Advice on this maze

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
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  • #34568

    Peter A Mills
    Participant

    Hi. I’m trying to create a maze from a piece of pine. This is how it’s turning out:

    IMG_0737

    My question is what is the best way to clean this up? I did a lot manually, but it’s still a bit messy. Should I slow down? Sharper bit? Different wood? It seems to be worse in two spots that correlate with the top left and bottom right. I’m guessing that has something to do with the grain of the wood as well as the rotation of the bit.

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    #34572

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Plywood is not super milling friendly. Solid woods tend to come out much better.

    To clean up what you already have If you just use an orbital sander it should take care of most of that quickly.

    For the next one, use roughing passes to get it to depth but leave some material on the walls something like 1mm. Then do a full depth finishing pass that should leave the best finish. From there you will have to try conventional or climb milling to see what works best with your bit.

    A downcut bit also helps a lot with keeping the top surface clean, because it cuts down instead of pulling up and ripping the surface, but if you cut all the way through would make the bottom look like that.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #34573

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    A sanding block would get rid of the hairs pretty fast. A downcut bit would do wonders, just don’t plunge more than about 2mm with a downcut bit. IIRC, I have the plunge angle at 40 or so for EstlCAM on my downcut bit.

    That’s plywood, right? Switching to a solid wood would help too.

    #34630

    Skrilla
    Participant

    Besides the plywood comments, which I agree with wholeheartedly, pine is very soft. It will give you furry edges. Try using poplar. It is one of the softest of hardwoods but will hold it’s edge far better than pine and wont break the bank. Bit size looks good for that project.

    #34631

    Peter A Mills
    Participant

    Thanks all. It is a pine board. It’s not plywood but it is spliced together so the advice is probably sound. I figured it was the wood since it’s a new bit and I’m cutting fairly slowly.

    I’m going to try MDF and see what happens, only because I have some. I’m going to try and find some other boards. We have a specialty wood place nearby but I think that means $$$$. I don’t have a lot of woodworking experience so this is all new.

    #34673

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Oh wow, it looks like plywood.

    #34705

    Fingerss
    Participant

    In the future, use a thin scrap piece on the top of the maze and cut thru it to the primary lumber.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #34709

    Jeffeb3
    Participant
    In the future, use a thin scrap piece on the top of the maze and cut thru it to the primary lumber.

    I almost suggested that. @fingerss, Have you tried that?

    #34711

    Peter A Mills
    Participant
    In the future, use a thin scrap piece on the top of the maze and cut thru it to the primary lumber.

    I’ll try that. I wonder if a piece of foam board would be enough to work. It may not be but I might try it anyway.

    Using MDF I sanded it and it looks pretty good. It still failed in the end but I learned, so that’s good. I think I burned up my bit.

    #34712

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Maybe even some 1/8″ hardboard.

    #34732

    Fingerss
    Participant

    I do it all the time. I work with a lot of exotics and the last thing I want is surface splinters. you will need to make sure you plunge thru where the scrap stops and the primary starts all in one go. I use a soft pine or poplar as a scrap layer. I learned it while cross cutting on a router.

    #34824

    Peter A Mills
    Participant

    OK, so apparently the answer was don’t use a crappy bit! The bit I had was a cheap one. I didn’t know any better but it was cutting really, really bad. Since I didn’t know what a good bit cut like I kept on using it until it started to burn the wood.

    I purchased a new 1/8 bit and it cuts MUCH nicer! Night and day. The new bit requires hardly any cleanup. I’m going to try the cut again in the same wood to see if I have better results (I should.)

    Also, I took another look at the pic and I concur it does look like plywood. This was because the lines from milling with the crappy bit combined with the grain made it look that way.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #34830

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Can you put up a picture of what you were using so we know what not to get?

    #34837

    Bradley F
    Participant

    I realize you’ve found a solution, but just throwing this out there anyway.

    Another option would be to use a bit that doesn’t hit both sides of the paths (like a 1/16th bit).

    You can then have it do climb milling (climb will create better edges than conventional milling). This will be possible because the bit will be working on a single side rather than both at the same time.

    With a smaller bit you would also then have the option to do a roughing pass along with a finishing pass (cuts less on the sides during finishing pass).

    I’ve also cleaned up edges on ply by doing initial cuts then running a V-bit along the edges.

    http://www.harveytool.com/secure/Content/Documents/Tech_ConventionalMillingVsClimbMilling.pdf

    #34842

    Peter A Mills
    Participant
    Can you put up a picture of what you were using so we know what not to get?

    I’m really embarrassed to say.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/5-piece-m2-hss-router-bit-set-43695.html

    Keep in mind, though, that this was pine…

    Lesson learned.

    I realize you’ve found a solution, but just throwing this out there anyway.

    Another option would be to use a bit that doesn’t hit both sides of the paths (like a 1/16th bit).

    You can then have it do climb milling (climb will create better edges than conventional milling). This will be possible because the bit will be working on a single side rather than both at the same time.

    With a smaller bit you would also then have the option to do a roughing pass along with a finishing pass (cuts less on the sides during finishing pass).

    I’ve also cleaned up edges on ply by doing initial cuts then running a V-bit along the edges.

    http://www.harveytool.com/secure/Content/Documents/Tech_ConventionalMillingVsClimbMilling.pdf

    Thanks, I’ll take a look at this. I made the piece just big enough that it would take 2 passes. The first roughs it out and the second goes through and cleans everything up. That worked well with a proper bit.

    #34843

    Jeffeb3
    Participant
    I’m really embarrassed to say.
    https://www.harborfreight.com/5-piece-m2-hss-router-bit-set-43695.html
    Keep in mind, though, that this was pine…

    It says clearly in the description that those are “high quality”. So that’s obviously not the problem.

    #34853

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Well At least someone tried them, now we know for sure.

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