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Monday, July 16, 2012

CNC Table Resurface

In preparation for looming finish work on the Westsail, the CNC table is having a new surface installed. Often called a "spoilboard", it is a sacrificial surface. Slight variances in router bit height, material thickness and plain old operator error, will cause the router bit to cut into the table at tiny depths. Over time, due to these cuts, the surface becomes more uneven, causing further variances in bit height, and so on.

So it is time to replace the surface to gain back some accuracy and consistency in cuts. Of course the nice thing about mechanized processes like CNC, is you can "dogfood" new parts for the machine, with the machine itself! A new table surface is a good example. Here the machine is cutting the zones for the vacuum plenum of the new surface.

Cutting the new vacuum plenum

When the time comes to remove the old surface, the machine will also assist. I will force the machine to cut through the old surface, cutting into smaller pieces to make for easy removal. The machine helps to repair, as well as destroy itself!
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