Cutting 1/8” Masonite

Would the Maslow be practical for cutting large (2’x3’) shapes out of 1/8” Masonite? Would I cut it in one pass? Would you recommend a 1/8” bit for simple silhouettes? Thanks so much for your patience with a newbie!

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The Maslow is well suited for a job like that. Cutting 1/8” Masonite with a 1/8” bit in one pass seems risky to me. I would go with a bigger bit, if you don’t have to much detail, like small corners that the bit needs to fit in. Also consider how clean you want the edges of the cut to be. For cleaner edges you normaly go with a shallow first cut, the rough part and a shallow last cut. But the shallow last cut only works with a straight spoil-board, with a straight sheet and with precise Z-axis. Plan a test sheet to dial in your router speed and feedrate of the Maslow before the final project.


The rule of thumb is 1/2 the bit diameter for depth of cut. Rules are meant to be broken so start with 1/16 (3mm) and experiment on scrap. recommends trying until the cut quality isn’t good enough or the bit breaks, but note they sell bits. With a maslow you might find it may just slow down the travel (test going down…) instead. 80% of that would be the sweet spot. You could also try experimenting with rpm, the smaller the bit the higher the rpm to get the same speed at the cutting edges (I remember something about the radius of two pies, yum) so crank that speed up if it helps.

Masonite is abrasive so your bits won’t last as long, but particularly with carbide that will still be a little of cutting


Dang autocorrect, corrected lot to little

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For a 1/8" bit, in a single pass, I like Rotozip bits with a foam spoilboard. Chuck the bit as deep as you can without burying the flutes. It is a downcutting spiral bit that leaves a good edge on the side facing the tool. The backside tearout is so aggressive that it rarely leaves splinters. So while the back isn’t really pristine, it doesn’t require lots of file work. They don’t stay sharp as long as carbide, but they are cheap enough and flex before they snap. Expect wicked resonance noises as the overlong bit vibrates, but it doesn’t seem to affect the cut.


Thanks so much! So, would you recommend a 1/32” cut, then a 1/16” cut followed by a final 1/32”? And should I leave some tabs on the last cut?

Thanks! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your expertise!

Do they make “short” down spiral bits? Or do you recommend the RotoZip ones because they’re cheap and easy to find? Thanks for taking the time to share your advise!

I’d try the rotozip bits, cheap and easy to find is good. I’ve burned them, but that was trying to cut through 1 inch old rough roof decking with a real rotozip. For 1/8 masonite I’d go for broke and do a full depth cut to see what happens. Try about 20ipm (or be moosely and go for full speed…), then adjust the speed down if needed. Your 3 pass regime (aren’t those bits pointy? I’m a couple thousand miles from the moose shop) might geve a better surface finish but it pointed will leave a narrow cut on the first pass.

Googling masonite feeds and speeds might be handy. We can’t reach the kinds of speeds I found recommended (1.25 inches per second. :scream:) so start with low router speeds and adjust as necessary.

If the zip bits won’t work or last try carbide endmills. I like drillman1 on eBay but you can get them off Amazon in the states. The usual long ship AliExpress or eBay sources are worth a try if you want to save a few bucks.

Made an offer today on a SW FL winter mooseshop with a house thrown in, Mrs Moose insisted on that part. Waiting for a response


So, trading swamp rats for ‘gators?


Thanks so much! Once I get my Maslow set up I’ll give it a go. Thanks again!

We brought our dog with us (lab/shar pei), thinking of changing his name to gator bait. We’re keeping him on a short leash.

Then there’s the programming language critters, pythons…

I have been trying to find it, but a year or two ago I found an inexpensive software that had an option of using a smaller bit to route channels by cutting small circles and advancing more rapidly and deeply than just trying to do straight/full width cuts throug hmaterial. The minimum weidth of channel for this technique was 1.25 times bit diameter if I remember right.

I really wish I could remember which software it is.