Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

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kristenanne77
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Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

Post by kristenanne77 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:23 pm

Another idea for securing stuff to wasteboard would be sliding T-Slots where the screw head (I was thinking more of a carriage bolt head) would slide in the track and tighten holding piece with a nut from above. I would think it would be super adjustable. Has anyone done this? What type of milling bit (router bit) would I use? Would mdf be suitable for this?
Would it be better to let shapeoko cut it or do it manually?

Thanks
K

WillAdams
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Re: Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

Post by WillAdams » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:54 pm

T-slots are a bad idea 'cause MDF isn't strong enough to allow that to work. V-slots work much better and allow the design to take advantage of MDF being strong in compression:

The wiki page on Upgrade Overviews: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Upgrade_Overview

has a link to: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/V_slot_bed

c.f., the page on Workholding
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kristenanne77
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Re: Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

Post by kristenanne77 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:18 pm

Yes I can see how V slots would be stronger. (I never heard of them before).

What is the technical term for the "thing" that slides in the slot? I would have to know that so I can check out what sizes they come in to cut the slot to proper size.
Also, what is the technical term for the type of bit I will need to cut the V slot?
Are these available locally? Or a link?

Thanks
K

WillAdams
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Re: Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

Post by WillAdams » Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:31 pm

You should be able to source a dovetail bit from any decent woodoworking store or home center as Nio's wiki page notes:
2.) Use a 'v' inverted shape end mill (the official name is "dovetail"
Nio made his own inverted V-nuts starting w/ T-bolts --- AFAIK they're not a standard part --- they do have a lot in common w/ insertion nuts though (esp. the post insertion ones: http://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/detail/110302247550/ ).

Probably one could 3D print or mill them, one would just need to mill the V-slot wide enough that it would accommodate a hex nut or a T-nut and appropriate additional material.
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WillAdams
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Re: Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

Post by WillAdams » Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:58 pm

Of course for metal beds there are purpose-made parts:

Image

http://t-nuts.com/product_info.php?prod ... be33c0514b
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Hans
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Re: Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

Post by Hans » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:01 pm

I used the machine to cut T-slots in my wasteboard. I cleared the middle part with an endmill and cut the undercuts with a t-slot cutter smaller than the t-slot I was making, taking multiple passes.

I wouldn't recommend going that route unless you have a thicker base, maybe an inch thick. My t-slots aren't very strong and don't allow my to tighten clamps as much as I'd like because they'll tear out. The dovetail slot idea is interesting, and I could actually retrofit my t-slots to dovetails. I can see that working out better.

Another downside to my method is that because I used the machine to cut the slots, my slots could only be in the working area. That means that if I want to machine a sheet covering my whole working area, I don't have anywhere to put clamps. Combined with low clamping forces, this has created issues in the past.

I milled custom long t-slot nuts to spread out the clamping forces.
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WillAdams
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Re: Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

Post by WillAdams » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:15 pm

Good points, which were why I chose to go w/ T-nuts in holes milled in multiple passes on my SO3:

http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 138#p48138
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Damin69
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Re: Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

Post by Damin69 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:44 pm

Instead of Tslots I used T Track from http://www.orangealuminum.com/t-slot-fr ... track.html
48" T track for less than $8 each..

http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... =40#p40590
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kristenanne77
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Re: Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

Post by kristenanne77 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:55 pm

The T-Track is yet another good idea. One of my main concerns for any of the above mentioned ideas is when you are cutting your design completely through your chosen material and the bit goes that "little bit extra" to make sure it is cut completely through. When it goes that "little extra" , there is the chance it might hit either the track (or a T nut) underneath the material being cut and break the bit. With dovetails cut directly into the wood, there is no "embedded" (metal) tracks or (metal) t-nuts in the mdf under the shape being milled. . You would only place the holding hardware in the wooden slots outside of the material being cut, making the chance of the bit hitting metal much less.
I would like to try both t-nut idea with t-nuts mounted in a grid pattern, and also the dovetail method. From experience, I know investing time getting this right will save me big setup times in the future.

K

Damin69
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Re: Has anyone cut T-Slots in their wasteboard?

Post by Damin69 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:05 pm

kristenanne77 wrote:The T-Track is yet another good idea. One of my main concerns for any of the above mentioned ideas is when you are cutting your design completely through your chosen material and the bit goes that "little bit extra" to make sure it is cut completely through. When it goes that "little extra" , there is the chance it might hit either the track (or a T nut) underneath the material being cut and break the bit. With dovetails cut directly into the wood, there is no "embedded" (metal) tracks or (metal) t-nuts in the mdf under the shape being milled. . You would only place the holding hardware in the wooden slots outside of the material being cut, making the chance of the bit hitting metal much less.
I would like to try both t-nut idea with t-nuts mounted in a grid pattern, and also the dovetail method. From experience, I know investing time getting this right will save me big setup times in the future.

K
You will always take a chance of missed step or end up setting your depth to deep and have an accident. I tried T nuts at first and found them not to be as versatile as the T track. On both T nut and Track I had a min of 1/4" above any of the metal before the bit would have a chance to contact. So another words I have about 1/4" waste board the bit would have to cut through before it gets to my T Tracks. I truly hope that I am paying enough attention to what I am working on to get to the Estop before the bit goes that far. Also if you are worried you can always use like a 1/4" hardboard waste board on top of your waste board as a precaution. I used to do that but now I am comfortable enough with what I am doing that I just clamp down to my waste board. I have only had one mishap and caught it when the bit dove in about 1/4" into my waste board about 1" long and it was well away from any of my T tracks at the time. Good Luck on your decision.
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