for you to see, I'll hold them up against my t-shirt there so you can get an idea of their size. These will be the smallest of the quarter inch straight bits with a bearing. And in this case this is a tiny little bearing, it sits in this case at the end and this case sits below the coupler on these two bits. Now when you're working with patent copying you can either work with something like this bit, where you plunge through the work piece and then the patent is on top and the bearing follows that, or if for some reason you need to, you can plunge up through from underneath when this is table mounted and have the patent on at the base. And again, the patent then follows the bearing and cuts the little bit. Now, having such a fine bearing means you can get it into some pretty incredible detail, in comparison to something like a half inch patent copying bit which, you know, would do the majority of the heavy duty work around the edges but where it comes to getting into the smallest detail it really rounds them over and all these get right in there and still duplicate the patent that you've got.

Now there's David, as in the "of biblical proportions" and I just want to introduce you now to Goliath. This is, I don't know if it's the largest bit that Tools Today sell for the half inch router, but it's got to get close. It is two and half inches across, it has four replaceable tungsten carbide tipped cutters on it, two orientated vertically which in this case provide a bit of a scraping action, and two located underneath, which I've never seen before on another type of surfacing bit, which are doing a shearing action. Overall, that is a monster of a bit and you'd want a good router to be able to run something like that bit. But in saying that, having a good router, that you can run something like this, that's going to do a hell of a job on surfacing. Now as it happens to be that, and as many would know, I have a very, very good tool for doing surfacing in my workshop and that's the Torque Work Centre and I've set it up here with probably one of the largest slabs that I've got at the moment. It's a piece of Camphor Laurel, so the aroma off this is going to be quite incredible, I'll buy this one when I'm finished today and I'm thinking that I'm actually going to turn it into a bit of a natural edged coffee table or sort of table for the workshop, for upstairs on the mezzanine. And of course rather than have it with this you know, I mean it looks alright, but we know how much better this can look after, can actually look, when we surface it.

So, I'm going to take this router bit, this surface cutter and we're going to surface this slab and just see how well it can come up, and it will be particularly interesting to see how the combination of a scraping and a shearing action will be on the resulting finish. So I've got everything now set up, I've got the surfacing cutter mounted in the router, the router is variable speed and I've got it set on, it's almost set on a speed, it's the router bit can handle more than 8,000 rpm's so I've got that dialed up a little bit. I've got dust extraction hooked up just to the collector here and basically the whole slab is secured down, I've got Welco clamps all around, just resisting any tendency for the slab to move and just at one point I've got it wedged, just because it might have a tendency to rock at that point. So really there's not much else to do now rather than start it up and run through it. Now, as I'm running back up and down initially, I'm just looking for high spots, just so I can get an idea of the lay of the land as it was and then, from there onwards I'll start doing incremental changes to depth and run over the whole surface and just keep going until I end with a flat slab.

So after a couple of passes it's going quite well. I've turned it obviously, and for quite a large high area of this side and we're just starting to catch this edge here too, so that's starting to work. I'm actually going to find that I'm not going to be able to do this back corner here, I just haven't set up just far enough down the tool. Now, I'm going to drop the dust guard down a little bit, it's just not picking up as much as I would have expected and that's because the brushes aren't actually pressing on the timber as well as they probably should, and that's just a setting that I just haven't, I've just got to drop that setting down. And then it's just a matter of I'm dropping down by about 4 or 5 mm at a time, so the covers doing some work but it's certainly not having any issues with it whatsoever and yeah, no it's handling it. I actually took a bit of a bite off than I was actually expecting in one of the first passes and only realized it after the fact when I saw the size of the skip that I'd made. And I was just like, yeah that cutter has certainly handled that without any complaint whatsoever. I've had other cutters that would be balking at that sort of workload, but this one is just ripping through it. Interesting too that I find that if I cut one way, as I'm cutting down the length of the wood, which is the normal direction of routing as well, for the router, that I'm not getting any fettering at all. But interestingly when I try to do a climb cut, which is when I go back the other way, it is actually rubbing the surface up quite significantly and I think that's an idiosyncrasy perhaps of the two shearing cutters. It doesn't make any difference at all, because I just go back over that area in the right direction and it just cuts all those fetters, all that fettering off. But it just means that when I get closer to the final passes, that I just need to be more conscious of the feed direction, just to make sure that we get the best possible finish off the cutert. But certainly the finish that's coming up so far is exactly what I'd be expecting to see, so it's working very, very well. And having such a large router bit, as I said, about a two and a half inch diameter, the amount of pass I can take is quite significant, so it does make the work go quite quickly.

Now just a bit of a quick conclusion to this video. I've now since taken the top, and I've just run over it with the belt sander. This is the Festool belt sander, so it's got that nice little sled on it that keeps it all nice and level. And then I've hit it with a very quick sand on the random orbital sander, with an 80 grit. And what I've done here is I've literally splashed some Danish oil over the top, just to give you an idea of what it can look like. And you can see it's quite a contrasting difference between the before and after. This is some of the beauty of Camphor Laurel. It's actually a really, really nice timber. It's got a lot of character, a lot of depth in its color and then it comes up really, really nicely. But yeah, so when you have a look at it, when it's sanded it looks alright, then you hit it with some oil and you really, really see what it comes out like. Now, just as another little interesting point, it had a few cracks in the top and these were ones from where it's lopped, dried, particularly evenly, all the moisture hasn't come out particularly evenly, it's caused some cracking and I'll just fill those with a shellac filler. So there's actually a crack there, which is all set in that I've filled with shellac, on the inside and back, and a couple down the end here, which I'll fill with a slightly different color shellac, again just to disguise it. I'm never going to be able to make them absolutely hidden but at least rather than having an actual hive or a crack visible on the top, a shellac filler is a very useful tool, and that was just applied with a soldering iron. Literally just applied with a soldering iron, melted and dripped into the cracks and then sanded flush.

So, I'm going to keep working on this and I haven't quite decided what it's going to be yet, it's actually a really nice piece of timber that may not end being a top. I might just find it's a little better on the shed wall, which it's starting to look more and more feasible in that direction. So, it's one of these things. I just let the timber tell me what it wants to be, and this one was originally telling me it wanted to a tabletop and now it's telling me it doesn't and it would rather be a bit of natural art. It's certainly the character of Camphor Laurel, it's more than capable of being a very, very beautiful piece of actual art as well.

Natural Art Using Insert Spoilboard Surfacing, Rabbeting, Flycutter and Bed Skimming CNC Router Bit with Scorers, 2 + 2 Design, by ToolsToday, Your Source for Industrial Cutting Tools!

Music by Lis Viggers.

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