CNC router tools for woodworking, metal machining, plastic cutting and composite cutting with precision collets and toolholders
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Glossary


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Ball end mill (Ball-nose) - A milling cutter whose point grind forms an arc (usually a semi-circle).  These bits are commonly used for cutting round bottom grooves for "O" ring seals. They are also the tool of choice in 3D surface machining where the "topo" steps that result for using a flat bottom cutter are unacceptable.

Burr - A cutting tool with a "grinding" geometry.  Burrs are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes including cones, cylinders, tear drops, and spheres.

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Carbide Bit - A cutting tool fabricated by grinding a cutting geometry into a tungsten carbide blank.  There are numerous grades and blends of tungsten carbide designed to meet the demands of a wide variety of machining operations.

Chip load - The distance a bit moves forward as a single flute cuts into a material.  The amount that each flute cuts during a single revolution of a cutting tool. The formula for chip load is CL = (feed rate / no. flutes) / RPM.  The TOTAL chip load is defined as the distance a bit moves forward during a single revolution (TCL = feedrate / RPM) and is given in inches (or millimeters)  per revolution.

Climb milling - moving a rotary cutting tool in such a manner that the cutting edge appears to roll, or climb along the surface being cut. Since all bits deflect a little during a cut and all materials resist being cut, climb milling will always produce parts that are too big and pockets that are too small (the bit deflects AWAY FROM the climb side).

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) - Controlling the motion of an object using electrical or hydraulic actuators directed by a computer.  In CNC machining, a computer directs a set of drive motor to move a cutting tool (or the object being cut) in a precise pattern often consisting of joined lines, arcs and circles. 

Conventional milling - moving a rotary cutting tool in such a manner that the cutting edge moves in a direction against the direction the cutter is moving. Since all bits deflect a little during a cut and all materials resist being cut, conventional milling tends to produce parts that are too small and pockets that are too large (the bit deflects INTO the conventional side). By carefully balancing the material resistance against the bit deflection, cuts of extreme precision can be accomplished, even in soft materials.

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Damascening - the art of decorating iron, steel , or bronze, with inlaid threads of gold or silver, producing a watered effect in forging, sword blades, gun barrels, and various metal objects.
Depth of Cut (DOC) - the length of the fluted portion of a cutting tool. The length of the cutting edges. Also referred to as "Effective Flute Length (EFL)" or "length of cut".
 
Depth Setting Rings - Plastic collars that are pressed onto the shank of a drill bit or milling cutter that precisely sets the distance from the tip of the tool to the face of the collet.
 
Diameter - The maximum straight line distance across a circle measured as the perpendicular separation of any two parallel tangent lines.
 
Dowel drill - A drill bit ground to produce a hole that precisely matches the diameter of a wood, metal, or plastic dowel pin.
 
Dowel pin - A precisely formed cylinder of metal, wood, or plastic used to accurately position, and fix two or more objects relative to each other.  
 
Drill point - A precisely formed cylinder of metal, wood, or plastic used to accurately position, and fix two or more objects relative to each other.  
 

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Effective Flute Length (EFL)  - The axial length of the cutting edge(s) of a rotary cutter.  In most instances, the EFL is the same as the maximum Depth of Cut (DOC). 
 
Entarsia - a mosiac of wood fitted and glued into a wooden support; also: the art of process of making such work. 
 

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Feed rate - The speed of a tool relative to the material that it is cutting. 
 
Figure (wood) - A term is often confused with grain. By definition, the figure of a wood refers to the pattern caused by color differences in the wood. The figure is also the pattern created by different types of grain.
Fishtail cutter - A rotary cutting tool whose tip has been ground so that the outermost edges extend beyond the center of the tool.  Seen in profile, the cutting tip looks like the chevron shape of a fish's tail (hence the name). Tools with this tip geometry are commonly used when back side breakout and splintering must be avoided when plunging all the way through an unsupported material. 
 
Fret - A raised bar (usually metal) positioned at the nodal point of the string on a musical instrument.  Used to select the resonance length of each string to produce specific notes.
 
Full plunge cut - Cutting with a milling cutter using the entire EFL in a single pass.
 
Flute - The axial cutting edge of a rotary tool. Both straight and helical flutes are commonly encountered in modern cutters.
 

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Grain - The direction in which the fibers of the wood are running. Types of grain are: straight, wavy, irregular, spiral, curly, interlocking and birds-eye. The fibers of interlocking grain have a weaved structure, thus making the wood strong and less apt to split and suitable for bending. Irregular grain is caused by an interruption in the growth of the tree by branches or crotches. For ship building irregular grain is used for natural curved members such as knees.

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Hardwood - Generally, any tough, heavy wood with a tight, compact grain structure.
 
Hogging - Cutting with a large chip load to quickly remove a lot of material during a machining operation. Used to produce a part or cavity whose dimensions are equal to the desired finished size plus a given amount of excess material that will be removed in a more accurate finish pass. Roughing out. 
 

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Inlay - process of ornamenting a surface by in-setting materials of different shade, color, texture or substance, usually in such a manner as to preserve a continuous, smooth plane.  Inlay makes use of a wide range of materials including wood, stone, ivory, glass, mother-of-pearl, and tortoiseshell.

Intarisa - see entarsia.

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Kerf - slot or trough formed in a material by a cutting tool. Alternately, the width of cut of a cutting tool.

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Lexan - a type of tough, break-resistant plastic. Most effectively cut using a 2 flute cutter.

 
Luthier - A musical instrument maker.

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Microtool - Generally considered as any rotary tool with a diameter less than 0.0313" (0.8mm).  May also refer to any rotary tool with a diameter less than 0.125" (3.15mm).

MOP - An acronym for Mother-of-Pearl, oyster shell.

Mosaic - art of arranging colored pieces of marble, glass, tile, wood or other material in  pre-selected shades, colors and/or textures to produce a picture or surface design.
 

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Niello - a black metalic alloy of sulfur, copper, silver, and usually lead, used as a inlay on engraved metal.
 
Non-ferrous metals - any metal or alloy that does not contain iron. Examples include gold, silver, copper, aluminum, and brass. PreciseBits will gladly dispose of any excess gold, silver or platinum that you may have lying around. 
 

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Over All Length (OAL) - the total length of a cutting tool from tip to butt
 

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Peck - Repetitive plunging of a bit into a material while gradually increasing the degree of penetration. Used to prevent breakage and minimize tip wander (deflection). Pecking is routinely used when drilling small diameter holes in composite materials (like fiberglass) that tend to make the tip deflect.
 
Plunge - Drive in along an axis, drill, dive in
 
Post finishing - Any operation that is needed to add the finishing touches to a part, or complete assembly.
 
PreciseBIT - PriceCut's two flute microtools have a long track record of superb performance across a variety of applications.
 

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Ring set - distance from the back (collet side) of the depth setting to the tip of the tool. Usually 0.570" (14.5mm) or 0.800" (20.3mm)
 
Router - A cylindrical rotary cutting tool with "teeth" ground in a spiral along the entire EFL. Tools of this sort are commonly used on composites consisting of a very hard material (glass, granite) embedded in a much softer matrix (PVC, acrylic, epoxy, phenolic).
 
RPM - Revolutions Per Minute.  The rate of spin measured in inverse minutes.
 

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Spindle - Any motor driven shaft fitted with a drive motor on one end and a tool holder on the other.  Spindles are available with belt drives, direct drive, gear drives and air turbines
 
Spindle speed - The rotational speed of a spindle.  Usually measured in RPM.
 
Surface erosion - The removal of material from a surface that is subject to mechanical wear, chemical attack, or any other process that results in such removal. In rotary cutters, surface erosion is the leading cause of edge dulling and the reduction of flute diameter.
 
Surface Feet per Minute - SFM - a measure (in feet per minute) of how fast a cutting edge passes through a material. From a practical point of view, it is equal to the tangential velocity of a point on the outermost surface of a cutting tool. It is caclulated by multiplying the circumference of the cutter (in feet) by how fast the tool is turning (RPM). In other other words:

SFM = Tool Diameter X 3.14 X RPM

Swarf - Material cut or removed during a machining operation.  Also referred to as "cutting debris", "chips", "sawdust", or, in Washington DC, "taxpayer dollars".

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Texture (wood) - A wood's texture is directly related to the suitability for carving and the fineness of detail which can be achieved. Texture ranges from coarse to medium to fine and to ultra fine. In ship building, coarse and medium textured woods are suitable for heavy timbering such as hull framing and deck beams. Fine textured wood is used for planking, moldings, rails ect. Fine and ultra fine texture is for carving small fittings and delicate parts. Texture is also uniform or uneven. An uneven textured wood has different size cell cavities giving the wood hard and soft spots. When machining or carving a piece and it suddenly breaks, it may be because you hit a large cell cavity or a soft spot. Uniform texture results in uniform, predictable cutting forces and is preferred whenever small, critical tolerances are required.
 
Total Indicated Run-out (TIR) - The deviation in the location of the surface of a rotating cylinder from a given reference axis.  The deviation is usually a result of a variation in the diameter of the cylinder or a skew between the cylinder's axis and the axis of rotation. PreciseBits solid carbide tools are centerless ground to a TIR of 0.0002" (0.005mm).  
 
Tolerance - The acceptable deviation from a given specification.

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UltraBIT - PreciseBits's new family of tools developed in response to the growing need for greater precision by cuemakers, steel rule diemakers, luthiers and clockmakers.  Comprising both 2 flute and 3 flute designs, UltraBITs are laser and/or optically inspected to insure compliance with the tighter tolerances (+/-0.0005 in.) demanded by these applications.  Each new design is tested for performance in particular applications before release, leading to our designation of UltraBITs as the first truly "application specific micro-tools" available to the woodworking industry. 

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Weight (wood) - The average weight per cubic foot. The larger the number the denser and, generally, the harder the wood is. The denser the wood the more brittle it becomes, making it harder to bend and carve. Advantages to hard woods are that finer detail can be achieved and the wood can be polished to an ultra smooth finish. Balsa has a weight of 8, Oak is about 45 and Ebony weights in at 80

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Updated 10/10/2016 4:34:49 PM