Naïve questions - using 12.7mm 1/2" router bit on laminate kitchen worktop joints

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by fizzy2, Nov 22, 2021.

  1. fizzy2

    fizzy2 Guest

    Hi all - I'm new to using a router and doing the hockey stick joints.

    I've read somewhere that most carpenters & kitchen fitters use cheapo bits that they throw away after one cut. Do they actually mean 2 cuts (1 joint) or literally use 2 cutters per joint?

    With so much choice of bits - which do people recommend?

    This one's a more complicated question... Watching youtube, many fitters do 4 x 10mm incremental depth sweeps on a 40mm worktop. Unless i'm missing something, doesn't that mean that the initial 10mm of the bit does all the cutting for all 4 sweeps and the rest of the bit just 'kisses' the worktop?

    Instead, could you re-use say a 10mm bit for the first 4 sweeps (imperfect finish), then swap to a 12.7mm bit to trim the final edge at the full 40mm depth, thus getting multiple use out of your underworked 'finishing' bit?

    If your 12.7mm bit was say 55mm, you could do one worktop finishing cut at 40mm depth, the 2nd at 42, 44, etc, always using a new edge depth of the bit that hasn't previously a cut before?

    I did say that I had some naïve questions!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2021
  2. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    Forget all about 10mm bits - virtually every plunge cut, made by every router, in virtually any application, predominately uses the bottom 20% of the cutter and often very little else. The only exceptions are things like bearing-guided rebaters and moulding cutters which are machining the edge of a workpiece. Jigs are designed for use with 12.7mm cutters and a 30mm guide bush, and it’s just not worth mucking about changing cutters to save a comparatively tiny amount of money. If you do want to try and squeeze two joints out of a cutter - save a worn one for doing your dog bones, as these cuts are less critical.

    Generally, one cutter is good for one joint (not one cut) = so good for male and female cuts + 2 sets of dog bones. I’ve tried everything out there, and every cutter at every price point is destroyed equally quickly by worktops (especially laminate) hence the widespread use of cheap cutters. You won’t go far wrong with the tenner-a-pop 12.7 x 50.8 Erbauer ones from our hosts to be honest. I buy them ten at a time, they’re sharp, well-balanced and great value.

    You also misunderstand how jigs are machined - the guide bush slot is marginally oversized by around a quarter-mil, so the guide bush rests against the ‘towards you’ slot edge when doing your 4 x 10mm passes, followed by a final full-depth finishing pass with the guide bush planted against the ‘away from you’ slot edge. So the critical final pass is indeed completed using the full depth of a still-sharp cutter.

    Hope that clarifies things for you a bit.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  3. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

  4. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    I agree with the rest of your post, but not the above quote.
    Trend have for at least the last 20 years or more have made Roto-tip cutters. The 12.7mm is our staple diet lol. Ok, you have to buy the body..............about £55. But a pack of 10 blades are £57. Now bearing in mind each blade is double sided, that's 20 blades really.
    The important bit though is that the blades are so sharp and so hard, each one can do multiple joints.................forget about one joint. Each edge is well capable of 10 joints at least. The only exception to that is Duropal worktops, they are full of so much rubbish...........metal, stone and god knows what would kill any blade very fast :D
  5. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    I thought you'd been banned. Good to see you're still around.
    woodbutcherbower and kitfit1 like this.
  6. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    Thanks Willy. Nah...............just a naughty boys holiday, and you know full well what for :D
    woodbutcherbower likes this.
  7. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    10 joints ??? Well !!! Thanks for the heads-up KF1 = I'll 100% give it a shot and I know you'll be right. Hope you're liking the Trend TS55 blades.

    To the OP = I stand corrected.

    And I posted elsewhere how relieved I was that you hadn't been banned. Knowledge like yours is such an asset. Willy explained the circumstances, so I'm glad you survived. Onwards and upwards .....
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  8. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    I'll give you my thoughts on the ts55's tomorrow night, got loads of track work in the morning.
    As for the Rota Tips, i've been using them for at least 20 years................the reason you may ask ? Because they are very cheap for the amount of time they last. Let's say a cheap cutter is £8 and only last for one joint. A Rota Tip is double sided, so last twice as long for a start. It's made of much better carbon than any cheap cutter and stays sharp for longer...............very very much longer. it's a win win and always has been. Let me know what you think if you try it.
  9. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    I already ordered from Trend. Will do.
    1 person likes this.
  10. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    You won't be dissapointed. To be honest, i'm suprised you havn't tried them before.
  11. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    I guess it's because 3-6 months of my annual work is restoration, refurbishment and replacement work for the National Trust and English Heritage, all done when the buildings are closed during the winter - the annual duration is always proportional to the budgets they have available (which at the moment are almost zero after all the NT members cancelled their memberships during the first lockdown, leaving a £30m hole in their revenue stream). It's all of the old-school stuff which the kids don't know how to do, ranging from critically-endangered roof trusses at Lindisfarne Castle, through to 14" high, 3" thick, massively-moulded skirting boards at Calke Abbey - plus the fact that I'm a general joiner rather than a dedicated kitchen fitter. Domestic work is just a part of what I do. I suppose I just got lazy and always went for the cheap, easy option, building the cost of a few cheap cutters into every quote. But I'm always up for anything better and cheaper, especially when it means reducing my annual spend at a company whose forum admins won't fix a basic, fundamental problem by using some basic, fundamental actions. I'm sure the replaceable blades will hit the spot, and thanks again for the heads-up.

    Apologies to the OP for hijacking his post. But I'm sure he's learning plenty.
  12. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    Calke Abbey ? Blimey :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek: I worked there in there in the very early 1990's as well. Mainly at the time on window frames. How old is the chief conservasionist now ? only asking because i know how old she was at the time :D:D I'm guessing she is long gone lol.
  13. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    Do you know what. It's actually a privilage to work with a woman in the construction industry that knows what they are doing. Because once you come to trust them, they never fail on you.
    Especially within NT or EH. They are 100% dedicated to what they are doing and 100% know what they are doing. Unlike most of the rest of the industry. I don't think i have ever quiestioned a womans direction during an EH job. They know better than me and have done the uni bit as well.
    Of course they have no idea HOW to actually do it...............that's you and me are there.
  14. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    And that's totally the point. Complete trust in, and respect for each other's abilities and skills. If only all jobs were like this. Her attitude is simple - if you want to know how to get the job done, don't ask the bloke with the hard hat, the hi-viz, and the clipboard - ask the bloke wearing the donkey jacket and the rigger boots, the scruffy oik lathered in s*** and sawdust - because he's the one who knows how to do it the best, the quickest, the cheapest ........

    ....... and today.

    Not in six months time after a dozen consultancy meetings. She also makes a point of dropping in on projects nearing completion, she'll stand there having a watch, and she'll then say "Looks fantastic. Great job lads, super proud of you". Now that's how to build a team. She just gets it.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  15. fizzy2

    fizzy2 Guest

    Thanks again - you have helped me on other threads, but just to clarify... I already understood about the jig clearance (I DON'T misunderstand). In fact it's that exact principle of taking advantage of the clearance to finely trim and tidy up with the final cut, that made me think of re-using a slightly undersize cutter for all the cuts except for the full depth final sweep (and you have 2 fine trims of it (using both sides of the clearance).

    You could of course use the clearance alone to perform the 4 x 10m sweeps with an old 12.7 bit, and then use the clearance for a final sweep with a new bit. However, I wondered if using and old 12.7mm for the 4 x 10mm sweeps could cause more than 0.25mm of damage, hence using an 11-12mm for the 4 x 10mm sweeps may leave that little bit extra on the worktop to 'tidy up' any damage caused by the re-used smaller cutter.

    If you think that the 1 minute changing a bit isn't worth that £10 saving per bit - you must be on a good hourly rate! I do think that you'd have to be more disciplined with you bits to pull it of though!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2021
  16. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    It's got nothing to do with hourly rate, it's got everything to do with sense. It's also got everything to do you with overthinking something that really has no thinking about at all. I work as a kitchen fitter 24/7 , why would i give myself more work just to save a theoretical maybe 10p ? In fact, i already can do it cheaper anyway just using 12.7 in the first place.
  17. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    Never mind, she obviously isn't..........................and even if she was.....................she would still demand both our respect for her professionalism.
  18. fizzy2

    fizzy2 Guest

    Thanks and understood. That makes the £11 / joint cutters false economy if you use them regularly. You'd could have been saving money instead of doing enough cuts to throw away you tenth cheapo blade...
  19. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    So, was you asking your first post in the sense of a DIY'er Or a potential kitchen fitter?
  20. fizzy2

    fizzy2 Guest

    I've recently retired from my 'normal' technical job, aged 55, having done most of most previous property improvements myself, often struggling to trust people to do a good job. As I don't really need to work again, so I will do my hobbies, including DIY to help out the family.

    There's nothing much that I won't attempt, and I generally achieve as good or better job than many professionals, will improvise etc; but I do take twice as long!
    So, unless I exceed my DIY plans for the future, I'll probably find it cheaper to buy the 'disposable' cutters.

    WRT my OP 'rough cut' idea, (using an undersize previously used cutter for the initial cuts), before before switching the cutter for the final full depth 'finishing' sweep, OR using an old 'full size' cutter for the initial cuts, then swapping to a new cutter for the final sweep (using up the clearance down the other side of the jig slot). I liken this to leaving an extra mil of wood on rough sawn timber before a planed final finish. I agree that it's a small hassle to swap cutters, but would the 'principle' work?

    After many cuts, you would have to 'demote' your 'finishing' cutter to become your 'rough sawn' cutter.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice