Tooling Questions


From original questioner:

I have been looking into cnc now for quiet some time. The question I have for those who are already into cnc, is what are some of the basics for tooling? I would be looking at just cutting and milling sheet stock for cabinet boxes for starters. How well do the bits hold up? I probably process around 250-300 pieces of sheet goods a year. the majority would be prefinished 3/4 plywood. Any information you would be willing to share would be much appreciated.

From contributor Ch

All kinds of possibilities here. You could use compression bits or just the standard 2 flute spirals. If you can give us a call @ 877-465-7012 maybe we can narrow some things down for you.

From contributor Ad

I have had success with using a two or three flute chip breaker compression spiral for plywood. I machine my pieces in reverse (upmill) and that virtually eliminates all fuzzy edges that I was getting with the convention compression bits....just some food for thought..also vacuum is key as the prefin ply is very slippery...lots of onion skinning required!

From contributor Wo

I was just wondering about a price to budget for bits for start up, and an idea for a yearly number.

From contributor De

We use 2 flute 1/2 compression bits and cut 3/4 melamine. We get about 40 sheets before we.resharpen. I think we pay about 15 bucks for that. We have cut pre finished and regular veneer ply with above tooling with no issues. Your mileage may vary.

From contributor sc

Your yearly tooling cost would probably be less than $500 for just cutting sheet goods as you described. The actual bits are not that expensive. Your initial tooling setup will be a few thousand as you need the tool holders and collets which are $ 200-300 each, plus all the drill bits for your drill head, and a spoil board cutter.
One other cost to consider is machine maintenance which shouldn't be to bad in your case as you are only cutting 300 sheets. The biggest cost in maintenance for my machine is the grease which is some ridiculous price of around $100 per tube as I use the manufacturer recommended grease. Anyways just a little food for though.

From contributor De

For grease call Mike at better vacuum cups. They have several options on grease for about a third of the cost from manufacturers.