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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:01 pm 
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I need to make a minimum of 60 3" disks 1/4 " thick with a centered 1/4" hole. The final finish on the disks will probably be poly urethane over stained or painted faces and painted edges ( white).

What material would you consider best for the project? What would be the choice for the method of fabrication? ie. Router and template, bandsaw and sander, drill press and hole saw, lathe turning or some other method?

The project will be a time filler for me and no pressing need for speed but accuracy of duplicate parts will be somewhat important. A frame will be made of walnut lumber to go with the disks when everything comes together.

Please I need the experienced help and opinions that I know I can get here. :idea: :thumbup:
TIA

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:02 pm 
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Hey Newtooth,

You didn't say if there were any structural requirements, but if none, then I recommend 1/4" MDF. The 1/4" center hole makes the tooling choice easy; a 3" hole saw, preferably in a drill press. Alternatively, a fly cutter set to 3", but then most definitely in a drill press. However, this is a job that cries out for a CNC unit.

MDF dust is nasty, but it takes a good finish. If you have a router table, a 1/32" radius bit, or a 45ยบ chamfer bit will clean up the arris nicely.

Cheers,
Tom

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:41 pm 
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No structural components to the disks. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:47 pm 
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Is this something you want to figure out or something you just plain want/need done?

I am happy to help with the second... If its the first i recommend bandsaw with thin blade followed by drill press followed by circle jig on a disk sander using the center hole as a pivot....

Lawrence

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:49 pm 
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And yes.... We're curious what they are for.... Abbacus?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:11 pm 
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I go with Tom and the MDF.
Will take a finish without prep work.

Duan

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:23 pm 
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If the 3" dimension isn't critical, but identical disks are, then a hole saw is going to be fast and easy as Tom says. (Or you could get lucky and find the right sized hole saw. Remember, a 3" hole saw cuts a 3" hole, not a 3" disk.) If getting the exact diameter is more important (or you don't want to spring for a 3" hole saw, which isn't pocket change), then a simple jig on the bandsaw and a thin blade will let you get exactly what you want. You can always finish up on a sander if necessary. I'm away from the shop for a couple of days, so if you want it picture of the jig, let me know and I'll post it when I get home Weds.

Definitely a CNC job, as Tom suggested, not that it helps much :-(


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:23 pm 
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DRSTRIP: Thanks for the reminder about hole v disk situation. Exactly 3" is'nt critical but close is ok. Duplication is the issue, and as TMS suggests a fly cutter is an option.

I am unable to find 1/4" MDF MDO anywhere. I have tried at Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, Woodcraft, Rockler and plunged into WOODFINDER all with no success. I am beginning to believe that 1/2" is the lightest that is mfg.

My fall back in that case is or fabricate from either maple or walnut by generating a thick disk and then resaw. I could then stack the disks on an axle and sand or turn to finish.

:idea:More options opinions or ideas very welcome :thumbup:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:29 pm 
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1/4" MDF definitely exists - I've seen it particularly with a melamine coating for the backs of cabinets. Home Depot website shows 28 sheets in stock at my local store. (Plain MDF, not melamine coated).

If you can't find it, 1/4" (6mm) baltic birch would be a reliable choice. I'd hate to think of the effort in resawing and sanding disks cut from thicker material.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:21 pm 
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DRSTRIP: Again thanks! I did go back to the Home Depot site and checked. I guess I had a duh moment when I saw the .216 thickness on the panels there. I will get a panel and see if that will work.As far as extra work, time on my hands, would make it OK but I understand what you say. :-D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:15 pm 
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If there's a need for durability I'd suggest tempered masonite, smooth both sides. If you're fairly good at the lathe, I'd saw out all the blanks, stack 'em as high as you can under the drill press and drill the center hole. Then mount them on a mandrel & turn them all down in one shot. That's 60 1/4" blanks = 15" spindle turning. I'd put an extra blank on each end as backup to minimize tear out on the outer pieces.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:59 pm 
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My thought...

Drill a hole into a blank- insert a 1/4 rod and use it as a mandrel (think turning a pen blank)

Turn the blank the side you want, then slice off the pieces using a dowel cutting jig on a bandsaw...

:)

Lawrence

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