Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby TReischl » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:50 pm

Since a few of you folks liked the model, thought I would post it.

Rooster.crv3d
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It was a freebie from archive3d.net.

Be aware that it looks best if you crisp it up a bit, or use a small diameter ball nose when you carve it. I did not include the background so you can add it to your library.

Enjoy!

Edit: Correction, it was NOT from Archive3d.net, but it was from another freebie source and is definitely NOT copyrighted work. I never, ever hand out copyrighted material. It was HobbyCNCArt.
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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby mezalick » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:56 pm

Thanks for taking the time to show the results and for the file.
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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby TexasCowboy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:02 am

I tried using pine from Lowes exactly once in my business. I then tried poplar and ash. I now use either hard maple or red oak. I buy it from a hardwood mill in Houston and it really doesn't cost that much more. But then I also build quality furniture that I can be proud of. Fuzzies? You get that with pine or any soft wood. Even oak will give you fuzzies. My preference is mahogany or walnut. That is some beautiful wood. So is cherry and pecan. Not to say that you can't use pine. I just wouldn't risk my reputation on it. I also do not do signs.
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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby Joe Crumley » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:29 am

Tex,

I wouldn't argue with you at all. I only wish I could use those beautiful woods in my trade. I've been known to envy you fellows for the kind of woods you fellows get to use. The only kind we use have cross grains which doesn't tend to crack, split and fall apart. I've give cypress a chance because it's so beautiful when finished naturally. However it's the most stringey, fuzzy and soft I've used.

My experience with yellow pine has been, it's extremely hard and heavy. It has a ton of sap. As it gets older it gets harder and harder. I've seen it in old buildings being torn down that it's so hard you couldn't get the nails out of it. I rather doubt this is a good furniture material because of the visual effect.

Happy routing

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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby TReischl » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:06 pm

Well Tex,

It must be nice to be where you are, around here, a 2 X 8 X 8' at Lowe's costs about $7. Walnut is selling for $7-$8 a board foot. Cherry about the same.

If I am going to paint something, I sure as heck am not going to paint walnut or cherry. So that doesn't leave a lot of choices, unless I would like to buy sign foam, which is about as expensive as walnut and cherry. Besides, walnut and cherry do not do any better outdoors than pine, probably worse actually.

How about sending me a truck load of that good ol' inexpensive hardwood you got down there?

P.S. Around here, they use red oak to make pallets, not furniture.
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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby esteeme1 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:23 pm

I had the same issue when I was living in San Diego so I turned to mail order. I can't vouch for this source but my experience was not that bad with the one I ordered form. After I selected the package I wanted I called the supplier and was able to specify the overall size of the pieces I needed. The rep took a complete lumber list transposed it and sent it out. I didn't have a problem with the shipment at all and the cost for the bf and shipping was fair.

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/
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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby Joe Crumley » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:40 pm

TR,

I'm not too worried about the cost of HDU or lumber. HDU saves so much time by having full sheets ready to go. For me the material cost isn't all that important. It's the rent, utilities, auto costs, insurance, taxes, tools, & repairs, not to mention labor. I can always bump up my finish price to cover materials.

O, I forgot the CNC costs, router bits and how about advertising!

Isn't this a fun job?

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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby T.R.MacMunn » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:43 pm

Joe hit it right on ....... Even a $500 sheet of HDU is a small part of what a sign should sell for. Besides, glue up a 4" x 8' panel of western Redcedar , clear with vertical grain, & see what that sets you back. Unless you're willing to watch your router run forever planing it or have access to a 52" planer, that $500 sheet of HDU will seem cheap. Then there's CHVG Redwood or Mahogany ........
It's all the other overhead that beats you up......
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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby TReischl » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:11 pm

If you don't like cutting pine, then don't.

The purpose of this thread was to offer some suggestions for those folks who would like to cut construction grade pine.

I did not start this thread stating that signs should be made out of construction grade pine.

Stating that signs should never be made out of pine is an error. There is a well known sign company in the Midwest that does exactly that. They consistently win awards and yes, their signs are still standing and looking good after 20 years. You just have to know what you are doing. They obviously do. There are signs hanging here in the Northeast that have been there for who knows how long, made out of pine, they did not have sign foam over a hundred years ago.

Obviously, if the sign is to be used indoors, there is no reason it cannot be carved in pine.

To address some of the above:

Material IS a big cost for me. This is because I do not make machine payments. I do not rent a building. No employees. The machine will outlast me, so no replacement cost there. Not everyone is in the same boat. It is something to think about.
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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby Rick O. » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:05 am

I do a lot of work in pine, including small signs, display fixtures, and prototypes of items that might later be produced in more exotic woods.

Never one to pass up a salvage deal, several years ago I bought several hundred "Scandinavian Pine" wooden shelving panels from an upscale retail store that was going out-of-business. A lot of nice wood is available from similar salvage sources: shelving, old sales counters, etc. Even old furniture, such as a garage sale dining table or broken old piano might contain a small fortune in solid maple, mahogany, Italian spruce, etc. Anyway, I've had lots of time to get used to working with pine.

When I need a thicker piece, sometimes I'll start with a Lowes pine 2x8, after carefully digging through the selection to pick a good board.

Fuzzies certainly are a problem with pine. The following helps: sharp tools, paint or seal the surface before cutting, and run a finish pass after the main cutting is done.

I'll usually allow a little extra thickness, then run the piece through the planer to remove nearly all of the remaining fuzzies and leave a clean surface for finishing. The planer also takes off the "working" finish of paint or sealer, along with pencil marks and stains.

Pine isn't for everyone, or every project, but it is cheap and both useful & appropriate for many purposes.
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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby T.R.MacMunn » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:09 am

TR, I can't speak for Joe but I didn't mean to imply anything other than that the cost of materials isn't always what it seems.

I'm impressed with what you did & appreciate you sharing the tip.

I use a fair bit of Pine ..... Eastern White Pine (pinus strobus) & quite like it except that it gums up sandpaper. But it handcarves nicely & holds detail relatively well. I love the way it takes stain.
This pine will hold up just fine outdoors. Barns around here seem to require new boards after 50 years or so & they rarely have any finish on them.
Other than some "vintage" signs I make, 95% of what I do ends up outdoors & people expect warranty. I assume your situation is different.

Again, thank you for sharing what you've learnrd.

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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby TReischl » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:30 pm

Hello Mr. MacMunn,

You are correct, the cost of materials isn't always what it seems. One way to look at that cost is if a person does not have the skill set or knowledge to cut a less expensive grade of material, then they are forced to cut more expensive materials to achieve the desired result.

Moving on to "Conquering the Fuzzies"

What started me on this thread was looking at some of the commercial products that are cut in pine and sold in retail stores without being covered in fuzzies. An example of this would be the products that come from Walnut Hollow Farm in Dodgeville, WI. I have personal knowledge of this business, having been in it several times. They produce literally tens of thousands of pine items, trust me, they do not sand their router cuts. They obviously make money doing it. So much for pine not being a viable material.

I have been continuuing to make progress on conquering the fuzzies. In the last week or so, I spent some time tuning up my machine. Something most of us tend to neglect. I am now programming my cuts at 400-500 IPM. The fuzzies have virtually disappeared.

Below is a pic of a toolholder I cut yesterday out of Lowe's 2X8 material:

TH1.JPG


Yea, I know, but I was getting tired of the clutter on my bench and hunting for the right bolt.

The pic you see is exactly as it came off the machine, no sanding at all. Normally in the rounded corners in the pockets the fuzzies would be a disaster, not after programming at the higher feedrates. Of course, the machine did not go around those corners at 500 IPM, but it did go around them much faster than if I had programmed at 100 IPM.

I do not think it will have as good a result doing 3D work as the tool is quite often cutting in an upwards direction as it traverses. I am pretty sure this is going to result in some fuzzies no matter what. Later today I am going to run a test V-Carving at a high feed rate to see some results.

By the way, the "planing" cut for this project took exactly 1 min 29 sec using a .50 dia end mill traveling at 500 IPM. So a statement someone made about waiting forever to plane a workpiece because it is pine isn't exactly on the mark either.

I have this nagging thought that we see a lot of "rules of thumb" quoted that are way off the mark when it comes to CNC machining of wood. A lot of the people are using home built machines (myself included) that may not be rigid enough to cut at high feedrates, so they will tell everyone what their results have been, and others new to cutting think that is the proper cutting speed.

I built my new machine last year, I was hesitant to push it to these higher feedrates. At first I did not have much success, but then I took some time and did the proper tuning. The difference is amazing! My old machine would cut at 90 IPM, my goal for the new machine was 250 IPM. So when I reached that, I thought it was good enough. But actually, the machine is capable of twice that speed, so is the tooling. There is nothing special about my machine, it is a typical 8020 build with Gecko drives, etc.

Maybe I have a strange view of this forum? Over the last 5 years I have received a lot of ideas and help from the members, not to mention incredible service and support from the Vectric Team. So my idea is that when I come up with a way to cut faster, better, or solve a problem, post it here and share it. I never think to myself "Why would anyone want to cut that material?" or "What is the point of cutting that fast?" or "They are not charging enough!" What others do is their business, not mine. I don't view this as a sign makers forum. As I look at the posts, I see robots, guitars, gun grips, clocks, wall carvings, concrete molds, inlays, cabinets, the list is endless! That is one of the things that makes this the best forum on the internet.
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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby Boltz » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:41 pm

Have you tried an HSS bit for your final cut? I'm not sure if it's still true with the newest micrograin carbide, but the conventional wisdom for many years has been that HSS takes a sharper edge than carbide, and sharpness plays a big part in the fight against fuzzies. A freshly honed carbon steel plane blade leaves the most wonderful finish on pine.

I know what you mean about those beautifully cut toys out of pine.

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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby dhellew2 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:17 pm

I didn't see too many answers on glue for outdoor projects. I've been using Franklin Titebond II for years. It is rated as weather resistant but with the exception of submerged conditions, it works on every type of wood I've used, including oily woods. Just wipe with acetone or MEK before gluing.

Another method for removing fuzzies is a sandblast cabinet. As someone mentioned, oak is fuzzy too. These trivets are cut with a plunge round over bit and where the front and back grooves cross there are lots of fuzzies. Different types of sanding media will determine how much sanding the blaster will do.

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Re: Conquering Fuzzies in Construction Pine

Postby TReischl » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:48 am

dhellew2 wrote:Another method for removing fuzzies is a sandblast cabinet. As someone mentioned, oak is fuzzy too. These trivets are cut with a plunge round over bit and where the front and back grooves cross there are lots of fuzzies. Different types of sanding media will determine how much sanding the blaster will do.


Hello Dale,

I am not real keen on using a sandblaster to remove fuzzies. Those things round off all the crisp edges.

Are oak and pine fuzzy? Or is it that the way we are cutting them results in fuzzies? I think it is just too easy to say "Well, pine and oak are fuzzy, and that is that, live with it." I have cut pine and oak on my manual router table for years without producing fuzzies, what is with that????? You never see an article in a woodworking magazine discussing how to avoid fuzzies in oak/pine while working on a router table! The problem does not exist, why do we see it on a CNC router?

Boltz wrote:Have you tried an HSS bit for your final cut? I'm not sure if it's still true with the newest micrograin carbide, but the conventional wisdom for many years has been that HSS takes a sharper edge than carbide, and sharpness plays a big part in the fight against fuzzies. A freshly honed carbon steel plane blade leaves the most wonderful finish on pine.
-Jim Hart


Hello Jim,

I am sure a HSS bit would be an improvement, however, doing 3D cutting results in a tremendous amount of surface footage going across the bit. The question would be if the bit would remain sharp from beginning to end? Quite often I cut pieces that are 2' X 3' in size. Also, the places that cut commercially are using carbide bits, so I keep thinking that the secret involves the feedrates.

The real point of this thread is how to cut pine without the need for secondary operations to remove fuzzies.
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