An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby laflippin » Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:15 pm

Hi Martin54--yes, I think a couple of plastic protective strips might be sufficient for removing backing with a hand-saw of most any type, although they might not last through more than a couple of projects. Cardboard, I'm not so sure...need to securely clamp the protective strips so they don't move around while sawing. Also, cardboard is pretty easy to accidentally saw through... :shock:

I chose aluminum because it is cheaply available in thin strips from most hardware stores and it is durable and stable under clamps, even when removing waste material with a violent reciprocating saw blade pressed up flush against the strips.
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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby laflippin » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:43 pm

Here is a link to a YouTube video that I made to illustrate a quick way to protect the workpiece surface for waste backing removal with a reciprocating saw. You can skip to the 3 1/2 minute mark to see the set-up and a backing removal--from start to finish, sawing off the back required 1 minute. Volume is very low on this video--headphones might help if you're interested to watch the entire 10 minute video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJT4_IM7XQc&t=241s
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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby LittleGreyMan » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:08 pm

laflippin wrote:Volume is very low on this video--headphones might help if you're interested to watch the entire 10 minute video.


Or use the sub-titles feature and … applause :D
Best regards

Didier

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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby laflippin » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:33 pm

Thank you LGM...I certainly didn't expect any applause for this video. I was mostly hoping there wouldn't be any actual booing and hissing... :lol:

I actually tried looking at this video with subtitles/closed caption turned on....hilarious, unless you are actually trying to understand what was intended. As Leo Kottke used to say about his voice, mine sounds like "goose farts on a muggy day" and the YouTube translator does have some considerable trouble with it. Somehow, the translator also turns the sound of my reciprocating saw into "applause"....ha ha, now that's funny! Wonder if my table saw would translate out to Puccini's "Nessun dorma".
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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby laflippin » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:14 pm

More follow-up on this topic: I decided to try milling off the waste backing from a recent inlay project that I'm working on because, in addition to Paul Zank's original suggestion in 2006 that it might work, a number of people have opined that it does work very well. I initially resisted this idea because I thought it might require a lot of time--i.e., programming the job in Vectric, setting up the job on the CNC, and executing. If that's the way folks are performing this type of waste backing removal I'd be interested to hear more about that.

However, my own version of this technique was pretty simple and I did decide that I like it very much. Basically, I just clamped down the glued-up workpiece, put a 1/2" straight bit in the router and using the pendant controller on my little Piranha I set the Z-axis by eye-balling it, and ran the router in the normal feed direction using manual control of the Y-axis.

That actually went pretty fast and also satisfied my natural tendency toward laziness.
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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby martin54 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:23 am

I initially resisted this idea because I thought it might require a lot of time--i.e., programming the job in Vectric, setting up the job on the CNC, and executing. If that's the way folks are performing this type of waste backing removal I'd be interested to hear more about that.

Since you asked then if I am using the CNC then I use one of 2 different methods, as I said in a previous post there is no one way to do this & I use what ever method I think suits best for that particular job :lol: :lol:

Method one is the same as you have just described, just clamp, use a suitable endmill & operated machine by hand. I normally set the z zero to the top of the material I want to machine flush to, back the z up & then machine down to zero moving the machine on the jog buttons :lol: :lol:

Method two is a little more involved as it requires using the software, if you have a way to put the job back on the machine accurately which I do then you can use the existing file & the vectors from the initial inlay to pocket down the required distance.
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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby ZipperHead55 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:47 pm

I've been following this post for a while now, since it is something that I have been trying to come up with a good solution to, and I have a few major projects involving inlay coming up, so I was hoping to find something simple and easy.

In the past I have tried table saws and radial arm saws to remove the waste portion, but it is far from efficient, and prone to damaging the main portion of the sign/plaque/etc if you dare to come too close to the surface and there is the tempation to speed things up.

I don't have access to a bandsaw, and now that I am making money from my projects that is item number one on my wishlist (initially I was going to buy a drum sander to deal with this issue, but I think that the bandsaw would have more use, particularly since I generally use 4/4 stock, and I could re-saw those down to at least 1/2" or maybe even thinner (to get 3 pieces from 1" stock), and also since I am thinking about getting a larger bandsaw (capable of 12" re-saw) it could be used for removing the inlay waste: that way I can use the bandsaw for more than just one thing (which would likely be the case with the drum sander, and I suspect I would go through a LOT of sandpaper rolls since I use primarily hardwoods (maple, walnut, purpleheart, cherry, etc).

Using the CNC to do the heavy lifting has become easier (through repetition and better planning), and I suspect that I would use a combination of the bandsaw, a belt/drum sander of some form and the CNC, anyway, since the CNC can be dialed in so easily (via software and the machine itself). The downside to using the CNC, of course, is that you can't be cutting another project at the same time, which is what I usually do while I am doing finishing on a previous project, so the CNC method isn't really effective in a production environment (which I am trying to get myself accustomed to).

I have found that it is pretty easy to create paths to deal with the waste removal as part of the inlay creation process, since you can either "recycle" the vectors that you were using (profile or pocketing toolpaths) and just create an offset (I usually go about 1/2" bigger just for simplicities sake (in case you can't accurately find the center of your object again). I had previously tried to leave my plaque/signs etc in the original blank utilizing tabs (so I could place the piece back onto the machine (after glueing, etc) and easily have x0 y0 handy, but I have found that the tabs break off too easily and even jamming 1/4" scrap pieces into the toolpath that I used (usually a 1/4" compression bit, hence the 1/4" thick scraps) (to help stop piece from moving around) didn't help. I found that it has been easier to just roughly find the center of the piece (tape measure, calipers, etc), mark that and create a new project with a datum position in the center, rather than my standard bottom left for x0 y0, and copy/paste the vectors I need, or just create a box to cover the area I need, and create 2 pocketing tool paths (one will be for the depth of the waste that needs to be removed, minus a little bit of fudge factor (a mm or 2) and then another shallow pass (1mm or so) that I can repeat as neccsary until I get to target depth (my machine (Axiom AR4Pro) has a "Repeat Machining" button on the pendant, and it is very handy)). As an aside, I have found that using the "recycle" method of using a toolpath vector can be counterproductive, since if you use a Offset method of clearing the pocket, it can make for VERY long runtimes, whereas if you just create a box and use Raster (or Offset), it will be faster more efficient even for the times it is just cutting "air". Obviously this method doesn't work if you have portions that would be damaged (3D pieces, for example) but the point is that you have to be cognizant of the methods used (i.e "faster" might end up taking longer).

Anyway, that's my process, in case it helps someone, and hopefully once I get my bandsaw and possibly drum sander, I will be able to leave the CNC to do the more "expensive" work that I purchased it for.

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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby Paul Z » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:40 am

I read this thread over one more time and realized that my "glue, glue and more glue" approach may have had an unexpected side effect. The excess glue provides tear out protection when cutting off the male inlay backing. Never thought of it that way before; just noticed that it worked.

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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby scottp55 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:30 pm

Yep Paul...Once I started flipping the piece after clamping so the glue reinforced the waste...I got less tearout CNC'ing the waste.
Then I could use one of two methods for the waste depending on the project.
1.....1.25" Mortising bit skimming until .02" was left of solid waste, then 1 .03" pass cutting against the grain to get rid of the uncut waste. then light passes till about .005" above surface.
2.....using a .5" downcut(Centurion FEM) setting my Z-Zero .005" above the surface, and cutting AGAINST the grain in one pass with stepover set at about .1" Starting OFF the waste.
Usually use method 2.
scott

Oh...For those without resaw capacity like myself, HIGHLY Recommend Ocooch scroll saw ready hardwoods;
http://ocoochhardwoods.com/scroll_saw_lumber.php
Ordered from them many times to do production buttons/key fobs, and it was always very slightly over thickness stated, sanded evenly, and flat with no defects.
DO recommend having a clamping set up ready for the thin stock before you unwrap! Sometime MAJOR differences in humidity/temps from their shop to yours.
But it will ARRIVE flat and WELL wrapped.
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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby laflippin » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:19 pm

Scott,

I heartily second your testimonial remarks about Ocooch Hardwoods (Wisconsin). Those folks give great service and sell really high quality wood. I recently wanted some yellowheart for a V-inlay project (yellowheart makes for a great-looking sun image against brown or red background wood). They didn't have it in stock for awhile there, but Ethan put my name on a list and he called me up the same day they got in new supplies of yellowheart. Took my order over the phone and sent it out the same day.

Like all of the other wood samples I have purchased from Ocooch, the yellowheart was perfectly sawn and planed and just beautiful quality--when sanded down and finished with tung oil their yellowheart looks like radiant gold.

Lee
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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby laflippin » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:35 pm

Paul, Scott--

I agree with the "glue, glue, and glue" guidance and I also have recently started flipping my workpieces immediately after glue-up/clamping to hopefully insure that any gaps in the inlay, no matter how miniscule, will be filled in from glue seeping down from the glue-gap area.

Along the lines of this discussion, I was wondering exactly what glues you folks favor for your inlay work. I have been using Titebond III almost exclusively, because their advertising led me to believe that it is waterproof (good for things like inlayed cutting boards) and perhaps the strongest bonding choice for prevention of tear-out when removing the waste backing from delicate inlays.


Any suggestions about the "best" glues to use for V-inlay work?

Lee
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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby Paul Z » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:12 pm

I used titebond II or III. I think Scott used "super glue" on some of his work.

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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby 01f4irider » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:42 pm

I have a few questions. How thick are the aluminum strips and how do you ensure that there is enough clearance in-between the two slabs of wood to accommodate both the thickness of the strips of aluminum and the thickness of the reciprocating saw blade? Thanks in advance for your reply.
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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby laflippin » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:12 pm

The aluminum strips I bought at Ace Hardware are 0.05" thick. The reciprocating saw blades I am using are also about 0.05" thick, at the tooth edge. Using the most typical flat depth of 0.1" on the male inlay piece provides a 0.1" gap between the surface of the workpiece and the flat surface of the inlay backing. That's a pretty tight fit so I think it is better to increase that gap to about 0.15".

I also want to reiterate that I've also started using the CNC machine under manual control to mill off the waste backing, according to suggestions from several other members here... At least when using the Next Wave Automation controller for this purpose, it is also very easy. Rather than programming a cut-off routine, I just attach a 1/2" straight router bit and position it at one corner of the waste backing with the x, y and z controls. Then, eyeballing it, I run the router back and forth under manual control to mill off the waste. Depending on the waste material thickness it can take anything from 1 to 3-or-4 passes while gradually lowering the bit with the z-axis control. It is actually quicker than it sounds and it also works very well.
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Re: An Alternative to the Bandsaw for Removing Inlay Backing

Postby scottp55 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:41 pm

Yep, used Rockler Medium CA on very first VInlays as the Vultures were small, and Paul said practice on "Scrap" :)
Walnut had a 16" split in it, so scrap enough for me.
Seeing as It was my very first and small(and I was impatient), used CA as I was probably going to ruin it anyways.
Only clamped for 2 hours, and then pocketed it off.
Decided to do another Vulture in different wood and toolpaths the same day.
NOT much working time, so the 2 pencil marks for line up are Important, as is having the clamps READY!
Dad came the next day, and we wanted to see how intricate we could get, and a Zebra graphic popped up...Zebra on the right was mucked up as I forgot to use a start depth as Dad kept talking over my shoulder and I Spaced it.(pieces are missing as it got sanded down.Zebra on left came out NICE:). CA still seemed to be working well, so African Tree was next, and I went heavy on the medium CA, and it came out great. That board is now 4 years old, and been to 4 shows and around the state in Dad's pick up, and showing no signs of problems.
Fleur-de-Lis in Purple heart and Tin was Rockler thick CA, and I had used my mini-burnisher to put many burred dents in the Tin for mechanical advantage, and lasted perfect for 2 years(and dropped many times) till somebody swiped it from a trade show.

Did one "Made in Maine" for trade shows and prop pics using TBII, but even after 36 hours clamping, the glue oozed out:( May have just been the glue was old? But someone said"What happens to glue when you put the top on TIGHT?". The surface had 2 coats of finish on it, and it was tight...anyways went back to CA.

scott
Attachments
ZEBRA BOARD DIANNE 1.jpg
ZEBRA TREE CONT 1.jpg
ZEBRA TREE W 1.jpg
TIN PURPLEHEART MAPLE 1.jpg
IF MIM GLUE CLEANUP.jpg
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