I have a request to carve a simple rectangular pocket (5" x 8" x 5/8" deep) in 100 identical pine blocks. My first thought was that it would actually be faster to make a jig and use a regular plunge router, but I need to justify the existence of the X-Carve, so here I am
The shape of the corners are not critical, so to speed things up I am thinking of using a rather large carbide router bit, maybe 3/4", with about a 1/8" depth/pass. Is that hogging too much for the XC? Any other suggestions?
I don’t thing any problems. It depends how rigid machine you have. Also feed-rate is important factor. Better be safe, I say start with .1" depth, 50ipm and if you have Dewalt, keep RPM on 2. If you don’t see any problems you can start increasing the values, until you find sweet spot.
Many of the large bits aren’t designed for plunging, so your plunge rate would have to be super-slow and you’re likely to lose steps just from trying to make cuts like that (in my opinion). I’d suggest using a hand router to hog out most of the material, and make a pass around the edge with a 1/4" bit. Then make a full depth cut with the 1/4" bit to clean up the bottom.
If you wanted help justifying the X-Carve, you could use it to make a template 4-3/4" x 7-3/4" that a large bit with a bearing could follow. That would leave you 1/8" along each side for the X-Carve to remove. And if you set your manual router depth at 9/16", the 1/4" bit would only have to remove 1/16" at the bottom.
If the bottom has to be super-clean, you could set full depth for the bottom pass at .625" and set the cut depth to .615". That way it would remove most of the material in one pass, and give you a good clean cut on the bottom. It would double the bottom cut time, but it would beat the heck out of sanding…
I’ve had no problems running a 1/2" bit to do similar things. Like someone said, start with conservative settings for the first one, and then bump them up slightly as you go along.