Protecting Laminate from Scratches on a CNC Pod and Rail

Felt or plastic covers can keep laminate free of scratches. September 3, 2011

I have been using a Biesse Rover B pod and rail and we cut MDF with HPL on both sides typically. Lately we've been seeing some scratches on the laminate due to sliding the piece across the rails. Does anybody have tricks or aftermarket rails that prevent this? We've just resorted to lifting the sheet every time we need to move it, which is time consuming.

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor D:
Sand your lifters. Work through finer and finer grits and finish wet sanding with 2000 grit. They will be slick as glass.

From contributor A:
Sanding them makes it worse because the micro stones in the sandpaper get into the rails. I attached a stick-on felt pad on the rail surface. Keeps everything free from scratches. You might also invest in a panel lifter to further prevent scratching.

From contributor W:
On our Rover 24 pod and rail CNC we used some UHMW U shape pieces that went on top of the rails to help with scratching, and it also makes the material slide easier.

From contributor D:
I made some out of clear polycarbonate. After routing, the edges were translucent. I wet sanded them to 2000 grit, and they are crystal clear and slick. I often have to put completed big heavy doors on our machine to make hardware mortises. Serves me well enough, and some of these doors get up to 300+ pounds.

From contributor W:
I'm with you, contributor D. Our Rover B 7.65 does 95% of our door product hardware preps and they are also heavy. The advantage we have is we have vacuum lifter cranes to load and unload the doors, so they really don't have to slide much on the lifters, as you can pretty much put them very close to the pins before the door's weight is put on the lifters. So far Mr. Rover B has done a stellar job for us. We've had it about 2.5 years now and we use it to cut, bevel, hinge and lock about 100 stile and rail doors a day. The 20' bed gives us the ability to pendulum machine so load/unload time basically comes out at 0.