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Thread: laser cutting 12 mm baltic birch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Colrain MA
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    48

    laser cutting 12 mm baltic birch

    I'm looking to have cut a large number (700) spur gears, 1.7" to 3.3" diameter, from 12 mm thick BB. I had a supplier lined up, approved his samples, and then he backed out. He seemed to have trouble figuring out what material would work for him. Bores can be cut a trifle small for me to ream to finish size.

    Is this really at the fringe of what's possible? Can anyone point me in the direction of a capable firm to do this?

    PM me for file if interested.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Deep South
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    3,857
    I am not sure whether it would be cost effective but a lot of us could do the cutting using a CNC router.

  3. #3
    Hi if you send me a PM I can gave a phone number who can do what you want, do not know if he will, but know he can.
    thank you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Colrain MA
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    Thanks Art, I am considering CNC router fabrication as well. I've cut a few sets myself with mine. The teeth require a small bit, 1/8", so a few passes are required (3-5?), and I think laser finish edge, though charred, is still smoother.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    12mm gears with a laser is not easily accomplished. I KNOW my 80 watt won't cut through any hard material that is a half inch thick with any decent results. I would expect a 150watt or higher would be necessary, and you would end up with a curved surface. (focus lens issue) I would definitely look at a CNC router as the ONLY quality product.
    Woodworking, Old Tools and Shooting
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  6. #6
    Al, Tried to email you and did not work, if you send a PM will send you phone number.
    joe

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by al ladd View Post
    Thanks Art, I am considering CNC router fabrication as well. I've cut a few sets myself with mine. The teeth require a small bit, 1/8", so a few passes are required (3-5?), and I think laser finish edge, though charred, is still smoother.
    The header panels on this trade show kiosk are 1/2" plywood with a 1/32" thick brushed aluminum cap cemented on with contact adhesive, framed with 1x3's Each section is 4" x 21" x 96". The letters are 10" tall, the font I hand digitized since it wasn't on floppy yet
    BTS-91a.jpg
    I cut these letters out on the Vanguard 5000XT that's sitting next to me, in the same place it was back in '91-
    I took an 11/64 HSS cutter tool, added to the flat until it was nearly an inch long, then sharpened the edge dead straight at 35, the edge basically resembled that of a straight cut router bit, the tip ground like any other engraving tool...the cut diameter started out at around .16", got a bit smaller as I sharpened the tool a few times. I cut most letters out in one pass, the tip would burn if I tried half-thru cuts. To this day I can't believe I ever got done with that job, as these kiosks had 3 sides, all 3 sides had words, and there were FIVE kiosks-!

    so what I'm getting at here, is that a straight single edge engraving-style cutter might be the trick if you go CNC. Carbide would be best for edge longevity, HSS would be less prone to break and would cut better, for awhile anyway, it would dull faster. But, straight edge cutters can be resharpened.

    I have no idea what tools your machine is capable of holding or your spindle speeds, but if you can cut your 3-5 passes down to ONE or 2, might be worth looking into. I have GOBS of old cutters that may work, and I could make you a test cutter, just need shank dia and length info-
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Olalla, WA
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    1,475
    I was curious so I cut a test gear out of 1/2" BB, I used the 80W laser - if I were cutting a bunch of these I would swap in the 130W. Maybe try different focussing distances too, I focused on the surface like I always do.

    GearBB01.jpg

    GearBB02.jpg
    Shenhui 1440x850, 130 Watt Reci Z6

  9. #9
    I just cut some 3/8" clear plex with my 80w Triumph, wasn't particularly fast but I was surprised at how straight the cut was- when cutting wood or opaque white plex, the kerf runs on a slight angle...

    that gear looks pretty good!
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


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