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This section is designed to summarize and provide guidance in tackling some of the most critical routing issues you may encounter.
Often, special attention to factors such as material surface and chip load can help optimize and better manage cutting operations.
WHAT WORK PARAMETERS ARE BEST WHEN ROUTING?
ANSWERING THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE ANSWER!
WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE BIT I AM USING?
Many factors affect performance and the ultimate finish of the workpiece: the power of the collet chuck, the rigidity and eccentricity of the couplings, conditions and quality of the collets, reverse locking system, sharpened tool edge, the dust-collection system in use and even the relative humidity of the workplace environment.
WHAT BIT SHOULD I USE?
The number of cutting edges as well as the cutting diameter significantly affect work parameters. In general, the more cutting edges and the wider the blade diameter, the higher the feed rate.
WHAT IS THE CUTTING DEPTH I HOPE TO CARRY OUT?
In order to increase cutting depth, it is necessary to reduce the feed rate and vice versa for shallower cuts.
AT WHAT SPEED DOES MY MACHINE RUN?
By increasing the spindle speed (rpm), the quality of the finished edge improves.
However, at the same time friction also increases between the tool and the workpiece.
As a result, tool longevity is compromised. Ideally, the objective is to select the slowest rotation speed possible compatible with the quality of finishing you hope to achieve.
WHAT EDGE FINISH AM I LOOKING TO ACHIEVE?
Coarse routing and fine routing are definitely not the same thing!
You need to figure out what is more important: quality or quantity. In order to prolong the life of your cutting tool, its best to choose the highest feed rate possible best suited to achieve the finish you want.
ABOVE ALL….WHAT MATERIALS AM I WORKING WITH?
Wood is a good example of natural fiber composite.
It is made up of a natural fibrous material, both elastic and flexible (cellulose: long molecular polymer chains), bound together by a very rigid substance (lignin: cross-linked polymer) as well as a compatibilizer (hemicellulose: a polysaccharide).
It is an anisotropic material, that is, directionally dependent, changing with direction along the object.
How many types of wood and wood derivatives are you familiar with? Remember, no two pieces of wood are the same! In fact, the same work parameters carried out on two different pieces of wood will provide two very different results.
Feed rate is dependent of several factors, like the ones mentioned above - and these are just a few examples.
It is important to weigh all factors in order to select an optimum feed rate suitable for the tools and work objectives involved.
CMT is synonymous with quality and to produce high quality cuts you just can’t randomly shoot off a bunch of numbers.
Be wary of those who provide you with random numbers.
I GET IT….BUT WHERE DO I START?
The best way to go forward is step-by-step using reliable test data.
To quickly achieve the results best suited for your specific work expectations, you can always turn to theory!
One rule of thumb, which may prove advantageous, is to use a simple gauge to measure chipload wherever possible. On the one hand, it should be noted that when chips that are too thick, breakage will occur, resulting in a poor, rough finish.
On the other hand, when chips are too thin, it will negatively affect tool longevity and cause rapid wear and tear of the cutting edge because the teeth of the tool are rubbing more than removing material.
The next time you experiment, you need to properly assess the specific demands of the work involved, assess chipload measurements and try to orient yourself towards a different thickness by taking into account the aforementioned factors.
Then, with the aid of the formulas listed below, proceed to establish the appropriate feed rate for your next test. This will help you to achieve better results faster and you will have the essential information you will need for the next work project.