Carving thick pieces of wood without collet contacting the surface

I’d like to be carving pieces of wood that are 2", 3", and more thick. But I’m concerned that if I try that, that the collet of my Dewalt 611 might make contact with the surface due to the short length of the endmills (from Inventables) that I’m using.

Could someone please tell me what I need to do to avoid that? Are there endmills available with appropriately longer lengths? Do I (and can I) somehow adjust exactly how my X-carve cuts deep cuts such that it always cuts the top layers first all the way across a piece of work?

Truthfully, I don’t know exactly the right question to ask about this, so please help me figure it out.

Depending on the design, you could also do a two-sided carve at 51% depth per side :slight_smile:

But given you have enough Z travel for the router to clear 3" stock all you need is a longer bit, preferable one with cut diameter = shaft diameter.

For deep carves you need to make sure your router is truly trammed (Z axis is 100% perpendicular relative to the waste board, both axis and height change)

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Okay. Longer bits; yes I get that. Not a clue where to find good ones that won’t break my wallet.

Stepped cutting strategies; I get the concept. Clueless how to implement them in Easel and/or Vcarve Pro. Maybe there’s a “how-to” tutorial somewhere?

Lifted gantry; yes. Seems like the thickest wood I could cut now is maybe 2" without doing that.

But if I raise the gantry, then that’s why I’d need the longer Z travel, right? Which would probably mean simply getting a longer Z-rail and threaded rod?

Did I see somewhere that Inventables (or someone) has an lifted gantry upgrade? Wouldn’t that be just some taller plates for the ends of the Y-axis?

Right now I’m confident that my router is truly trimmed and 100% perpendicular. But it seems that might change if I upgrade to a lifted gantry.

Hows it going man @RickJohnson

so endmills are you #1 cost when owning a machine (as far as consumables)

if you want quality products use quality tools they will pay for themselves with the more customers you attract

I would invest time in learning about cnc bits do reading, ask questions, perform tests, and watch videos basically do everything that you can to understand the tools you buy

For your problem here I would ask

What material are you cutting?

if your cutting things like wood or aluminum you want to go no more than x4 the diameter of the tool

if your cutting things like foam or wax you can really go as long as you want in most cases

try and buy only solid carbide tooling I would stay away from HSS tools as they are material specific and when starting out you want multi purpose tools

Here are some tool manufactures that I commonly use

LMT Onsrud
Tools Today (amana tool)
Whiteside Machine Tool
Magnate Tools
CMT Tools
Vortex Tooling

All of these produce quality tools

I would also research and understand chipload and feedrates so you can make the most life of your tools

On the stepped cutting depths its all in the programming I would source out and watch youtube videos on people walking you through the process Personally I would get away from easel and start using more v-carve pro and eventually look into Fusion 360 and then if you get really serious and maybe upgrade to a larger machine look into things like Mastercam etc.

for the lifted gantry be careful on how high you go as the machine is already flexible and can get even more so the higher you go without heavy heavy modifications and at that point your better off buying a different style of machine in the mean time I think cnc4newbie sells decent z-axis upgrades

hope that helps

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