Speed/feed for surfacing Nomad wasteboard with 1/4" endmill?

So after doing some research into speeds and feeds, it seems like using 1/4" endmill on a Nomad isn’t a good idea, generally speaking (someone correct me if I’m wrong). However, I’ve seen some posts here recommending a 1/4" bit for surfacing the MDF wasteboard, which makes sense since you want a larger bit for something like that. Can someone clarify this for me? Should I use the 1/4" for surfacing or no? And if I do, can you tell me what spindle speed and feed rate you typically use (again, just for MDF)? I’m working on very small projects anyway so this is likely the only thing I’ll ever use the 1/4" bit for.

Since you have an ER11 collet ( ER11: 0.5 – 8 mm (0.020 – 0.315") you can buy different size collets in the range listed. A bigger bit produces a better result. However a 1" on a Shapeoko is no problem perhaps others can pipe in if a 1" bit would be too much for a Nomad. With a larger bit on a Nomad you would need to limit your doc. I use a 1" Whiteside 6210 fly bit with 1/4" shank that I run at 80 IPM and a 0.010" doc. Surfacing you rarely need to cut more than one or two passes to get a flat clean surface.

When I surface my spoilboard that is 32"W x 29"L I create a rectangle that is 32.5" x 29.5" so that I am able to cut the entire surface and not leave a ridge around the edges. Now sure what the Nomad cutting area is compared to the spoilboard area. When you create a spoilboard surfacing project be sure to cut it as air job first to make sure you are not going to hit any of the hardware like the BitSetter. You do that by setting your Z zero higher than the actual surface of the material in jog. After you are sure there will be no problems you can set zero again on the surface of your material. I always put pencil marks all over the surface. After a single surfacing pass I see if any pencil marks are still visible. If they are I move my router off the material and set the z 0.010" lower than the previous zero and then set the Z zero. I continue to do this until my spoil board has no pencil marks visible.

So create a tool that has a 0.010" depth of cut. Create a project with the dimensions of the spoil board plus a little more so you cut the entire surface of the spoilboard. Draw a rectangle to fill your project dimensions. Create a pocket of the rectangle and make the depth 0.010". This will create a job with a single pass. Run an air job to make sure you can safely cut the spoilboard. Then zero on the surface and start the job. If any pencil marks are left rezero 0.010" lower and run again. Repeat until all pencil marks are gone.

The Nomad has a relatively small spoilboard so if you use a 1/4" bit. The Nomad 3 tool database has a 10% stepover. If that is not enough decrease it to get a smooth cut. Decreasing the stepover will take longer to cut but may be required to get a smooth. I would recommend the Whiteside 6210 but you will choose based on what you have and your pocket book.

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