Table material for CNC Router!

I have a router with an MDF table, 700x1100x21mm. I mostly dry cut brass, a nd also some wood and machinable aluminum. I would like to have a table whi
ch would allow me to cut wet, which I would be doing only occasionally. I c ould get a slotted aluminum table easily enough, but I kind of enjoy just d rilling mounting holes where I need them. The first option would be a solid piece of aluminum, but then I would need coolant to drill the mounting hol es. I'm wondering if there might be some composite material out there which would be easier to drill, and also be waterproof, and perhaps a bit more d urable than the MDF. Any ideas?
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Synthetic countertop slab?
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Regards,
Boris Mohar
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On Monday, August 28, 2017 at 12:53:43 PM UTC+2, Boris Mohar wrote:

Are you talking about presswood countertop with a plastic laminate surface? I don't think so. For one thing, the screw threads would hold for only one use. For another, the coolant would drip through the holes and seep under the laminate, creating havoc. No, that's not an option. Sorry.
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On 28-Aug-17 7:42 PM, robobass wrote:

My guess is that Boris is referring to synthetic resin based marble looking stuff used for kitchen counter tops.
I've a small CNC router with a table about 450mm x 450mm. The table is made from piece of black plastic approximately 25mm thick.
I don't know what sort of plastic it is. It's quite tough, easy to drill and tap. I don't think it's PVC - it doesn't melt when drilled fast and it doesn't grab with a sharp drill bit like PVC.
I think the plastic had a former life as a bed of nails test jig for electronics if that helps you track it down.
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On Monday, August 28, 2017 at 2:13:35 PM UTC+2, Trumble wrote:

ace? I don't think so. For one thing, the screw threads would hold for only one use. For another, the coolant would drip through the holes and seep un der the laminate, creating havoc. No, that's not an option. Sorry.

Well, that might be something to consider. I don't have major heat issues, but whatever I end up with would have to have a higher melting point that s tandard acetyl.
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On Mon, 28 Aug 2017 08:33:12 -0700 (PDT), robobass

I don't think Corian or Staron would work. They're plastic (acrylic or polyester) with solids embedded.
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On Mon, 28 Aug 2017 04:42:28 -0700 (PDT), robobass

I thinks Boris was talking about Corian and similar materials. The stuff can be had quite thick and can be glued. It is quite stable, dense, wears well, and is pretty slick. Of course water doesn't bother it so I would imagine using water soluble coolant would be OK. Eric
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wrote:

No. That would suck. I was thinking of synthetic stuff.
How about phenolic?
Regards,
Boris Mohar
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On Mon, 28 Aug 2017 03:28:25 -0700 (PDT), robobass
You don't need coolant to drill aluminum. Commercially, most cutting of aluminum today is done dry. "Coolant," when it's used, is there mostly for its lubricating properties, to improve finish, not to cool. In drilling, its main function is to help clear chips. That shouldn't be a problem when you're just drilling a few mounting holes.

You'll need drainage if you're going to cut wet. Most plastics aren't going to produce very strong threads. Drilling most composites wears tools out a lot faster than aluminum does.
If you can afford the aluminum, that's probably your best bet.
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would be easier to drill, and also be waterproof, and perhaps a bit more du rable than the MDF. Any ideas?

Ed, I am using a high speed router, not a Bridgeport, so I cannot cut stand ard aluminum dry. We are talking about 4 to 6mm endmills running at 10Krpm. There are lead-filled aluminum alloys which I can cut dry, but I can't get a square meter sheet of the stuff, nor would I want to.
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I suppose I could use Aluminum, but it would be slow, and I'd have to tap the holes. I like the quick and dirty method of sinking deck screws into the MDF. Corian sounds worth trying.
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    For either aluminum or Corian, I think that roll taps instead of the normal cutting taps would be the best choice. You need a precise tap drill size (*absolutely* not the same as for cutting taps), but you don't have to worry about chips from the tapping accumulating in the bottom of the hole -- there *are* none.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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On Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 2:31:14 AM UTC+2, DoN. Nichols wrote:

4564

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Not sure about this. Since these taps compress the material, wouldn't they push some of it up from the table surface? Also, my impression of Corian is that it is fairly brittle. I'd think you would just want a standard cuttin g tap for brittle materials.
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    Countersink it a little before running the tap in. Maybe a single thread depth.

    It is worth an experiment if you have a scrap sample of it to try.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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On Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at 1:42:28 AM UTC-7, robobass wrote:

Corian is very expensive, and takes hachine screws after drilling and tapping, but not wood screws.
1/4" thick fiberglass reinforced plastic or phenolic with tee nuts and glue?
<http://www.atlasfibre.com/products/sheets-g10-fr4-g11-ce-le-g7-g9.html
Slab of slate, or soapstone, or other machinable rock?
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wrote:

I'd be worried about the threads stripping.
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On Monday, August 28, 2017 at 6:28:30 AM UTC-4, robobass wrote:

and also some wood and machinable aluminum. I would like to have a table w hich would allow me to cut wet, which I would be doing only occasionally. I could get a slotted aluminum table easily enough, but I kind of enjoy just drilling mounting holes where I need them. The first option would be a sol id piece of aluminum, but then I would need coolant to drill the mounting h oles. I'm wondering if there might be some composite material out there whi ch would be easier to drill, and also be waterproof, and perhaps a bit more durable than the MDF. Any ideas?
I've been using the white plastic "lumber" from home depot to make various fixtures, including vacuum plates for my (much smaller) mill. It works grea t, but I don't know if it's available in larger sizes.
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On 8/29/2017 12:12 PM, rangerssuck wrote:

It's available in sheets. Maybe not from HD, but it's out there.
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On Wed, 30 Aug 2017 09:35:50 -0400, Bob Engelhardt

Was he referring to cellular PVC trim boards, such as AZEK? Due to its 4-6x price over doug fir here in OR, I never worked with it. But it's air-bubble-filled plastic and likely wouldn't pass the heat test, though it would have no trouble with moisture from coolants. A bit of mounding from direct installation of screws is also likely, as it is with TREX decking and similar products.
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On Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 9:32:53 AM UTC-4, Larry Jaques wrote:

ass, and also some wood and machinable aluminum. I would like to have a tab le which would allow me to cut wet, which I would be doing only occasionall y. I could get a slotted aluminum table easily enough, but I kind of enjoy just drilling mounting holes where I need them. The first option would be a solid piece of aluminum, but then I would need coolant to drill the mounti ng holes. I'm wondering if there might be some composite material out there which would be easier to drill, and also be waterproof, and perhaps a bit more durable than the MDF. Any ideas?

ious fixtures, including vacuum plates for my (much smaller) mill. It works great, but I don't know if it's available in larger sizes.

That's the stuff. It probably wouldn't handle heat very well, but the coola nt ought to keep that in check.
Yes, there is a small amount of mounding where you drive in screws, but tha t can be handled by either pre-drilling, counterboring or giving it a small whack with the ball end of a ball-pein hammer, or with a ball-end punch.
As I said, it's working well for me, but this is a much smaller machine (Ta ig CNC mill), and even though the AZEK boards are much more expensive than Douglas Fir (or SYP, which is more prevalent around here), it's still quite affordable in fixturing-sized quantities.
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