Milling Thick Stock

Seeking recommendations on how to cut thick (1.5 - 2”) hardwood stock. In most cases these will be circle cut outs (12-18” diameter) on slabs and laminate glue ups.

I’d like to save myself some time by not squaring the piece before taking it to the cnc. Because I would be exceeding the max cutting depth of the end mill I know I’ll need to flip the stock, therefore the best solution I have come up with is to find the center point on the waste board and on the stock. Drill a small hole on the waste board and through the center point of the stock. Then gently tack a small brad nail into the stock, guide the nail into the waste board hole, mill, swap the nail over to the opposite side, mill again, fill the hole.

Am I on par or is there a simpler alternative? Thanks!

Use a bandsaw. Then use the Shapeoko to add details.

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Something I do - is run a ramp roughing pass around the stock, depending on material I leave around 0.2-0.75mm . Once what is done I then run a ramp finishing pass at a slower feed.

The ramp pass only engages the end of the end mill on stock to cut. There is a risk of the end mill shaft rubbing on the side of the cut stock, but if your machine is trammed in well it works well.

It’s easier than flipping the stock.


I just completed a project milling 2" thick stock with no problem and did not have to do 2 sided. I bought a 3 inch long bit with a 1.125" cutting length. If you are cutting circles I wouldmake your profile cut a little wider than 1/4 inch to reduce the amount of rubbing once you get down below the cut length of the bit. Also you will have to raise the router to get enough clearance and make sure you do a dry run to make sure you dont top out on the upper z limit. Without the stock in place do this:
Step 1 raise the router itself by adjusting the router clamp. I’d say half way up the shaft.
Step 2 run the z height down as low as it will go with out going off the rail. Like leave about half inch adjust the router again so that the collet is about 1/4 inch above the stock. This will be your max depth.
Step 3 raise the z in order to insert the bit leave about 2.25 inch exposed. run z back dow so that bit hits wasteboard and rollers are still safely positioned on the z rail.
Step 4 run the toolpath with router off, long enough to watch it raise to the clearance height and ensure that it does not top out and the limit switch engages.
Step 5 if it does adjust the router down. Repeat the tooolpath test until it no longer tops out.
now you can place your stock and zero xyz.
Or you can do a 2 sided operation and it would still be a good idea to get this bit.


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