Sunday, 3 August 2014

Working With Wonky Wood

It's inevitable when you're working with wood that a few of the sheets are going to end up warped. I thought I would share a few of my tips for working with slightly warped wood while still getting good cuts from the laser. Magnets.
This is it really, magnets are the key to success, plonk them down all over the work piece and that will hold the wood flat while you cut. The magnets cling to the honeycomb underneath and a decent stack of neodymiums can pull 9mm sheets back onto the table.

When the wood is bowed, arrange it so that the centre of the wood is lifted off the table. Magnets placed right in the middle of the bow will pull it flat to the honeycomb. When placed the other way up you have to balance the magnets on either side of the work piece and you can get a 'see saw' effect if the bow is too severe.

The trick to placing magnets in the middle of the work is figuring out where to put them so that they aren't cut by the laser. My trick for this is to draw a few circles on the wood right at the very start of the process, pause the machine, then move the magnets onto the circles. This way you know that the magnets will not be under the laser beam at any point.