Wood material for MultiCam

Newbie on the CNC here.

I need to find a specific thickness of wood material and was wondering if anyone can recommend where I might find wood that is .918” thick? I am working in the printmaking department and trying to get the letterpress going. The reason I took the CNC class was to learn how to cut art blocks for printing on the letterpress. The art blocks need to be .918” high in order for the press rollers to apply an even coat of ink over them. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

.918" isn’t fractional dimension (down to at least 128ths") nor a typical metric dimension (23.71mm). Basically, you’ll need to get some material and then have it surfaced down to .918". You can do large pieces on the MultiCam or smaller pieces on the Shapeoko.

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Are you saying I can make wood that size on those machines?


Or use the planar and shave it down. Just need to dial it in carefully as you go and measure after each pass.


Yes. If you want help doing this let me know and I’ll be happy to help .

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Oh, okay. I get it. Apparently, I can make any thickness of wood myself, however I have to take Woodshop classes 1-4 in order to do it. Those classes are not offered in the event schedule at this current time. I will need help then. Please let me know when you are available and we can setup a time to meet at the DMS. Thanks

One way would be to do a glue up and then plane/drum sand the assembled board just like you would for a cutting board or butcher block. Coincidentally, that is exactly what they do in the woodshop intro classes to teach you how to use all of the machines. Only difference is that your block would be thicker to start with, and you would be much more specific on the final size on the thickness.

After Astrud and I are done with craft shows in early December I plan on making some maple glue ups (both end grain and regular) for testing on the laser, cnc, and hand carving for the letterpress. I’ll make sure I have extra available for you to play with as a Christmas present. :grin:

[Edit] Did a touch more research, and 5/4 lumber from someplace like Wood World might be perfect. 5/4 should be 1-1/16" (1.0625") thick, so you would be removing a touch over 1/8". That’s easy to do with a couple passes through the planer and drum sander. You would only need to do a glue up if you had to use end grain.

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I know jack about printing, but I’m thinking the thing to do might be to plan on using a ‘standard’ thickness of printing block (a quicky search on the term shows they appear to come in “regular” sizes like 1/8", 1/4", 3/4", etc.) and do the “precision work” on a “shim”. In other words, do all this hard, precision work on a device to go behind a plate of another standard dimension such that the stack is .918" thick.


Send me a pm, we can work out a way for Woodshop to help

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Any of the standard Woodshop suppliers should have 5/4 material. One off the other issues to consider is the stability of the wood

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Ultimate standard for carved woodblocks for printing is endgrain boxwood (an example would be all of the original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland were carved into this type of block). I believe hard maple tends to be used the most for typeface work these days, both end and regular grained.

That’s cool. Miss you guys around there. I am also planning to use CNC for making art blocks too since I’m much better at digital art than hand carving. However, I’m open to learn, it just won’t be something I’d teach anytime soon.

I’m really interested in using the CNC to make type (letter forms) just to see what it can do. I would also like to carve wood, but have never done that as of yet. I carved (1) project in linoleum like 10 years ago, so I’m pretty rusty. But making wood type high is the start for all these things we are trying to do. I just finished the Multicam class this week and I need to do my test. So…I thought I could do it on type high wood but apparently, that won’t happen. I will find a scrap for the test and wait till later for the type high wood blocks.

The MultiCam is a capable of that accuracy but you may have to make two passes and you may have to work along the Y (or X) axis instead of the Z axis (our wasteboard + our calibration block can make thousands-of-an-inch-accuracy difficult).

Just curious. Is there a reason you’re making the letters out of wood instead of metal?

No, I just thought I would start with wood first since that was what I have heard was more accessible at DMS. I did not know there was machines to cut metal, I’m listening and open to all options.

Are you looking for stuff like this?

I mean wood on the multicam (level 1) is a start but honestly it’s probably more work than get a laser resin print out and I see no benifits so Id try that first.

If so it takes 30 sec in fusion 360 & it prints directly to the form labs laser resin printer which has 25 micron accuracy or 50 depending on resin.
25 micron = 0.000984252 inch
basically if you were perfect with the multicam your still at least 10 times more accurate with the formlabs.
level 2 = https://formlabs.com/materials/engineering/

Added benifit no warping from moisture or temperature like there is with wood.
Plus alot stronger and we have engineered resins specifically for tough impacts.

If you then want to go beyond that you can try level “3” laser print wax castable resin then take it over to johnny in jewelery and have him teach you how to lost wax cast forge it into metal.

Finally its hard to run the HAAS CNC machine in machine shop but we could make it out of even tougher metals and materials in that thing. but even I think that might be overkill & I fucking love overkill.

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This is picture of old wood type. You will also see pictured here old art blocks made from magnesium and mounted on wood. From an angle you can see the height of the blocks, which is .918’’. These are what I’m trying to fabricate.

I have heard of printers attempting to use 3D printed letters, check out this video here.

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Yeah so the form labs printer 3D laser resin printer prints completely different than the filament poly printers. If has none of those issues. Tbh I only watched first half of video though

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