When you think about CNC fly cutters, you probably think about jobs in a metal working or machine shop. Tasks like skimming heads for example. But fly cutting isn’t reserved for metal work and CNC fly cutters have a place in the wood shop. A very important place, they save your spoilboard.
Spoilboards and CNC Routing
When it comes to CNC routing wood, the spoilboard is considered a consumable commodity. You may make cuts that go through to the spoilboard or you might even screw something down to the spoilboard while you work. Either way, these bumps and ridges are going to cause problems if you don’t address them.
Just because the spoilboard is expendable, doesn’t mean you need to constantly toss it out. You can take your trusty CNC fly cutter and resurface the spoilboard several times before it must be discarded. Just like skimming a head, skimming the spoilboard will return the smooth, level surface. Just pay attention to the rake angle on your cutting blade. Shoot for removing .004 or .005 at the most. Watch the RPMs as well. Not only do you want to prevent sawdust from flying all over the shop, but your RPMs affect your feeds as well. Feeds and speeds are just as important with wood as they are with metal.
At least one woodworking pro recommends that you fly cut the finish off every new MDF board you use as a spoilboard before you even use it. The Woodworking Network recommends that you remove the sealer to make the vacuum unit work better. Multicam insists that most suction problems are caused by the sealer on MDF and they too recommend you fly cut the finish off.
Their recommendation is to use a 4″ fly cutter at 12,000 RPM and 30 meters per minute. They recommend you remove the sealer from both sides of the board for best performance.
Larger CNC Fly Cutters for Better Finish
Just like working with metal, when working with wood, the larger your fly cutter, the better your finish. Whether you are working metal or wood, the more passes you make the less true your finish. So, use the largest CNC fly cutter you can for the job. Skimming the spoilboard is a big job and you’ll be there all day with not much of a finish if you tackle it with a small cutter.
Of course, you want stability on the blade, so look for fly cutters with large alloy set screws and balanced fly cutters.
Actually, just look for Sierra American Multi-Systems CNC fly cutters and be done with it. You know you are getting the best when you get Sierra American. Every tool is made in the USA. A 5 year warranty is standard with every fly cutter. If they don’t have Sierra American CNC fly cutter where you shop, ask them to order it for you. They are the best CNC fly cutters for wood or metal.