I’m starting to have some success with this CNC-gig. I’m getting good results. I’ve caught the bug. All good.
But I find that I’m always trying to push the feed rate and cut depth on my projects to cut down the amount of time they take to create. Invariably, I can cut a 1:20 job down to :45 if I just play with plunge rates and feed rates on each of the bits. I know I’m probably sacrificing quality by doing this, but honestly, I’m impatient - and I’m planning to babysit the CNC, so time matters.
So, I’ve read a lot (as I tend to do) and have tediously worked my way through all of these chip-clearance calculations, etc. etc. - but frankly, implementing these formulae proves to be aggravating - either the bits don’t come with the specs I need, the software doesn’t allow me to specify everything, or I lose patience because the formulae are for milling metals and such and nothing as straight forward as cutting wood. I was a math major in college, but even so, the guides seems way too “scientific” for what SHOULD be a simple ask: How fast and deep can I drive a #201 through hard maple? How about Walnut? Mahogany? What about a #112?
Then there’s the question of what I should be looking for in the result that indicates that I’m going too fast? I have the feeling that if a more experienced CNC-er were to look at my results, they would say, “You could go faster, you know”…or…“Slow that down and you’ll get cleaner results”.
On that last question, there is a perfection issue (Voltaire: Perfection is the enemy of good)…if a symptom of “going too fast” is a fuzzy result - and I can knock that fuzz off in about 3 minutes of hand sanding - is it worth an extra 15 minutes of CNC time to not have the fuzz? Is there wear and tear on the router that I’m not considering? Something else?
What I know for sure is that, when I’m pushing work through my router table, or cutting patterns by hand, I feed FAR deeper and faster than I’m doing on my CNC. There is the 1/4" vs. 1/2" shank, but even taking that into consideration, it seems to me that I should be able to “hog away” more wood than I’m advised according to the (albeit conservative) standards that are packaged in CC.
Does anyone know of a non-scientific guide to “depth and feedrate” by media type that’s simple, straight forward and non-mathematical? Guidelines for specific bits (or “bits like this one”) on specific wood species?
If not, by the way, who else would want such a thing…and would you be willing to help contribute to one?