Knife Griding for Cross-Grain Cuts

A quick tip on tuning up cutterheads for clean machining on cross-grain cuts. March 26, 2013

I'm considering the installation of a mist-lubricator on a custom molding machine. I discovered some time ago that simply spraying a little mineral spirits on the wood yields smoother cuts, especially on short or cross-grain. Unfortunately, much of my required profile cutting runs directly against the grain. This is a standard metalworking practice but what about an application for wood?

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor D:
It works well for horizontal bandsaws as you can mist the blade just before it passes through the stock, but I would think maybe not so much for a paddle wheel type configured cutter. Some metalworking cutters have coolant/cutting fluid pumped from the inside of the cutter so the centrifugal force splays it outward.

I too have to deal with cuts against the grain, hogging off lots of stock at a time. What has helped the most is adapting corrugated hogger technology to standard cutterheads. That tiny sine wave grind, like a steak knife, works absolute wonders cutting across the grain. It doesn't make sense, but it works - very little force on the part, quiet, and almost no tearout. In a four-knife cutter, a finishing knife following a hogging knife works well. I even had a few sets of three knife heads where the hills and valleys of the sine wave were staggered on two heads, followed by a finisher. These cut 2 inch tenons and copes in 2 1/4" thick stock in one pass on a part on a CNC machine. I used to have to swing around and hit it four times before getting to the full edge depth because the part would come loose.