Shopbot and V-Carve Tutorial
Shopbot Safety Reminders
1) Wear protective gear including eye protection, ear protection and steel toed boots. Avoid loose-fitting clothing or dangling jewelry.
2) Keep eyes, hands, hair and clothing away from the ShopBot and router when it is operating. Tie long hair back. Do not use your hands to hold down parts that may come loose as they are cut out.
3) Read and follow the safety information that comes with your router, bits and other accessories. Unplug or shut down power to the router or spindle when changing bits.
4) Listen for changes in sound that may indicate a problem while running the tool. ALWAYS be near enough to the Remote Stop Switch or Space Bar on the computer keyboard to be able to stop the gantries should a problem arise.
5) Use a bit that is appropriate to the task. Inspect your bits for wear, burning, dullness and cracks each time you use them.
• Choose a bit with the largest shank and the shortest bit length to fit the task to avoid excessive bit deflection and stress.
• Never cut deeper than 11⁄2 times the diameter of the bit in a single pass. Not only will two passes make a cleaner cut but a shallower cut will cause less bit deflection and danger of breakage.
• Check your collets frequently. Collets do wear out, and a loose collet can result in greater deflection and shimmy which equal poorer quality cuts and greater chance of breakage.
6) Avoid unsafe holddown practices that can shatter a bit or allow parts to move during cutting.
• Make sure that the vacuum is sufficient to hold down small parts. Create templates or use the tabbing feature to hold small parts in place until you are ready to remove the machined pieces.
7) Locate mechanical holddowns such as clamps or sheet rock screws well clear of the cutting area. Design your files in such manner that the bit does not encounter the screws or clamps. Countersink holes for holddown screws.
8) Air cut your file before you put actually cut the file using the 3D offset option. Remember to deselect the 3D offset when you are ready to really run the file.
9) Create cutting files that avoid small parts flying out when being cut
10) Set Z accurately before starting the cut file, and know exactly how thick the material is.
11) Plan your toolpaths so that you cut out details and small parts before cutting out the big parts and drill any holes in a file while the material is intact and positioned properly, then go back and cut out the pieces.
Adapted from Shopbot