I’m having a bad cutting day
I had been trying to do detail work in hardwood with 1mm cutters. I have run tests and have determined that parameters for the 1mm cutter should be close to that of the built-in 1/16th end mill. This makes sense, since 1/16th is pretty close to 1.6mm.
In test cuts, it works fine. But when doing something larger or more involved, it seems that forty minutes into the work, something will happen and the cutter will get snapped off. I haven’t seen it happen, but I hear it from across the room.
So for now, I’ve switched to only using the provided cutters and MeshCAM wizard settings. The next problem I’ve run into is that the work won’t stay put. I’m cutting old hard oak, in this case. At that same critical forty minutes into the process (in this case the roughing phase), and the work starts breaking free, causing gouges.
I think I need to find a better system than the double-sided tape. The problem is I can’t use a vise or clamp, as the outline is cut out on these guys, and there would be nothing left to hold.
So I switched gears again, and started carving into a softer wood (still a hardwood). This design is much simpler. I’m just cutting an outline. I set up MeshCAM to do the entire process with the waterline and pencil cleanup. I did not machine the top of the stock, or do a roughing pass.
This time, I witnessed the problem. As the cutter was coming around the edge, it suddenly started scribbling like a kindergartner who didn’t want to stay within the lines.
So I’m not sure what I should have done here. I’m guessing the problem has to do with feed rate or plunge rate being too high for the wood and the cutter is getting snagged or deflected? Perhaps if I had done the roughing cut, it would have left less resistance to the waterline cut?
I’d welcome any words of advice from people who are being more successful.