Pocketing Question and requesting advice

Howdy everyone,

I’m working on making a base for an acrylic edge lit piece and when the pocket starts cutting, it’s leaving “strings” of cuttings that end up wrapping around the collet nut. My question is, is this normal or do I need to adjust my DoC, stepover, or feed rate? Or should I just pause every so often to clean it up and let it continue? Pic for reference:

Now the advice request. I am using scrap 2x4 for this base and cutting a 1in. pocket with a 1/4 in. #201 endmill as one toolpath. The second toolpath is a smaller pocket inside the larger pocket, but when I go to start the cut, spindle hits the top of the piece so the endmill can’t reach the bottom. Is there a workaround for this, or do I need to order a longer endmill?

Carbide Create Pro, build 528 file attached:
LED Base.c2d (11.5 KB)

Thanks for any help :slight_smile:


How much stickout do you have from your #201?

A longer endmill will likely help.

Construction grade wood will often splinter thus — one strategy to cope w/ it is rather than one long pocket (along the length of the board/with the grain), cut a series of shorter, overlapping (by at least the radius of the endmill) pockets.

I’m still learning the terminology, what do you mean by stickout? And to clarify, the second pocket is being done with a 1/8 endmill.

Stickout == the length of endmill sticking out from the collet.

You’ll definitely need a long reach 1/8" endmill, list at:


one trick can be to first do a shallow cut around of the inside of the pocket (like 1mm / 0.04" or even less) just to break the surface in an as clean as possible way
(as much as deeper parts of the cut may splinter, my observation has been that once the surface is broken in, those just clean themselves up or are super easy to fix up afterwards)

this cut you can do at a lower feedrate to even reduce forces more (and cutting forces impact this kind of splintering)


Using the 201 to clear most of the material then finish off with a down cut bit may help.

1 Like

Gotcha. The 1\4 sticks out a little longer than 1 in. The 1/8th is much shorter. It looks like I’m getting a new 1/8th endmill.

@fenerus, The strips aren’t a really the concern for me because the bottom of the pocket is clean and smooth. I just wanted to make sure that I’m not being too rough on the endmill. I’ve broken a few that I got with a smaller CnC already and this is the #201 that came with my XXL and I want to try to keep it usable for a while.