I am looking for a quick and accurate way to produce miters for production runs of jewellery boxes that will be made from veneered MDF? I have tried the tablesaw with ok results but can be time consumming to setup each time and also means the saw is then tied up with this job.
Have you tried using a shaper? I have a tilting shaper that I do miters on, works way better than any table saw. Normally I do longer pieces with a power feed but you could do shorter with either a sled or sliding table.
Thanks for the replies - the miter fold machine looks great but I have limited space and these look big! might try some mitre fold tests with a bit and my milling machine, slow but if the results are good then perhaps a CNC router.
A well tuned radial armsaw with an appropriate blade and a stop would make short work of this. Don't expect to throw a GP blade on a $50 craftsman saw and get good results though. Nothing wrong with craftsman they just need tuning.
Cutting miter folds with a Vee bit isn't the greatest if that's what you are considering one a CNC router. The point has not cutting action and just plows. If you get a router for this job you will want a tiling aggregate so the bit is cutting over it's entire area. A straight bit held at 45 degrees. The router offers the same advantages as the miter fold machine in that the reference surface of the machine and panel is the same.
I've done miter folds on the router with the V bit, but the veneer wants to fracture at the very place where you want it perfect. Ideally, you put the tape on before cutting.
I produced some test cuts with a miter fold bit using my milling machine and with the depth set to 0.1mm about the spoil board it work very well! ok slow to produce on a mill but with a CNC it should work well>
Many years ago there was a Fine Woodworking article on this subject in which the author used a beefed up radial arm saw (the guide arm was braced with 45's to the table) with a custom 45 degree groover to produce electronic instrument cases. He cut not quite through the veneer and reinforced the back with tape before folding up the boxes. If you have room that would be an effective solution that you could leave set up. A good stop system would be necessary.
For infrequent short runs and limited space I would stick with the tablesaw or shaper.
That means the the front end of the overhead arm of the saw was braced by a pair of stout steel angles welded or bolted to the base in order to hold it in a fixed position with no flex. It was a serious setup, not an amateur affair. If I can find the article I will post the particulars.
"Radial Saw Meets Computer", Fine Woodworking #40 pp.98-9. The machine was set up with a moving vacuum table controlled by a computer to locate the v-grooves and a hydraulic/pneumatic system to move the saw head. Very similar to a cnc with an aggregate head but less versatile. Worth a look if you can locate a copy of the May/June 1983 issue- it doesn't seem to be available online.
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