Milling Moulding from Exotic Hardwoods

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Carbide tooling helps when tackling these very hard wood species. May 13, 2005

We need to run profiles from White Goncalo Alves and steel knives aren't making it. As we look at various carbide options, we are wondering if this wood is typically difficult to run with steel… or it could be the batch of lumber we have. A typical profile will run about 30 -50 feet and need sharpening. The same profile with other exotics is no trouble.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From Dave Rankin, forum technical advisor:
Many of the exotic hardwoods require the use of carbide. On many of the different species we have had very good luck with DGK coated tool steel. We can run medium length runs 5,000-10,000 lineal feet in many of the odd woods.

For a comparison in domestic woods:
Hard maple HSS tool steel normal runs will dull within 2000 lineal feet
Carbide from 50,000 to 100,000
DGK 18,000 to 40,0000
There are some of the exotic woods where I have had to use carbide and still did not get a very good run before I had problems. I have not run this specific wood before.

From contributor C:

It is very difficult to machine. In many cases, carbide knives would be required for a large footage run. As mentioned, some treated knives may possibly work for shorter footage runs.