Cutting Ceramic Tile ô¿ô

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Cutting Ceramic Tile ô¿ô

Postby lockeyone » Sat Dec 30, 2006 5:17 pm

Cutting Ceramic Tile
Ok, I am in the process of cutting some ceramic tile a friend gave me. Since he donated it he asked for a Harley logo. I had drawn one of these years ago learning other software. So I brought it into VCarve and I am now running it. I am using a 1/2 inch carbide V bit. Don't remember where I got it. I set up the program to cut a depth of .02 inches at 2ipm. Pretty slow but I am cautious. After a bit I brought the speed up to 4 ipm and even tried 5. Almost right away I knew this was going to be a long test. The 2 tiles I was given are both low in the middle. You can see in the pics what I mean. I didn't' spend my whole time watching this. About a 14 hr run. I have a networked camera in the garage so I can watch/listen to what's going on. I wanted to buy the camera with zoom but the price jumped considerably for that feature. So if I am not in the garage I am usually found on my computer. So I just listen/watch while working/playing on the computer. It is amazing what just listening does. If there is a change in noise I look at the camera to be sure things look ok. If its making noise its working, if it gets quite, did the bit break or what. So I stayed on edge most of this 1st run.
I took pics of the router bit after the 14hrs. Actually I was expecting a dull bit. Not so. Looks pretty good to me. So I reinstalled it. Set my 0 depth to the center of the tile and re-ran the program. Definitely a deeper/harder cut. I slowed the machine down to 1 imp because I could feel more vibration. This one's going to take awhile. I also took pics of the bit while running on this deeper cut. You can see the tip red hot. In my business when I have to drill open some of the high security safes I have to get my drill bits this hot it not more and I always manage to get through some pretty nasty hard plating. I thought a lot about coolant etc., but decided to run without to see how things go. I learned from drilling safes that you either use it from the get go, or not at all. If you introduce coolant of any type after the bit is hot it just ruins it right away and renders it useless.

Last pic is a screen shot of what I get to look at. I had to put a small light on it last night to see the router. Didn't want the garage lights on all night.
If you want to here the noise I had to listen to click here. http://www.lockeyone.com/pics/vcarve/tile.wav I just recorded it right of the computer in my office. I have got to get that zoom feature. Or at least get another camera (macro) to watch the bit while its cutting.

The only holding method is the vacuum table I built. The tile has a rough surface on the back, this system did a nice job sucking the work piece down.

Its currently running the second pass. I will keep you posted on the outcome.

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Postby dighsx » Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:56 am

Have you thought about blowing air on the bit while your cutting? That might help keep it cooler.
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Postby lockeyone » Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:46 pm

Ok, I finally had to all it quits on this run. The tip of the bit just eventually burned away. I had thoughts of different ways to cool this. One is a cold air blast which I read about somewhere on the cnczone. May have to check it out. I also thought about making a small water tank to set the piece into, to just either flood or mist the bit or even just submerge the piece. I will watch for some diamond bits too and maybe give that a try. I was even thinking of making a spring loaded envgraving bit holder to keep downward pressure on the tile at alltimes. Since the tile is not flat I wonder how that would work?. There is a lot of down blast of air from the router and I was hoping for enough airflow between that and the vacuum setup it might work. The results look promising. I think the effect of the cut tile would be nice and have some potential but have to work on some different techniques. The router motor after a very long run was cool to the touch. Hmmm, what can I try next.
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Postby RoutnAbout » Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:46 pm

Jay has a good idea about blowing air on the cutter as uts machining. I've actually have an air line hooked up to mine. Am using loc line hose with a small ball valve to shut the air off. But not only does it keep the tool cooler, but I have so it directs the dust and trash towards the opening of the intake hose in my dust skirt.
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Postby Rcnewcomb » Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:57 pm

When a bit is glowing you are losing bit material. As the cutting edge wears away the cut is no longer deep enough.

Quoting from:
http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Understanding_Chip_Load.html
First, chip loading is ultimately a measure of how much heat is taken away from the cut and consequently from the cutting tool. Too little will cause the tool to overheat and die prematurely. Of course too much will put too great a load on the tool and spindle and give a poor quality of cut.

You may want to consider using an end mill for area clearing along with the V-bit. Set your pass depth fairly shallow and increase your move speed. The idea is to shave off some material with each pass. I'd try a pass depth of 0.01" at 6 ips with a 1/8" 2-flute end mill at 13,000 RPM as a starting point. (its a WAG)

When working on stone I put a shop vac nozzle near the bit. The air speed is around 150mph at the nozzle so a lot of air is moving to keep the bit cool.
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Postby lockeyone » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:34 am

I am already working on phase 3 of this trial. I was out today playing with a tile in a water pan submersing the bit. That produced light spray around the table. Then I tried a spring loaded engraving tool and ran that thru the water, similar results. The light spray I got really wasn't that bad and could be dealt with. All the time thinking of how I can clamp the tile down. What I think I will do is to make a air nozzle to aim at the tip of the bit. I was reading up on "Cold Air Guns" and the techniques involved. One guy goes on to use alchohol drip in a oil drip lubrication system. Not sure that is what I want to do. But before I start that I am going to map the surface with my probe. I haven't played with it much yet but seems this would be a good use for it. Then project that image on the mapped surface for cutting. Combined with the cold air nozzle I may get it to work. Still in the rethinking stages.
Keep those ideas coming, I need food for thought.
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Postby RichardF » Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:56 am

Hi lockeyone,

to have some kind of coolant you might try a Vortex-Tube. All you need is an air-compressor.

Here two links telling you more about the Vortex-Tube:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_tube
http://www.exair.com/vortextube/vt_frmain.htm

Regards and a HAPPY NEW YEAR,
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Postby dighsx » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:13 pm

Hey Richard that's pretty interesting. They're not cheap to buy but it makes you want to get one just to try it. I could see many uses for something like that around the shop. Like keeping drinks cool... hehe

Thanks for the info.

Danke
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Postby dighsx » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:23 pm

I found some plans on how to make a Vortex-Tube: http://www.visi.com/~darus/hilsch/

Hmmm I might have to give this a try.
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Postby RichardF » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:15 pm

I posted a link to an austrian site here:

http://www.vectric.com/forum/viewtopic. ... c&start=30

Perhaps it's useful to you

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Postby dighsx » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:55 pm

Danke Richard.
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update on Vortex Tube

Postby lockeyone » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:43 pm

Just thought I would drop a note. I was at my buddy’s auto shop and one of the mechanics over heard me saying something about a Vortex tube and he says we have one of those! They use it for checking choke systems on carburetors. Cool, I brought it home this weekend and played a little. It takes a lot of air flow and my compressor basically ran constantly and at a lower pressure than recommended. But if was worth getting my hands on one to play. After running about 15 minutes, my compressor settled at 6o lbs tank pressure and 50 psi output. The shop temps were 50 degrees, Vortex tube temps were 12 degrees cold side, 80 degrees hot side. I have a 4hp craftsman oil-less that is about 12 years old. Think this would be the project to break my compressor so I don't think I will use that method but sure was nice to get my hands on one to play with.

So if you know someone with and auto service shop, here's your chance to play before you pay. I ran into the MATCO Toolman later that day and he said it was $219.00.
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Postby dighsx » Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:16 pm

That's amazing that it works like that. It seems like magic. I've got to get one of these things just to play with. Maybe cool beer and other drinks...
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Postby RichardF » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:48 pm

lockeyone:

thank you for your very interesting report. It seems to me that a Vortex tube is a good way to kill a compressor, if it is already running at the limit.

:D this is a very great forum. It is amazing how many people share their knowledge and pictures with the members. Just great :!:

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A Different Approach?

Postby TReischl » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:09 pm

Hi,

Maybe a slightly different approach would help? Could you obtain prefired ceramic tile (usually called bisqe ware), cut it and then have it fired? I have been thinking about making custom tiles myself but have not had the chance to do this yet. It might even be possible to carve the tile after it has finished air drying, before they give it the first firing which turns it into bisque. Ad advantage of this approach would be that you could add the colors you like before the final firing. Of course, matching existing tile would be about impossible.

If you try this, let us all know how it worked.

Later!
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