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Thread: CNC Pressure Foot

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Clayton, NC
    Posts
    442

    Default CNC Pressure Foot

    Looking at adding a pressure foot to my ShopBot for cutting some small pieces, and this is only one I've found:

    http://www.widgetworksunlimited.com/...ure-sb_prs.htm

    2 questions, first has anyone used this pressure foot and if so what are your thoughts?

    Secondly, does anyone know of any other pressure foot designs out there?

    thanks
    Daniel E.
    ShopBot PRS 48x96 (2010 Model)
    Porter Cable Router
    Vacuum Table w/ 2 Fein vacs
    Aspire 9.0

    What I do when I don't mess up wood: http://www.pathhome.net

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    , Pittsburgh PA
    Posts
    92

    Default

    I've been using it for about 18 months. I double side machine numerous small parts with plenty of small holes out of 4' x 8' x.125" sheets of polycarbonate. The parts are tabbed but testing with both up and down cut bits without the pressure foot resulted in too much flex and damaged parts. The pressure foot was the only solution and it works great.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    cnc routing, portland or
    Posts
    3,628

    Default

    been using it for years. you still need some way to hold the sheet in place. I use it keep thin plastic from lifting up when I cut it. but there are other methods depending on what your cutting. what I dont like is the time it takes to get it up and running. depending on the material sometimes you can use a straight bit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    703

    Default

    Three words: Double Sided Tape.
    ShopBot Details:
    PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    cnc routing, portland or
    Posts
    3,628

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coryatjohn View Post
    Three words: Double Sided Tape.
    well unless it is a 4x8 sheet. a compromise is to spray one side of the material or table with strong contact glue and then vacuum it down. that works well but it is a bit messy and it can get expensive. I use the foot when ti is the only solution.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Elgin Illinois
    Posts
    696

    Default

    Hello Daniel. I tried using double sticky tape to hold down 1/4 thick, 4'x4' melamine sheets, on which I was doing V-carving. The double sticky tape simply didn't work for me at all. I should have gotten set up with a hold-down vacuum, but I didn't........ So upon recommendations from people here on the forum, I got the Widget Works pressure foot. On one level, for the most part, it did what I wanted it to......... but not quite the way I wanted.

    It turned out that it was very easy to apply pressure to the foot, and have the two springs compress, and then for some reason the shafts that slide through the sleeve bearings would bind! So the pressure foot would not ride over bumps, but I had to use it more like a sewing machine foot, to simply smash the material down, with the springs collapsed.

    I have attached two pictures, which I took earlier this evening. The first picture shows the springs extended as you would expect. But then I pressed on the foot with my hand, and without any tricks, the mechanism would bind up, leaving both springs compressed/locked/binding.

    I was a bit annoyed, but as noted, by using it wrong, it more or less did what I wanted, though I think I got some scuffing by misusing the pressure foot.

    I did try to lubricate the sliding mechanisms, but it didn't help. However, I never complained to anyone at Widget works, so I am not complaining about their service. They probably would have helped......... There is a Bible verse which goes something like: "Ye have not, because ye ask not".

    So that is my assessment.......... Good luck, Chuck
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Chuck Keysor (circa 1956)
    PRT Alpha 60" x 144" (circa 2004)
    Columbo 5HP spindle
    Aspire 9.0, Rhino 5

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    703

    Default

    I suggest using a bit of teflon shrink wrap tubing on the shaft to take up the play and provide a dry lubricant. That would probably be a cheap and easy fix.
    ShopBot Details:
    PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Elgin Illinois
    Posts
    696

    Default

    Thank you John. That seems like a logical solution to remove the excess space between the shafts and the sleeve bearings. Chuck
    Chuck Keysor (circa 1956)
    PRT Alpha 60" x 144" (circa 2004)
    Columbo 5HP spindle
    Aspire 9.0, Rhino 5

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    703

    Default

    I love shrink wrap in all its forms... so satisfying to use.
    ShopBot Details:
    PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Diamond Lake, WA
    Posts
    1,615

    Default

    I've used the pressure foot a few times. The one thing I noted using it is, it will drag chips from your cutting into areas that haven't been cut yet. This is especially noticeable when engraving non-ferous metals (aluminum, brass, etc.). It would leave scratches all over the surface. I have a strong dust collector on my CNC but still wasn't enough to lift all the chips. I noted the same thing when trying to cut veneer. Left scratches on the surface. Not sure the solution to this problem.
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

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