Lessons Learned (Long Read and Pic Heavy)

I had a fairly important project that I was working on for a friend of mine. His Uncle had passed away and he wanted a plaque that would be hung at the school where he taught (apparently this guy was pretty big in the Geo Sciences Dept at UT Dallas). This is where I learned my first and most important lesson.

1.) Test a new tool before the big project!

  • I wanted this to look sharp and look the best that it could so I ordered a new V Bit from Freud. I had previously tested the fonts and finishes and what nots so come this morning I threw the new bit in the router and hit go!! When it got done nothing looked right and I was quite disappointed in the project, nothing had that sharp crisp look that I wanted with a Vbit. See Pics below.

From a distance it looked ok…

But when I looked closer it was not acceptable.

At first I thought it was just the size of the font and decided I needed to plane the piece of wood down to erase my misakes and try again. I talked to my buddy and told him I was going to try a few fonts and see what looked good and he gave me the go ahead to pick what I liked. I decided on Cinzel for the “Quote” as I could make it larger without taking away from the plaque “and I like the flare it has on the tips of the letters” and according to easel it woudl going to look alright.

At this point I tried some more test carves in some spare pine and came to the conclusion that it may not have been the font, it must have been a bad bit.

First Test with new bit. There were no sharp edges in the text and all the letters were fat.

So I put my old bit back in (inventables 60* bit with 1/4 shank). With this bit the letters all came out looking right.

I did some thinking and it appears that the point of the new freud bit is not center and therefore does not have a clean sharp point while spinning. That is the only thing I could think of.

That is lesson 1!!!

2.) I don’t like Mahogany :frowning:

  • This was a very open grain piece of wood and did not carve well. When carving it would not “chip” away but instead would just get stringy??? It took so much hand sanding my arm feels like it will fall off.

3.) I like spray on lacquer :smile:

  • I saw someone use it on youtube and it looked super easy… AND IT WAS!!! Easiest finish to apply and so far it looks great.

This pic is after its first coat. I have since applied 4 more coats only lightly sanding with 320 after the 2nd coat.

4.) And maybe the most important lesson. Seek Help

  • I have asked and asked question after question on this forum and you guys have always treated me kindly and provided accurate information. Thank you all for your help. Once the finish has cured I will share the final pics.

Thanks again, Drew


Your project looks great.
I learned a long time ago that the bits that you buy at the box stores are good for general carpentry work, but they are not good enough for the type of work we do on the CNC.
Check out the Whiteside 1541 60° bit

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What are y’alls thoughts on the Amana RC-1148?

I have one but I really dont use it that much.
I don’t think they are adequately balanced
I have better results with the Whiteside 1541 or Amana 45707
Now if you want a 90° the RC-45711 THAT is a little work horse…

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Here is the final pic of the project. My friend and his family were very happy with the way it came out. :slight_smile: