Cutting Cork - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Default Cutting Cork

My wife has been after me for years (think about that) to begin making coasters for sale at craft fairs, and I finally have figured out how to do that.

Almost.

My plan is to use my new CNC (OK, it'll be mine after I get it. For now, I'm just in fantasy land. Indulge me.) to route round holes in the coaster, which will be filled with cork that I will cut from sheets. The cork sheets will be either 1/8" or 1/4" thick.

What router bit should I use in the CNC to cut the cork?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 11:02 AM
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For cutting the cork circles I would try hollow punches first, especially if they are fairly small circles.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
For cutting the cork circles I would try hollow punches first, especially if they are fairly small circles.
Not that small ... probably 4" circles. Maybe 4" rectangles with rounded edges.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 08:30 PM
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I've never had much luck cutting cork, except with sharp scissors. Quick search on the drone-powered shopping site and I found 1/8" thick 4" round cork at $12.99 for 24 (shipped), so it works out to $0.54 each. Cutting sheets may be cheaper on the surface, but I think i'd experiment with cutting methods before buying bulk sheets. Reading Charles' comment i'd bet on production pieces of cork being stamped.

Good luck!!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 08:36 PM
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I think you might have to sandwich it between two sheets of something to cut it Henry. Or glue the cork to something stiffer first. I think I might try to find a 4" pipe or steel tube and sharpen the edge and turn it into a hollow punch.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 08:24 AM
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a while back, I took a bunch of scraps and glued em up to make a few cutting boards and such.... then I thought to use the scraps from the scraps. Figured what the hell, make a few coasters with my grandson. 20 in total. just shy of 4"s in dia. 1/8"+ thick. Cork seemed to be the logical choice for the bottoms. I picked up some 12" x 12" x 1/8" squares from a local craft store. 4 to a pak. I forget the price, but remember it being reasonable enough.

Applied a liberal amount of spray adhesive to the cork (pretty sure it was 3M super 99) and let tack up. Laid out 5 coasters to a sheet. Sandwiched those sheets between 1/8" plywood. Then the whole package between a couple of 3/4" pieces of ply. Weighted down with a 30lp dumbbell and walked away for a few days. After I was sure everything had set and was dry, cut out the coasters with an scalpel (x-acto knife). Easy enough, nice clean cuts. Then took em over to the 12" disc sander, blended all the edges together then took some 180 and rounded over the bottoms. A few coats of spray on poly and a top coat of wax polish.

Cork will take a nice edge, but I don't think it'll hold up all that well. My experience with the stuff is that it wants to chip away. Rounding over the edges really seems to make a huge difference in terms of longevity. Im pretty sure you'd have the same issues when "stamping" out the cork unless you use some really sharp dies.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 09:44 AM
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I have no idea how it would work but how about a scroll saw?

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 10:19 AM
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Henry you should be able to cut it on a CNC using a sharp down cut bit using a jig to hold the cork. something like this. Run the toolpath, shift the cork in the clamp, run the toolpath, shift the cork .....
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 05:28 PM
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Buy a laser cutter! LOL
Years ago, I made 100 sets (6 pieces plus a stand with four rounded dowels to hold them) I made these oak coasters for a Junior Achievement group. Used a forsner bit for the recess in 1/2" thick oak squares. We machined a hole saw into a "punch". The folks used a vise to punch out cork disks out of adhesive backed cork sheets. Came out nice!

Last edited by tacomamactech; 07-07-2017 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Added comments!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2017, 04:15 AM
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I was cutting some cork for an art project years ago, and after some tear-out, I started using my handy dandy X-acto knife and had nice clean cuts.

I like the idea of the cookie cutter/punch method, not sure if that would keep it clean, like if you had to twist your punch...
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