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I finished my first rod in November (a Dickerson 8013) and working on number 2 right now.  I am still doing almost everything by hand, but looking for input on a roughing beveler.  I know there are a ton of plans out there, and I am going to base mine on a router table, but, I have to believe there are going to be a few problems trying to run splits strips through, since their dimensions will vary.  I have already cut our the "U" fence and the "V" fence.

If anyone has built one this way, please let me know your thoughts.  (Todd Grisier)

    I made one.  It's similar to Adam Vigil's; drawing is here.

    except that I made it to go on my router table instead of being a stand alone unit.  I have an Incra fence, so adjustments can be as little as 1/256".  I go about 1/16" per pass.  I used ball bearing rollers from the hardware store, the kind they sell for replacements on sliding doors, for the wheels on the hold-downs.  They are mounted with a nut and bolt on a piece of aluminum flat stock--I think it was 3/4" x 1/16".

    The flat stock pivots on a 10-24 bolt.  Biggest thing is to get enough tension on the hold downs.  I used a piece of oak for the bed, and inlet 1/4" aluminum plate into it to hold the pivots and some more screws for the springs to hook on.  I don't have any other drawing than the one on Todd's tips (above), just went from there with mostly stock I had on hand.  Works pretty well.  I put a rough 60* on with a maple form I made before I go to the machine.  (Neil Savage)

      Speaking of which (bevelers, of course), what is the sharpest carbide tipped bit anybody's found for their beveler, and where did ya get it?  (Mark Wendt)

        I had some carbide 60 degree side milling cutters made for my milling machine, but they didn't give as smooth a cut as the domestic HSS cutters from MSC, tho they do rough work just fine and last much longer.  All of which won't mean much to you if you're using router bits. If you want good router bits,  look for Freud, Bosch or Amana, they're the best of them, with CMT(the orange ones)close behind.  (John Channer)

          The last few cutters I bought were either Bosch, Freud, or one of the Woodcraft ones (can't think of the name off the top of my head), and none of them were terribly sharp.  I suppose that's maybe carbide is as carbide does. but then I sent them out to a commercial sharpening service, and holy smokes, I could durn near shave with them.  I'll give the CMT's or the Amana's a shot.  Who carries Amana?  (Mark Wendt)

            I don't remember now where I used to get Amana router bits from, you'll have to search for them, CMT's are what my local lumber yard carries and I think Grizzly might carry them, too. Woodworkers Supply is always a good place to start. It may be just their nature to not come as sharp as we would like, they are ground to make a decent cut in wood and to last a long time, our standards are a bit different.  (John Channer)

              I see Woodcraft carries the CMT bits.  I'll poke around for the Amana ones.  Thanks for the info!  Yeah, you're probably right on the sharpness thing, though you would think when you pay more than $20 for a good quality bit, they'd come nice and sharp.  Maybe HSS is the way to go, and then just resharpen when they need it.   (Mark Wendt)

                Has anyone tried touch up sharpening with a diamond hone?  (Neil Savage)

                  I use a small diamond coated hand tool to dress up my router bits that I use in normal woodworking. I think I got it at J&L or Enco. I can look up the name on the tool or send you a photo. It had a red plastic handle. I can tell the difference on my HS bits.  (Tony Spezio)

                    I do the same thing.  I think the tool is called an EZ-Lap or something like that.  (Harry Boyd)

                      As I understand it, you want to hone on the flat surface of the bit, and be sure to take the same number of strokes on each wing.  You probably don't want an unbalanced bit spinning at 25,000 rpm.  (Neil Savage)

            I purchased my Amana cutters from RouterBitWorld.com

            The part number 49730 is the entire assembly including the cutters,  they call it the shank with nut for approximately $100. You can also purchase replacement cutters parts #49732  and  #49734 for around $52.00.  (Wayne Daley)

              Thanks for the info. I can vaguely remember getting a flyer in the mail from them once in a while.  At least I think it was them.  I'll give them a peek.  (Mark Wendt)

              This is what Tom Morgan uses to rough.  Copy below is his reply about Amana cutters.

              When we first were making our bamboo rods we rough cut the strips at this time using the Hand Mill.  Since the strips were wet the rough cutting went quickly; the butts 5-7 passes and the tips a few more until they were approximately .040" oversize.  Since then I designed and built a rough cutter using a router with Amana carbide cutters that cuts both sides at once to a 60 degree angle.  It is based on the design that Al Talbot built for Gary Howells and allows the strips to be tapered using a pattern that is pulled through with the strip.  The strips are still approximately .040" oversize to allow for uniform heat treating in our oven.

              Subject: Amana cutters

              Hello rodmakers,

              Here are the Amana cutter numbers.  They are a standard part and I have had no trouble locating them.

              Shaft #49730
              Cutters #49732
              Cutter #49734

              You need one each of the carbide cutters because they are a left/right set.  One side has a 60 degree set of cutters and the other side a 90 degree so they can be swapped if you do quad roughing also.

              Best regards,

              Tom Morgan

              (Scott Grady)

                Thanks for the info.  Those cutters sound like they're a bit different from what I was looking for, I'm looking for a 3/4" straight bit.  (Mark Wendt)

                  I use these cutters to rough a 60 degree triangle into my strips using a router and a set-up similar to the Medved style beveler, except this cuts both sides of the strip at the same time.  (Wayne Daley)

                    That sounds interesting.  Do you flatten the enamel side first before running them through those cutters?  I use the Medved style also, but with the 60º groove strip holder.  (Mark Wendt)

                      I started with the Medved style beveller with the 60 degree grove in a piece of hardwood.  I modified this to have a flat grove and made hold down wheels with 60 degree grooves in them on the lathe.

                      It works for me with less passes thru the beveller and a truer 60 degree triangle during roughing...  and yes I do take the enamel off before running the strips thru the beveller.  I also did this when I was using the traditional Medved style beveller.  (Wayne Daley)

                        I am interested in this set up as I am already planning on buying a router table that would attach to my table saw.  I am guessing you had to remove the bearing on the Amana bit so that the cutters would be close enough to overlap and create the apex to the triangle.  Do you have any pictures of your set up?  I would love to have a good visual of what I am shooting for.  (Matt Fuller)

                          You're correct you need to remove the bearing on the Amana bit the way it is shipped.  I don't have any pictures but here’s hopefully a little better description.

                          I have made a rougher by modifying my Medved style beveller as below.

                          I have a square groove milled in the hardwood, this helps to guide the strips initially.  There are two cutouts in the hardwood where the holddown wheels intersect it, and is in effect a flat piece of hardwood in these two areas. This allows the holddown wheels to maintain a firm hold on the strip as the strip is milled smaller and smaller.    Both infeed and outfeed holddown wheels have 60 deg. groves with a flat shoulder, the flat shoulder helps to holddown the strips when making the first pass on a square strip. I don't remove the enamel with the beveller, I have better control of how much enamel is being removed by sanding the enamel off.... then basically running strips thru the beveller.  (Wayne Daley)

                            I may have missed it, but are you milling on both sides at once like Tom Morgan?  (Doug Easton)

                              Yes, once the bearing is removed from the middle you are have a right and left cutter that forms a 60 deg angle and cutts both sides  of the strip a once.  (Wayne Daley)

                                I have used these cutters on the last mill I built. They work very well. Only problem is that they aren't exactly 60 degrees. They are made for routing wood, not for milling bamboo to tight specs.

                                I sent mine out to a guy that regrinds  cutters, end mills, etc. I had him grind the one side to 62 degrees and the other side to 47 degrees.  I ran the cutters around 15,000      to 20,000. It was the smoothest cutting mill I ever made.

                                So, if you want them to be fairly accurate for 60 degrees, you may want to get them reground. If you just want to rough them out and don't care if they aren't really 60 degrees, they will work just fine the way they are.

                                Just my 2 cents from  experience.  (Dave LeClair)

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