What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

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Woodworker
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Re: What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

Post by Woodworker » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:06 am

Two issues with pine are the sap and knots. The pine sap can smoke and gum up the bit. Even tight knots can shatter when cut with any tool. Some retail outlets carry "whitewood" in a few dimensions. It comes from various places and is one of several lite colored woods.

Has anyone tried the material that home centers use for moldings and casings? I believe it comes in a 1/2 thick by 3 or 4 inches.
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WillAdams
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Re: What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

Post by WillAdams » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:47 am

The inexpensive PVC boards and trim have been suggested previously as an inexpensive material I believe --- xtonyx mentioned 25mm boards here: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... =10#p14164
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Woodworker
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Re: What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

Post by Woodworker » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:57 am

Looks like it cuts clean, I will try and pick up some soon and give it a test.
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RaymondOverman
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Re: What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

Post by RaymondOverman » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:23 pm

I use a lot of maple fall off from a cabinet shop. Luckily for me I'm able to source it right now for free but I don't think it would be extremely expensive even if you had to pay for it. Just find the right person to talk to.
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Woodworker
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Re: What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

Post by Woodworker » Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:14 pm

In my area soft maple is $4.15 a board foot. (1" thick by 12" x 12"). This is rough lumber, not dimensioned. Poplar is $3.20. The other downside to maple is that it has a high sugar content and bits/blades can leave burn marks. At this time even yellow pine is more expensive than poplar.

I ran some tests on some extruded polystyrene and while it is not as "clingy" as styrofoam, it is still not ideal. It cuts cleanly and edges appear to be sharp and well definedwe the dust is very fine and sticks to anything plastic.
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ZachKaplan
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Re: What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

Post by ZachKaplan » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:22 am

I've been using foam core boards. You can set the depth per pass as thick as the board and do the entire job in one pass. They are cheap too.

Woodworker
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Re: What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

Post by Woodworker » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:28 am

That is an execellent idea, does the dust clink to everything or is it easy to control?
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ralston4
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Re: What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

Post by ralston4 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:04 pm

Woodworker wrote:I use MDF but it is dusty. I tried 1" solid foam insulation but it too was very dusty and staticly clung to everything. Next time I am going to test on 1/4" plywood. I doubt I will have issues with thickness so just testing the shape may be good enough. Popular is an inexpensive wood in the US.
Plywood has glue in it and tends to be very hard on cutting bits. And Popular is a very hard wood.

WillAdams
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Re: What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

Post by WillAdams » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:59 pm

ralston4 wrote:
Woodworker wrote:And Popular is a very hard wood.
Not any piece of it I've ever encountered --- 432--540 on the Janka hardness scale, softer than chestnut and only harder than a few woods such as Basswood, Eastern White Pine and Balsa.
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Marty M.
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Re: What is a good inexpensive "test" material for milling?

Post by Marty M. » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:44 pm

[quote="Woodworker"]Two issues with pine are the sap and knots. The pine sap can smoke and gum up the bit. Even tight knots can shatter when cut with any tool. Some retail outlets carry "whitewood" in a few dimensions. It comes from various places and is one of several lite colored woods.

If the OP is using a trim router or similar with a 1/4" bit, sap isn't an issue. I am suggesting pine for the economy. As far as knots go, If her patterns can fit between the knots on a 1x12 of #2 common pine, then they won't be a problem. Discounting pine for those reasons isn't an issue in my opinion... especially since we don't know what she is making.... I would think that MDF or some other hazardous dust spread around would be more of a concern.

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