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Processing Pine Boards10/8
My company makes mostly POP type displays. Our workflow is very centered around cam and dowel RTA style construction and we typically do parts using a mixture of nested base processing on our two flat table machines and some two stage machining using our point to point pod and rail machines.
We have seen a huge rise in demand for "native wood," "distressed wood," or "crate like" displays from our customers of late. We have most cases found ways of staying in a panel processing way of working.
A new project has come up that is just going to force us to work with boards, we have no option that is economical to replace 1x6 pine boards here. We basically need to assemble almost picket fence style panels with 3 40" long pine boards with a 2" gap between them and stringers connecting them.
I'm trying to find automation solutions to help us here. There are some nice pieces of rapid assembly hardware, or at the very least dowels to help us assemble the pieces. I'd like to end trim, drill and pocket the panels on my point to point centers, but I have had very bad luck thus far with using any routing tools on the pine as the grain just tears away and leaves a crap result, especially for end trimming. I do have a saw aggregate, but I'm not sure if that's the ticket either. I'm also having difficulty getting the boards to stay down on the pods reliably.
I'm looking for people who work with these materials on machinery like we have. I am interested in experiences and ideas to help me get this project more automated and efficient because I fear it devolving in to lots of workers on chop saws and table saws which is a recipe for disaster (financial and otherwise).
I'm also interested in what others do for production stapling / brad nailing. We typically make jigs that locate hand held pneumatic guns, but it seems like there should be some better solutions out there.
All insights and thoughts are appreciated.
I do a reasonable amount of pine.
After much trial and error I use a 3 flute roughing bit from Onsrud and live with the finish. I guess you could come in with another tool and do a light cleanup pass but I haven't needed to in my application.
You may need to cut from each side into the centre with opposite spiral tools rather than just one cut from side to side, but I haven't needed to with the bits I use.
Hope that helps.
I had do to a similar thing with pine corbels. They came out great when I stacked them perpendicular to the table and ran it as a profiled cut - provided you have the z axis travel. You'll need to spend a little time on jigs and flip to do the other half. It's like using the router as a saw. If they're flat it's easy to line them all up, if they're curved they have to be stacked into each other neatly so there's no tear out... Clamp them together and go.
More information needed let me know.
Routing the end grain of softwoods seems to always show more tear out than we want. We use our saw aggregate to end trim by doing a shallow score cut then dropping down for a full cut, coming back the other way. Twisted boards will need to have clamping pods to stay in place. Expensive but work really well. To make staples hold in softwood we went to using a steel table and stapling @ an angle so they would self clinch. You need to buy the kind of staples with points made for the purpose. Push down on the gun hard enough to push the work to the table. Make spacer jigs to drop the parts in so they are quick to position.