20 Sep

Measure twice, cut once!

ahhhh…the power of hindsight!

I could have hidden this and pretended that my next job was my first. But no. The job was to cut a pocket into one side of the ply, and then a profile cut, to cut the shape from the stock. This was going to be a wireless charging dock (thanks Mark!).

I had to cut it fine to get the power to pass through the stock, it will lose voltage / amps or whatever as it passes through the material, so keeping it thing was important.


The less; Don’t use a crap ruler, then assume what your looking at is 18mm as that’s what it said on the listing! A tolerance of +/- 0.5mm is enough to ruin your project, and render your stock useless!

I have since re-measured, and it is 17.5mm in thickness. So that, along with something I must have done wrong with the setup (ahem!) I managed to cut through this block.



I’ve had tools fly out of collets before, and certainly had endmills snap and fly across the room before (well it would have, had it not been for the cages around the machine).  So looking at this crap thing, I thought a make shift guard was in order, queue a useful box lid and clamp.


OMG its doing it! I ran the job cutting at 1mm passes, a combination of reasonable depth without putting to much strain on the machine / our ears having to listen to it for a few hours as the thing cuts out!


Another shot of the process, running the pocket . The feed rate has been a bit of a chore – I think I set the firmware to go as fast as 1500mm/s, which is pretty decent! but the web has said it tops out and binds at around 400mm/s, 400mm/s is very slow. I’m sure I have seen vids on youtube of it running faster.


Lots of dust. I wont be running this machine frequently! I think I have to create a cage to go over it, but that will take up more desk space, which I don’t have! I look forward to a nice workshop or something for it to go in. The air was rather smelly, I liked it, but the woman was moaning – a lot! I filled the vacuum twice!


The money shot

It has completed the profile and now  is the time I see the nice scar in the pocket! Nooo!



Maybe I can convince the other half to let me have another go at running the same job in the house, again.

I have to figure out how to set the endstops and home settings. Its pretty straight forward without the endstops but it would allow me to set a basic start position for most jobs, and in the future to let me cut on both sides of the stock. I also need to get the thing cutting faster, it took around 2.5 hrs to cut this job, I’m confident I could cut this in 1, that being said, it would be rather loud – and also requiring more, or any, extraction!

I also need a slot cutting for a cable to come out the side…

Last Updated on 24 September 2015 by Mark