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  #1  
Old Fri 20 June 2008, 09:04
hflwaterski
Just call me: Herb #126
 
Genesee, WI
United States of America
Sizing Melamine Panels

I was wondering how many of you that currently have MMs already built that are using them for sizing panels? I have other plans in the future for the MM once it's built but I also am hoping to use it for sizing 3/4" and 1/2" melamine with little or no chip-out. From there I can edgeband and finally drill shelf and hinge holes. It would be great to attach a drill on the Z for holes but I need to walk before I can run.

Any thoughts on using the MM for this type of application?
  #2  
Old Fri 20 June 2008, 09:46
hennie
Just call me: Hennie #23
 
Roodepoort JHB
South Africa
Hi Herb,

I am still building but I use a program called "cutlist plus " google a bit www.BRIDGEWOOD DESIGNS.COM .This program also supports an upgrade where you can export to cnc cutting. This is for cutting up to size or try "cabinet parts pro" for cabinet manufacturing.
  #3  
Old Fri 20 June 2008, 12:20
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Herb,
I do this almost weekly. Cabinet parts galore!
If you visit my personal http://mechmate.com/forums/showthrea...&postcount=285 thread, you can see photos of cabinets being cut and "sized" with the laminate already on them.
Sean
  #4  
Old Fri 20 June 2008, 13:30
hflwaterski
Just call me: Herb #126
 
Genesee, WI
United States of America
Sean,

I've quickly scanned through most of your posts on that thread. I wasn't able to see what HP your Porter Cable router was.

It appears that you have been using yours for about 4-5 months now. Are you satisfied with your router or looking back, would you have chosen to go with a larger spindle router? Can you comment on chip-out and general cut quality that you may be getting on melamine panels? Also, are you satisfied enough with running without a vacuum pump?

Thanks!!
  #5  
Old Fri 20 June 2008, 13:38
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Herb,
1 - Porter Cable model 7519 - 3.25HP
2 - satisfied with router for what it is and I had it already from a previous router table
3 - Very satisfied with the router, it's just really loud and the only really big draw back for me now is I can't reverse the spindle for specialty work....and I am limited on the collet sizes. With a spindle, I can collet 1/16 and 1/8 bits easily...with a router it requires adapters.
4 - If you can afford it, a spindle is the really "right" choice - my opinion.
5 - chip out isn't about the router or spindle...it's all about the right bit. A very high quality compression bit (solid carbide) does wonders for this material, but they are also about 25-30 each. Cost of doing business!

Good luck.
  #6  
Old Fri 20 June 2008, 14:28
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Herb,

I am currently working on my control box and then I will start on my table. I am looking at the Milwaukee 5625-20. This router is much more quieter than some of the others.

Good luck with your build.
  #7  
Old Fri 20 June 2008, 14:46
hflwaterski
Just call me: Herb #126
 
Genesee, WI
United States of America
Has anyone used the router/spindle to also do the drill operations for shelving, hinge holes or drawer slide holes? What would be involved besides for a bit change? Does the MM and Mach3 know where it left off so that the holes can be accurately placed? That's the main area that I get a bit confused about. I'm never sure how the bit can be changed to do multiple operations without somehow losing it's location on the sheet. Obviously drilling comes before sizing.
  #8  
Old Fri 20 June 2008, 15:35
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Herb,
The quick answer is yes.
Router/spindle doesn't care what it's cutting/drilling. The 3rd Party software you use to create the actual files is the key. Mach3 is only a "file player". As long as the sheet doesn't move and you don't change the 0,0 location of the machine after startup....you could do 50 file playbacks on the same sheet if you had to.

It will be a lot clearer if you go to a 3rd party site like vectric.com or artcam.com and see how the software is used.
  #9  
Old Sat 21 June 2008, 07:11
J.R. Hatcher
Just call me: J.R. #4
 
Wilmington, North Carolina
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to J.R. Hatcher
Herb if a manual bit change is required in the middle of a job, Mach always knows where it is even if you manually move it in the middle of the job. The only thing you need to do is get the next bit located back to the same height as the one before. This is the way I do this. Just before the bit change move the router (X andY) to a convenient location to change the bit, move Z until 1.500 shows in the DRO then I double check with my 1.5000 gauge block between the bit and the surface, put in the new bit and use the 1.500 gauge block between the end of the new bit and the surface, then tighten the bit while it rest on the block. This is not a perfect science but it works for me. When you hit the resume button Mach will know it has been moved and ask if it's ok to move back where it was before you moved it. Other things need to be considered like, do you need to switch the router back on. Mach will continue with the next line of code. I hope this helps.
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