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end mill for oak

Posted: Mon May 02, 2016 3:25 pm
by knowlzy0791
whats the best end mill to use on oak for engraving for a sign?

Re: end mill for oak

Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 4:28 am
by dealguy11
A sharp one?

You should be able to cut oak with any good quality end mill. I generally use 2-flute carbide end mills, as this produces the appropriate chipload to keep the bit cool while cutting the wood. If you're doing signs, it's useful to find the ones that are "flat bottomed". These tend not to leave as much of a dimple when the tool dwells in one area for a bit, or plunges down in the middle of a small area.

It's a good idea to ramp into the oak rather than just plunging in. You'll get a better cut and it's easier on the bit.

Re: end mill for oak

Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 1:50 pm
by knowlzy0791
thanks for the input its my first wood project so wasnt to sure how to go about it!

Re: end mill for oak

Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 2:05 pm
by dealguy11
You might also want to consider getting a down-cut bit. Up-cut bits can pull up the grain in wood, leaving a splintered surface around the cut. A down-cut bit pushes the chips down, as it's name implies, rather that pulling them up and can leave a nicer surface. Just make sure to keep it moving and don't set the RPMs too high to prevent heat build-up.

Another bit to consider is a compression bit, which has an up-cut spiral for the bottom 1/4 - 3/8" and a downcut spiral the rest of the way. This can be useful when you're cutting all the way through and you want it to pull the splinters up at the bottom and down at the top. Just be aware that the up-cut portion may splinter the top as it plunges in. These bits are used quite a lot when cutting veneered sheet goods.