Detail work and 1/32 end mill

How do you do detail work? I have broken every 1/32 bit I’ve used. I broke one on pine and one on maple. Is there a slower speed on the DeWalt router I should be using? I currently have it set to max speed. I start with a shallow cut, once the bit hits, it breaks. I also have a friend who wants to make an aluminum branding iron but I’m worried the bit will just snap since there is fine detail a small end mill will be required.

Thanks for the help.

Also, for 3D detail work a tapered end mill will be stronger. 1/32" is fragile

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Not doing 3D just engraving. It seems like 1/16 is too large and rounds edges that shouldn’t be.

1 is fast enough in most cases. Can you post a little more info on your feed rate and depth of cut?

1/32 bits are just too fragile. I have broken far to many of them back when I was just cutting wax.

I now use a 1/4 tapered bit. It tapers to a fine point (1mm) for detailed 3D carving but has the strength of a larger bit. So far I have had very good results.

Here is an example:

Oak, cut at 100 inch/min (70 inch per min plunge) 2mm stepover

If you are doing 2D carving it will add a slight slope to your carves, much like a v bit does. But it is subtle and probably won’t mater too much on most projects.

I have not changed feed rates as I’m not sure it would do anything to a manually operated router. Cut depth is only 1/16 currently. I’d like to cut deeper but I’m just running test pieces first.

I’m simply trying to engrave cutting boards for either epoxy fill or inlays. Details in lettering and logos are high priority.

Then you might be better of with an engraving bit or v bit. Similar approach, the bit narrowing to a point will be a lot stronger. It gets a bit trickier in easel as the actual diameter of your bit will depend on your cut depth. But you should be able to math that out. Thought it may be easier to try a vbit specific program like f engrave that will do the math for you.
And any sloping in the cut will be hidden by the resin fill.

Inlays can get trickier - I have yet to try them but I have seen them done with v bits before.

With my projects I use a 1/8" but for block cutting and a V bit for the fine detail, and just adjust my designs around that. It has worked ok so far.

That’s not very deep. Which it can’t be with a v-bit.

Cut depth generally needs to be half the diameter of the bit so for 1/32 bits doc should be no more than .015

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That is extremely helpful. I noticed Easel said there is no need to set feeds speeds, it does the work.

This was done with 1/16" roughing and 1/32" detail pass in Easel. My feeds and speeds for both were 35 in/min feed, 3 in/min plunge, and .002 DOC.
Small disclaimer though, I did end up breaking the 1/32" bit, but I don’t know how it broke. My roughing pass went 1/8" deep no problem. On the detail pass, I watched the machine till it was atleast half done, ~1/16" DOC and then walked away. It presumably did a couple more passes, and then I noticed the sound changed and when I went to check on it, it was air carving because the bit broke.

If I could make a recommendation for the branding iron, try and make it from brass and not aluminum. It holds heat much better. My old one was aluminum and I ended up melting it from heating it up with a blow torch. See below.

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Ok, example as the board I am doing has personal info. I tried tests runs on my own logo. Fonts are completely lost as 1/16 is too large.

Dewalt speed 1. I’ve run my 1/32" bit at 80 ipm, 15 ipm plunge rate, 1/48" doc. The feed was a bit fast so I slowed it to 65 ipm. This was in pine but I’ve also done it in aspen. This was also just a detail pass.

The key is to do a roughing pass first with a big bit. Easel has a beta feature for this. It’s totally worth doing.

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Fret slots on a guitar fretboard are way smaller than 1/32… Slow and shallow is the accepted practice.

This is all 1/32" in HIPS. It can be done but need the feeds and speeds right.

Dear god :flushed: I want to see rest of this project.

So Easel is useless?

Easel claims to be a simple to use product. All someone should need to do is important the gcode and press carve. Doesn’t sound like that’s how it works from comments.

I definitely need to work with it more, I’m new to the program and CNC.