More and more often we hear about routers, milling cutters, router’s work benches and so on…let’s begin together to get things straight; step by step we will analyse all these complicated words, starting with “routers for vertical milling cutters”.
First of all, we have to understand very well the difference between the two machines and, in particular, between vertical and horizontal milling cutter.
What’s the difference, then?
Give me just one second…
LET’S START WITH HORIZONTAL MILLING CUTTER;
The standard definition, that we doesn’t like at all, is:
“The horizontal milling cutter has always an X-Y flat bad but the cutting unit is mounted on a lateral guidance: as far as the structure is concerned they are similar to big circular saws. They are primarily used to smooth material blocks or to create hairline cracks or hollows. They can be installed in a chain to realize complex production systems. This type of machine needs particular routers, which are pretty expensive, but they are specialized for this type of work.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
I have always hated all these technical definitions and this is why I am sorry if I quoted word by word, but I had to do it to make you understand the comparison that I am about to do. We can define the horizontal milling cutter as “the one that creates hairline cracks or lateral cuts (horizontal), and the milling is “followed” by a lateral guidance, so that the tool can follow a linear path”.
In our field both the Lamello milling cutter (picture below) and the broaching machine, the so called Spinatrice (picture below), can be considered as horizontal milling cutters.
Lamello machine: it is used to make cuts in the wood to insert the plates; it is useful to join wood, but I will deal with this topic in depth in a future article.
Spinatrice milling cutter: as Lamello milling cutter, it creates hairline cracks to apply the broaches in order to join the pieces but, regarding this topic, I will write an in-depth article too.
WHICH ROUTERS CAN BE USED?
For “Lamello” machine, must be used a router called Lamello (a router which is similar to a circular blade); normally its diameter is 100 and it hasn’t many teeth (6-8). For “Spinatrice” milling cutter, instead, there are routers that, by now, we can call drilling tips: normally their size is between 8mm and 10mm and they have a joint of 8mm.
I hope that I have succeeded in clarifying these few things (if not, feel free to contact me and I will try to improve the explanation); now let’s carry on with the vertical milling cutter.
THE VERTICAL MILLING CUTTER
How can I define the vertical milling cutter?
I am going to spare you the “technical” definition this time; let’s say that a milling cutter can be so defined when it has a vertical arrangement (to make you a concrete example, think of a pencil with its tip on the paper and the rubber upwards: this is a vertical arrangement (a stake, as my grandfather would say J) so that the manufacturing can be carried out by holding it with both of your hands from the top, or by positioning it under a work bench ( I will make an article about this too, don’t worry).
BUT ARE THESE VERTICAL MILLING CUTTERS ALL THE SAME?
No, they are not, there are different types of milling cutters; the power of the engine mainly changes and if you are not willing to spend some money, quite surely you’ll get a milling cutter that won’t be able to assemble routers with a shank of 12mm; maximum they will be of 8mm and sure enough they will stop dead or they will be under strain during the manufacturing.
A good milling cutter should have more or less 2400 watts of power with the chance to be assembled on/under the work bench (we’ll see the picture later) and should also have pincers of 12 or 12.7mm.
Warning: the chance to have a joint of 12mm allows you not only to use different milling cutters (thickness, radius etc…); the most important thing is that the joint of 12mm makes your router stronger so it is perfect for hard and prolonged makings or for a manufacturing that is in contact with hard wood.
“here is an example of a vertical milling cutter that is assembled in a “work bench” (later on I will also show you some assembly videos”
“This is the classic example of a vertical milling cutter; I hid the brand because I don’t know if I can show it, but those who are experts, surely, might have recognized it.”
ROUTERS FOR VERTICAL MILLING CUTTERS: WHICH ARE THEY?
If I started to write down all the types of routers that I know, the list would be endless; this is why I will focus on a general smattering (but not too general J) so that you can understand better what I mean.
Widia routers (HM/HW which is better called hard metal) with a shank of 6-8-12mm can be classified as routers for vertical and manual milling cutters.
The router bits that are used the most, can be classified into two macro (big) categories: straight cutters and form cutters.
Normally, these routers have two cutting blades and they can be used to create some channels (which can be used for joints, grooves or anything else but there will be soon an article about this too) or to create some trims (to clean the edge; let’s say they are those with a bearing).
“Example of straight cutters; in this case I selected Fraiser line FR100 (obviously)”
Those cutters that have a form (a design on the cutting blade) that allows to carry out particular productions are called form cutters.
WHICH ARE THEY?
The router bits that are used the most are those that allow you to carry out the radius, the chamfer, the dove-tail joint or any other form the you desire. Our Fraiser cutters have a BLK coating (I know it is a strange acronym but don’t worry it’s just a protective film) that allows the cutter to slide better, so that glue or wood residues won’t obstruct the sliding. On the contrary lots of low cost router bits are just varnished, or maybe simply painted, but this is pointless because it only covers up the colour of the metal.
“Routers for vertical milling cutters – Fraiser form cutters – line FR 200”
I really hope that you can find all these tips useful and that maybe I might have helped you to open up your mind on this wonderful world.
Remember: if you want to know every single secret to make your milling smooth and bright you have to understand which kind of router bit meets your needs and, even if you are an expert, you have to revise some basic notion about wood milling; I studied and created “the free handbook to make your milling smooth and without burnings”. (coming soon)
For any doubt or any question I’m always at your disposal; you only have to search for the “Contacts” section upwards or; maybe it’s simpler, CLICK HERE.
See you soon
It’s a Fraiser generation!