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Thread: Strongest Bits you want to purchase for 3D carving

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Tooele, Utah
    Posts
    4

    Question Strongest Bits you want to purchase for 3D carving

    What brand, types and sizes of bits do you use to do your 3D carvings on hard and soft woods? Building up Bits that I'll need for my Shopbot Buddy. New to CNC. Thank you in advance for sharing!!!
    Evan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    620

    Default

    The shopbot starter set is what I began with. No matter what else I buy, the Onsrud bits appear unmatched, especially for finish of the bit.
    However, they are typically double the cost (or more) of many competitors.
    Over the last 7 years with my machine, I've found a sweet spot of quality and price with Centurion tools for ball nose carvers, and especially standard flat end milling compression bits.

    I keep a full compliment of ball nose, starting with 1/8" tapered , running 1/8" increments up to 1/2" solid carbide spirals. For larger roughing and chair seat sculpting, I use a conventional carbide tipped 1" cove bit from MLCS.

    I've avoided using the word "strength", as I think you'll find any bit that you invest $30+ on is going to hold up just fine. There are even exceptional bits in the single digit cost that others will likely chime in on, especially for diminutive carvings.

    Broken bits just don't happen in most shops unless an error in vectoring, zeroing, or mechanical interference (hold down clamp mistakenly placed in toolpath).

    In fact, I broke a 1/4" bit a couple weeks ago. Zero'd to bed instead of workpiece. Machine ramped as it should, but due to my error, it plowed 18" through hardwood to a depth of 1.25" at 10 inches per second before it finally broke.
    (why yes, of course, it was a brand new bit!)

    So- focus on quality of cut rather than strength, and spend a decent amount of money if you're expecting decent results.

    Important note: stock up on collets as well. I've been advised to always replace the collet after a collision/broken bit. Even without breakage, they still have a limited life span, and like the bits, should be considered an expendable. As I've tried other brands, I've found slippage to be an issue, so I now stick strictly with the Techniks brand recommended by Shopbot.

    Welcome to the forum!

    jeff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    SOUTH CENTRAL COLORADO
    Posts
    1,080

    Default

    i use amana, mostly the 1/16 but i have the 1/8 also. you can get them on amazon and i think that they are eligible for prime shipping.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,255

    Default

    I bought a bunch of Carvewright 1/16 bits they are tapered and cut real clean

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Tooele, Utah
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thank you for this information.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Tooele, Utah
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Ball nose or something else?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Tooele, Utah
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thank you. Do they last you a while?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    583

    Default

    >> Do they last you a while?

    If you buy pure carbide end mills, then the "last awhile" question becomes irrelevant. Some varieties of carbide might be superior but if you're carving wood, then carbide will last for a very long time. The more important thing you should be thinking about is how to use those resources properly. If you cut so that your bits get hot, you'll find that their life is very short. If you cut so that you're putting a lot of strain on them, they can snap. If you treat your bits well, they should last at least 50 hours of hard cutting before they start to show wear.

    As for the difference between the different brands? I find the biggest difference is the packaging. I like the Onsrud containers better than the Amana ones. Some no-name brands have little tubes with rubber caps that are also quite nice. Take them out of the container and they cut pretty much the same.

    A good place to find inexpensive end mills is on eBay. Check it every few days and wait for a good deal. Buy end mills you don't need right now so they can be shipped to you by ground and it won't matter. If you break a bit in the middle of a project and have to pay overnight shipping and full price to get another one, you're going to be sorry.
    ShopBot Details:
    PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino

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