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Test milling material...

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  • stjohngoldfinger
    Hi, what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical test milling material. I am looking for something that is easily available and doesn t
    Message 1 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
      Hi,
      what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical 'test milling' material. I am looking for something that is easily available and doesn't cost the earth to trial mill and test my gcode before I put a piece of more expensive material on the work table...

      many thanks,
      St.john
    • frxdy@aol.com
      In a message dated 10/29/2010 8:01:27 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, stjohngoldfinger@yahoo.com writes: what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and
      Message 2 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
        In a message dated 10/29/2010 8:01:27 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
        stjohngoldfinger@... writes:

        what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical 'test
        milling' material.


        Hardwood.....maple mills quite nicely as does mahogany.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Douglas Vogt
        Try ordinary pine wood. This is what I used to test milling clock wheel blanks before using brass. The only drawback is the cuts in wood are not perfectly
        Message 3 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
          Try ordinary pine wood. This is what I used to test milling clock wheel blanks
          before using brass. The only drawback is the cuts in wood are not perfectly
          clean, some "fuzz" is left behind. Maybe a harder wood will work better but all
          I did was sand the top down a bit.





          ________________________________
          From: stjohngoldfinger <stjohngoldfinger@...>
          To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Fri, October 29, 2010 8:01:09 AM
          Subject: [taigtools] Test milling material...

           
          Hi,
          what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical 'test milling'
          material. I am looking for something that is easily available and doesn't cost
          the earth to trial mill and test my gcode before I put a piece of more expensive
          material on the work table...

          many thanks,
          St.john




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • stjohngoldfinger
          Hmm... was looking for something a little better than wood if possible. I am sure hardwood can be used fine but in Uk wood is most likely just as expensive as
          Message 4 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
            Hmm...

            was looking for something a little better than wood if possible. I am sure hardwood can be used fine but in Uk wood is most likely just as expensive as metal!

            cheers,
            St.john



            --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, Douglas Vogt <dbvogt@...> wrote:
            >
            > Try ordinary pine wood. This is what I used to test milling clock wheel blanks
            > before using brass. The only drawback is the cuts in wood are not perfectly
            > clean, some "fuzz" is left behind. Maybe a harder wood will work better but all
            > I did was sand the top down a bit.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ________________________________
            > From: stjohngoldfinger <stjohngoldfinger@...>
            > To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Fri, October 29, 2010 8:01:09 AM
            > Subject: [taigtools] Test milling material...
            >
            >  
            > Hi,
            > what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical 'test milling'
            > material. I am looking for something that is easily available and doesn't cost
            > the earth to trial mill and test my gcode before I put a piece of more expensive
            > material on the work table...
            >
            > many thanks,
            > St.john
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Michael Fagan
            Not sure you re going to find a good solution to this problem. Machinable wax is actually one of the more expensive materials available for prototyping. Some
            Message 5 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
              Not sure you're going to find a good solution to this problem. Machinable
              wax is actually one of the more expensive materials available for
              prototyping. Some plastics might work if you can get them at scrap or
              discount rates (HDPE for example). Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is
              always a good standby and usually much cheaper than hardwood if you wanted
              to go that route. It also is a uniform product, no grain or knots to worry
              about. The final alternative is just to use your final material but take a
              couple steps to make sure that the program is doing what you want. First,
              set the z height of the tool about 1" above your part (or whatever is
              necessary) so that the entire program runs in the air above the part but
              never touches it. Then, after it looks reasonable, lower the depth such
              that the program just barely skims the part (maybe a couple thou total depth
              of cut). Ink the surface before hand, and the machine will neatly scribe
              out its intended path. You can check that with your favorite measuring
              instrument for accuracy at this point.

              Finally, while not always applicable in a hobbyist context, in a run of
              parts typically a machine shop would allocate one extra blank as a " setup
              part". This piece is the first one run, and wouldn't necessarily be
              expected to be perfect, as the operator is still fine-tuning the program
              parameters. Obviously if your material costs hundreds of dollars, then it
              probably doesn't make sense, but in that case you could probably justify a
              piece of aluminum or plastic as a trial part.

              On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 08:53, stjohngoldfinger
              <stjohngoldfinger@...>wrote:

              >
              >
              > Hmm...
              >
              > was looking for something a little better than wood if possible. I am sure
              > hardwood can be used fine but in Uk wood is most likely just as expensive as
              > metal!
              >
              > cheers,
              > St.john
              >
              >
              > --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com <taigtools%40yahoogroups.com>, Douglas
              > Vogt <dbvogt@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Try ordinary pine wood. This is what I used to test milling clock wheel
              > blanks
              > > before using brass. The only drawback is the cuts in wood are not
              > perfectly
              > > clean, some "fuzz" is left behind. Maybe a harder wood will work better
              > but all
              > > I did was sand the top down a bit.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ________________________________
              > > From: stjohngoldfinger <stjohngoldfinger@...>
              >
              > > To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com <taigtools%40yahoogroups.com>
              > > Sent: Fri, October 29, 2010 8:01:09 AM
              > > Subject: [taigtools] Test milling material...
              > >
              > > �
              > > Hi,
              > > what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical 'test
              > milling'
              > > material. I am looking for something that is easily available and doesn't
              > cost
              > > the earth to trial mill and test my gcode before I put a piece of more
              > expensive
              > > material on the work table...
              > >
              > > many thanks,
              > > St.john
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Lewis hein
              Why not use beeswax or candle wax? Lewis Hein ... From: stjohngoldfinger To: Sent: Friday, October
              Message 6 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
                Why not use beeswax or candle wax?

                Lewis Hein
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "stjohngoldfinger" <stjohngoldfinger@...>
                To: <taigtools@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 6:01 AM
                Subject: [taigtools] Test milling material...


                > Hi,
                > what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical 'test
                > milling' material. I am looking for something that is easily available and
                > doesn't cost the earth to trial mill and test my gcode before I put a
                > piece of more expensive material on the work table...
                >
                > many thanks,
                > St.john
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > To Post a message, send it to:
                > taigtools@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
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                >
                > Let the chips fly!
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Douglas Vogt
                We hear how scarce wood is in the UK and elsewhere (try China, they have plenty of US wood that they re shipping back here as cheap chipboard furniture). The
                Message 7 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
                  We hear how scarce wood is in the UK and elsewhere (try China, they have plenty
                  of US wood that they're shipping back here as cheap chipboard furniture).


                  The answer also depends on how thick your project is. Over here, we can buy 1/8
                  inch thick plexiglass (perspex?) in home centers. Even if your project is
                  thicker, at least a shallow cut would show the preliminary shape. I wouldn't
                  recommend "dumpster diving" (rummaging around in trash bins) as it's somewhat
                  illegal in places. How about begging scraps from a lumber yard? On construction
                  sites, the carpenters are usually friendly and may sneak you a piece of lumber
                  but it's probably soft wood.




                  ________________________________
                  From: stjohngoldfinger <stjohngoldfinger@...>
                  To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Fri, October 29, 2010 8:53:27 AM
                  Subject: [taigtools] Re: Test milling material...

                   
                  Hmm...

                  was looking for something a little better than wood if possible. I am sure
                  hardwood can be used fine but in Uk wood is most likely just as expensive as
                  metal!

                  cheers,
                  St.john

                  --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, Douglas Vogt <dbvogt@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Try ordinary pine wood. This is what I used to test milling clock wheel blanks

                  > before using brass. The only drawback is the cuts in wood are not perfectly
                  > clean, some "fuzz" is left behind. Maybe a harder wood will work better but all
                  >
                  > I did was sand the top down a bit.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ________________________________
                  > From: stjohngoldfinger <stjohngoldfinger@...>
                  > To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Fri, October 29, 2010 8:01:09 AM
                  > Subject: [taigtools] Test milling material...
                  >
                  >  
                  > Hi,
                  > what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical 'test
                  >milling'
                  >
                  > material. I am looking for something that is easily available and doesn't cost

                  > the earth to trial mill and test my gcode before I put a piece of more
                  >expensive
                  >
                  > material on the work table...
                  >
                  > many thanks,
                  > St.john
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Clive Foster
                  In the UK MDF sheet can often be obtained inexpensively when people re-model their kitchens. Better quality units use it instead of chipboard in more visible
                  Message 8 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
                    In the UK MDF sheet can often be obtained inexpensively when people
                    re-model their kitchens. Better quality units use it instead of
                    chipboard in more visible areas, especially on moulded and shaped
                    doors. My stash cost me half a day and change helping to tear out
                    the old and run it to the dump. Chews up HSS cutters tho'. A want
                    on Freegle may be worth a try here.

                    Clive
                  • frxdy@aol.com
                    Last week I went to a kitchen counter place & bought a few Corian sink holes . It s a high density plastic & machines very well. They charged me $5 a
                    Message 9 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
                      Last week I went to a kitchen counter place & bought a few Corian "sink
                      holes". It's a high density plastic & machines very well. They charged me $5
                      a "hole"....about 16 inches by 24 inches. It's one half inch thick.


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Don Rogers
                      Both bees wax and candle wax are difficult to machine. You need a very open cutting tool, high spindle and feed speeds or the heat generated melts the wax and
                      Message 10 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
                        Both bees wax and candle wax are difficult to machine. You need a very open
                        cutting tool, high spindle and feed speeds or the heat generated melts the
                        wax and you end up with a blob in place of a mill. Some plastics are the
                        same.



                        The machineable wax, while an expensive first cost, can be retrieved, melted
                        and recast and used again and again, Start with a clean mill and capture as
                        much of the swarf as you can. The same issues of feed and speed applies but
                        to a lesser degree. There was a thread on one of the groups a couple years
                        back about making your own machinable wax. Supposedly you could use a thin
                        plastic shopping bag shredded and mixed with paraffin wax. When the bag
                        melted and blended with the wax, you ended up was the wax you wanted. That
                        was the plan, but I spend a couple days trying different plastics and all I
                        ended up with was a lot of shredded plastic with wax on it. I used to sell
                        jewelry supplies and when I closed the store, I ended up with a sizable
                        amount of green, purple, and blue carving waxs. I use it now and then for
                        a test job, or to machine a pattern for casting.





                        I've heard of using florists foam as a test material also.



                        Don



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • stjohngoldfinger
                        Hi Guys, thanks to everyone who answered my question and gave some great ideas. I have plenty of food for thought now. If I come up with anything interesting I
                        Message 11 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
                          Hi Guys,
                          thanks to everyone who answered my question and gave some great ideas. I have plenty of food for thought now. If I come up with anything interesting I will pass it back to the list..

                          cheers,
                          St.john

                          --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "Don Rogers" <Don@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Both bees wax and candle wax are difficult to machine. You need a very open
                          > cutting tool, high spindle and feed speeds or the heat generated melts the
                          > wax and you end up with a blob in place of a mill. Some plastics are the
                          > same.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > The machineable wax, while an expensive first cost, can be retrieved, melted
                          > and recast and used again and again, Start with a clean mill and capture as
                          > much of the swarf as you can. The same issues of feed and speed applies but
                          > to a lesser degree. There was a thread on one of the groups a couple years
                          > back about making your own machinable wax. Supposedly you could use a thin
                          > plastic shopping bag shredded and mixed with paraffin wax. When the bag
                          > melted and blended with the wax, you ended up was the wax you wanted. That
                          > was the plan, but I spend a couple days trying different plastics and all I
                          > ended up with was a lot of shredded plastic with wax on it. I used to sell
                          > jewelry supplies and when I closed the store, I ended up with a sizable
                          > amount of green, purple, and blue carving waxs. I use it now and then for
                          > a test job, or to machine a pattern for casting.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I've heard of using florists foam as a test material also.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Don
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                        • mbonfire2002
                          Maybe late to the party...other choices include florist s foam (for supporting flower arrangements in a vessel). Also, not really cheap but great is various
                          Message 12 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
                            Maybe late to the party...other choices include florist's foam (for supporting flower arrangements in a vessel). Also, not really cheap but great is various polyurethane foam planks that sign makers use (they rout it to signs with "depth")...need to find a sign maker or sign material supply house. There are professional high density foams for milling but they definitely don't quality as cheap...higher the density, higher the dollars, pounds,...but are an absolute joy to cut...fast and support high detail.


                            --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "stjohngoldfinger" <stjohngoldfinger@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Hi Guys,
                            > thanks to everyone who answered my question and gave some great ideas. I have plenty of food for thought now. If I come up with anything interesting I will pass it back to the list..
                            >
                            > cheers,
                            > St.john
                            >
                            > --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "Don Rogers" <Don@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Both bees wax and candle wax are difficult to machine. You need a very open
                            > > cutting tool, high spindle and feed speeds or the heat generated melts the
                            > > wax and you end up with a blob in place of a mill. Some plastics are the
                            > > same.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > The machineable wax, while an expensive first cost, can be retrieved, melted
                            > > and recast and used again and again, Start with a clean mill and capture as
                            > > much of the swarf as you can. The same issues of feed and speed applies but
                            > > to a lesser degree. There was a thread on one of the groups a couple years
                            > > back about making your own machinable wax. Supposedly you could use a thin
                            > > plastic shopping bag shredded and mixed with paraffin wax. When the bag
                            > > melted and blended with the wax, you ended up was the wax you wanted. That
                            > > was the plan, but I spend a couple days trying different plastics and all I
                            > > ended up with was a lot of shredded plastic with wax on it. I used to sell
                            > > jewelry supplies and when I closed the store, I ended up with a sizable
                            > > amount of green, purple, and blue carving waxs. I use it now and then for
                            > > a test job, or to machine a pattern for casting.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > I've heard of using florists foam as a test material also.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Don
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            > >
                            >
                          • Boman01
                            For commercial (not cheap) test milling material, do a Google search on butter board milling . The material is very nice to work with. Bertho [Non-text
                            Message 13 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
                              For commercial (not cheap) test milling material, do a Google search on
                              "butter board milling".

                              The material is very nice to work with.

                              Bertho



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Dean
                              Please, not wood! Filthy stuff for a milling machine. Aluminum would be great for practice, but if you can t find some at the scrap yard, go with one of the
                              Message 14 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
                                Please, not wood! Filthy stuff for a milling machine.
                                Aluminum would be great for practice, but if you can't find some at the scrap yard, go with one of the plastics. UHMW, Nylon, Tuffcast, or most any sort of that type plastic.
                                Machinable wax would be very good, since you can use it over and over. You only have to buy it once!

                                Dean



                                --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "stjohngoldfinger" <stjohngoldfinger@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi,
                                > what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical 'test milling' material. I am looking for something that is easily available and doesn't cost the earth to trial mill and test my gcode before I put a piece of more expensive material on the work table...
                                >
                                > many thanks,
                                > St.john
                                >
                              • Will Schmit
                                I use Corian -- little pieces, are usually free at any cabinet shop. ________________________________ From: stjohngoldfinger To:
                                Message 15 of 16 , Oct 29, 2010
                                  I use Corian -- little pieces, are usually free at any cabinet shop.





                                  ________________________________
                                  From: stjohngoldfinger <stjohngoldfinger@...>
                                  To: taigtools@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Fri, October 29, 2010 6:01:09 AM
                                  Subject: [taigtools] Test milling material...


                                  Hi,
                                  what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical 'test milling'
                                  material. I am looking for something that is easily available and doesn't cost
                                  the earth to trial mill and test my gcode before I put a piece of more expensive
                                  material on the work table...

                                  many thanks,
                                  St.john




                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Roy
                                  Plastic kitchen cutting boards. They re usually some flavor of UHMW or similar, cut nicely (watch for overheatiing) and can often be found on sale at discount
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Oct 30, 2010
                                    Plastic kitchen cutting boards. They're usually some flavor of UHMW or similar, cut nicely (watch for overheatiing) and can often be found on sale at discount stores.

                                    > Hi,
                                    > what tips can you guys give with regards to a cheap and practical 'test milling'
                                    > material. I am looking for something that is easily available and doesn't cost
                                    > the earth to trial mill and test my gcode before I put a piece of more expensive
                                    > material on the work table...
                                    >
                                    > many thanks,
                                    > St.john
                                    >
                                    >
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