Keyhole slot toolpath

Wondering if anyone has any tips on how to go about making the toolpath for using a keyhole router bit to make a slot.

Looking at a bit like this

I have access to Aspire and Easel, just unsure how to get the bit to stay down when it comes back to its plunge position.

This thread shows how to do it.


Yes, still using this script. Try if first with an air cut - zero out your bit ABOVE the material and watch it work to make sure it is working for you before ‘going live.’ I used to use sawtooth hangers but they never lay perfectly flat against the wall. Also, make sure your slot is cut in the center of MASS, not just the center of the piece. I mark the center point of the piece and hold it between two pinched fingers to make sure it will want to hang straight with that slot position. Most carvings will hang straight when carved on the center line. Some however, require a bit of adjustment.

I would just line it up where I wanted it plunge and jog the machine forward and back in easel…

You can’t control your speed with a jog? @PWAC you should be very careful trying this. Normally, it is recommended to route a 1/4 slot first and then use this bit. It’s working pretty hard to do the plunging and routing on its own, hence the small nibbles and the chip clearing withdraw.

I can set jog speed in Mach 3 but it would be painstaking to manually jog back and forth at the necessary slow speed and then hope you jog back to the exact origin to withdraw the bit. Especially if you have to do it for a large number of pieces.

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It is usually set to jog 0.1 so on certain manual runs I drop it to 0.01 that is enough control for me. It is down to depth then a straight line foward then back and out, You could also do a 2 part if it seems like too much strain and run a staight bit manually as well. I will get to the unit and run a test today make a video on a manual keyhole to make sure I am not instructing people to blow up their machines and all.