Saturday, July 25, 2020

Using a Milling Machine as a Bandsaw

For my current project, I found myself wishing for a bandsaw to cut some acetal to roughly 1" x 2.3" x 2.75".  (I sold my bandsaw when we moved off the hill, and I was never able to get decent straight cuts with it, anyway.)  A chopsaw has its limitations because it is hard to hold and cut thin pieces without more complex clamping than I can easily figure out.  But edge milling makes an adequate substitute once you get the raw stock to a size that goes in your mill vise.  The only down side of using an end mill to remove an inch of acetal, is that if you have a 4" thick piece of acetal, a 3" cutting length end mill requires two passes and you are limited also by the overall length of the end mill.  Finding 4" long end mills is pretty easy; 4" cutting lengths are rare because you do not want to try to mill steel or aluminum with something that is going to flex.  Yes, you can accomplish the same result with face milling, but on a Sherline mill, that takes a long time.

1 comment:

  1. I could never make truly straight cuts with a band saw, even when I had access to a truly good one.

    Scroll cuts would be hand finished and "straight cuts" would be finshed on the the planer or the jointer. That was the only way to get a flat edge.