I’m still getting my Maslow CNC machine built, but I need to get some router bits for when I finally start milling. I’m in Canada, and would prefer to order online something that’ll come straight to my home. I just want some basic router bits to cut through plywood. These sound great: http://maslowcommunitygarden.org/3-Bit-CNC-Starter-Pack.html but I’ve had experiences with things taking a month to cross the Canada-US border, so I’d rather buy something more local.
The hardware store in town doesn’t have anything of the sort, even on their website. I’ve looked at some CNC specialty shops, and they are not beginner friendly. I’ve been looking at Amazon.ca, but it’s hard to tell what is suitable, much less what is good. I was about to purchase some, but then they won’t ship to a PO box, or they are nowhere near long enough to go through a 3/4" sheet of plywood, and I’m getting a little tired of staring at things on the screen, not knowing if they’ll work for me.
I don’t think it matters much – I have a Mastercraft Maximum router, which accepts 1/2" bits. I assume the collar accepts 1/4" bits, too, and maybe 1/8" bits, although possibly an adapter of some sort is in order.
I’m not opposed to ordering internationally; I’ve had good success ordering from the UK, for example, but ordering domestically would be my preference.
a 1/4" bit that’s 1" long is a good go-to bit.
single flute if you can find it
you want one that can plunge (look at the bottom of it, is it sharp or does it
have an area that’s blunt)
if you contact a shop that supplies machine shops, a 1-2 flute 1/4" end mill
is what you are looking for
go smaller if you need to cut fine details, but 1/4" is thick enough to stand up
to some abuse (although I have had a day where I broke 3 of them in a couple
hours) where the 1/8" bits are likely to snap if you look at them sidways.
larger bits are stronger, but unless you are cutting large pockets, you end up
having to cut a lot more wood for the same design.
Second that and, as I’m in NZ (bottom of the world), find using the term “cnc milling bits” helps.
Amazon - if that counts as delivery for you - has loads, I’m fond of the HQMaster ones. Cheap, sharp and seem to last quite well.
Where in Canada are you? I’m in Calgary and KMS is a good place to get upcut 2-flute spiral endmills in HSS.
I bought a pack of 2-flute straight router bits from Canadian Tire to get started (probably the same ones you have), but I trashed them pretty quickly. I bought tons more through AliExpress (I know that’s a crap option right now) along with some chamfer, ball-nose, and engraving bits.
I also have the Maximum router. To use the z-axis, I ended up flipping the shaft for the height adjustment so that I could get enough meat for the set screw on the shaft coupler to bite and it allowed me to keep the knob. You will need remove a circclip and the worm gear to do this. Note, it is super-backlashy. If you can make the plunge base work, that’s probably a better way to go.
Thank you, David, Peteinakl; I’ve ordered some bits and hope they’re good.
Hi Hentsch; if you take highway 2 south about 2.5 hours, you’ll come to the small southern Alberta town I live in. I’ve never heard of KMS before; sounds promising. I must say, I’ve never had Amazon quote me shipping for a month out before – that was what I was trying to avoid from shopping from the States! So, I may just change my order. Thanks also for the tips; I have got my basic frame built and have started on the temporary sled, so I’ll be interested to see how I can get this all together.