Manual wood milling cutter: features of the tool and its scope of application
From this article, you can find out what features a manual wood milling cutter has: the main types of tools, their capabilities and technical parameters, as well as the components necessary for work. The text contains recommendations that will not only help determine the choice of a suitable manual milling cutter, but also effectively use it in practice.
Manual wood milling cutter: device and types of tools
Not only professional carpenters are engaged in wood carving with a hand milling cutter. The capabilities of this tool will be useful to furniture makers and master finishers. The main purpose of the milling machine is wood processing. Although many modern models are able to cope with other materials.
Consumers can buy a manual milling machine for processing:
- artificial stone;
- composite materials;
- non-ferrous metals.
The scope of application of this tool extends to the manufacture of decorative products and furniture made of wood, carpentry. The crafts created by a manual milling cutter look very impressive. These unique products are widely used in everyday life. With the help of a milling cutter, craftsmen make beautiful picture frames, jewelry boxes, children’s toys, decorative shelves, etc.
What can be done with a manual milling cutter:
- sampling of quarters;
- formation of such structural parts as folds, grooves, spikes, slots;
- profiling of the edge part (curly and straight);
- formation of seats for the installation of fittings and locking mechanisms on doors;
- decorative wood carving with a milling cutter with appropriate attachments;
- making holes;
- fitting of parts to be joined;
- alignment of contours in a rough way.
Types of wood cutters: classification of devices
To decide which milling cutter is better to buy for home, you should familiarize yourself in detail with the existing range of these devices. The choice of the device depends on the type of work to be done, their complexity and volume. For example, the need to use a milling cutter in furniture production arises constantly, while in a home workshop such a tool will be required only from time to time.
There are the following types of milling cutters:
- top type;
Devices of the upper type can be fixed and submerged. The second option is universal, and therefore the most widely used. For a home workshop, the submersible design is best suited. It is this category of devices that should be considered in more detail in order to decide which milling cutter to choose for certain tasks.
Pay attention! The lamellar milling cutter is used to form grooves on the surface of the processed products. This device belongs to the category of a highly specialized tool that has a small number of functions.
When compared with other types of manual power tools, the milling cutter has the simplest design. Belts, gears and other components are not used to transmit torque. The milling nozzles are installed directly on the spindle (electric motor shaft). Due to this, a set of large revolutions is provided.
The body part of the electric cutter is called the “head”. It moves along the guide rods, which are rigidly fixed on the support platform, down and up. When pressing the handle, the tool head falls down. If the pressure is relaxed, the springs will return the structure to its previous position again.
A milling cutter is attached to the spindle. A collet clamp is used to fix it. When there is a smooth immersion of the head in the material or wood, the depth is regulated by a special stop. With further movement of the milling cutter in the horizontal direction, a groove is drilled using the sharp edges of the cutter.
Which is better to buy a manual type wood milling cutter: tips for choosing
When choosing a milling cutter for a home workshop, it is advisable to pay attention to the technical parameters of the devices.
Main selection criteria:
- power level;
- depth of wood carving with a manual milling cutter (working stroke of the cutter);
- additional functionality;
- rotational speed of the spindle;
- the price of a manual milling cutter.
Buying a manual wood milling cutter: which tool to choose according to power
The capabilities of the tool largely depend on the power level of the engine. The higher this indicator, the longer the milling machine will be able to work continuously without overheating. In addition, devices with a high power level allow the use of cutters with the maximum possible length and diameter. However, it cannot be argued that the most powerful device will be considered the best. With an increase in this indicator, the size and weight of the tool increases.
Taking into account this pattern , the following types of milling cutters are distinguished:
To perform milling operations on a regular basis, experts recommend selecting a tool with a power of at least 1.5 kW. Such a tool is able to cope with the performance of any professional tasks, however, such a large and heavy design requires considerable effort on the part of the operator. Especially if the wood milling job is done by a beginner.
Useful advice! When choosing a tool, it is very important to stick to the golden mean. The power of the milling machine should not be too high, but sufficient to perform the tasks. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the duration of operation of the device without interruptions, as well as the possibility of processing products made of solid wood.
Selection of the optimal rotational speed of the spindle for manual wood milling
One of the most important technical characteristics of the milling machine is the rotational frequency of the spindle. The higher the speed at which the milling cutter turns, the higher the surface quality after processing. If necessary, to get a very accurate result of working with a wood cutter, it is enough to reduce the speed. Some models are designed for processing plastic surfaces. To eliminate the possibility of melting of the material, it is necessary to prevent overheating of the working area. To do this, use the tool in low speed mode.
Most of the models have a rotational speed in the range of 20-30 thousand rpm. This is an average option. Consumers can purchase both slower milling machines – 10-20 thousand rpm, and faster models – up to 35 thousand rpm. Do not forget that the larger the diameter of the milling cutter, the smaller the angular velocity of its rotation should be. The fact is that the linear velocity of the point moving along the periphery of the circle is still quite high. Therefore, there is no need for excessive acceleration of the milling cutter, otherwise it may lead to gorenje wood.
Before you work with a milling cutter, you need to consider the following nuances:
- the size of the milling cutter that will be used at the moment;
- the density of the material from which the workpiece is made;
- the required processing depth.
Taking into account all of the above, it is better to choose a tool that has the function of adjusting the number of revolutions. The functionality of the milling machine depends on this. The tuning system can be smooth or stepwise (up to 8 switching levels).
Many manufacturers indicate the recommended values in the instructions that are attached to the tool, but it would also be useful to have practical experience. Relying on it, you can choose the optimal device for yourself.
How to choose a manual wood milling cutter by processing depth
The working stroke of the cutter is determined by the maximum depth to which it is able to sink into the material. Light models of milling cutters can bury the nozzle by 2-5 cm. The depth level in powerful tools is 7-8 cm. The higher the stroke rate, the deeper the milling cutter can sink into the material. Devices with a high index allow you to process wooden blanks of large thickness.
Pay attention! It is impossible to cut a groove of full depth in one step. As a result, you can not only spoil the product, but also break the milling cutter. The harder the material to be processed, the smaller the depth of the passage carried out at a time should be.
In one pass, it will not be possible to make a groove whose depth exceeds the working length of the cutter. Some models of the instrument have a regulator with which you can fine-tune the depth of immersion, for example, Skil 1840 LA. This parameter is usually set to an accuracy of 0.1 mm.
Wood milling cutter for manual milling machine: varieties and characteristics of products
Classification of existing products, their features and specifics of use. Recommendations on the choice of cutting parts for the milling machine.
How to choose a manual milling cutter: overview of additional functions
When buying a milling cutter, you should pay attention to the availability of additional features and options that improve its technical or operational characteristics.
If the density of the material being processed increases or the speed of movement of the milling cutter along the product increases, the number of revolutions may decrease. In order to prevent this and keep the indicators at a given level, it is enough to have a constant electronics system. It stabilizes the rotational speed of the spindle by adjusting the power of the electric motor. This function will be useful for owners of professional devices. Ordinary devices do not need it.
The soft start system, as in the manual milling machine of the Makita RP1800F, will allow you to set the engine speed in a smooth mode. This eliminates the possibility that the snap-in will make a sharp jerk during activation. As a result, the service life of the tool increases, since its nodal parts are not subjected to regular, albeit short-term overloads. The operation of the milling machine becomes safe, and also eliminates the possibility of damage to the workpiece at the initial stage of processing.
The overload protection system of the wood milling cutter will prevent the breakdown of the device if the winding temperature on the electric motor exceeds a critical level. Depending on the model of the device, it can manifest itself in different ways: in the form of a light indication that serves as a signal, or an automatic function that turns off the power. As a rule, such a system is provided in professional milling cutters, which are designed for long-term work in intensive mode.
Protection against accidental start is another useful feature. Regardless of the cost, most of the milling machines are equipped with this option. There is a corresponding button on the body part of the tool. The voltage supply to the motor winding will be carried out only if it is pressed simultaneously with the start button. As a result, the possibility of unintentional activation of the device is eliminated.
Pay attention! The protection button not only prevents unintentional start, but also locks the trigger in the “on” position. This function will be useful when using a milling table for a manual milling machine.
The choice of a manual milling cutter taking into account the design features
Choosing a manual milling cutter, you need to pay attention to the quality of the support platform or sole. This element can be made of cast or stamped metal. Cast structures have a clear geometry, so that they fit perfectly to the treated surface and provide high quality work. Such tools include the manual wood milling machine Makita RP0900. It has a cast aluminum sole. Stamped platforms are equipped with inexpensive milling cutters designed for domestic use.
Be sure to make sure that the lower plane of the platform is covered with a plastic overlay. Most often, this part is removable, which allows you to replace it with a new one when wear occurs. The size of the opening in the sole also deserves attention. This hole limits the diameter of the cutters that can be installed on the tool. It will not be possible to install a large cutting nozzle in the sole with a small opening.
Since the tool head moves along the guide rods, which are placed vertically, it is very important that the movement of this element is easy and smooth. If the design has distortions and backlashes, the use of the milling cutter will be difficult. The same applies to the excess resistance that may occur during the movement of the node vertically.
The depth of immersion of the cutter into the tree is controlled by the stop. It has the form of a metal rod that rests against the platform on the platform and does not allow the head of the device to fall below the set level. To set the depth level, it is enough to shift the thrust rod at the bottom or up. For this purpose, a special screw is provided in the design.
To perform several passes, gradually increasing the depth of the cutter, a multi-stage revolver stop will be required. It is a platform mounted on a platform and has several steps of different heights. A vertical rod rests here, which limits the depth of passage of the milling cutter.
Pay attention! In some cases, the revolver stop has not steps, but bolts. For example, the Interskol FM-67/2200E manual milling cutter has three adjustable screws and one fixed base. Thanks to this, the device simultaneously has both coarse and fine-tuning of the depth.
Selection of auxiliary devices for the manual milling machine
The milling cutter is used for rough fitting of products. The accuracy of the parts performed depends on the quality of the tool and the experience of the operator. In order to achieve the desired result, additional devices are attached to the milling cutter, which simplify the work with this device.
No type of work can be done without removable cutting attachments. With the help of them, you can use a dovetail cutter, straight, rounded, T-shaped and other types of grooves and recesses. There are many variants of such nozzles.
According to their purpose and design , they are grouped into categories:
Such a device as a parallel stop, it is also called a side stop, is used for surface treatment parallel to the edge of a wooden workpiece. Thanks to it, it becomes possible to move the tool at an equal distance from the edge. A pair of rigid metal rods and screws are used to fix the stop. The quality of the result depends on how firmly the structure is installed. The material for the manufacture of the stop is stamped and cast metal. Removable plastic cover prevents contact of this element with the workpiece.
The guide rail is another auxiliary element for milling in a straight line. Unlike a parallel stop, this element allows you to thread at any angle with respect to the edge, as well as at any distance from it. The tire has the form of a profiled ruler, which is fixed on the processed product with the help of clamps. A special shoe is attached to the tool. He directs the milling cutter by moving along the grooves of the tire.
The ruler of the compass for the milling cutter is used by the masters in order to perform carving along a radial line. It is indispensable in cases where it is required to make a round table top. On the one hand, the ruler-compass is fixed in the sole of the tool with screws, on the other hand, it is fastened with a pin through a hole formed in the workpiece. It should be in the center of the circle.
Useful advice! In order to keep the cutting area clean during operation, it is advisable to use a vacuum cleaner that is connected to the milling cutter using a nozzle.
Choosing a manual wood milling cutter: consumer reviews
Before you go to the store to buy a milling cutter, it does not hurt to get acquainted with the opinion of consumers about certain manufacturers, as well as specific models. The opinion of buyers who have tried the tool in operation will allow you to filter out devices that have shortcomings that can only be identified during operation.
Consumer reviews can be found on forums or on the websites of online stores:
“Not so long ago I got a milling cutter Aeg MF 1400 KE 411850. For a home workshop, such a tool is just right. The device works very quietly. Even under intense loads, it is no louder than a vacuum cleaner. In one pass, I easily do edge work. For greater efficiency, I had to buy a table for a manual milling machine. Moreover, he performed the installation of the tool himself, which pleased me very much. The cutting depth can be adjusted very easily.
I haven’t had to work with the panels yet, but I think the tool will cope with this. Thanks to the video lessons, I am already using the manual wood milling cutter to the fullest. Therefore, I find this model a suitable option for beginners.”
Igor Ivashin, St. Petersburg
“I wanted to buy a small tool for small jobs. My choice fell on the Interskol manual wood milling cutter, the price of the FM-40/1000E unit is more than acceptable – only 4,100 rubles. Having a small weight, the design develops sufficient power. I didn’t notice a small backlash right away, but considering the cost, I can’t call it a significant drawback. When I tried out the milling cutter at home, the tool performed well. We’ll see what happens with time.”
Sergey Leibovich, Moscow
“A few years ago I thought about creating a workshop in the garage. Among other things, I purchased a milling cutter. The purchase of the instrument cost me almost 20,000 rubles. But, despite the high cost, the Makita 3612 C manual wood milling cutter completely beat off its price. This is the most reliable and non-killable tool that has ever fallen into my hands. The only thing missing in this model is the ability to fine-tune the height. Otherwise, the tool is good.”
Evgeny Novokshanov, Yekaterinburg
Choosing the best manual wood milling cutter: the price of popular models
For consumers wondering which hand-held wood milling cutter is better, prices are not the least important, since the size of the personal budget can serve as a deterrent for most buyers.
Rating of the best models with prices:
|Device model||Power level, W||Position in the rating||Price, rub.|
|Bosch GMF 1600 CE||1600||1||33600|
|Skil 1840 LA||1300||4||5950|
|Bosch GKF 600 Professional||600||5||10900|
|Hammer FRZ710 PREMIUM||700||7||7500|
|DeWALT DWE 6005||600||8||12620|
|Bosch GFF 22 Professional||670||10||36500|
Useful advice! To increase the comfort of using the tool, it is advisable to buy a milling table for a manual milling machine or make it yourself. It will allow you to easily and quickly work with the device without being distracted by holding the workpiece.
How to make a milling table for a manual milling machine with your own hands
Any master can independently make a table for a manual milling cutter, video materials and ready-made drawings on the web are enough for even a beginner to cope with this task.
To work, you will need:
- wooden bars with a square section (4 pcs.);
- plywood and chipboard;
- fasteners (hinges, bolts, nuts, etc.);
- metal profile;
- 6 mm thick steel plate;
- guides made of aluminum;
- movable carriage-stop, which will serve as a guide;
Instructions for making a table for a manual milling cutter with your own hands
A drawing with the designation of the position of the parts and their dimensions will be required for the table. From bars and scraps of chipboard of the appropriate size, supports are twisted, which will serve as legs for the table. To increase the rigidity of the structure, it is necessary to install connecting panels made of plywood horizontally. On the right side of the table, a hole should be cut where the start button on the milling cutter will be displayed.
To make a countertop, you need to take chipboard. This part must be lifting, so you need to install hinges. You will also need to make an additional support base. The base of the table for a manual milling machine is better made of plywood sheet, 15 mm thick. Next, you need to cut a groove in the tabletop designed for the guides of the movable stop. A metal profile should be installed here. To make it convenient to move the workpiece along the table during work, it is advisable to use a movable carriage-stop. Instead, a guide from the saw will do.
To make a longitudinal stop, you need to take a chipboard. To ensure the mobility of this element, perpendicular grooves should be cut in the upper part of the stop, after which it should be attached to the tabletop with the help of clamps. A small groove is cut out in the middle. It will be used to dispose of chips and other particles that are formed during the milling process.
Then you need to assemble a box of thin plywood with a hole designed to connect the vacuum cleaner through a hose. This machine will pay chips and dust. The box is fixed behind the perpendicular stop. After that, a metal plate with a thickness of 6 mm is screwed to the countertop so that their levels coincide. A milling cutter will be installed here.
Pay attention! When fixing the plate, you need to carefully ensure that its edges do not protrude above the countertop. Otherwise, the wooden blanks will cling to them.
The tool is attached to the bottom of the plate by an aluminum sole. For fixing, you can use bolts, for which you first need to make holes. This method of fixing is convenient for replacing attachments and allows you to save the depth of milling. Using a car jack, you need to design an elevator for the milling cutter. You can use it to control the height. It is necessary to remove the handles from the milling cutter and screw the aluminum guides in their place, which subsequently need to be connected to the jack.
How to work with a manual wood milling cutter: video instructions and recommendations
To learn how to work with a manual wood milling cutter, it is advisable to study the device of this tool and the purpose of each part well. Some parameters of the device need to be adjusted. To adjust the milling depth, you need to use a scale and a handle. One step corresponds to 10 mm. In addition, it is necessary to immediately set the rotational speed of the cutter.
Before working as a wood cutter, a beginner definitely needs to get used to the tool and master its capabilities. It is advisable to start with small and medium revolutions. Although do not forget that in this mode, the quality of processing is significantly reduced. Therefore, the first samples should be performed in inconspicuous areas where errors can be masked.
At the initial stages, it is not enough to learn how to work with a manual milling cutter. A novice master must adhere to the security requirements. You need to know exactly where the start and off button of the tool is located, as well as its lock. These elements are very important, because the safety and quality of work depends on them.
How to adjust the rotational speed for manual wood milling
The tool setting depends on the characteristics of the material to be processed. The cutter copes well with cutting composites, plywood and wood. Taking into account the characteristics of the material, the rotational speed of the device is selected. Most often, the technical documentation that is attached to the tool already contains the necessary information.
Parameters for speed settings:
|Milling cutter diameter, mm||Processed material||Speed steps, mm|
|4-10||Hardwood (oak, beech)||5-7|
|4-10||Softwood (pine, spruce)||5-7|
Useful advice! There is a lot of information on working with a wood cutter on the web, video materials can be used as a visual aid in the absence of experience in setting up and operating the tool.
How to fix the nozzle before working with a milling cutter: videos and recommendations
Work with the milling machine begins with the installation and fixing of the cutting nozzle. At the same time, it is very important to comply with safety requirements. All actions are performed only when the plug of the cord is pulled out of the network.
Usually the tool has marks that help to install the cutter. If they are absent, the element is installed to a depth not less than its own length. Technical documentation is attached to each model of the cutter, where the mechanism for the correct installation of cutting nozzles is described. There are no general rules for the tool, since each modification has its own design features.
Some models have a fairly simple structure, others are more advanced. On sale there are modifications equipped with a button that blocks the rotational movement of the shaft. The presence of this part greatly simplifies the process of installing the cutter.
In expensive models of the tool there are special cracks. Therefore, there is no single instruction. To install a milling cutter on a specific model, you can use the technical documentation provided by the manufacturer, or watch a video of working with a manual wood milling cutter on the Internet.
How to work with a manual milling cutter: videos and tips on using the tool
The use of the milling cutter will be completely safe, and the result of the work will be of high quality, provided that all safety requirements are met:
- the tool must be sharp, otherwise the quality of processing will decrease and the engine will warm up;
- before starting work, the material of the workpiece must be well fixed;
- you should not try to complete the task in one pass, as a result of this, the loads on both the cutter and the tool as a whole increase greatly;
- the cutter is replaced only on a de-energized device, it is not enough to simply turn off the device with a button, you need to pull the plug of its cord from the outlet.
Compliance with these requirements will ensure safety during operation. It is very important to feel the instrument in your hands and get used to it. If the work of the milling machine is accompanied by strong vibrations, you need to stop and find out the cause of this phenomenon. Sometimes it is enough to adjust the rotational speed, and in some cases it may be necessary to replace the blunted nozzle. A novice craftsman can find many video reviews where experienced craftsmen show the process of performing individual parts and even full-fledged products.