Cutting past the blade length

Morning all! (9am in Scotland)
I’ve got a piece I would like to cut that’s about 35-36mm thick but my longest cut edge length of my downcut bits is 30mm. If I make a pocket/slot 1.2x the diameter when cutting around the piece would this be safe to use? When it’s in the collet there is about 39mm of the tool visible.
Thanks all

Another visual perspective of where the bit lands on the flattened piece.

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Oh, it’s the same time here in England, too :rofl:

I can’t speak for the mathematics, but an oversized pocket is probably a good idea.

Is that a coated cutter? If it is, it might be more resistant to heat.

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Same time in the UK as well.

I think what you propose would work, but the non-cutting part of the endmill will be rubbing against the top few mm of wood whilst it cuts the bottom out, which could create enough friction and heat to discolour it somewhat.

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I thought I was the only one! :rofl::rofl:
Okiedokes. It’s less than I thought that will be rubbing. Only 2-3mm so should be fine! :slight_smile:

Probably the only one in Scotland.

There’s at least three of us in England :rofl: :thinking:

As Peter suggests, there’s quite a few of us in the GMT+[0-2] timezone happy to lend you opinions of dubious to reasonable value. There’s a dozen or so in the UK and quite a few Europeans. Lots of value in particular from our French cousin, @Julien.


I hesitated before commenting, but since you mention dubious opinions, I’ll say that I have been known to use endmills to cut deeper than their cutting lengths. It works, it’s awkward and makes one cringe during the last passes, but a few mm should be ok. Nowadays I try to avoid it whenever I can, even it it means waiting a few days for a longer endmill to come in the mail.

Too bad the forum does not convey accents, I would have loved to hear @DanielBarclay01’s one! :wink:


There’s a really easy solution for cases like this, depending on what you’re cutting: cut off a tiny sliver along the top wall of your pocket (excuse my artistic skills):

This way you can go deeper without the shank rubbing against your workpiece.

That little sliver at the top can be thin, so thin that with wood, I’d expect it wouldn’t even be visible and even if it is, a tiny bit of sanding afterwards should get rid of it.

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I’m just going to leave this here:


So, I had success. I pocketed down 30mm 7.2mm wide pocket for a 1/4" bit and then contoured the last 3mm. I did this so that I could add a couple tabs. I forgot to add the tabs! Luckily remembered 2" before the end and I just hand cut the last bit and smoothed over.

I’ve painted carved pockets plenty but I’m looking to stain this one and leave the top faces as the bare grain. Any tips to do this cleanly?

Finished size: 285mm dia 33mm thick Scottish Elm that was air dried for the past 8 years lovely grain!


My accent is NE Scotland but I’m a Salesman so I have to hold back the true accent a lot :wink:

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