Hello All; I had a delivery of some hardwoods in manageable pieces 60 x 10 x 1000mm and was eager to try making a cube. The method demonstrated by John Clark looked relatively easy so that was what I had decided to do. I picked a nicely figured wood (possibly it was American oak) and set out cutting 6 x 60 x 60mm squares with an Amana 90 degree V bit. The image shows the six segments after the V cut. I used the painter’s tape and CA glue method of workholding.
After marking the pieces as per John Clark’s video presentation, I arranged them for glueing onto some more painter’s tape. I tested the fit and then glued the framework of 4 segments and added the top and bottom segments. I found a quick clamp to be ideal for holding the top and bottom sections in place as the glue dried. I remembered the use of marks so that the wood grain markings could be kept together and in facing the correct way. The image shows the wooden pieces identified and marked for direction.
I assembled and stained the wood after hiding several mistakes. Mistake number one was not fixing the very slight movement at the baseboard, where my dowel pins had not been in tight enough holes. 10mm holes for 10mm steel dowel pins was too loose. Subsequent spoilboards have been helically bored to 9.9mm.
This major mistake caused very slight differences in material remaining and that had to be resolved before assembly with judicious use of a tiny engineer’s riffle file that was very smooth cut. The 2nd picture of the pieces demonstrates that the cutter did not cut the bottom edge very cleanly. This was caused by chatter (almost a buzzing sound) induced by the spoilboard able to move a small amount when the cutter was pressing against the outside of the wood. It required quite a bit of cleaning to make the wood ready for the glue stage.
I was not careful enough to ensure that the material height could be cut by the cutter, I had considered the depth of 10mm was too much and surfaced to 5mm but the next magnified picture of square 1 tells the story. It looks like the cutter was just below the workpiece top so that the material at the very top of the workpiece was not cut by the cutter.
The last image shows the proof of concept assembled. The lines are not especially sharp because of my mistakes in cutting and assembly.
Lessons learned: Spoilboard must be completely rigid. Cutter must suit workpiece depth. Don’t assemble pieces when they do not all match. I think it would be preferable to V cut from a piece of material larger than the finished size. I suspect that running the V cutting bit along two open sides to make the V may be more demanding on the machinery and tools.
There is so much to learn but I have really enjoyed using this particular technique. Given that the cutting burden on the Shapeoko is minimal (8 minutes) this technique could easily be adapted to a production environment.
As ever questions and comments are welcome.