Double part cutting?

Just an odd question that ran through my mind…

How would cutting through double sheets of material work on a machine like this? My current idea of main wood is 1/8" ply. Could I double stack it and cut down 1/4" and do twice the work? This is all presuming no tabs and a tightly secured work area.

How are you going to hold the top part when it’s cut free?

What’s to keep it from being grabbed, moved and damaged by the endmill when it gets to the end of cutting the material which is holding it in place?

You probably could, but be aware that the top piece would come loose when you cut all the way through and you’d have to pull it out quickly before it started causing trouble.

Good thoughts, thanks guys. Didn’t think that brilliant plan through very well.

Presuming you had double side tape between the pieces like the bottom piece to the waste board…maybe it would be possible?

Not really planning on doing things this way, but the thought crossed my mind and wanted to see what other more experienced members had to say.

It would be better to make the cuts side by side in one layer of material. I’ve cut up to nine pieces of the same item by drawing it, then copy and paste to get the count. With tabs between everything, it all stays together.

The gumming up from adhesives is bad enough when one is just barely cutting into them when they’re holding things at the bottom — cutting all the way through them is going to make a mess.

Reaching into the machine’s working envelope (while the machine is running) is potentially dangerous and something which runs counter to common sense and sensible work practices and traditional safety guidelines. Don’t do it. Don’t think about doing it.

There’s some discussion of this in the operating checklist for the Shapeoko:

Please, use the machine w/ care and w/ safety in mind. Wear safety gear appropriate to the tool which you are using and do not take unnecessary risks w/ your safety or the safety of others.

Totally agreed. But reaching into the machine before a job is finished may be needed in an emergency situation, so it’s important to know how to do so safely. (but avoid doing so if at all possible)

  • Pause the job so new g-code instructions are not being sent to the machine, wait for the machine to settle.
  • Turn off the spindle at the power supply (don’t just turn it off in software) and wait for it to settle.
  • Reach in (with a tool, not your fragile meaty fingers) to do what you need to do (clear an obstruction, clean the end mill, etc)
  • Start up the spindle
  • Resume the job.

That said I would avoid starting a job where needing to stop it and reach in is a planned step.

Added a parenthetical to make clear what I meant (which should have been clear from the context).

Agree that if one can reliably and safely pause/stop the machine, then it’s okay.