How about a "Tricks and Traps" section ?

I’ve been using Sheetcam for about 15 or so years, all hobby work. Not full time but far more in recent years. My work used to be pretty much all aluminum with a bit of brass but now it’s mostly wood. ( I have a CNC mill and 2 CNC routers - all hobby ). As with anything we do, we learn over time what works and what doesn’t. After a while, these things just become second nature. But I’m sure that I’m missing a lot of what other people have learned and I bet others could learn a few things from me. Here are a couple of examples :


  1. When spiral milling, quite often small remnants are left uncut when using the default 95% step over. The solution is to reduce that down to 85 or 90%. But, if your job is going to require 10 passes for example, that reduction can really eat up a lot of time. What I do is create two procedures; the first procedure is the spiral mill the first 9 passes at 95%. Then run the 10th pass at 80%. The two procedures are saved as a single .tap file. The remnants are usually so small that it’s not at all stressful on the cutter.

  2. Right from the beginning, when making a part, I always did each procedure, drilling a few holes, milling a slot, milling a circle, etc as a separately saved *.tap file. I would often create the first file and set the machine to go to work on that part of the job. Then I would create the next one. But, when I did, I would name the files such as :

1a Drill all Holes 000-500.tap ( that’s 0 to .500 inches )
2a Mill slot 000-400, 003 FA.tap ( 000 to .400 inches, with a .003 inch Finishing Allowance )

Now, all of my procedures are in order and I know exactly what they do. If I need to drill that set of holes a tiny bit deeper, I create a new procedure like :
1b Drill all Holes 500 - 510.tap ( that’s 500 to .510 inches )

Again, it’s still in order.

For some really simple parts, I would also save all of the procedures in a single tap file like :

99a Run all procedures.tap

I think we could all learn a lot from each other sharing these things.

Your wish is my command…

Thanks , much appreciated taking the time and spreading the knowledge