Suggest 1/4 Inch Bit for 3 D Carve into Maple

I have a Job for a Client. I will be doing 3D Carving into 4 Pieces of Maple that will be used for a Fireplace Mantel. Any suggestions on what 1/4 Inch Bit to use for the roughing? As well, what about feeds and speeds for the Roughing Bit.It will be for this type of 3 D Carvings

People will probably need a bit more information. To start, what spindle are you using? (I’m assuming DWP611, but I don’t know if the old stock spindle will even take a 1/4" bit.)

Its a Dewalt 611 so it will take 1/4 inch. What other information?

Any quarter inch end mill will work for the roughing. The more interesting decisions revolve around the ballnose finishing. Playing with your stepover and starting with a larger mill like a quarter inch ball nose with a smaller stepover can yield better results than a smaller mill. If you have LOTS of time, choose a larger diameter ballnose for the finishing pass.

Then, recalculate the job specifying a smaller diameter ball nose. Then, just run the finishing pass with the smaller ball nose, but only if you think you need to after examining the work.

Testing helps.

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For roughing 2 or 3 flute up-cut end-mill, 2000mm/s, 1mm max DOC, 0.5 stock leave.
For clean-up 2 flute up-cut ball end, 2000mm/s, 0.5mm max DOC, 1mm step over.

You will probably need 1 more pass if you don’t want to do any sanding.

I agree with @Earwigger, I haven’t done any 3d milling, but from what I’ve read this sounds right. If you are looking for some where in town, Lee Valley surprising sells some 1/4" HSS 2 flute upcut bit for a fairly reasonable price.

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I recently discovered that if the object has lots of fine detail then doing two detail passes works great. The first detail pass can be with a .125 ball nose and then finish with a second detail pass using a 30 degree vbit. It really makes all the difference. It can take a long time but the final product is much improved.

If you do plan to use the Vbit for the final pass then the stepover for the first detail pass with a .125 ball nose can be much larger which will save some time.


Great Info. Thanks Guys.

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I have done a lot of 3d work with maple. I have a water cooled spindle but I think the power is about the same as the dewalt. I use 1/4 end mills for roughing and run them at feed: 170 inch/ min, Plunge 70.0 inch/ min and max depth per pass at 0.09. For finishing I use either a 1/4 or 1/8 ball nose with the same speeds as above. I run the ball nose at the full 24,000 rpm and cut down the end mill to around 21,000.

That’s interesting. I use 50 ipm and a .125" depth of cut for roughing at 21,000. One pass baby (usually).

The ball nose pass is 50 ipm also and I do not limit the DOC, because the roughing pass keeps it pretty safe.

But I use walnut which mills really well.

Interesting… Just out of curiosity I took a large project and tried both settings. Keep in mind this was for a large project that in places went through the 0.75 inch thick material. At 170 ipm, 70 plunge and 0.09 it estimated it at 5:18, when I substituted in your values it went up to 10:34.
I have no doubt that depending on the job it may be better to go with yours but on this large one I would take less of a cut and feed it faster.

I would always to with faster! I just assumed my settings were faster. Hmm. I am not even sure my machine would go 170 ipm. I have a 1000mm with Gecko but am hauling a Hitachi around. Seems like it would be kind of shocking and violent. But I want to try it!

I go up to 190 for MDF but I find after that it gets a bit iffy. I have the 800 watt water cooled spindle, not sure what it weighs. I also have the 1000mm but use the stock shield and UGS.


You should make that skull your avatar! :sunglasses:

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Do you happen to know what your acceleration settings are?

I LOVE how that thing carves walnut. I wish walnut wasn’t so expensive.

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Sorry I don’t know where that setting is. I use Aspire and set the settings above using it. Everything else is stock standard from the v-care setup.

@KeithGrunow that seems a bit too fast for the rigidity of this machine and the power limitations of the gShield.

Uploading 20151209_194610.mp4…
@CristianHinz these settings work for me after much trial and error. See the attached video of it in action and the outcome.

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