How bad is this cut? (plywood, 1/4" endmill)

hi everyone,

Is this cut as bad as I think it is, or is this to be expected?
I’m using the plywood preset in Easel, with a 1/4" 2 flute end mill at ‘3’ setting on the Dewalt router.

Probably the best thing you can do with pywood is use a down cut bit to help eliminate the tear out on the top surface. Setting number 1 on the router is plenty fast enough.

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The speed of the router has to do with the feed speed, the size and number of flutes of the endmill, DOC and WOC and other parameters that may influence the performance. Saying that #1 setting is adequate is like saying that 100hp on a car is adequate when you don’t know the type and size of the car, the load, the speed, topology, road type, etc.

Sorry i will just keep my opinions to myself.

I did not want to scold you, I was just trying to explain that a given setting may not be appropriate in all circumstances, unless the OP provided more information, one cannot make an informed recommendation. The number one setting per se could be the right choice but it is not possible to answer. This is why we can use Feeds and Speeds calculator. Julien in the Shapeoko forum created a simple one for Shapeoko users, it is an Excel spreadsheet that you could probably adapt to the XCarve by reducing the recommended chipload slightly. This would help you get better cuts and understand how the parameters interact. This one is interesting because it provides good results and does not try to over-optimize the parameters which are not necessary for basic to intermediate use.

straight bits cut plywood ok… down cuts cut better. a little light sanding on what you have there and the parts will look fine.

Thanks everyone, really appreciate the responses!

@WayneHall thanks for the downcut tip.
@LucFournier thanks for the cool calculator
@BlueLocktite thanks for the reassurance… time put in the work by hand!


Use a .25 down cut bit and your speed at #1 and your problem will go away.
I very rarely go over the #1 setting.

By the way, don’t bother a down / up cut bit.
They only make compacted dust in the cut itself.

If you dont have a downcut but want the upper edge to come out clean, mirror the design and cut it “backwards” aka mount the board upside down.