The shop assistant

I thought I’d sahe something that I’ve recently changed about my tool path programming. I’m now using roughing passes to hog out a decent perimeter around my contours and pockets, where possible, before stepping over to finish. It makes sense that getting the harder slog out of the way is going to help the finishing pass move in and give a cleaner finish and it also should help reduce any tear out further away from the finished edge.

The roughing passes do make the jobs take longer to run, but I did that last night (as well as multiple finishing passes) on the contour of a 5’ piece in moderate quality plywood and the results were consistent and decent. Still lots to learn.

The piece last night still requires sanding as some of the layers are pretty rough glue/material, but in something like baltic birch I think it would have been perfect. Will continue to experiment.

I’m learning to use the time my Longmill shop assistant is busy doing it’s work to do other things. Previously I was falling in to a trance sort of watching and monitoring (and web surfing) but now that I have the proximity sensors, once a job launches and is going smoothly I’m a bit more confident steeping a few feet away to work at the bench while it runs - so machining time isn’t such a focus. In fact I’ve been surprised how quickly I look up and the router has returned to home and is waiting for me to shut things down.


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I think roughing and smoothing is one of the most importent things going for accuracy :+1:t3:
I am also using different bits for this, e.g. this is one of the roughing bits I prefer in price and result link.

Just a hint for using F360/Inventor to save for time and failures: After having determined a roughing pass with multiple cuts in depth and side offset, copy this pass, unclick both options, switch the tools parameters, and finished is the smoothing pass.