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Old 11-30-2018, 12:58 PM
R.L.Schulz R.L.Schulz is offline
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Default Cutting .035 HPL by Formica


Looking for any advice on cutting HPL Laminate sheets. I need to cut out several small irregular shapes (150) for a production project I'm doing. Material is Formica, its .035 thick. I have a 4x8 Stinger with X3 and Blackbox Hurricane Vacuum table.
I will have to TAB the cuts but not sure if it would be better to cut finish side up or down? Also, not sure which bit to use. I have a nice range of carbide bits.
Straight 1 Flute
Straight 2 Flute
Spiral Up 2 Flute
Spiral Down 2 Flute
Spiral Up Single O Flute
Spiral Down Single O Flute
in ranges from 1/8"-3/8" and some 1/2"
I know I can trial and error but wanted to see if anyone can provide input so I don't waste T &M or burn up my bits.
Thanks in advance
Ron & Tammy Schulz
CAMaster Stinger III SR-48
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Hurricane Vacuum System
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:20 PM
james mcgrew's Avatar
james mcgrew james mcgrew is offline
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I do this often, best way is to sacrifice a sheet of melamine, we use a light spray of contact let it dry then machine as needed, Very small parts most of all.

Vacuum is not a god send to thin and light
James McGrew
CAMaster ATC 508
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:52 PM
Ger21 Ger21 is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Shelby Township, MI
Posts: 400

Laminate destroys bits quickly, especially small bits. It's very abrasive. Try keeping the RPM as low as possible.

I also glue the sheets down when cutting small parts. It's by far the easiest method.
Vacuum isn't very useful for jobs like this.

JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints

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Old 11-30-2018, 07:53 PM
Gary Campbell's Avatar
Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Also... use straight flute bits
Gary Campbell
CNC Technology and Training
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"There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those that understand binary logic, and those who don't"
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