Edge Quality in Basswood

I just finished m first X-carve project. It was a simple gothic cross for carving. The material was 3/4" basswood. The bit was an 1/8" fishtail bit. I was pretty happy with the outline but the edge quality is not quite what I wanted. Is it because I used a fishtail bit? Would a straight bit or a 1/4" bit give me a better side wall finish? Any suggestions would be welcome.

How many passes did it take to cut through? You can try re-running a final pass at full depth. Sometimes that will clean up the layered cuts

I can only speak from my own experience with basswood, but you’ll get fuzzy edges with most router bits. that is why basswood is used for wood carving, the small fibers and closed pore grain. I would use a larger diameter bit, but I believe you still will need to sand out mill marks.

12 passes I think. I used tabs, so most of the piece was milled to full depth at the end.

Is there a way to do an offset, mill up to within 0.005 of the set line, then on the final pass, mill to the line?

I did another experiment this morning. 3/4" basswood. Used a 1/8" double flute straight end mill. I did not get the layers, but the edge quality is very poor. I obviously need the shearing action of a flute.

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Easel does not have that option but it can be done with multiple carves.
0.005" might be a bit aggressive with 1/8" bit in 3/4" material.

Thank you.

If you are creating your part by cutting on the outside of a path, you can achieve a rough pass and a finish pass by doing the following…

Suppose that you have a 0.125 inch diameter upcut bit. Create a custom bit in easel and tell easel that it has a diameter of 0.145 inches. Then create your tool path and run your part. The part will be created bigger than it should be because the center of your bit is staying 0.145/2 inches away from the edge instead of 0.125/2 inches away from the edge. You part will still have 0.01 inches of extra material.

Next you create a new tool path from your same design except this time you tell easel that you have a 0.125 upcut bit and you want easel to cut your design at full depth in one pass. The bit should run around your part removing the slight excess.

Since you didn’t actually do a bit change, everything should work out fine as long as your second pass starts from the exact starting point as your first pass. If you are skilled with G-code, you might be able to combine both paths into one file.

If you have access to software like Vectric, it can do roughing passes and finish passes as part of one design.

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I was searching for recommended settings for 1/8" basswood and came across this posting.
The method I’ve used to get smoother cuts is to 1st cut the part using “cut outside the path”.
Then I cop and paste the object back over itself and do a 2nd cut on the part using “cut on the shape path”.