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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys!

I was given a router for christmas, so now all I had to do was to pop my 3mm router bit (that I bought in Australia about a year ago, for my first track) into the router and start carving some tracks. But much to my surprize the darn little thing didn't fit into the collet (chuck) of the router. It turned out my router bit from Australia had a fitting diameter of 1/4 inch, and the collets that came with my router were 6 and 8 mm. So no fit... I then went out to buy either a new router bit here in "metric Sweden" (I thought Australia was too
) or find a new imperial collet for my router. I first went to the big store Bauhaus and their smallest size were 4mm but was sold out. Tried three other stores in my area but none of them had a 3mm router bit nor did they have an imperial size collet. I found another 4mm bit at a cheapish store (3€ for the bit), but I'm dubious about the durability of that. My question is: Does it work well with a 4mm slot or will it be too wide? Has anyone tried that? Or do you guys know of a good source for router bits in europe somewhere? I'll need some coppertape too, cause I've only got half a rool leftover from my last track. And I think it'll be very hard to locate in Sweden anyway. I was thinking I could order them in one go, should anyone stock them both...

Thankfull for any input.

Toby
 

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I know sean has copper tape wether he has the router bit you want is a different question however he might be able to get one over here for you

Sean

Rob.
 

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DT
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My Router - a Metabo - has collets for imerial and metric bits big and small. I bought the lot as I get quite a few bits from US and Canada.

I had to order them in especially as the shop doesn't carry that type of stock.
 

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The British Slot Car Racing Association, BSCRA, permits a slot width of minimum 3mm to maximum 5mm, so a 4mm slot would seem 'just right'.
BSCRA Track Rules
However, my personal opinion is that 3mm is best and 5mm is FAR too wide.

USA seems to use 1/8" (3.175mm) as the standard slot width, although 5/32" (3.969mm) and even 1/4" (6.35mm) are sometimes used. I think we should all try to forget about Imperial Measurements. They are disappearing throughout the world and will definitely not return.

Taking both USA and UK figures together, it looks as though around 3mm is the preferred with 4mm as 'OK'.
A smaller slot means less material to be routed out and a snugger fit for the guide, but the routing bits are not as tough.
 

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Brian Ferguson
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QUOTE USA seems to use 1/8" (3.175mm) as the standard slot width, although 5/32" (3.969mm) and even 1/4" (6.35mm) are sometimes used

1/8" is the standard slot width over here for 1/32 and 1/24. I've never seen 1/4" used (I can't imagine how a slot that wide would do anything other than cause problems!), but have heard of people using 5/32" for reasons unknown to me! The 1/8" solid carbide, two-flute bits are pretty much bullet-proof unless you try to race through the job. I imagine a good 3mm bit would be identical in performance. I cut 96 feet of slot on my 2-lane modular track with a single Freud bit and it has lots of life left in it. Stay away from cheap bits, and don't even consider non-carbide bits. It's a simple case of "getting what you pay for".

QUOTE I think we should all try to forget about Imperial Measurements. They are disappearing throughout the world and will definitely not return.

Five or ten years ago I would have agreed with you Tropi! But, believe it or not, after three decades of transition from Imperial to metric, Canada has partially relapsed. You can again buy food and other goods by the pound (with metric values often shown as the fine print!), all building materials are still in feet and inches, and yup... router bits at all common outlets are Imperial, not metric. Metric bits are common only in some shops, and special order in others. Go figure!
 

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DT
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The weirdest is when they mix the two. 1.25 of an inch = 1 1/4"

For my wood work all the best suppliers are American or Canadian and all work in inches, so I just use inch rules and do the same instead of converting everything. I use metric when working without a plan though.
 

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Brian Ferguson
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QUOTE The weirdest is when they mix the two. 1.25 of an inch = 1 1/4"

Nuro, that's not bad, because it really isn't mixing metric with Imperial, just using decimal notation rather than fractional. But if you want weird... order a 3mm bit over here and it may likely come with a 1/4" shank!


Many of the major router makers offer collets to support standard metric and Imperial shank sizes - though the metric ones aren't always easy to obtain locally here.

I still do all my woodworking in Imperial measure. I'd be crazy not to - most of the so-called metric sizes of lumber and sheet wood material (plywood, OSB, particle board, MDF, etc.) is actually Imperial and only "close to" the metric specs. Then again.... SOME sheet plastic goods, SOME metals, SOME wood products, etc. really ARE properly metric! Tools - routers, table saws, drill presses, etc. - are most often calibrated in Imperial! Drives me bonkers sometimes!
 

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What gets me is the half-baked kind of metric you often see.

For example, my local DIY store sells mdf sheet size 1819 x 607 mm.

How are you supposed to get your head around those numbers? 6'x 2', now that means something to me!

P.S. In an effort to stray back on topic I just checked my currently under-used slot track router bit (another getting round to project I'm afraid). It's a one flute, 1/4" shank, 3.2mm diameter cutter - so a good mix of imperial and metric there!
 

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Brian Ferguson
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QUOTE my local DIY store sells mdf sheet size 1819 x 607 mm.

John, a perfect example of why metric has relapsed here! If the makers had converted the nominal sizes to something more meaningful and round-numbered, like 1800 x 600, it would have made more apparent sense, and people would have been able to grasp the concept a lot better! The oddball measurements, based on Imperial sizes, have done more to confuse and confound, and people are left wishing for the old system. After enough wishing... the old system is actually rebounding! Like it or not, it is here, and shows no sign of leaving any time soon!

That 3.2 mm, 1/4" shank bit sounds suspiciously like a 1/8" dia., 1/4" shank North American bit!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow! Thats a lot of answers!
Thanks guys!

I think I'll go for a 3mm bit again. Liked the width on my last track. I also found that it created almost no dust flying around either, just left a little dust ridge in the slot.
The easiest would be to get a new imperial 1/4' collet for my 3mm carbide bit I guess. I'll try some more places around here, if still no luck I might send Sean a little order at least on the tape. Always hard not to be tempted and buy some more cars then too though
. Low on dough as usual...
What sort of tape is it? The usual (if there is such a thing) 6mm wide 0.07mm thick and 33 m on roll?

I guess there are som strong feelings attached to the old imperial measurements. Here in Sweden we're fully metric since long, but we still give the power of cars in horse power
and car wheels, tv sizes and MTB frames in inches, wierd huh


Toby
 

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Brian Ferguson
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QUOTE we're fully metric since long, but we still give the power of cars in horse power and car wheels, tv sizes and MTB frames in inches

Isn't it wonderful? And we wonder why our kids sometimes get confused!


Another idea for sourcing copper tape locally: Check to see if you have any shops that sell supplies for making decorative stained glass panels. They use copper tape around the edges of glass pieces to enable soldering them together. The tape comes in various widths and even various thicknesses. Some of the tapes are perfect for slot track use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hehe
In Australia they measures car power in Kilo Watt, but most woodworking stuff seemed to be imperial still. At least at the original privately owned shops. The big ones like Bunnings were trying to me more metric.
I also have the feeling we'll be seing them for quite some time still...


Thanks Fergy, I'll have a look in the yellow pages.

Toby
 
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