CNC Milling

Facing Materials

It's a good idea to use stock that is close to the desire thickness of the part you're milling. For this project, I used 1/2" hard maple and 3/4" oak stock. Because the oak stock was so thick, it took a whole lot longer to face than the maple. 

The main take away I learned from this project was to face both the top AND bottom of the stock. This ensures the part is really level. Some of the corners are a bit warped and slightly bow when the two parts are fitted together.

Machining Boundary

A good way to limit an operation is to use the machining boundary. This lets you choose an edge and tells the machine to only mill material within that selection. This is great way to reduce machining time since we don't have to mill away material that doesn't matter.

Heights

It's important to set the correct heights when setting up operations. When your stock has been faced, you may need to specify where the next operation needs to start – So you can selecting an edge or surface. 

Stock To Leave

This option is normally for parts that need to stay secured on the bed. The "Stock to leave" option tells the CNC machine to stop at a certain thickness. With some CNC machines, parts are secured via clamps or pins. If the excess material is milled away, the part may come free, resulting in a failed part. In my case, using the othermill pro, I don't have to worry about that as long as there's suffice tape holding the stock to the bed.

This guide was first published on May 03, 2017. It was last updated on May 03, 2017. This page (CNC Milling) was last updated on Sep 18, 2019.