Router Bit Diameter

Take mortising with a plunge router, for example. You're using a

Can I Sharpen My Router Bit?

Woodworker's Hardware

(800) 383-0130, www.wwhardware.com

CMT bit and blade cleaner. #CMT998.001.01; $ I I for 18 oz.

Q» I've got a carbide router bit that's caked with pitch and leaves a rough cut. Can I rescue it or should I buy a new one?

Curt O'Gorman

A. A bit can be brought back from the dead. Take a close look at the cutting edge. If it's rounded over or lightly nicked, take your bit to a pro for evaluation and sharpening. Most bits can be professionally sharpened four or more times for about $5 to $7 a pop.

There's a good chance that all your bit needs is a good cleaning and a light honing. Cleaning removes pitch and resin that can make your bit cut inefficiently and run hot. (A caked and dirty cutting edge will dull faster than a clean one.) Commercial bit and blade cleaners work far better and faster than common solvents like WD-40 or denatured alcohol (see Sources, below, right).

Hone your carbide bit with a diamond paddle lubricated with water. Two grits might be necessary, coarse 325 grit for a somewhat dull bit, and fine 600 grit for final honing and routine touch-up. Lap the flat face of the bit (not the profile). Four to six passes should do it. M/

Sources

Tools On Sale

(800) 328-0457, www.7cornershdwe.com

DMT diamond hones: fine, #FWF; $20, coarse, #FWC; $20, combination #FWFC; $30.

Woodworker's Hardware

(800) 383-0130, www.wwhardware.com

CMT bit and blade cleaner. #CMT998.001.01; $ I I for 18 oz.

Ask Us

If you have a question you'd like answered, send it to us at: Question & Answer, American Woodworker, 2915 Commers Drive, Suite 700, Eagan, MN 55121. Sorry, but die volume of mail prevents us from answering each question individually.

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