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  1. #1
    Michael Az is offline Senior Member
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    I need to do quite a bit of milling and drilling on a large phenolic block. I've only done small jobs with it before. Any advise would be appreciated. Already planning to have the vacuum running while milling. Thanks
    Michael

  2. #2
    cruzinonline is offline Hot Rolled
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    For Pete's sake where a dust mask or better yet a respirator. Keep your ways clean, this stuff is abrasive. Maybe even replace your wipers before you start.

  3. #3
    rklopp's Avatar
    rklopp is offline Titanium
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    What is the reinforcement? Glass (silica)? Linen? I find that glass-reinforced phenolic is extremely abrasive even to carbide tools. I suppose diamond or CBN tools are the way to go, though I've never had to machine enough phenolic to justify the cost of such tools.

  4. #4
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    Spread sacrificial paper or rags on the machine to cover it as much as possible, almost as if you were toolpost grinding.

  5. #5
    Metal Slave is offline Hot Rolled
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    I've got a phenolic job coming in next week.Need to put in some 1.125 & 3.125 holes.The guy I got the job from advised me to back it up with some plywood so the phenolic doesn't bust out when breaking through.Also said to run it dry.We'll see how it goes.

  6. #6
    Toolznthings's Avatar
    Toolznthings is offline Hot Rolled
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    Hello!
    Linen and paper grade are easy to machine and like Matt says try to keep the machine covered.Carbide end mills last longer,but HSS is OK with lower RPM.
    I use an old shop vac while machining to keep the dust down. The stuff will STINK UP the shop. I refuse to machine any glass filled materials. Had a bad experience with glass filled teflon. Almost locked up my mill quill from the dust. No real problems with phenolic except the mess.

    Brian

  7. #7
    Michael Az is offline Senior Member
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    My bad fellows, this is linen, I forgot to mention that. Thanks for all the advise. This is a 7" cube and bigger than any phenolic that I have worked with before. I do remember how it stinks. I will use all the advise. Thanks
    Michael

  8. #8
    SND
    SND is offline Diamond
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    I've machined it a few times. I normaly used coolant. Keeps the dust down and it keeps the tools cool. HSS works fine just don't let it burn up.

  9. #9
    Michael Az is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks SND.
    I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but I had to do some belt sanding on the block. I did it out side because of the dust. Wore safety glass's of course. Next morning I had a slight irritation in one eye and just thought maybe some lint got in my eye while sleeping. This morning the upper eye lid is swollen quite a bit. Then I thought about the phenolic dust and got to wondering if the dust might be the problem. I'm not one to get infections and malady's like this. Is anybody allergic to this stuff?
    Michael

  10. #10
    Rustydog is offline Cast Iron
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    We machine phenolic (linen type) and use a shop vac with Loc-Line vacuum line and tapered nozzle. We have enough shop vac hose to keep the unit outside the shop. For small parts we have had excellent results tumbling the parts with ceramic media. Bake in oven on low if you have a water system on your tumbler.

  11. #11
    Excitable Boy is offline Hot Rolled
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    Phenolic resin impregnated linen or canvas is often known as Micarta and was developed by Westinghouse. It is quite common and desireable for knife handles as it's very tough and pretty much impervious to most liquids. It releases Formaldahyde fumes when machined which is one of the reasons it stinks so badly. Formaldahyde fumes are pretty bad for you. When working Micarta, it is recommended to wear a Formaldahyde vapor rated respirator.

  12. #12
    Michael Az is offline Senior Member
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    Well, I worked on the cube all day today. Machines like butter. I set up my shop vac close to the cutter and it worked great. Never once smelled the fumes. Thanks for the added advise!
    Michael

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