PSA: Don't forget about your surfacing bit!

At some point you will likely need to hog out a bunch of material from a workpiece. If you fall into the same thought pattern as I did…“I should use my biggest bit to remove all this wood. 1/4” it is!"

But my 1" surfacing bit can take a 1/4" deep pass. That’s a lot of wood! The moral of the story is to think outside the bit description.


Definitely. I was making a tiered bit holder like stairs where I was carving away the lower tier to shorten its height. Using my surfacing bit reduced the machine time by more than 75% over a 1/4" end mill because of the larger diameter and deeper DOC of the surfacing bit.

The other bit that’s good for this is a bowl bit - even if you don’t want or need the radiused transition between the wall of a pocket & the bottom, you can re-establish a right angle at the base by doing a follow on pass with a standard end mill.


If you want to watch wood removal switch to a 2.2kW spindle. I use a 2 3/8" CMT spoilboard bit. I only use it for flattening glue ups (so never 1/4" in one pass). I made the mistake of not using the dust collector once, just once. I thought it would be nice to be able to watch it.