Erm I can't reach the waste board!

Just downloading CC so I can look at.

Not sure I understand on the end mill, got a link to it?

Right, looking at the design, do you have a table or track saw or is the Shapeoko your best tool for making a straight cut?

Actually, I’ve realised that not suitable for wood, as it’s an upcut. I’m thinking of using this: instaed.

No, I don’t have either. The best I have is a router table or a circular saw, so the Shapeoko is probably the better option.

Wait, I have a table saw (sorry, I was thinking of something else). It’s a Bosch GTS10XC

Upcuts are generally useful on a CNC as they pull the chips up out of the cut where they can be extracted instead of overheating the cutter and workpiece. I’ve used quite a range of 1/4" generic upcuts from;


APT has some nice single flute Aluminium cutters and ships really quickly, the post from Rennie takes a few days.

Both of those vendors do upcut, compression etc. a good variety. I’ve also used dovetail cutters from Axminster (they actually match the angle written on the box), a whole load of Trend cutters (chamfer, cove cutters etc.). If you can describe the tool shape to your CAD then most router cutters are likely suitable for something.

So, you’re using a 1/8" to bore the holes for the inserts?

I’d go with a 1/4" to cut the slots for the T tracks, the bigger the bit you can use generally the better, so long as the slot / hole is bigger than the bit (with 20%-50% extra space is best).

Ah nice, the better version to my GTS10J :wink:

What I did was to saw the MDF into straight strips on my table saw that fit between where I’d installed the rails, the table saw is way faster at straight cuts than the CNC.

I’m not very good with CC but looking at the design but, it looks like you’ve got those insert holes on a regular spacing across the whole machine, just missing a step over the tracks? (I got that wrong and will fix it next time I replace the spoil board)

Having the two outside tracks inboard of the edge definitely makes sense, mine are at the far outside and are a giant pain to clamp with, whilst trying to avoid blocking the Y carriage plates.

For the overall dimension are you using the whole area of the spoilboard or just the addressable cutting area of the machine?

EDIT - I just checked and it looks like you’re running 812x812 for this board (32"x32") which is the total reach of the cutter, but not all of it is above the bed of the machine, the cutting space extends forward of the front metal plate by a few cm which means you can’t reach the back of the baseboard with the cutter. I fell down that hole with the first spoilboard and have a bump at the back where I can’t level it with the cutter.

Hmm, I was probably a bit (haha) dazzled with the bits offered when I bought the CNC, so I haven’t really looked elsewhere, yet. Perhaps I should…

I was planning to use the 1/8" for the holes, but it makes sense to use the larger bit for the tracks.

Assuming CM will notify me when the bit needs to be changed, is it possible to change the order of the toolpaths in CC (I couldn’t see how to do that) to limit the number of tool changes, and I assume I would need to reset zero for the second end milll, or is there a better way of running the project?

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The Carbide3D bits seem pretty good quality to me, good wear life and finish, you can get them from robotshop if you don’t want to pay shipping from the US.

At 5hrs for the toolpath, I’d go with the table saw and recess the T tracks below the surface of this board.

I’m sure you can, but I don’t know how to use CC very well, might I ask for some help @Julien please?

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Actually, changing the bit to the supplied 1/4" end mill (No 201) reduced the cutting time to 18 minutes!

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Spending more time learning CAM to optimise machining than actually machining is an early trap, even more so when cutting metal.

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I’m learning every aspect as I go!

I just looked at the link you provided for bit suppliers and can’t believe there are so many different types and sizes of V bit, for crying out loud!

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The cutter that I’ve used the most, after the regular 1/4" straight 201 type is this one;

Cheap and surprisingly good finish and wear resistance, it’s even done Aluminium for me (accidentally at first rapiding though clamps).

If you’re sneaky you can use a sharpening stone to sharpen up the face of these small flat carbide insert cutters a couple of times before they finally die.

Do you prefer to use 1/4" over 1/8" cutters, then?

I tend to use the largest shank cutter that fits the feature being machined, they’re usually stronger and remove the material faster.

EDIT - the exception is when you want tight radius internal corners or similar detail features in which case I rough out with a large cutter and then come back for finish passes with a smaller cutter.

Even a 1/2" worktop cutter for more carpentry type work (fits in the big VFD spindle);

CC generates toolpaths in the G-code file in the same order they appear in the toolpath list, so you can use drag and drop to move toolpaths around to a specific ordering, BUT very often toolpaths ordering matters and you can’t just run them in any order (e.g., V-carving text at the bottom of a pocket, requires one to place the pocketing toolpaths before the V-carving toolpath…)

There are two cases for multi-tool jobs:
a) if you don’t have a BitSetter, then you need to create one separate G-code file per toolpath (well you can create just one file for multiple consecutive toolpaths using the same bit, since this won’t change the overall toolpaths ordering), and you need to re-zero Z manually in between running each file.
b) if you have a BitSetter, CC will generate a single G-code file including all the required tool change commands. If you want to optimize the number of tool changes, you need to figure out which toolpaths can be swapped safely, such that toolpaths using the same tool are consecutive in the list, but without impacting the resulting cut. Toolpath simulation software such as CAMotics is quite useful to double-check whether the sequence of toolpaths will actually run the way you think it will.

And now I hope I did not add any unnecessary confusion…


Thanks @Julien

I don’t have a BitSetter (and I can’t get one, as they’re being updated, apparently?), so it looks like I’ll need two *c2c files - one for the holes, the other for the channels?

If so, that seems a bit lame.


They’re in-stock and shipping w/in 4 business days:

Oops, sorry :roll_eyes:

Oops, sorry :roll_eyes:

Argghh! I’m getting confused between the BitSetter and the BitZero.

Sorry, it’s been a crap weekend!