overview and basic infos on "sharp stuff"

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    Hello! Thank you very much for this great design and all the information! I am from Austria (Europe) and I am starting to build the MPCNC right now. Everything is ordered, except the “sharp stuff”.

    I am absolutely new to milling and have some questions on “sharp stuff”:

    1. Can you recommend me a good overview on what tool is used for witch kind of work?

    2. Is there something like a basic set?

    3. For my first project I have to cut out parts from 25mm thick wooden panels. So what tool do I need for this job? Is it necessary that the usable spiral-length of the tool is also min. 25mm or is a shorter tool also sufficient (if tool diameter and spiral diameter are the same)? If the shorter tool is sufficient how long does it have to be in total? For example: is a 1/8″ tool with 8mm spiral-length and 38mm total length ok or do I need a tool with 25mm spiral-length and 76mm total length?

    This question in one short sentence: How to chose the right tool?

    4. I will use a Makita rt0700c. Am I able to use metric 3mm tools too, if I order a collet reduction 6mm to 1/8″ (3,175mm)?

    Many thanks in advance!




    Hi! I’ll try and give you the information that you need to start. A broad question like, “What type of tool is used for what type of work?” has an almost infinite number of answers 😉

    I’d recommend starting with three basic mills to get you cutting and carving. It is a good idea to have multiples on hand because you will eventually break one. Look up a few videos or search the Vicious1.com website for information about feeds and speeds. It’s critical that you don’t just dive in and experiment. I know this might not sound as exciting as just getting straight to your first project, but practice cutting and making tool paths with styrofoam first. It is very forgiving with mistakes and is a good way to test your Gcode to make sure it runs properly before risking a piece of expensive wood.

    1/8" 2 Flute EndMill
    This one, which is a 1/8th inch two flute end mill will get you cutting almost anything that the MPCNC can handle, as will the other two that follow. Wood, MDF, even aluminum and some plastics.

    1/8" 45 Degree V-Bit
    This type will get you the angled carving look. It’s good for a few other things, but very useful to have and easy to start using.

    1/8" Ball End
    This one will be the last one you should learn to use as a basic end mill. The ball nose will get you smooth curves and details on relief style cuttings, among being capable of other cutting operations.

    These can all be found as 1/4in but the trade off is ability to do fine details. I would not recommend anything with more than two flutes with the MPCNC setup, until you are very practiced. All of these are available elsewhere, but I provided links to the store on the website for courtesy.

    There are also good videos and walk-through tutorials available at the Estlcam website and Youtube channel, and on this website as well.

    Happy cutting!



    Thank you MrMeatGrinder! You helped me a lot with my first two questions. I will start with this 3 kinds of tools and I will start with collecting experience in milling by using soft materials first.

    It is odd, that I can not see your reply in this topic. I had to click on your name and read your answer in the list of all your postings.

    Before I order my first tools, I would be glad to have an answer on my question number 3. I am still unsure in tool lengths needed.

    Thank you!



    Three basic tool types, determined by the cutting end. A flat bit is used for surfacing and cutting through material, it cuts a cylinder. A V bit is used for simple carving and drawing, it cuts out an cone. A ball nose bit is used for 3D carving and finish work, it cuts a hemisphere.

    Once you know which type of bit you’ll be using for a task you get to determine the width of the bit and number of flutes. The wider the bit the more material it cuts in one pass, the coarser the detail will be and the bit will have to move slower. You typically use wide bits when you need to remove a lot of material. Number of flutes acts similarly to slowing down or speeding up the spindle. A single flute bit moves the cutting edge against the material half as much as a two flute bit, one quarter what a four flute does. Fewer flutes means you can move material away from the bit more easily, higher number of flutes means there is less time to move cut material away.

    I’d probably start with 1/8″ (3.175mm) bits in flat and ball nose, with one and two flutes. I’d then add in 1/4″ (6.35mm) bits, then V bits before going with smaller bits, but the projects you want to make will likely adjust that.



    Thank you Bill. This basic info has been very helpful for me. There are so many different tools available, it is great to know how to start.

    In addition I found an answer for my questions number 3 and 4:

    Answer question 4: No, there is a separate collet reduction from 6 to 3 mm.

    Answer question 3: (not tried myself yet) Going deeper than the usable spiral-length of the tool (in multiple small steps) and only milling a single slot (cutting out) is difficult for the tool to get rid of the wood dust. If you want to try, a good dust collection is essential.

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