Router bits larger than 1/4"

Can anyone recommend router bits for the X-Carve larger than a 1/4" cutting diameter but with a 1/4" shank, or is it not recommended even if I could find them? I have been thinking about some larger carving projects, but I realized that with a 1/4" cutting diameter bit they’re still going to be very time consuming. I went online and gave a look at 1/2" cutting diameter bits but the only ones I could find had 1/2" shank. Is the Dewalt 611 capable of using a 1/2" collet?

An 8mm (.315 inch) collet is the largest available for the Dewalt 611. Or at least the largest I have been able to find.

DWP3150 at Elaire

What is your intent with a larger bit? There are bottom surfacing bits that are available with a 1/4 inch shank that can cut larger than 1/4 inch. But I don’t think they would be useful for a “project carving” application.

Ah, good question! One of the things I use my x-carve for is carving wood portraits from photos. If I intend the wood portrait to be 5 mm thick, but I’ve got a 10 mm thick piece of stock, I’ve got to rough down quite a bit to get to the top of where that portrait starts. On the smaller work I’ve been doing so far, using the supplied 1/4" fluted bit isn’t a problem. But when I envision carving a portrait that’s let say 200 mm x 200 mm and 10 mm thick stock, it’s going to take a while.

Maybe I’m thinking about it all wrong. If you have alternative advice, I’m open to it. I know most people will probably say, “well, if you’re carving a piece that’s 5 mm thick, why not just start with 6 mm thick stock?” If I just had access to such precisely sized stock, I would. But sometimes I gotta work with the materials I have on hand if I want to get anything done. :grinning:

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Just get the Bottom bits you can buy at homedepot, they come with 1/4 shank and up to 1" cutting diameter.
I have this one, works like a charm for wood:

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I got a 3/4" router bit on a 1/4" shank from my local Lowes.
I use it for “Chip Clearing” cuts, really rough cut operations on large (2"x12" boards) carves.

I did find that the general rule of a depth of cut 50% of bit diameter does not apply to a bit this large.
It was too much load for my router to handle with this bit. Lights dimmed, lots of flex in the XC.
I dropped it down to .25" and that was ok. It still did not sound happy though. The next time I use it I may go even shallower.

I have been really eyeballing a planer. I think it would go a long way into improving many of my projects considering the crappy wood I use. It would also be a quick way to cut down thicker stock for thinner projects.

Thanks for the great advice, everyone! I was just in Home Depot the other day and I was browsing through their router bits. I considered buying one to try it out but I had no idea if a router bit intended for hand router work was suitable for a CNC like the x-carve. I imagined even if they were, establishing the proper feedrate, depth of cut, and stepover, might take some trial and error. At least this information tells me I can expand the bits I look at.

I was going to mention a planer as well.

I use 40% stepover for roughing and 10% stepover for finishing.
This was the preset default from my VCarve software and I have stuck with it.

I have found that a band saw really helps me dimension the wood to approximate thickness. I can buy 5/4 lumber at much lower prices in my local lumber yard and then use the band saw to slice it into 4 approximately quarter inch pieces. Much better use of the wood than just turning it into sawdust.

I was thinking the same thing in a smaller scale, until I can afford a nice bandsaw

You can pickup a 9 inch band saw for only $100 more

3-5/8 in thick material is very limited. Aiming for a 13" resaw, same as my planer

Saving for something like this.