Need Help! Multi sided wood milling


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Thread: Multi sided wood milling

  1. #1
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    Default Multi sided wood milling

    Hello

    I'm trying to suss out the best method of multi-sided milling - ie. milling a piece of wood (usually 130 x 65 x <1300 mm but may change) pine on all 4 sides.

    Willing to purchase the right tool if necessary to get the job done accurately & hopefully quickly as well.

    Has anyone approached multi-sided milling on a large-ish scale; what are the pros & cons?



    Here are the methods i have tried &/or thinking of trying:

    1/ Dowel registration method: has been giving me pretty good results but i'm limited to 2 sides & it takes a while to setup & clamp (I will be milling a lot of parts).

    2/ Template profile method: the results have been pretty good also but can take a while to remove/replace the parts in the template.
    Have been cutting template from MDF so after a while it starts to get a bit loose. Plus haven't tried 4 sided stuff yet.

    Not tried:

    3/ Spin indexer & tailstock: I can't figure out how the stock is fixed with the 5C collet - does it use a chuck? I could'nt find a 5C 3/4 jaw chuck.

    4/ Custom jig: I came across this jig & this looks exactly what i need but i'm wary of how much movement there would be with the stock.
    Stock also needs to run parallel to table.
    Is there a version of this manufactured by a company?

    5/ Custom jig 2: a flip jig someone has made; may be a bit small for the large stock

    6/ Rotary 4-axis & chuck: like this one; i'm only dealing with 90degree increments so servo control may be overkill.

    7/ Dividing head: Very expensive - don't need it to rotate up/down


    So yeah, i'm a bit lost at what method is the best to get good accurate results with a large number of jobs.

    I'm also new to engineering so am unsure of the benefits various tools provide.


    Thanks for any help.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Multi sided wood milling

    The easiest way to do this is #6, the rotary table. You can get manual ones pretty inexpensively if indexing is all you want to do. But a servo or stepper-powered table would make more things possible.

    The cheapest way would be to build a fixture. It could be as simple as two identical square blocks of wood, one screwed to each end of your workpiece. Fasten some stops to your work surface so they stay registered when you rotate them - just clamp them down when you're carving on them.

    [FONT=Verdana]Andrew Werby[/FONT]
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Multi sided wood milling

    The rotary table would be one of the easiest and most flexible. Under program control it opens a wide set of usefulness.

    You can also mount a face-plate in the chuck for differing fixtures for your material. Remember to size the chuck center-line clearance from the table to suit your material sizes and/or face-plate if you use one.



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