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Machine Tools/Bit selection for milling / cutting of an unusual material


Dear Dave - a question about what milling or cutting bit, and speed settings, would be good for: straight cut through a 500-page ream of PAPER.

This would be on a do-it-yourself CNC milling setup. We can choose any feed-rate, and any spindle speed up to 30,000 RPM.

The goal is: a clean cut through the stack of 500 sheets of ordinary 8.5 x 11 inches paper, at a precise position. So that, the edges of the cut stack look reasonably smooth, and the sheets are not shredded at the edges.

The ream of paper can be pinned down with vises, on both sides, within a few millimeters of the cutting path, to prevent buckling of the stack.

I imagine this is somewhat similar to cutting MDF, but much softer: with the paper fibers being thinner, shorter, and not a homogenous mass. Sheets stacked one on top of the next like really thin "laminates"

Also I am aware that a milling machine is not the ideal equipment for this task, but that's what we've got to work with.

We do have a shop-vac setup for dust collection, but it would be preferable if the waste material comes off the bit more like "paper shavings" than as fine dust.

Thanks for suggestions about bit choice and speed settings.

I am stumped on this one. If it were me I would try to shear it rather than cut it. Kind of like a paper cutter. If you have a hydraulic arbor press, setup some clamps to hold the paper, make a blade and shear the material. That is the best idea I have. Good luck.

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machine tool setup and operation,selection and use of cutting tools, welding and metalfabrication methods, machining of plastics and metals,cad/cam,cnc,workholding and all related questions regarding metalworking and finishing


over 25 years experience as a class a machinist in both job shop and r&d

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