Refinishing Wood


i was wondering which Meshcam settings are the best to refinish wood to reuse it.
I have a piece of hardwood where the cutter snapped mid-job so i need to shave off about 10mm of the top.

I would create a square in Photoshop which I can then scale in Meshcam to resize it to the size i need. Then use a #101 (which is my largest cutter) but which settings should i use in Meshcam to not make this a 10 hour job? :wink:

That’s a lot of machine time on a complex machine.

Why not run it through a planer?

Or just use a hand plane?

There is definitely better suited tools out there for this task, but i don’t own any of those so I want to use the machine i have to get the task done, even if it takes longer than it would with the other ones. :smile:

  • Stanley RB-5 — $10 (be sure to remove the spare blades from under
    the handle when using it)
  • C-clamp — $9

Saving wear and tear on your $2,500 CNC machine — priceless.

That looks very interesting, are the grooves with space between them intentional?

Rather than making a square in photoshop, I’d recommend just an STL file that’s a rectangular box of the correct size. There’s also been discussion about making a work-surface facing routine, which applies to what you’re trying to do. In that thread @Darren mentioned doing it the “photoshop” way:

I don’t know if I did it the best way, but here was my workflow…

I made an 8" x 8" black square in photoshop. Opened it in meshcam, defined stock as being 8 x 8 x .375 (I think that’s the thickness, can’t recall), set maximum cut depth to .020, machining margin 0, and clicked on parallel pass only, 40ipm feed, 10ipm plunge.

I used the new .250 cutter / collet combo from Carbide3d, and took great care zeroing the board. Loaded the file, and it cut it without issue.

If you want to plan for “doubling-up” on current problem-solving and future utility, you could get the 1/4" collet and the 3-flute end-mill to do the job from the online store, and that’d speed things up substantially over using the 1/8" tool.


the ridges are from the roughing pass, my roughing pass always looks like that until the finishing pass runs.
And thanks, i look into the 1/4 collet and the bigger endmill :smile:

Your roughing passes shouldn’t look like that… You want to make sure your step-over is smaller than the diameter of your tool, because it’ll improve cut performance and chip evacuation if you’re not plough-cutting every pass, but rather taking ~50-80% of the cutter width per pass. You may want to check and make sure you’re not using the wrong tool definition relative to what tool you’ve put in, as that’d explain a lot there :wink:


my roughing pass always leaves these ridges (i have another post about it and you can see it in lots of pics that i have posted here). I use always default parameters for the NOMAD from within meshcam, and only use the Carbide bits.

I have changed the stepovers before and it never made a big difference, it also leaves the ridges in the parallel finish cylce UNLESS i UNCHECK the ‘angle limit’ option. Then the finishing pass smoothes it out.


Can we get a screen-grab of your settings from your last job, and a screen-grab of the geometry in MeshCAM?

Also, there have been mis-labeled cutters, and as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, there’s the matter of tolerances to keep in mind and also material deflection—if you’re cutting at 100% tool-width, which would be .125" or .063", depending on if you’re using the 1/8 or 1/16 tools, you could end up with very thin walls of material if the cutter is under-size and out of spec. and there is deflection in the material. That shouldn’t happen, but it could. Also, if the ridges are always aligned with the X axis, you may have a bit of play in your Y-axis carriage belt, so I’d say wiggle the table with the machine on, and see if it will move. If it’s snug and won’t slide at all, then we can rule that out. If it moves, then you may need to shim the belt in the belt-clamp to take the play out, which we can walk you through.

You want your step-overs to be 50-80% for most things, which will leave some cusps if you’re roughing with a ball-end tool, but it shouldn’t leave free-standing walls like that.

Looking forward to some screenshots to sleuth to the bottom of this :relaxed:

Thanks UnionNine!

I try to get screenshots of that later IF i still have that. ANY job i run has those ridges though unless i uncheck the box.
The tools are all correct, i measured them after indeed receiving some mislabeled ones.
Here is an old thread i had going that describes the issue with screenshots etc: How do i get a smooth result in the roughing cycle?

Thanks again :smile: