Home>Coving Router History
Here at Betterley Industries we have been manufacturing Coving Routers for the solid surface industry since 1986. In 20 years of production our Coving Routers have gone through many changes and revisions, some minor and some major.
Why do we use a 3 Ό hp motor?
Originally we manufactured Coving Routers with 1 ½ hp motor. While these were production duty motors and longevity was not an issue, we upgraded to a 2 ½ hp motor several years later. Cutting performance and cut quality increased dramatically.
We now use a Porter Cable 3 Ό hp motor in our Coving Routers. Why? In this application it simply outperforms any other motor we have tried, in every aspect from power and longevity to the quality of the cut made. When it comes to preventing chatter and producing the smoothest possible cut, horsepower is not the only consideration. The Porter Cable motors that we use have large sealed ball bearings with metal motor and bearing housings, coupled to a massive, rigid armature. Lighter and smaller setups can experience flexing and vibration in the armature and cutting bit. The Porter Cable motors overcome this potential problem to provide the smoothest and most accurate cut possible. We even go a step further and have Porter Cable manufacture motors for our Coving Routers with a bit chucking system that extends further from the motor housing, this enables us to chuck the bit closer to the cutting edge and further eliminate possible chatter and vibration.
We are sometimes asked if the large motor is really necessary, if you consider how much solid surface material is removed when coving a small square cove stick you may answer the question for yourself. If you route a 3/8 radius cove, you are removing over twice the amount of material than cut by a ½ radius corner rounding bit. If you opt to cut a ½ radius cove, you are removing over one and a half times the amount of material than cut by a Ύ radius corner rounding bit.
What sets the new Coving Routers apart from older models?
While many minor changes were made throughout the years, in the mid 1990s we completely redesigned the Coving Router. Starting with a clean slate, we took years of accumulated input from fabricators, researched and implemented new materials and manufacturing processes, and designed a tool that has become a standard in the industry
The next major change to our Coving Router was the addition of a very effective optional dust extraction system. With the ability to almost totally enclose the cutting bit, the dust extraction system effectively captures over 90% of the dust created, providing a safer and cleaner work environment. The new system was specifically designed to allow existing Coving Routers to be retrofitted with the new dust extraction system.
With the Coving Router being refined to its present state we began to address the bit itself. Up to this point we had used a core box style bit with an extended length shank to cut the actual cove only. With all the components of the Coving Router being precision machined to exact tolerances, we were able to design a bit with cutting flutes that flare out from the cove with straight edges running parallel to the deck and the backsplash. Our Coving Routers now remove the excess adhesive and oversized cove strips while cutting the actual cove itself. We also grind a small radius at the outer edge of the flute, so that if the material is not flat and an unusually high area is encountered causing a deeper cut, the radius is much easier to blend than a sharp step would be. Further testing focused on refining the cutting geometry of the bit for this specific application, we were able to make changes and refine the geometry to produce much smoother and cleaner cuts than were previously possible.
The most recent upgrade focused on adapting our AIR~GLIDE Router Base to our Coving Router. Again, this new option was engineered so that it could be retrofitted to existing Coving Routers. Many fabricators lubricate tops and router bases to reduce friction when routing solid surface material. The friction reduction when using the AIR~GLIDE Base is ten fold the effect of any lubricant. Eliminating friction caused by drag and dust buildup under the base not only makes the tool much easier to use, it gives the operator exceptional control of the tool. Most fabricators expect the AIR~GLIDE Base to reduce scratching and operational effort resulting in increased control, but are surprised at the increase in the quality of the cut produced. The exceptional control provided with the AIR-GLIDE Base enables smoother cuts with accuracy being notably more consistent.
The current Betterley Coving Routers are the culmination of literally years of evolution and changes, resulting in a tool that produces the best possible finished product in the least amount of time. They are not simply a router mounted at an angle. When you are looking for a Coving Router, take a few minutes to consider the following points about the Betterley Coving Routers.
·3 Ό hp Porter Cable motor. Proven performance in solid surface shops for years, with parts readily available through local sources. Yes we could cut costs dramatically by using smaller motors, but we have experience with smaller motors and use these because they simply perform the best.
·½ diameter shank bits. We have bits available to cut Ό, 3/8, and ½ radius coves. All of our bits have ½ diameter shanks for the needed strength and rigidity, and are precision ground in the U.S.A. The bits in the Betterley Coving Routers remove excess adhesive and reduce oversized cove sticks, as well as cut the cove.
·Ball bearing center guide. Every Betterley Coving Router comes with three different sized ball bearing center guides to match any size bit you choose to use. The guide is mounted directly above but independent of the bit. Using a center guide that is matched exactly to the radius of the bit provides three very important benefits. 1) Prevents gouging of the backsplash. 2) Enables you cove curved backsplashes. 3) Facilitates cutting vertical coves (where two backsplashes meet) without lifting and sliding the router, by pivoting the router with the center guide against one backsplash.
·Fast, easy, accurate adjustments. Each of the four different cutting planes (base depth, left fence, right fence, and center guide) is independently adjusted. To insure accuracy the fences slide on an adjustable dovetail way system, and either fence can be quickly and independently adjusted without tools for a roughing cut if desired. Positive stops provide quick return to the preset finish cut.
·Large, stable base. We start with ½ thick solid aluminum for our main base plate for strength and unquestionable durability. The 8 by 8 base is precision machined flat for unparalleled accuracy and stability.
·Effective dust extraction. The optional dust extraction system can be retrofitted to existing Betterley Coving Routers and captures over 90% of the dust created.·AIR~GLIDE Base. The AIR~GLIDE Base provides the ultimate control of the router and ease of use. Sliding friction is virtually eliminated, cut quality and consistency is dramatically increased, scratching of the solid surface material is greatly reduced. The optional AIR~GLIDE Base reduces sanding time and operator fatigue, providing a significant increase in production, period.