Before making any more parts, the spoilboard needed to be surfaced. In order to use the 1-3/4” surfacing bit with a ½” shank, a new mount was needed to allow use of the DeWalt DW618 router. I quickly modified the CAD model of the existing mount, created the CAM setups, and cut out some new mounts from some scrap 3/4” Oak plywood. It is so nice to have a machine to make parts on now! The drill press was used to make the holes for the clamping bolts.
With the DW618 mounted, I surfaced the spoilboard by finding the lowest spot and setting the Z height right at the surface. I turned the router on and then manually jogged it around to surface the area.
Since my wife is a high school math teacher, I thought it would be fun to do a little project with her for Pi Day. Using Fusion 360, we worked on the design together, and then created the CAM setups. We did a few engraving tests with various bits and depths before attempting to make the piece with a 30 degree V carving bit. It turns out a 60 degree bit would probably have been best, so we’ll have to try again once we get a 60 degree bit. It turned out pretty well though and we had a lot of fun making it!
I came up with an idea for a simple way to quickly hold things in place on the bed of the machine. This should work for any size object that I want to work with, in any position on the bed. I attached 2 T-tracks to the bed, outside the working area. Then I made a sled with 90 degree corners with another T-track mounted on it. This will hopefully allow easy clamping of any size stock at any location on the bed. I plan to use a few different styles of clamps and/or stop blocks to attach to the t-tracks. It will be easier to show pics than try to describe the setup and the many options it will allow:
On the other end of the bed, I attached a T-track with some low-profile cam clamps, that wedge the spoil board in place. I will eventually mount this t-track to the longer tracks, similar to the image above.
While attempting my first cuts with the machine, I learned how much pulling force an upcut end mill has. I will need some clamps to hold down my spoilboards/fixtures. In addition to the material being pulled up towards the router during cutting, the wedges I used (only hand tight) vibrated loose and the stock moved during cutting.
Switching gears from the dust shoe components that I had planned to cut out, I modeled some clamps in Fusion 360 based on a few designs I had seen. Here is video I made showing the first successful project with this machine and the finished clamps that it produced! Still not having clamps for this operation, I hammered wedges in place to get them very tight and I also used longer screws to hold the stock down more securely. Everything worked out well.