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Thread: Y access stall - E05-0314

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Kaukauna, Wisconsin


    A sled can be made very easily. You can tell machine where you want it to start carving. I have a few I use that are mdf boards with a 3.5" piece glued and screwed to the one end and another 3.5" piece screwed to the other end that almost doubles as a clamp . I place project board tight to glued side and screw the second board tight to the project board. if the project requires rails I screw them down as needed, most of you projects do not require rails. I also get my mdf from furniture or counter tops that are being tossed out. Saw the stuff up in what you need, and I know that there is no love lost on the wood being sacrificed, junk is junk and you can't wreck junk is one rule I run with.

  2. #12


    I'm not entirely sure I understand to what style you are referring, so I am taking a guess. So yes, an "open bottom" sled that matched the height of the workpiece would not draw the "thickness" prompt. But I still prefer my style sled with a 3/4" thick bottom. Responding to the prompt takes only a couple of seconds. Experience tells me that the extra mass of this design is beneficial. Also, on an open sled for a cutout the cutting bit is piercing the wood and coming very close to the brass roller vertically. In my sled it stays 3/4" away vertically. I think that is beneficial. The sled can also accommodate slightly warped wood or wood that is not perfectly square with ease.

    It may not be obvious from the photos, but I use thumbscrews to clamp the workpiece into the sled. This is quick and easy. For workpieces that are not as wide as the sled, I keep several scrap pieces on hand and use them to fill the gap between workpiece and sled. So one sled can accommodate many different size projects. With some scrap 1/4" plywood I also accommodate 1/2" thick projects - just lay some scrap 1/4" material underneath the workpiece.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Southeast Idaho


    Hi Cheri,

    I picked a bad month to be on the road for outages (movie Airplane reference, sorry)

    If you look closely at your cut image, you will see that there are no tab marks in the larger piece that's missing (see the red arrow in the smaller piece).

    When setting tabs in the cut window, consider the overall length of the cut the bit will travel for a line. With the design being 15x9 (not considering all the ins and outs of the detail) the bit was going to travel well over 48". The settings were only going to place 4 to 5 tabs on the entire perimeter cut. There was a very good chance that the center of the B would fall out and jam as well.

    Jamming can be caused by pieces falling out and binding in the slot between the belts, a piece tipping up as it gets near the rollers (impossible to see), a loose piece "spinning" in the hole created in a cut loop (can break a bit too), a small piece coming loose and landing on top of the board and binding against the rollers. Yes, these have all happened to me!

    If you use a solid sled for your words, some of these can be avoided. You can still get spinning and tip up (those rollers are exerting 70+ lbs of pressure on one end of a piece). And you can keep the tabs shorter, meaning less clean up. I always use a box cutter to clean up tabs in MDF (and sometimes pine).

    Based on my experience, and everyone's experience may vary, for MDF on a sled, 1/8" tabs work great. I even do 1/16" on 1/4 inch cuts with no problems.
    At a minimum, on longer perimeter cuts set Tab Spacing to 3 per foot. On the "blessed", I probably would have gone 4 or 5 because of the looping and the way the cuts are close or overlap - overlapping can remove a tab already cut.

    E-mail me if you have any questions. I sent you my phone number via e-mail. You can text me, and I will call once I make it away from work. Crazy hrs
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tabs.PNG   Tab2.PNG  

  4. Default

    Oh that makes total sense!!! If I would have flipped the image would the tabs have shown from the back side? That way I would have known ahead of time that I didn't have enough tabs. I need to make it a practice to flip the virtual board and check that.

    You've been so much help! I did get your email. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

  5. Default

    So I went back to the file. Is there a setting to let me see tabs on the virtual board? That way I can verify I have enough or if there are any sections missing any?

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Vancouver Island


    Unfortunately, tabs for cut paths are not shown in Designer. (I think that where the tabs end up depends on where the cuts start and this is determined as the project is "compiled" onto the card.)

  7. Default

    okee dokee...thanks bergerud!

    Note to Designer software updaters.....please add an option to see where tabs are and also a rotate option (without having to buy another program) sometimes we just need to turn a letter or object to make less waste on the board.


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