Heat Issues when Cutting MDF with Compression Bits

      It's tricky to adjust cutter speeds for good chip load and cool cutting in MDF. May 15, 2008

I just purchased a 4 flute compression finisher/rougher combo bit from Vortex called the tornado bit. Does anyone have experience with this bit? I am trying to get the right feed rate and RPMs. The bit seems to be getting hot after the cuts, so I feel like I am not cutting at the right speeds.

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor K:
I have found Vortex to be very good with helping in this area.

From contributor M:
Don't know what you are cutting, but you will have to cut fast without a lot of short moves. With short moves you will have a lot of accel/decel times that will give you a smaller chipload creating more heat versus the longer cuts. If you cannot keep the speed up, use a three flute tool instead of the four. If you don't understand chipload, search this forum or ask the good people at Vortex.

From contributor O:
Contributor M is correct.... run your machine's axis motion as fast as you can, then reduce the spindle rotational speed down till you eliminate dust and burning.

From the original questioner:
I am cutting 3/4 MDF.

From contributor B:
I have not had good luck cutting MDF with a compression bit. You are right - they heat up really fast because the MDF is abrasive. Try cutting with a 1/2 in. down shear 2 flute bit about halfway through 16000 @ 420 ipm, then finish with an upcut same speed/feed. You should get chips and very little dust. Slow down the RPM if heat builds.

From contributor E:
I've not used the tornado bits, but I have used the 4 flute 1/2" finisher from Vortex. I took a roughing pass leaving .25mm stock at 14,000rpm and 21m/min (826 ipm) and 17.5mm deep. Then followed that with a finish pass at 18000rpm and 30m/min (1181 ipm). I used two passes to keep the parts from moving and to give a better finish. The parts were 2'' wide in some areas (a window grid). Cheap lower quality MDF is usually much denser and more difficult to cut than a super-refined or double-refined MDF (such as Plum Creek, or GP's Synergite or Hollyhill). We routinely cut the Synergite 5/8" and 3/4" MDF 1 pass at 24,000rpm 30m/min with a Vortex 3 flute 1/2" compression.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization: CNC Machinery and Techniques

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2018 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article