Linbide Flush Trim Panel Bit

The Router bit-of-the-Month is the Linbide Flush Trim Panel Bit, with twin flutes and interchangeable cutters.

The bit is 1/2″ shank, 19mm diameter and 63mm cutter length.

Linbide Flush Trim Panel Bit

Linbide Flush Trim Panel Bit

This bit is certainly a significant step up from previous flush-trim bits I have used in the past.  It has a twin bearing at the top, which gives a large contact area which is an asset when using a material like MDF as a pattern to follow.  MDF is a great pattern-making material, but it can be compressed slightly if overloaded, causing the bearing to imprint into the surface, resulting in a (very slight) change in size between the template and the resulting object.  Normally not an issue, but sometimes you want it to be exact, and having two bearings to spread the load is an advantage.

There is also an additional, thin bearing at the bottom of the bit, so this is unusual in having one at either end, and makes the bit a lot more versatile for different trimming situations.  It does mean the bit cannot do a plunge into material for internal pattern-following, but it is easy to predrill a starting hole when required.  The bit is not designed to scoop material out of an area where it is not going the full material depth (such as box making), but that is a job for a different router bit – horses for courses.

The other, very noticeable aspect of this router bit is the interchangeable (and reversable) cutters.

Linbide Flush Trim Panel Bit

Linbide Flush Trim Panel Bit

With a concept very similar (if not identical) to many planer blades, when the cutters become blunt / worn / chipped, they can be removed and reversed, exposing a new cutting edge.  Once the second edge is gone, new (tungsten carbide) cutters can be purchased surprisingly cheaply, so there is no need to go down the path of resharpening (and the resulting reduction in cutter diameter).  For a business situation these are ideal to have the machine staying in production for the maximum amount of time.

These bits are often using in a production workshop setting permanently mounted on a router table off to one side so they are ready to go at any time to do a quick trimming job etc.

I’m also seriously considering how I can incorporate the same concept into my workshop, with a second router mounted beneath a router wing on the tablesaw, so it would be ready to go at a moment’s notice, rather than even having to change router bits etc on the main router table.  It doesn’t even need to have a fence, as pattern following only needs a starting pin to rest the work on before engaging the cutter.

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