How should I set up the design feature and the tool paths to remove the upper portion of an inlay on my Shapeoko 4?
You can use any tool you want like a 1/4" or a 1" fly bit. You zero on top of the male plug and set your pocket so you do not cut all the way down to the surface of the project. Then use a random orbit sander or drum sander to complete the removal of the plug. You can go all the way down to the surface but you can accidentally create a pocket in the middle of your pocket.
If you have a planner you can use that but the plug has to be long enough for the feed and out feed rollers to move it through the planner. Personally I dont recommend the planner because it is quite violent and have had some of my plugs pulled out.
Some people put the project on the bandsaw and cut most of the plug away and then sand the rest. That works well if you have a bandsaw big enough to cut the project depending on height of the project.
You could take a belt sander to the plug but you have to be very careful or you can ruin your project. The key is not to go all the way to the surface and finish with a random orbit or hand sanding.
I have a 16" Jet drum sander. That works well but not everyone has that luxury. That method works best for me because it is very controllable and the bottom of the project is being pulled through the sander and just the top is being sanded.
So there are a lot of ways to skin a cat but in the end you have a skinned cat.
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