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How to setup your Router ready for use.

How to setup your Router ready for use.
  How to correctly fit cutters, make cuts and setting the correct speed.
     
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Trend T11 110volt 1/2in collet Router - powerful 2000 watt motor and user friendly adjustments for high end performance in hand
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Fitting Cutters

Fitting Cutters
  Fitting cutters

Always take extreme caution when removing the protective wax from a new cutter. Do not pull it off as the sharp cutting edges could cause injury. Carefully slit the wax with a sharp knife along the internal angle of the flute and prise the coating away. Before using a new cutter wipe off any protective oil to prevent it transferring and possibly marring the surface of the work.

Inspection
Always inspect cutters before fitting them in the collet, checking for damage sustained in previous use, dullness, chips or resin build up. Check that ball-bearing guides on self-guiding cutters are neither too tight nor too sloppy and that the screw holding the bearing in place is tight. Remember that any damage to the shank, such as scoring or deformation, will damage the collet. The shank should be maintained in as smooth and as clean a condition as new. A cutter shank with a burr on it will result in an inaccurate cut and may cause vibration. Over tightening of the collet often distorts it and causes grooves in the shank. Dirt or grit adhering to the shank will have a similar effect. It is therefore important that the shank is regularly examined and cleaned. When inserting the cutter into your router, ensure that the collet and collet nut are completely free of debris. Round brass wire brushes for the correct diameter for the collet are available for removing debris.
Fitting Cutters
  Shank length
Always insert as much of the shank as possible into the collet, and at least three quarters of the shank length as a minimum, to decrease the chances of deflection of cutter when under load. This in turn will prevent damage to the collet, reduce wear and stress on the routers bearings and avoid the likelihood of shank breakage.
Do not allow the end of the cutter to be in contact with the internal end of the armature recess, see diagram A. Always maintain a gap of 1-2mm to prevent a hammer action being induced which will cause the cutter to creep from the collet. Ensure that the collet does not engage on the webbed flange of the cutter (the curve between cutter body and shank).
Never clamp a short portion of the shank in the collet to ‘dangle’ the cutter to get that extra length. Never use collet reducers as a means of extending the length of the shank.
     

Setting Depth Of Cut

Setting Depth Of Cut
  Setting Depth of Cut
A guide to the optimum Plunge depth that can be cut in a single pass is that the depth of cut should not exceed either the diameter of the cutter when using cutters up to 1/2” diameter, or the diameter of the cutter shank, whichever is smaller. Taking shallow passes will reduce the side load applied to the cutter and reduce the risk of shank breakage.
     

Direction Of Cut

Direction Of Cut
  Direction of Cut
Of all the queries that the Trend technical support receive during the course of the year, the most common relate to confusion over the correct feed direction when using both hand-held or table mounted routers.
The feed direction is the direction in which the cutter is fed into the material or, in the case of table mounted or Fixed routers, the material into the cutter.
Following the correct feed direction will ensure safer and easier working, and allow the cutter to cut efficiently. The golden rule is that for all routing operations the feed direction should oppose the rotational direction of the cutter.
This can be ascertained by looking at the cutter itself. Routing machines generally always rotate in a clockwise direction (looking down from above), and this determines the direction in which the cutter rotates and subsequently the feed direction.
If the feed direction is incorrect, the forces involved in cutting will also cause the cutter to push itself, away from the guiding edge of the work or template and hence the router and its guide (i.e. guide bush, side fence or edge of the router).
When routing inverted in a table, the feed direction is right to left. If the material is fed in the wrong direction the material could be ripped away from the operator.
It is a good practice to mark the direction of feed (right to left) on the worktable backfence when using your router inverted on a table. With portable routers the rotational direction of the cutter can again be marked on the top of the machine, although with experience this will become obvious.
Direction Of Cut
  Edge trimming or moulding
When edge trimming, rebating or moulding, the router’s feed direction should generally be against the rotation of the cutter. This rule applies whether the cutter is guided by a fence or mechanical aid or when using a bearing guided cutter.

Side Fence Work
When using the side fence, the router’s feed direction should again be against the rotation of the cutter, this having the effect of pulling the fence in against the edge of the work.

Straight edge guides
When using straight edge guides, the router’s feed direction should again be against the rotation of the cutter, to pull the base of the router against the guide.
Direction Of Cut
  Internal templates
When using internal templates, the router’s feed direction should be in a clockwise direction. The cutter will tend to pull the router and guide bush against the template.

External templates
For external templates the router’s feed direction should be anticlockwise. The cutter will tend to pull the router and guide bush against the template.

Circles and arcs
By feeding the router in an anticlockwise direction when cutting circles and arcs, the cutter is braced against the centre point rather than trying to pull away and possibly pull the point off centre. Always hold the centre point of the beam trammel to prevent if inadvertently ‘jumping out’.
Direction Of Cut
  Freehand work
Freehand work can in theory be cut in either direction. However, it is generally better to adopt one direction only for as much of the operation as possible, generally keeping to the right hand side of the outline. Wherever possible it is advisable to rout with the direction of the grain, because routing across the grain can cause misdirection of the router.

Trimming vertical edges
When trimming vertical lippings flush with the surface, it is necessary to cut in the opposite direction, i.e. with the rotation of the cutter, to avoid break-out and chipping on the edge of the vertical face. When using the router to trim a vertical lipping (i.e. hardwood or plastic laminate), the router is fitted with a stepped base to lift it clear of the uncut lipping (never leave more than 2 to 3mm of lipping protruding).

Preventing running splits
Some timbers such as Douglas Fir have a tendency to split in front of the cutter, when edge trimming or moulding. This can be overcome by making very shallow steps or cutting at 90 degrees to the edge at regular intervals before removing the waste in the normal way.
Direction Of Cut
  Trimming with and across the grain
When trimming or moulding all four edges of a natural timber panel, care must be taken to avoid excessive break-out at the end of the crosscuts (i.e. cuts across the grain). To help avoid this problem, always cut across the short grain first before the long grain. Any chipping or break-out at the end of the cut will then be removed when the side (long grain) cuts are made. It is also advisable to score the cutting line across the face of the workpiece with a cutting gauge or knife first to remove any risk of tearing the surface grain.
When trimming or moulding only across the grain (i.e. leaving the long grain edges square), spelch battens can be clamped at the ends of the panel to prevent break-out.
     

Progressive Cuts

Progressive Cuts
  Progressive cuts
When using large moulding or panelling cutters, the full depth of cut must be reached in a series of shallow steps.
Where the cutter features an open shape, each step can be made vertically, using the fine height adjuster to guide the cutter on each pass until the final depth is reached. The quality of finish will be improved if the final cut is kept very light.
Progressive Cuts
  Where the cutter features a closed shape, increasing depths vertically is not possible. If a side fence or back fence (i.e. table fence) is used, then this can be adjusted using the fence to make incremental cuts.
For both straight or curved work, ball-bearing guided cutters can have alternative diameter ball-bearings interchanged before each pass, effectively increasing the width of each pass. This is imperative if small intricate workpieces are to be moulded safely.
The cutter shown, the classic ball-bearing guided corner bead (Trend reference 9/55x1/2TC) is fitted with a 30mm diameter bearing (ref. B300A), then a 19mm bearing (ref. B19A) followed by the standard 12.7mm bearing (ref. B127A).
     
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Router Speed

Router Speed
  Router Speed
With the advent of electronic speed control the question of choosing the correct router speed arises. Recommended router speeds can vary depending on the power of the router, the type of material being cut and the feed speed. An important point to remember is that if the router is under powered the cutting speed under load will be drastically reduced and a poor performance will result on all but the smallest size cutters. So several passes with the router should be made if a single deep pass causes the motor revolution count to drop below 70% of the no-load running speed. Using a sharp cutter at the correct peripheral speed will ensure a good finish.
Router Speed
  If restricted to a single speed router, you will not be able to run large diameter cutters at their optimum lower cutting speeds.
One advantage of the variable speed feature is their ‘soft start’, when the motor slowly builds up speed and avoids the ‘jerk’ which can be disconcerting for some router users.
For ascertaining the correct cutter speed relative to the diameter of the cutter, the peripheral speed can be calculated as follows:
Router Speed
  Separate variable speed controllers are available for connecting between the router and the power source. However, these are unlikely to offer full wave rectification or speed compensation, and do not maintain the available power evenly throughout the speed range. Inferior types of speed controller can also affect the smooth running of a router, particularly at lower speeds.

Special Note:
Optimum cutting speeds based on spindle cutting experience are not binding when applied to router cutters because of their varying geometry. Use therefore for guidance only. Always use the spindle speed for large diameter cutters as recommended by the manufacturer.
     

Feed Speed

Feed Speed
  Feed Speed
To minimise wear on the router motor bearings, prevent cutter damage and improve the finish left on the cut face, it is important to maintain a constant and optimum feed speed.
Although an optimum feed speed or rate can be given, variations in the type of material, type and condition of the cutter and the available router power will have an effect on this. It is therefore down to the operator to judge by the sound of the router’s motor whether the motor is laboured. In time, the operator will acquire a feel for the router, and a feed speed relative to the work in hand, will come naturally. It will be found that a narrow cutter can be used at a higher speed than a wider one, although very narrow cutters will need a slower feed speed and smaller depth of cut to prevent cutter breakage.
     
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