1/32 Endmill w/ Shapeoko

Hi All,
I’ve had my pro xl for a few months now and im still trying to get a feel for my machine. I’ve been playing around with a few design ideas in Carbide Create and the 1/32 endmill is giving me the best results in the preview for some of the more delicate parts of the design. Unless I’m mistaken, i don’t think there’s a 1/32 profile for Shapeoko in CC. Could i use the 1/32 profile from the Nomad, or would that likely lead to a broken endmill? Would i be better off setting up a custom tool profile? I’m not exactly sure what ill be using as stock yet, but something in the soft wood family for sure. Thanks!

You can add a tool to your tool library, either by using the Carbide Create interface, or by editing the .CSV file behind the Carbide Create interface.

Here are the settings I use…

… and just prepare yourself, you are going to break bits especially the small ones. My last 1/32 snapped not because of speeds/feeds but rather a PVC strand wrapped around the bit. I only use 1/32 when I am truly stuck and have no other alternative.

Somewhat Related: One of my favorite posts from “the old days”

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Yes, @ColdCoffee is right, smaller bits are easier to break - especially in wood with very different grain densities as it cuts across the grain - but for more homogeneous wood, plastics and aluminum, you can successfully use small end mills. I use end mills as small as 0.0090" (occasionally), 0.0120" and 0.0150" (more often) for detail work. Mostly, I am using them in lieu of a laser engraver, since in a lot of woods, the engraving with a bit that small almost looks like it was done with a laser.

Now that I am thinking about it, soft woods would probably be a bad choice for really small bits (less than 0.0315 - 1/32"). I think you should be able to go down to 0.0315" (1/32) without too much trouble though. You just have to use the feeds and speeds recommended for the bit and material you are cutting.

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Wow, I had know idea you can get endmills that small. I hope to eventually do fine detail work like that so its great to know that’s an option.

Thanks for sharing some of your settings, i’ll definitely try those out. Breaking the endmill is something I worry about but if I start off with conservative settings, hopefully I’ll be ok.

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