Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

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Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:05 pm

I read this post and thought this is a good topic to discuss.
will baddeley wrote:...I would also add that information gleaned from other bonsai websites can be misleading and I know one such site that advocates the use of router bits in Die grinders Confused But thats another topic
I agree on the first part but wonder about the 2nd since I use a router bit on my die grinder. Maybe it is not for everyone but it works and properly used, it is very efficient.

I have to qualify that I use and have; chainsaw, bandsaw, grinder, circular saw, sawzall/reciprocating saw, jigsaw, drill, die grinder, drill press, lathe, arbortech mini-grinder, dremel, etc. They are ALL dangerous and you have to know your personal limitations before using ANY of them. Personally, of those listed, the chainsaw IMHO is the most dangerous of these...bar none.

For me, the biggest thing is safety and control and you can lose it (on a die grinder in this case) IF you use the wrong bit. IMHO, proper bit selection/sizing is the key. If you use a 1/4" shank w/ 1/4" cutter or bigger...it can get away from you. If you use a 1/8" or 3/16" cutting bit, the difference could be night and day. As with all my power tools, my mantra is "The sharper it is, the better. You will finish your project faster and safer."

A proper sized router bit is IMHO safer than the ones used and sold by Kaizenbonsai (Weasel, Terrier, and mini Terrier). Of course their application is different so you might need these too. Wink

There I exposed myself and leaving this open to discussion. As usual, we can disagree but no personal attacks or name calling please.


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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  marcus watts on Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:23 pm

nice post,

I have used on my trees - chainsaw - and yes razor sharp makes for easy work.... just a few rough cuts and hollows on raw material junipers.
router bits in a die grinder - excelent tools, very neat and great tools when sharp and the grinder is powerfull enough
Kaizen Termite 4" carver............wow, briliant tool - shifts lots of wood and puts 'grain' into it at the same time -

and my favorite two, by miles.........a set of curved hand drawn carvers and a scalpel - my best work is done slowly and with these.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Fore on Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:37 pm

scalpel?? Is this for making very fine lines following the grain? Interesting idea Marcus!

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:55 pm

marcus watts wrote:and my favorite two, by miles.........a set of curved hand drawn carvers and a scalpel - my best work is done slowly and with these.
Marcus,

Though I have a couple sets of carving tools (Marples UK) and an assortment of old loose pieces, I don't have hand drawn carvers yet. I might start looking for some. I have scalpel too but prefer Exacto knives, which works almost the same way and have more blade configuration options.

BTW, I haven't done any carving on my trees yet but my game plan is to do the rough carving and let mother nature finish it before sealing or applying preservers. It might change but that is my plan for now.

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  RKatzin on Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:28 pm

I met a man in Mexico, a carver of fine artwork in ironwood. On invitation we retired to his home to do some serious barter and to sample his wife's home cooking (you'll never be satisfied in a Mexican restaurant in the Estados Unidos again). After eating he showed me the shop, I hope you can picture this. A small wooden frame with two out riggers holding a spindle. An electric motor was attached to the frame with a belt running up to a skill saw blade on the spindle. That's it! No blade guard, no face shield, just a blade spinning in mid-air. he stands in front with a chunk of ironwood in his bare hands (still working with all ten digits) and carves mountain quail and sailfish and statuettes.

Built one for myself when I got back home, but haven't had the huevos to turn it on. Just a joke there, but the point is, the man knew his machine, tool, not sure what to call it really. Scared the crap out of me just to watch, but the works he produced were well worth the Bowie knife, work boots and two pairs of blue jeans (just a bit tall for my friend, but he rolled them up into nice three inch cuffs). Rick

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:01 pm

Rick,

As the saying goes, "It is the Indian, not the arrow."

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  will baddeley on Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:30 pm

There is a huge difference between what you practice and what you advocate or recommend. I seldom wear googles but wear glasses, seldom wear a mask as I find them uncomfortable but that is MY decision and not what people should be advising others to do.
I have used router bits to save money and been hugely disappointed with the results. Tools designed specifically for the Makita and Dremmel are both smooth and accurate to use. I would like to see some of these great results achieved with Router bits. I have also been using hand tools and a scalpel for over 10 years but what relevance has this to the thread.

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Kev Bailey on Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:41 pm

I have used a Bosch router bit, in a router for carving. It was reasonably successful but then it snapped and nearly shot me in the head. Won't be doing that again!

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:44 pm

will baddeley wrote:There is a huge difference between what you practice and what you advocate or recommend. I seldom wear googles but wear glasses, seldom wear a mask as I find them uncomfortable but that is MY decision and not what people should be advising others to do.
I have used router bits to save money and been hugely disappointed with the results. Tools designed specifically for the Makita and Dremmel are both smooth and accurate to use. I would like to see some of these great results achieved with Router bits. I have also been using hand tools and a scalpel for over 10 years but what relevance has this to the thread.
Will,

Wise words about not advising the use of it. I've been guilty of answering one question about it on another forum and said I use it (because I do).

I also own and use the bits designed for Dremel and Makita...they work but painfully slow. For small jobs they would be perfect. The router bit can remove wood (probably) 20 times faster. The reason I warn about using bigger bits is that a "catch" can produce a strong pull and hard to control (ergo unsafe). Using smaller bit solves that problem for me.

I don't have a tree carved yet but wait a year and I should have several. All my tests are with regular wood and a few branches...none were produced "artistically"...but the wood removal speed is no contest. Grinder bits produce dust, the router bit produces flakes/shavings. By the way, I might produce really ugly carvings but that won't say anything about the bit's performance...it would be my shortcoming. Embarassed

If you are willing to give it another try...get a 1/4" shank router bit w/ 1/8" or 3/16" double flute cutter by Freud and let us know what you think.

The hand tools and scalpel is just a side track...it happens Wink.


Last edited by Poink88 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:06 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:51 pm

Kev Bailey wrote:I have used a Bosch router bit, in a router for carving. It was reasonably successful but then it snapped and nearly shot me in the head. Won't be doing that again!
WOW!!! This is the first time I heard a router bit snapping. Glad you weren't hurt.

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Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  will baddeley on Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:58 am

Poink88 wrote:
I agree on the first part but wonder about the 2nd since I use a router bit on my die grinder. Maybe it is not for everyone but it works and properly used, it is very efficient.
A proper sized router bit is IMHO safer than the ones used and sold by Kaizenbonsai (Weasel, Terrier, and mini Terrier). Of course their application is different so you might need these too.


I also own and use the bits designed for Dremel and Makita...they work but painfully slow. For small jobs they would be perfect. The router bit can remove wood (probably) 20 times faster. The reason I warn about using bigger bits is that a "catch" can produce a strong pull and hard to control (ergo unsafe). Using smaller bit solves that problem for me.
I don't have a tree carved yet but wait a year and I should have several. All my tests are with regular wood and a few branches...none were produced "artistically"...but the wood removal speed is no contest. Grinder bits produce dust, the router bit produces flakes/shavings. By the way, I might produce really ugly carvings but that won't say anything about the bit's performance...it would be my shortcoming.

What evidence or reason do you have for the statement that Router bits are safer than specifically designed carving bits?
Tools specifically designed for carving bonsai have a shoulder that limits the amount of gouging or catching. This allows far greater control and accuracy on big or small detail and I have never had trouble with slow removal of wood as you mention.
Why is speed suddenly an issue and why do you find these products designed for this purpose so slow? Demonstrators for instance have a limited amount of time to complete their work but I have never seen top names using router bits to complete work in time.
The inability to control the router bits direction would be a major factor in a persons ability to carve what they see in their head in my opinion.


Last edited by will baddeley on Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:08 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  FrankP999 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:27 pm

Carbide cutting bits in a Dremel work well for me. I just bought some Tri Cut bits from Dale Cochoy and they cut like a hot knife thru butter. I would much rather be holding a Dremel than a heavy router. The Dremel flexible shaft accessory makes it much easier to control in my experience.

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:38 pm

FrankP999 wrote:Carbide cutting bits in a Dremel work well for me. I just bought some Tri Cut bits from Dale Cochoy and they cut like a hot knife thru butter. I would much rather be holding a Dremel than a heavy router. The Dremel flexible shaft accessory makes it much easier to control in my experience.
I think you are confused...we are only talking about router BITS used on a die grinder. I actually like the weight and bulk of the die grinder, it helps me control the fast rough cut better. For finishing, I agree about Dremel with flex shaft (or similar).

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:40 pm

will baddeley wrote:The inability to control the router bits direction would be a major factor in the above in my opinion.
...and rightfully so. Safety first!

As mentioned, proper bit selection solves this problem (at least for me).

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  will baddeley on Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:10 pm

Hello Dario. I have edited my above post as some questions looked like older quotes. Sorry.

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:01 pm

Will,

I do not question people who use other bits. It is just preference on my part to use what I believe is a faster cutting bit w/o sacrificing safety (again based on my experience only). Speed may not be an issue to some but it is for me. The faster I finish, the less tired I will be and less prone to commit an error. This is my belief after working in shops for 25 years or so. Bottom line...if you are not comfortable using it, don't.

I did not say it is safer than those bits. I did compare it to the ones sold by Kaizenbonsai and theoretically, the wider cutting radius would have a much greater kick or pull if it catches this is JMHO based on my engineering experience but I may be mistaken.

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Bob Pressler on Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:17 pm

Carving a piece of wood or a branch is worlds different then carving on a tree. There is no comparison. You can turn a piece of wood or clamp it down or whatever, with a tree there are branches to work around or get hung up in, , life lines that have to be maintained, no clamps to hold no tree still and loads of other issues. There are bits ,wheels etc. made for the die grinder that remove wood as fast as anyone I know needs it to be done. Until one has actually carved a tree ythey wouldn't know about these issue's. Speed is generally the last thing one needs. I've seen router bits break, get out of control and cut right through a lifeline and throw a tree across the room. In my experience they have no place on a die grinder. I know some use them, that's on them but I think it's dangerious to advocate their use, especially never having used them for this purpose oneself.

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:09 pm

Bob Pressler wrote:Carving a piece of wood or a branch is worlds different then carving on a tree. There is no comparison. You can turn a piece of wood or clamp it down or whatever, with a tree there are branches to work around or get hung up in, , life lines that have to be maintained, no clamps to hold no tree still and loads of other issues. There are bits ,wheels etc. made for the die grinder that remove wood as fast as anyone I know needs it to be done. Until one has actually carved a tree ythey wouldn't know about these issue's. Speed is generally the last thing one needs. I've seen router bits break, get out of control and cut right through a lifeline and throw a tree across the room. In my experience they have no place on a die grinder. I know some use them, that's on them but I think it's dangerious to advocate their use, especially never having used them for this purpose oneself.

Wow, throw a tree across the room really? When and where did this happen? What bit was being used? And carving bits doesn't break? Please tell me specifically what makes it more dangerous than a carving bit again?

Usually the user creates the unsafe condition...then blame the equipment. Note that a chopstick can kill you if you do not handle it properly. Tools can be used as multi-purpose....not just for its specialty (which marketing says). They all do the same thing, move a blade faster so you can accomplish the task faster. If you use the mush between your ears...usually there will be no problem. I've seen people make do with the most primitive tools & equipment and produce art & craft I can only dream of. Can or will I do it with what they use? No, Will I stop and condone them? No.

If it works, you understand how it works, and confident enough to use it why not? If you are not comfortable with it...DON'T!!!

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  will baddeley on Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:11 pm

Some good discussion here but I am still waiting to see evidence for quality and accurate carving from router bits. I fail to see how depth and shadow can be created in the same way as specifically designed and easier to handle carving bits. Should put the argument to bed I think.

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:45 pm

Will,

Again, the result will all depends on the artist, not the tool. For myself, I don't plan on using it for the finishing touches. Most likely it will be done with the Dremel or maybe even some hand carving tools.

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  will baddeley on Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:02 pm

Poink88 wrote:Will,

Again, the result will all depends on the artist, not the tool. For myself, I don't plan on using it for the finishing touches. Most likely it will be done with the Dremel or maybe even some hand carving tools.

So you keep saying but as I said earlier, I have not seen good carvers using router bits at demos or on a more personal level either. I consider block carving, initial or roughing out work as important as the more detailed work and require the same amount of control with bigger tools as I do the finer ones.

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:05 am

I am using only router bits. then refine the wood works with dremel.

regards,
jun Smile

PS
I'll show some photos later,,,but just to remind you folks, I am not near as good as Will.

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:11 am

When i got this tree it is rotting from the inside just above the soil line and nearly half the height of the trunk
Before




Using Router bits


Only disadvantage of router bits I can think of is it's inability to reach deeper into the inner part of the deadwood, as you can see here I have to make huge holes to access the inside of the tree and save it from rotting within, then incorporate the huge holes with the deadwood design.

After- Not bad for a router bit I think.





regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:52 am

Another router bit works.

I'll take closeup shots later of the deadwood/shari I made.




Some more
Before-


again, big holes needed to dig in deeper




Big cuts with router bits, and sanding bits (or what ever you call it), finer details with dremel



in Action with Die grinder and router bits...most of the time I work alone and have no problem with trees and bits and turn tables flying around the room...and no body is dead yet due to "die" grinder...maybe that is why it is called DIE grinder. damn! it is not living up to its name.




regards,
jun Smile







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Re: Router bits on die grinder. Anyone?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:46 am

Thanks for sharing Jun. ThumbsUp

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