Improving Cut Quality

I made a small test board with different shapes to use to experiment with setting ToolPath Parameters. The design is shown in the first screen shot below.

I cut this out of a piece of soft wood plywood 5mm thick. The top of the cut parts had a lot of
‘fur’ or quarter to half inch strings, rather than just small chips. It looks as if the cutter peeled off some wood for a quarter to a half inch then made chips then peeled off another piece. A photo of the cut piece showing the ‘fur’ is shown below. The Toolpath parameters used to cut the designs from the 181X71X5mm softwood board are shown in the third photo below.

What causes the edges of the cut to be rough rather than smooth? Is this indicative of incorrect toolpath parameters, or just poor wood quality? Should I try cutting faster or slower to improve the edge finish and get rid to the ‘fur’ or strings?

Are you getting some delamination on the edge or just ‘fur’? I’m not started to work with real wood, I’ve been working with acrylics and MDF, but in this case, the most similar to real wood I have to sand the edge with a really thin sandpaper (grain size 300), I don’t know is is possible to get a perfect clean edge.

Just in case you have not changed the spin speed of the mill I will recommend to you increase the feedrate, here on the link Chip Load for Soft wood you can find with a mill of 1/8 a chipload of about 0.012.

According with the formula of the following link Chip Load Formula

Chip Load = feed rate ( ipm ) ÷ ( cutting rpm x number of cutting edges )

Check on properties of mill the spin speed and adjust the feed rate.

Tell us about any improvement on the project.


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It makes me happy to see the chip-load formula showing up in these discussions!

Just a general observation, but setting your plunge rate to 1/4 of your feed-rate is a general convention to make sure you don’t overload the tool during the plunge. They’re center-cutting tools, but they’re not drill-bits :wink:

Also, your step-down is really small at .5mm, especially since you’re just doing cut-outs. With a 1/16" end-mill you should be taking up to the diameter of the cutter in depth at full feed-rate. That’s 1.6mm, so you can crank that value up a bit.

Don’t forget you can adjust spindle-speed in the tool definition, so in order to keep chip-load in the right range you may want to slow the spindle down a bit so that you don’t have to have really high feed-rates.

Lastly, assuming that’s bass-wood, it’s just fuzzy by nature, so expect to do a little post-sanding, but having the tool taking larger chips should help reduce how much you have to do.


I’m learning a lot from you @UnionNine, I’m doing my homework (and from the rest of this forum mates of course I’m learning also a lot), it is time to learn from each other and share our experiences, I just try to help ;-).

You’re doing a good thing David :relaxed: I agree learning collectively from each other’s process and experiences is a win!