White Oak or hardwoods in general

Hello All,

I am doing my first cut on white oak. My project board is 30" x10" x 1". I am making a serving tray for my daughter in law and she wants it 3/4" deep (large pocket tool path). I have two 1/4" 2 flute bits one is up-cut and the other down-cut. Any recommendations on speeds and feeds and which bit I should use? I have plenty of experience on softer woods and this stuff is dense!

I would use the upcut bit - you have a lot of chips to clear. Make sure you have dust collection going.

Feed Rate:60.0 in/min
Cut Depth:0.060 in

Include a toolpath for a finishing cut at 0.01" wide and full depth to remove the step-cut marks on the side walls.

Also, 3/4" deep on a 1" thick board seems like it will leave you with a 1/4" bottom thickness? As a practical matter, that’s pretty thin for a 30" wide utilitarian item expected to take bumps and bruises.


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I think you could be a little more aggressive than that. I typically run pretty fast. The combination of spindle speed, ipm and depth of cut to get a good chip load. Too slow and you’ll burn the work piece out or the bit. Oak on a 1/4 bit I’ll run from 160-200 ipm at 3 on the Makita router (17,000 rpm I think) at about 0.080-.100 depth of cut. I would recommend the upcut bit for this, but think you should consider a compression bit at some point. You may consider a v carve on the initial pass to chamfer the interior edge; this will help with tear out.


Thanks for all the help and the project turned out great! Very heavy duty tray for hors d’oeuvres, and my daughter in law will love it!

If you have a bowl making bit, that would be the best bit to use!
Its larger diameter will take less time to cut and will help reduce the heat generated by the cutting.

I’ve attached a screenshot of the cutter at Home Depot. This is the cutter I was talking about in my previous message. You would be much happier, using a bit of this type rather than an engraver bit! It will take less time and not waste a good engraver bit.
Learning to use the right tools for the job is of critical importance. This will save you time & money!
You are trying to accomplish the best results for what you are creating!
To accomplish this, you have to educate yourself by asking questions. Your question is why I’m here, to help. I would not use an engraver to make a serving tray!

Hey JFab, hey all,

if you first want to remove lots of material, I would use a roughing bit. It is made for an increased MRR and better chip evacuation.

If your pocket then has rounded transitions to the bottom on the inside, I would use a ball nose bit. By the way, you can also finish hard wood with a ball nose (e.g. 8 mm), at least if you plan a lot of time for it for very thin passes. It may in some cases possible to avoid sanding with that.

Unfortunately I only know sources in my region but I’m sure there are similar in your region

Roughing end mill


spindel-shop.de > End mills > Roughing End Mills SC TiAlN


Roughing Mill Z2 Ø 8 mm Wood

Sorotec.de Shop » Cutting Tools » Sorotec tools » 2-Flute Mills » Roughing mill for wood » Roughing Mill Z2 Ø 8 mm Wood

→ Here you can see this roughing cutter at work (video)

Ball nose cutter

Radius Mill Z2 Ø 8 mm UNI
Radius Mill Z2 Ø 8 mm UNI

Sorotec Shop » Cutting Tools » Sorotec tools » Radius Mill » 2-Flute UNI » Radius Mill Z2 Ø 8 mm UNI

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Wow, I do have a bowl making bit and I can’t believe I didn’t think to use it. I will call it a senior moment. The other information you gave me is also much appreciated. I’ve bought this as a DIY because I can’t golf anymore. It has been such a joy and kept me very busy and I have enjoyed making lots of things for my grandkids, etc… This forum is so awesome!

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Hello again!

Since I am relatively new to all of this is their something like an article, website or cheat sheet that you all have found that explains what each type of the most common bits do? I have 1/4" up and down 2-flute bits, 60 & 90 degree vcarve bits, a bowl bit and an 1/8" compression bit which is my go to for contour clean cuts. I had no clue until recently that compression bits existed and wow it has saved me a lot of time sanding. I am a DIY’er not a production shop and I make things for my grand-kids family and friends. I have learned so much on this forum and cant thank you all enough!
Here is my setup and I love it!


Yesterday I did my second (and biggest) project in quarter-sawn white oak.
it’s a bas relief, z = 1/4” at the highest point (so had to remove that much everywhere else). The panel started at 3/4”, and is 19” x 21” (a lot of waste material).

  • 3/4” bowl bit in a pocket between the symbol and a vector. The vector was outside my final dimensions but inside my hold-downs.
  • 1/2” up cut mill (roughing)
  • 1/4” ball nose with 8% steps (finishing) covering everything out to the vector. I should have created a second vector, 1/4” inside the first one, because there was no need to clean up the edges that will be trimmed off.
  • 1/16” Tapered Ball Nose (finishing). V-Carve only directed this one to the edges of the design.

I ran the Bowl, Ball and T-Ball at 16,000 and 90 IPM. The Mill ran at 10,000. All depths of cut were 1/16”. I heard a little chatter when the Ball bit encountered the perimeter (which would have been eliminated if I’d used an inner vector).

There was no chip-out.

There is a bunch of sanding or scraping to do, before I use any wood stain on this. The T-Ball seemed to cut too deeply, but the Z=0 was correct, and the feel is closer than the appearance. Still, I’m not looking forward to all the clean-up.

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