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Looking for CNC woodworker

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lilshawn:
my guy personally wants just DXF. that way he can use his own program to generate the gcode using his own toolpath pre-settings according to his machines capabilities. this not only optimizes his time on the machine, but prevent damaging bits.

Justin:
I ended up getting access to a large CNC and I'm using vcarve. So far so good. Love it.

One issue I have:  how to address the cutting of the lexan sheet?  I'm thinking placing on top of the MDF and cutting all in one go.   (Only the button holes and the main outline- no drilling of screw holes).

The issue is, how do I hold down the lexan?  I can screw the 4 outer corners down.  But there will be nothing supporting the lexan once the outline is cut.  I have no screw holes in my lexan design (screws will be underneath and countersunk)

What is the best way to keep the lexan safe and held down once the outline is cut out?

Maybe I should place the lexan on the bottom but I am avoiding that for a few other reasons...

lilshawn:
i would personally do it separately.  cut it oversize, attach firmly to the waste sheet... do the panel button and holes... then apply it to the panel with as much stuff as you need to keep it steady... and use a flush cut bit (and roundover if so desired) in a handheld router.

also, are you using Lexan (tm) or "lexan" (the generic word people often use for clear plastic.) for home use I'd use "plexiglas" and not lexan, as lexan scratches if you so much as look at it funny. it should only be use if vandalism is a concern in public areas.

Justin:
Thanks good points.  Also, my lexan polycarbonate she will be wrapped with vinyl so scratches are of no concern.

Gilrock:
I use a product from a local plastic shop that says OptiPlex on the outside paper.  It cuts so much nicer on the CNC than the plastic junk you get at Home Depot.  I've cut control panel cover on the CNC and you really only need to worry about it moving when it cuts the last few inches.  It should be heavy enough it will just release and the CNC will lift the bit.  I've never seen it be a problem.  Or if it worries you sometimes I'll just put my hand on the piece as it gets close to the end of the outline cut.  Or you could do the cuts in two phases.  After cutting the inside holes use small pieces of wood with a center screw to hold it down in the middle then run the outline cut.  If you're gonna trim cut with a router no need to even use a CNC just jigsaw the darn thing close to the line.

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