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Discuss Thermwood 3-axis Machinery, Controller, and Software.

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David Habkirk
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bits

Postby David Habkirk » Tue, Jan 17 2006, 1:42PM

wondering if anyone could recomend or let me know what kind of bits you are using for cutting out melamine cabinet parts.

we are currently using 3/8\" 3 flute compression bits for cutting 3/4\" melamine and are looking for an alternative type of bit that is more economical to both buy and sharpen.

any guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks!
David

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Brian Shannon
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Postby Brian Shannon » Tue, Jan 17 2006, 2:27PM

David,

I am cutting 5/8\" Melamine with a 3/8\" 2 flute compression. It seems to cut fine and maybe the 2 flute would be a little cheaper($32.00) to buy and sharpen. I get them from Integra Tool. The service and quality is very good.


Brian

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Thom Davies
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Postby Thom Davies » Tue, Jan 17 2006, 3:37PM

Hey David

I use and recomend the Onsrud 60-126MW cutter. very good cut and it can be run at a good speed.

Thanks

Thom Davies
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Postby Nick M Singer » Wed, Jan 18 2006, 12:33AM

Hi Dave

I am still on a quest to find the best cutter and have tried a range of them. So far the most expensive have proved to be the worst chipping after only one or two sheets. I have found a 10mm Citi 2 flute compression cutter to be the most economical. I have found that often the type of melamine used is a factor as certain boards have very hard surface layers and burn the cutters just on that line, top and bottom and the space inbetween is just fine. I find sometimes the cutter is very finely pitted on the edge and I hear that some boards have a measure of grit (sand?) in them which blunt the cutters. Cutter speed as a relationship between rotation and feed is also critical, What speed did you say you were running yours at Thom?

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Re:

Postby DanEpps » Wed, Jan 18 2006, 7:02AM

Nick M Singer wrote:I hear that some boards have a measure of grit (sand?) in them which blunt the cutters.


Most laminates contain aluminum oxide to give them better resistance to wear. We all know what aluminum oxide is--the grit in wet/dry sandpaper, so it make sense that the most wear on the bits would be at the top and bottom. I guess if you used the same bit long enough, you could cut a dado leaving just the laminate :lol:

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Postby Bill Rutherford » Wed, Jan 18 2006, 7:25AM

David,
I am using the 60-123MW from Onsrud. They are a 3/8\" diameter two flute compression bit. I cut 3/4\" melamine at 18000 RPM with a feed rate of 375 and a plunge of 90. I find this combination works very well. As for re-sharpening I have had mixed experinece at $38.00 for a new bit or $16.00 to resharpen I am not sure the re-sharps give a long enough cutter life to make it pay.

Bill Rutherford

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Postby Forrest Chapman » Wed, Jan 18 2006, 8:59AM

Dave,

We are using a Southeastern tool 3/8 comp cutter and pay about 38$ to 40$. Cutter speed 18000rpm at 600 to 700 ipm. Nick is right about it wearing in one place just a small notch where the melamine surface is. You can however continue to use the bit for plywood or mdf for a short time. Brian is getting a good price at 32$ if they will hold up. I pay 8$ per bit to sharpen so it is worth it for me. If you ever get a bit sharpened and it doesn't perform like a new one then they may have changed the edge taper.

Forrest

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Postby Nick M Singer » Wed, Jan 18 2006, 10:55AM

Part of the problem I am having is the quality of re sharpening. I am getting cutters back that chip from the start and the flutes are ground enevenly, Total waste of time and money!!! The problem is worse with triple flute cutters which are more expensive from the outset, and more difficult to sharpen correctly.

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Thom Davies
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Postby Thom Davies » Wed, Jan 18 2006, 1:07PM

Hey Nick

I am running 24m feed speed and 16,000rpm on chipboard and on mdf it runs at 14m feed speed and 16,000 rpm. Just like New Zealand rugby players our board might harder than South Africas (or soft!) Glenn from oz also uses the same cutters as i do i think!

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Thom Davies
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Postby Glenn Van Reason » Wed, Jan 18 2006, 2:53PM

Thom that is correct, it's a great cutter. We have been through many suppliers and settings and this seems to be the best. We did find that when we change melamine suppliers we get different results as well.

We do not resharpen at the moment, tried it with other cutters and found it to be very unreliable. Really have to get the manufacturer/supplier of the bit to do it as the local saw sharpening guy doesn't seem to get it right. Cost as well is a big one, we never got anywhere near the use out of a resharpened tool.

We are paying $104AU per bit so we try and get he most out of them. Another thing we have found is using a different bit for MDF and Melamine.
Swapping material with the one bit blunts it out like nothing.
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Michael Kowalczyk
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How many sheets do you get from a bit?

Postby Michael Kowalczyk » Wed, Jan 18 2006, 4:49PM

How many sheets do you get from a bit before it chips and you have to replace it?

How long does it take to change your bit?

How much does your material cost if you waste a sheet because it has chipped edges?

The above question will make more sense after I get a few replys and I will show you what works for us.


Here is another option:

Depending on what you are cutting there is a little known file in the controller (version 5.05 I think) that allows you to \"Z\" oscillate. In a nutshell it makes the \"Z\" move up and down about a 16th. So if you are cutting all the way through it works great and extends the life of the bit 2-3 times (maybe) but I am not sure if it would work on Ecab files. Jody or Jason you can chime in anytime on this question.

I forgot what the code is for it but I think it allows you to set the parameters in the AFL. I will look into it further if anyone is interested.

Thanks,
Michael Kowalczyk, GM

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Jody Wilmes
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Postby Jody Wilmes » Thu, Jan 19 2006, 2:39PM

Currently the oscillating feature is not in our control nesting software. However, I'll make a suggestion to the programmers for this option. I could see this increase the life of cutters used with melamine, etc. drastically.
It works by oscillating an axis back and forth by a user-defined amount when cutting. This will cause the wasteboard to have slightly deeper cuts throughout (if using on Z)....but since wasteboards are a lot cheaper than tools I don't hink that would matter much.

Here is a little more info on it;

Axis Oscillation Feature:
Allows an axis to be commanded to constantly move back and forth from a set location with a preset amplitude (max .05”) and number of cycles per minute.

Purpose: extend cutter life by varying the cutter contact points on glue lines, laminates etc.

Syntax: G65 Z.02 F125.0 (axis oscillation ON for axis Z)

G64 (axis oscillation OFF)

Note: when an axis is oscillating it cannot be commanded to move within the part program. If it is commanded, an error message will be displayed.
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