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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have done several 3D clip art designs that came with the VCarve Pro software I have (and a few from the internet). So far I have used an 1/8th inch ball nose end mill for my finish pass. What does everyone use? I'm mostly happy with the finish but looking to see if I can get a better finish so I have less sanding to do. I have a 2 flute 7.5 degree V-Groove engrave bit with a 1/16" tip that I am wanting to try. This one >>> https://www.freudtools.com/products/70-103 Just looking for opinions before I try it this weekend.
 

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What type of finish issues are you seeing?
The tool won't effect the finish much.
That's more dependent on wood species, and sometimes cut direction, feedrate and rpm.
Stepover may also play a role. For as really good finish, you want to use maybe a 5%-8% stepover. But the smaller the stepover, the longer the run time.

Most people use tapered ballnose bits, like these:
https://www.amazon.com/SpeTool-Tung...ed+ball+nose&qid=1552087847&s=gateway&sr=8-21
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What type of finish issues are you seeing?
The tool won't effect the finish much.
That's more dependent on wood species, and sometimes cut direction, feedrate and rpm.
Stepover may also play a role. For as really good finish, you want to use maybe a 5%-8% stepover. But the smaller the stepover, the longer the run time.

Most people use tapered ballnose bits, like these:
https://www.amazon.com/SpeTool-Tung...ed+ball+nose&qid=1552087847&s=gateway&sr=8-21

Gerry,
Thanks for the reply. The finish is not bad. I was trying to get it to be smoother so I have less sanding in the difficult areas, and before I start doing some of the more detailed pieces. I looked at my step over and one piece that I ran I had a 25% step over. That may be my biggest issue! I'll try a 5%-8% like you suggest. I will also buy the bit you suggest. I have seen those but was not real sure if I could use those so THANKS for clearing that up for me!!
 

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If it's a smaller cut you can also run the finish toolpath twice. Once in climb and then conventional. They cut in opposite directions. Eliminates a lot of fuzzies.

Also, I have found out - the softer the wood, the sharper the bit has to be. Especially with pine and poplar. Aspen Vcarves nice, but not so good 3d. A good sharp bit eliminates a lot of fuzzies. Try the Spectras from Toolstoday.com. I get mine sharpened (about $7) now, if they don't break, and probably change more frequently than needed. A smaller stepover helps a lot too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If it's a smaller cut you can also run the finish toolpath twice. Once in climb and then conventional. They cut in opposite directions. Eliminates a lot of fuzzies.

Also, I have found out - the softer the wood, the sharper the bit has to be. Especially with pine and poplar. Aspen Vcarves nice, but not so good 3d. A good sharp bit eliminates a lot of fuzzies. Try the Spectras from Toolstoday.com. I get mine sharpened (about $7) now, if they don't break, and probably change more frequently than needed. A smaller stepover helps a lot too.

More great info that I didn't know! Thanks! I'll try these too.
 

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If it's a smaller cut you can also run the finish toolpath twice. Once in climb and then conventional. They cut in opposite directions. Eliminates a lot of fuzzies.

Also, I have found out - the softer the wood, the sharper the bit has to be. Especially with pine and poplar. Aspen Vcarves nice, but not so good 3d. A good sharp bit eliminates a lot of fuzzies. Try the Spectras from Toolstoday.com. I get mine sharpened (about $7) now, if they don't break, and probably change more frequently than needed. A smaller stepover helps a lot too.
I also learned some things here today. Thanks.
 

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And sometimes you get a piece of wood that won't cut clean, no matter what you do.

I also have found out that (depending on the project) you don't have to have a completely smooth surface, especially if staining. When you wipe the stain it will lay a lot of the rough ends right down, and actually remove fuzzies in nooks and crannies if you use a rag with a small tool to go over it. An extra coat or 2 of poly makes things smoother (light sanding between the last couple of coats) too. And if you paint, you can hide even more imperfections -- just ask Scottart.

Don't be too critical of what you consider "mistakes". Others normally don't even notice, and the piece has it's own "character." No matter how hard you try, it'll never be perfect in your eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And sometimes you get a piece of wood that won't cut clean, no matter what you do.

I also have found out that (depending on the project) you don't have to have a completely smooth surface, especially if staining. When you wipe the stain it will lay a lot of the rough ends right down, and actually remove fuzzies in nooks and crannies if you use a rag with a small tool to go over it. An extra coat or 2 of poly makes things smoother (light sanding between the last couple of coats) too. And if you paint, you can hide even more imperfections -- just ask Scottart.

Don't be too critical of what you consider "mistakes". Others normally don't even notice, and the piece has it's own "character." No matter how hard you try, it'll never be perfect in your eyes.

Thanks John for all the great information!
 

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You can also try some 3M Radial Bristle Discs that can be used with a Dremel. You can find them on Amazon in various grits. They are thin, but can be stacked for use on larger, open areas.

Sorry, but I haven't posted enough times to add a link.

Gary
 

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I also got a sanding mop that fits in a drill. Works somewhat, especially bigger pieces and creases.
 
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