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Old 09-22-2008, 06:44 PM
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Default MFK learning experience-long

In the process of making some cupboards this weekend I had an interesting occurrance with the MFK router. I was using it to route 1/4 by 1/4 grooves for the cupboard bottoms and tops, in clear pine, and was on the last of 10 side panels. I had cut about 24 total feet when the router coasted to a stop. From that point on I could not seem to cut more than a half inch without it shutting down. I went through several diagnostic steps, letting it cool even though there was no sign of overheating, isolating it from the vacuum, changing the plug-it cord, and so on. No change.

I had noticed pretty severe arcing of the brushes when under load and thought it might just need more time to break in. That did not jive with the fact that I had already done 20 plus feet with no problem but I let it run under no load for a couple hours while varying the speed setting every so often to give the brushes more time to settle in. I had given the cutter a cursory glance and it seemed to still be sharp and there was no evidence of burning or ragged cutting. At no time was the motor even warm to the touch.

I tried it again, this time on some hardwood and the bit (1/4 single-flute carbide tipped) snapped almost immediately. I know it is somewhere in my shop but I have yet to find it. When I do, I suspect I will find it badly worn or loaded with pitch.

Why? Because I put a 16mm 2 flute cutter in the router and proceeded to route full width grooves at least 3/8 deep at about 1/2 inch travel per second with no touble, and with virtually no visible arcing. I could not believe the difference.

While I had been figuring I would be returning the unit for replacement just a moment earlier this is what I believe was happening. I suspect the electronics were reacting to the loading extremes resulting from a single flute on a cutter that was getting dull, shutting the tool down very quickly to prevent the damage that would result from severe brush arcing. The two flute cutter I put in next probably created a load pattern more to its liking and it was therefore able to react in the manner it was designed.

The lesson? Probably that single-flute / heavy-loaded operation is not going to be this tool's forte. It is a trim router, after all. On the other hand, with a well designed bit this router has a lot of guts. It is also nice to know that it will protect itself from at least one form of operator ignorance. I went from disappointed to impressed in record time.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: MFK learning experience-long

cool beans
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: MFK learning experience-long

A lot of good wisdom gained there - thanks for sharing it with us.

Doesn't it scare the crap out of you that the bit is nowhere to be found? I had that happen once - they basically turn into bullets. I now wear a leather apron whenever I use the router. But I should probably be wearing a kevlar vest or something. How do you anticipate a bit breaking?
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: MFK learning experience-long

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Originally Posted by Poto View Post
A lot of good wisdom gained there - thanks for sharing it with us.

Doesn't it scare the crap out of you that the bit is nowhere to be found? I had that happen once - they basically turn into bullets. I now wear a leather apron whenever I use the router. But I should probably be wearing a kevlar vest or something. How do you anticipate a bit breaking?
Actually, Peter, it doesn't scare the crap out of me. That is not to say I am careless about saws and routers, not at all. I just know that a 1/4 diameter bit a half inch long gives up its energy very quickly. I suspect I will find it very close to its launch point. It is not the same as launching a pinched board off a table saw and I certainly keep my fingers away from the action on my jointer.

Maybe it's because I've spent my life around machines with 50/100HP motors moving 75lb. cutting tools at ungodly speeds. You learn what to look for when you prove out a new program. Put an extra zero in a line of code and you do $50,000 worth of damage in less than a second.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: MFK learning experience-long

Yow! Thanks for the perspective.

So I'm being overly cautious in wearing my leather apron? I only use 1/4" and 8mm bits...
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: MFK learning experience-long

Photosan, I have been thinking about a Kevlar shop apron for the 2200
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: MFK learning experience-long

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Originally Posted by Poto View Post
Yow! Thanks for the perspective.

So I'm being overly cautious in wearing my leather apron? I only use 1/4" and 8mm bits...
I'm not saying that! Think about what that apron protects.

Bob,

The 2200 is a whole 'nuther ballgame. My guess is you won't be doing 1/4 X1/4 grooves with it. Then again, you might until you get used to it, eh?
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