Router Flycutting and Reinforcement Bolt Upgrades

As usual, I was having a bit of a problem. When we last left my CNC router, it was able to cut soft materials, but these cuts weren’t entirely uniform from one end to another. To remedy this, I used a technique called flycutting, which mills the entire table with the router itself. The idea here is that by doing this, you’re aligning the table to exactly how the router cuts.

In theory this should work quite well, but as you can see here there’s something else going on, the table has separated from its base. Perhaps warping could be expected given it’s location in a humid garage, but I had actually helped this along by cutting several slots in the material in order to attach a set of clamping rails.

To remedy this, I installed another set of screws in the middle of the table. Perhaps they should have been there to begin with, but my modifications weren’t doing it any favors either. In theory, I could have drilled into the MDF inline with the bottom and top bolts, but I hadn’t taken the table off yet, and wasn’t sure what was under there.

Once the MDF table was off, I marked a point for the middle hole inline with the sides, then drilled the MDF. This was the easy part, as the steel base would be fairly difficult to drill with hand tools.

Since there were electronics underneath, I covered the area with an old sheet in order to catch most of the debris. The drilling process started with making a small indention with a hammer and punch, then I opened this up with a center drill. Finally, I started actually drilling, adding oil along the way.

It was slow going, but I took my time, and didn’t have any issues. Once that was done, I tapped the hole with a 1/4 – 20 tap, adding oil as needed. I then repeated the process for the other side.

Once done I moved the table back into place, and fastened it down. It was then time for another round of, which mated the MDF surface to the router’s cutting pattern. Although it’s probably not ready to make a stamping die, it should be good enough for woodworking.

2 Comments.

  1. Interesting post. MDF is useful stuff, but needs to be covered if even a whiff of moisture is present.
    Perhaps you could overlay the base with something else such as Lucite or delron or aluminum?

    • Thanks! Not a bad idea.

      MDF came with the machine, but maybe I’ll replace it with something else (some sort of plactic perhaps, or aluminum maybe) when that time comes.