View Full Version : Router bits on mild steel??

06-06-2008, 07:57 PM
I hope you all say yes! I'm stuck. We made some really snazzy door handles... a recess in flat plate. The recess is 1" wide, 1/2" deep and 5" long.
I "hand" rounded the edges over on one before I welded the bottom in. Looks "ok" but not what this fussy bugger is after.
Ummm... got in a hurry and forgot to round the edges over on the other one. The gurl tigged the bottom on.. all purty and everything... cept I didn't round over the edges. Now I need an easy way to do this.
Would a wood router bit (round over)with the bearing work for this in a mill?
I have some really pricey ones and don't want to wreck one just to try it.

06-06-2008, 08:19 PM
I have never tried a wood router bit in a milling machine on mild steel, but I know when i hit a nail once with my router it destroyed the bit although it did cut the nail off. Maybe a solid carbide one would work.

06-06-2008, 08:27 PM
It would have to be turning dead slow with plenty of coolant.In one of the shops I worked in they had a job cutting steel blocks and used a carbide tipped skill saw blade,slow speed,slow feed,worked great.

06-06-2008, 08:52 PM
Enco has corner rounding end mills, all sizes, radiuses, HHS, cobalt, what ever suits your job. I am sure your favorite Canadian supplier has them available too. JIM

06-06-2008, 08:53 PM
Hmmm.. the round over bits I have are two flute. Two flute and low rpm???
Would that matter?

06-06-2008, 09:09 PM
If it was my shop, I would cut a radius on a piece of similar material and see what happens. A bit of experimenting with speeds and feeds to see what works best. What ever it takes to please the customer, then collect the money!! MY .02$ JIM

06-06-2008, 09:14 PM
Never tried it Russ,aluminum and brass yes,but steel no.

Dig out your body armor and tell us how it worked will you:D

Rich Carlstedt
06-06-2008, 09:44 PM
Carbide inserted router bits will work on steel
Coolant, slow speed a must
and chatter can be a problem as the shanks are 1/4 " diameter and that reduces the capacity/load
Keep the radius small to reduce this effect.
Do NOT use a router !

06-06-2008, 10:13 PM
I've tried it on mild steel with a 1/2 shanked carbide router bit from Grizzly, one of their house brands I think it was. Lots of coolant, slow speed, slow feed, little to no chatter, but as I said it was one of the 1/2 shank bits, not the smaller 1/4 inch.
Good luck Russ!

doctor demo
06-06-2008, 10:21 PM
Russ, as others have said...it works on alum. .Have You thought about a carbide burr in a die grinder to knock off the bulk of the material and then maybe finish it off with a small grinding wheel dressed to the radius desired.

06-06-2008, 10:29 PM
I have used router bits in aluminum but not mild steel. If using a mill slow it down and use HSS. if all you have is a router and carbide endmills then put in earplugs and a full face shield and dig in. Have a friend shoot WD40 at the bit or whatever being you are ghetto milling. hell use water just keep it pumping before the bits get hot.

nothing is impossible..

06-06-2008, 10:30 PM
I've used the 1/2 inch shanks on steel with satisfactory resuls, mostly used them for aluminum though.
With aluminum it's a fairly cheap profile cutter. find one near the right profile and with a bit of grinder work you can make the exact profile needed.


06-07-2008, 12:14 AM
Russ, I made this cutter out of some mystery metal, its hard but who knows what its is :D, I needed 1/2 of a 1/4" profile to cut what you see out of CRS, I ran it slow, cut about 10 parts and the cutter is still sharp, I forget how I heat treated it maybe used some casenit to help it out. If you have some drill rod it might be good enuff for one job.




06-07-2008, 02:00 AM
do you have access to a Metal Shaper?

06-07-2008, 08:17 AM
Dewat... nice cutter you made there!
Guys here's what i'm dealing with. The one that sits crossways... didn't round over the inner oval. I can file the edges over... but it'd take a long time to do the round parts.

Quetico Bob
06-07-2008, 08:45 AM
What about one of those cone shape grinding stones for a drill. I used one mounted in a drill press to enlarge some 2" holes in 1/8 plate. Just held onto to the plate by hand and moved it around. Made a nice finish too. Think there pretty cheap at Cn Tire eh.
Cheers, Bob

06-07-2008, 08:57 AM
Bob.. you and Steve may be onto something here. I do have some of them small high speed stones that I could dress down with a radius. Then hold them in a drill press and move the handles around with the stone inside.
Don't need much of a round over but I'd like to keep it all as even as possible for the fussy bugger.
All this stuff started out as regular shop fabbed ornimental type stuff but has evolved into art and looks like we may be headed into NASA quality before we're done... Yeesh!