I am using a 1/8 2 flute downcut bit to thru cut 1/2 inch MDF can anyone give me the ideal setting to get this job done fast? I do not have the stiffening mod on my machine.I have done a ton of reasearch and cant seem to get a concrete answer.
Dewalt Number Setting?
Depth Per Pass?
Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated!
i’ve gone as fast as 100-130 ipm @ .0625 depth (think i went as deep as .1 for one job without any real issue.)
my best advice… make a series of test. I generally start with some conservative numbers and have 8 cut paths setup as squares that get progressively more aggressive. It’s a mix of doc and feedrates to find that sweetspot. once you find it… then note it and move on.
I’ve always used the stock MDF Setting in Easel, it’s always been quick enough for me. Mind you I’ve never really been in a hurry. Cutting any other material I like to mess around with the settings a bit.
I posted my rates to demonstrate what is possible…
RobertCanning has a point… I do recommend way faster only if your machine is tuned and you have any kinks worked out first. if your machine is solid and you know your toolpaths are good, then you should have no issues. To get to those speeds, i incrementally tested by setting up multiple toolpath test. it was a grid of 2 inch square profile paths. each column was a test at a certain DOC with different feed rates. the next column would be a different DOC than the first but the row would have the same feed rate as the previous. i would mark checks and x’s to find what failed and what passed.
from there, I proceeded with running jobs with passed settings along with tuning my machine in order to stabilize any issues. As a note, this was all run on an original Xcarve (the only modification was bolts vertically between the two x rails to give more rigidity). I now have upgraded the x rail and I run no less than 85ipm depending on curves. the more curves a part has, the slower i’ll run it. (probably don’t really need to, but it does concern me a bit for now… i suppose it’s from previous experiences when the wheels would loosen up and practically fly off)
Another note: this may make a few cringe… I have to admit, I cringe when I think this… but it gives me the courage to try to push my machine… I put it together… therefore, I can figure out how to fix it when things go wrong. It sucks… but generally I discover a weakness that I can improve upon which makes future jobs that much more secured.
Always use a straight-cut bit or a V-bit. MDF is very fibrous and you’ll end up pulling up the layers, etc. I don’t recommend a down-cut bit because the material doesn’t clear without a super strong vacuum dust collector and you’ll end up clogging up the traces and it might affect your carve.
There are different qualities of MDF and that might make a difference. I learned this when I was making a poker table and the warehouse didn’t have the “normal” quality MDF and ended up buying a higher quality which looks finer and smoother. My problem is with the insides of letters such on A’s or P’s flaking off when vcarving. I’ve tried to soak the MDF with sealer before cutting but does not change things.