Getting a chance to work with this guy is something I’ve been waiting to do for quite some time. But I decided to start small before doing anything really exciting.
I chose to try and simply cut this shape out of a piece of plywood I found lying around. The inner circles are pockets and the shape is supposed to be cut out completely.
I chose to use my down-cut end mill because I wanted the clean edge to be the same side as the pockets, and the down-cut end mill makes the top surface appear cleaner than the bottom.
It took a little bit of time to figure out how to zero this particular machine. The x-axis wouldn’t jog past a certain point, but once I figured it out, it worked pretty well. I also made the mistake of zeroing the z-axis too close to the surface of the material, and the bit ended up making an unsightly gouge on its way to the first pocket. Lesson learned.
Once the pockets were cut, I added two more screws to hold the piece down once it’s cut from the material.
The top side looked great. Aside from the screws which I hadn’t quite designed into my cut, I was pretty satisfied.
The bottom half, on the other hand didn’t fare quite as well. Some sanding cleaned it up, but it’s good to keep in mind that this needs to be factored into the process.