Facing cuts with slight ridges

Hey all!

I recently surfaced my MDF using the directions linked in various places throughout this category. When doing a facing cut, I have slight ridges between the tool paths. It seems like the climb cuts are much better quality than the conventional cuts.

Is there anything else that will improve the facing quality beyond slowing down and going to climb cuts only for the passes? I am confident the MDF is trammed well to the spindle, so I suspect I may just be a little too aggressive on my speeds/feeds.

Use a raking light across the wasteboard. Feel with your fingers and if you feel ridges it is usually the router is not level with the wasteboard. You can reduce your stepover and see if it goes away but if the router is not level it will not go away. If the ridges run from front to back the router needs a right/left adjustment. If the ridges run across the machine then the router needs to be tilted front/back.

I use a Whiteside 6120 1 inch 3 flute cutter. Here is my settings from my custom tool data base. The Sugelary is a generic 1" bit from Amazon. It is basically like the Whiteside. My stepover is 20%. I get good results. Whiteside said I could run at 100 IPM but I leave it at 80 IPM. Feeds and Speeds will not fix a router that is not level.

number vendor model URL name type diameter cornerradius flutelength shaftdiameter angle numflutes stickout coating metric notes machine material plungerate feedrate rpm depth cutpower finishallowance 3dstepover 3dfeedrate 3drpm
601 whiteside 6210 Fly Cutter end 1 0.125 0.25 0.25 2 3 0.25 0 Shapeoko MDF 10 80 16000 0.01 1 20 80 16000
602 Sugelary X002JUT7TF Fly Cutter end 1 0.125 0.25 0.25 2 3 0.25 0 Shapeoko MDF 10 100 16000 0.01 1 20 80 16000

I’ll give this a go. I surfaced my MDF with a Datron 12mm 2 Flute cutter and it worked pretty well. I don’t feel the ridges on the MDF like I do on the metal cuts.

I’m going to do a few tests where I do progressively less stepdown and see if there is a sweet spot.

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There is a lot of advise on this community and most of it is quite good. However a measured and step by step procedure developed by systematic progression is the best teacher. We do have many master craftsman on this forum and their advise in very valuable. Julien and gmack have some speeds and feeds calculators that may help to put into the ball park and then you can fine tune our procedure.


turns out doing cuts front to back on the nomad 3 are much nicer than left to right. Far less ridging and smoother cuts.

How do you tram the nomad spindle? Just generic shims or is there a special way to do it?

If your Nomad isn’t square, write in to support@carbide3d.com and we’ll sort that out w/ you.

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