Using tabs on your CNC project.

So when creating Tabs on your CNC work, what size do you use?

I don’t have an easy answer for this one. I always try to keep them as minimal as possible, but with that said hardwood needs thicker tabs. I estimate it based off the type of wood, depth of overall cut, speed of overall cut and importance of the job. As those things go up, so does my thickness of tab.

This was a geometrically complicated project. I used seven tabs in places that the cutting path would stress.

Today I made this little Texas sign out of beech and my tabs were almost nonexistent at .15 inch long by .06 inches tall. Transversely, I did a 3/4 inch thick sign on Hickory (a much harder wood) and went up to .25 inch long by .1 inches tall. For me this call was about safety.

Think about it if your piece moves, you just wasted all that money for your stock. I did that once and then was like, nope, never again!

If it’s something small though that won’t challenge the cutting bit, less can be more. I lite the smallest possible tab on easy cuts as this reduces sanding and/or cleanup. I’m in the CNC business, not the sanding business!

Another thing to discuss is the profile. The three main tabs are square, roundover and triangle. Some software doesn’t give you an option, but if you do have it, think about it for two seconds!

With square, your CNC must stop, go up, move, go down. This adds seconds to a cut. Seconds add up. To me the roundover and triangle are good options as they don’t actually have to stop. They just adjust Z while continuing their path. On a micro level- much faster.

I hope this helps you out!

Don’t forget to like or follow, it just makes me feel good.

Ronin

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