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Cutting disks

Posted by Henry in MI on December 16th, 2000 09:29 AM
In reply to ho ho hole saw by bc on December 15th, 2000 07:44 PM [Go to top of thread]

Ok, you are going to be cutting "many thousands" of 7.500" OD x .500 or.750 thick from 4' x 8' sheets of MFD. I still think that you should at least consider high pressure water cutting or laser cutting. Since you can cut the whole sheet at one time, you can nest the disks when you lay out the cuts. You may be able to cut several sheets at one time. You will not have a center hole. You will not have a problem with bits getting dull and ragged edges. You will have less scrap which costs you money for material plus the cost of disposal.

The next choice would probably be an over-arm router with a jig to hold the starting square in position. Remember that you have now made this a 2 step operation since you first have to cut the sheets into squares on a table saw. Because you will be cutting through a lot of resin in the MFD, you will have to find sources to resharpen the carbide saw blades and router bits. The resin will dull these quickly and the cost to replace instead of resharpen will quickly become a big issue. And how do you dispose of the "many thousands" of corner drops plus chips and sawdust. By the way, how are you going to protect yourself from the dust and your shop from fire because of all the chips and dust? At the very least, you will have to wear a very good dust mask anytine that you are cutting. Sawdust itself is not good for you. Add the resin from the MFD and you can quickly have serious lung problems.

bc's suggestion of having a hole saw made might be OK for a small production run. It would have to be carbide tipped since high speed steel will just not hold up long. And you will still have to find someone to sharpen the carbide. Drill press RPM will be an issue. You will have to turn it pretty slow but with that big a cutter, you will still have good SFM (surface feet per minute). Turn the cutter too fast and you will be burning your way through, not cutting, and your tool will not last at all. Clearing the chips will be a big issue also. That is another big reason for burning. And you will have to have a center hole with a solid carbide bit that is replaceable. The fly cutter is probably a better option. These are available off-the-shelf for about $210 plus $40 per carbide blade. And you better have a good, big drill press.

Frank, there really is a lot to consider in doing a big job like this and your safety is the most important.

Good luck
Henry in MI

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