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Thread: Using a 5 inch aluminum panel cutter

  1. #1

    Using a 5 inch aluminum panel cutter

    Hello everyone, I just bought a used Mini Max t 3 shaper.
    It came with a rather large power feeder and like 6 aluminum head insert cutters.
    My question is when using a wide 5 inch or bigger aluminum insert cutter do you expect the cut to be extremely rough and huge chips that actually hurt when they hit you to come off the machine?
    I have not set the power feeder up yet as I'm not sure how you cut the end-grain on the panels with a power feeder on the machine.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Theory is the dc will get all those chips.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    The cut should be smooth, not rough. I actually was just running a panel before i logged on here and forgot to turn on the DC before I stuck it in the feeder.. no painful chips.

    You need a continuous fence and if narrow enough a jig to hold it using the feeder. There is a post from J.R. Rutter with a nice panel raising fence using aluminum angle and some plywood.

    Small panel raisers need some creativity on the fence, I use a piece of 3/16x1" Bar stock with a radius cut leaving about 1/4 to clear the spindle.

    20180911_201851.jpg
    20180911_202940.jpg
    Last edited by Jared Sankovich; 09-14-2018 at 3:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    It's rough because you can't hold it firmly enough by hand. Use the feeder as run your 2 end grains first and finish with the long grain. I as assuming the inserts are sharp. Cheers

  5. #5
    "Huge chips" makes me think you're not backing up the cut and it's splintering as you cut. Also, why is your guard not stopping these huge chips from hitting you? Personally, I would never hand feed any cutter bigger than 3" unless I used several light passes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Wake Forest, NC
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    490
    Dumb question, but is the cutter head rotating correctly? Is it mounted backwards?

    Dont ask me why I ask this...

  7. #7
    For raising panels on a shaper, I screwed a 1/4" x 1" piece of aluminum stock to a 3/4" thick board. I drilled and tapped holes in the shaper table, in the miter slot. The board gets held down with 1/4-20 flat head machine screws. The aluminum sits under the cutter, and the edge of the panel rides along it.

    To raise narrow panels, I put two 12" long x 6" wide pieces of panel stock beside the panel. The I screw a 1/4" piece of plywood to the two outer pieces. The rollers on the feeder feed the whole thing by the cutter as one item. Helpful Hint: Don't screw the plywood down in the cutter path. Using a fixture like this allows one set up for all panel cuts, ends or edges.

    For small two sided raised panels, raise one side, then put spacers under the tongues for the second pass.

    I have made 6" x 6" raised panels using these methods, always using a feeder.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by andy photenas View Post
    Hello everyone, I just bought a used Mini Max t 3 shaper.
    It came with a rather large power feeder and like 6 aluminum head insert cutters.
    My question is when using a wide 5 inch or bigger aluminum insert cutter do you expect the cut to be extremely rough and huge chips that actually hurt when they hit you to come off the machine?
    I have not set the power feeder up yet as I'm not sure how you cut the end-grain on the panels with a power feeder on the machine.
    You'll get a better cut with the power feed.

    Are the knives sharp?

    How many wings?

    What rpm are you running?

    I run steel heads, but I barely have to do any sanding on our panel raiser. It's a heavy SAC shaper, with a four wing insert head spinning 4500rpm. (I'm not positive on the rpm) I don't remember what the diameter is, but it's around 5-6 inches.

    You cut end grain the same way you do with the grain, you'll just want to do it first.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    294
    Fresh knives (freud 5.5" head) 5100rpm @ 15fpm in Syp.
    20180914_170433_crop_901x726.jpg

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jared Sankovich View Post
    The cut should be smooth, not rough. I actually was just running a panel before i logged on here and forgot to turn on the DC before I stuck it in the feeder.. no painful chips.

    You need a continuous fence and if narrow enough a jig to hold it using the feeder. There is a post from J.R. Rutter with a nice panel raising fence using aluminum angle and some plywood.

    Small panel raisers need some creativity on the fence, I use a piece of 3/16x1" Bar stock with a radius cut leaving about 1/4 to clear the spindle.

    20180911_201851.jpg
    20180911_202940.jpg
    That's a very nice cut across the end grain of what looks like oak from here.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    294
    Quote Originally Posted by brent stanley View Post
    That's a very nice cut across the end grain of what looks like oak from here.
    Yeah it's white oak.

  12. #12
    First ty all so much for your input. sorry for the delay in answering im knee deep in work thts a good thing!
    So i will hook up the power feeder and create a fence that has no break in it. I am not sure if the knives are sharp though is a jesada tool head i got with the shaper. and they are out of business so i may just go to the solid heavy 3 wings i see most times.
    So do i understand it right that i make a jig to run narrow panels through cross grain cuts while passing through the power feeder? The job im on now has 12 doors only but they have a middle divider making nearly all the panels what i would call on the narrow side so scary to pass though endgrain for me still.
    also i did have the rpm set at 5k and it says on the bit 9.5k max is that too slow also ? ( seems fast for over 5" bit to me but i have not used anything other then the 3 wing ones .
    it is spinning in the right direction and i have it mounted above the table. I am using hickory for the wood in this it seems really hard and has odd structure compared to other woods i have used. (first time with this wood).

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