How would I get rid of these lines?

I’ve been cutting out signs lately (different species of wood and not every wood does this and I understand different species act differently and that’s understandable).

That said, my FnS and all that hasn’t changed much - as most of the woods I’ve been using are similar on the JANKA scale - but I’m just hoping there’s an answer to a more “smooth cut” without seeing that passes of .08 DOC I’ve been doing on the signs. (This photo is obviously the edges of the sign. (This is the center of hardwood boards and not end grain, FYI).

The first couple of signs I was using a Amana Tools #46202 Downcut.

What you see in this photo was from this bit. 1/4 compression bit

Your machine needs to be trammed. Just do a quick search of the forum. Or see Winston Moys YT.

Also, a compression bit works best at full depth of cut for a light finishing pass.


Try decreassing stepover and/or depth of cut.

My step over varied from .118 to .125

my depth of cut was .08

what would you suggest?

Are the lines the same all the way around? If so, then tram is not likely to be the problem.

Have you tried bits that cut differently, for example a downcut vs upcut?


Yes, the lines are very consistent all the way around (all parallel to one another all the way around the piece).

I tried a downcut and it wasn’t as noticeable IF barely at all but then I did the same sign (although it was a different species of wood - so that’s why I didn’t know if that could have been a thing) and that next sign (again, same design) was done with the compression bit I linked above and I was getting those lines.

Here’s the metadata from the sign with the downcut where the lines were NOT noticeable

Here’s the metadata from the one I did today that you see in the photo in the original post. The one is with the compression bit.

Although I THOUGHT my step over on the one with the compression was .118 but it shows it was .125. (don’t know if that would be a big difference?)

A compression bit is upcut at the bottom, so I would expect a compression and an upcut to leave similar lines.

It looks like the wood is tearing (rather than shearing) at the bottom of the bit. It may simply be the nature of that species. Are you sure the bit is sharp at the bottom?

I don’t think stepover is a factor here, that comes into play when cutting a pocket wider than the bit.

Is the path you are taking a simple contour cut? That ends up being a ‘slotting’ cut, and that can be hard on the bit.

A couple of things you might try:

  • Initially, cut oversize, say.01" (1/4 mm) to .02" (1/2mm). Then run a contour cut right to the desired size to remove just that. Since you are removing so little, you may be able to have a higher DOC (so fewer passes).
  • Rather than cutting a contour (which ends up being a slot), make a pocket around the outside edge about 1.25 to 1.5 times the width of the bit, and cut that. This will reduce how the walls of the cut interfere with the bit.
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What @Griff and @mhotchin said.

  1. tram your router, it’s a good thing to do anyway
  2. a separate finishing contour pass at full depth, shaving 0.01" off the walls, should remove those marks

Here’s an old post on your problem. Ridges on pieces - #99 by ItsDan

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