My first significant project with my new XL is going to be helping a friend with a Christmas gift she’s making for someone, a puzzle. I’m still testing to make sure the toolpath and design and whatnot work out so that the puzzle pieces fit together properly, but my next major concern is workholding. I plan to cut the pieces out of MDF, and each piece is going to be ~>1 inch square. My question is, how do I hold the material so that each piece stays still when the cutter bottoms out, to avoid mangling the parts?
I’ve read through the Workholding page on the wiki and done a search in the forums, and the best way I can think of is to use adhesive of some type, but my understanding is that adhesives gum up the cutter and are likely to cause broken cutters as a result (not to mention leaving residue on the back of the pieces, which isn’t ideal for a puzzle). I don’t think using tabs would work because of the number of pieces (500) and the tiny size and small-diameter curves, and not-quite-bottoming out (leaving a skin at the bottom of the stock) wouldn’t be ideal because it’s MDF and again because of the amount of manual work and finishing that that would require. Does anyone have experience or suggestions for how best to do this?