Step 4: Tooling Bits
On our homemade CNC machine is a Porter Cable Trim Router. It will accept ¼” shank bits. I chose a ¼” shank, ¼” end mill for the rough cut, and a ¼” shank, 1/8” ball mill for the finish cut.
Our router only goes one speed in rotation and maxes out at 25 linear inches per minute, so the only control we have is how deep it cuts per pass, and the inches-per-minute speed it travels through the material. As I was to cut maple, a fairly hard wood, and didn’t want to break those expensive bits, I set the toolpath depth to cut just .1” deep on each pass. Also I slowed the feed rate to 12 inches per minute.
Before any machinery is turned on, install the bit into the router you have. Be VERY careful, they are quite sharp. I don’t know anything about bleeding on my project (hah!), but there are a wide range of band-aids and compresses readily available in our shop, just in case.