Help with tabs strategy

How do you folks with CNC experience use tabs most effectively? I had difficulty with, and eventually cut the brick holding pieces of the sled manually because my router kept destroying those as they released from the plywood. So I’m wondering, is this a reasonable strategy going forward?

  1. In MakerCam, create one path that stops just short of the depth of the material being cut…using normal Z-Axis step downs along the way?
  2. Create an identical overlaying path that contains the tabs…and cut this path (except for the tabs) all the way through the material.
  3. Finally, cut the remaining thin tabs though with Maslow working generally from bottom to top…leaving the last cut at the top of the item.

Thanks in advance!

Fusion360 has a script/processing page for placing tabs by distance automatically or hand placed. From what I’ve seen some of the CAM software makes it easier than others.

As for cutting the tabs, Bar has recommended, and I’ve seen elsewhere, an oscillating tool, similar to what you’d trim drywall with, to remove tabs.

Others have recommended using sacrificial (nylon composite) nails as a means of securing the cut piece to the spoilboard, allowing one to make a finishing pass and hopefully remove the work piece from the spoil board and eventually fill or live with the composite nail.

If the tabs are small enough, a sharp chisel does a great job of cutting them
off cleanly.

David Lang

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is what bar recommended in one of the youtube videos. I have it and it works good. A small Dremel might work too if the tabs are small enough. Nice thing about this tool is you can do the cuts while the wood/material is on the frame. no need to take it down to saw out or bang on it with a chisle.


I use Dremel with a small diameter drill bit. Works very well. And always nice to have a Dremel around :wink:

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I generally set my tabs (Makercam) based on material thickness. For example: My material is measuring 0.500", I set the material thickness to 0.510" (ensure it cuts through entire sheet), then set the depth of cuts to 0.255"/layer, I set the tabs to 0.255" thick. The width of tabs I use 1.5X the depth value.

I use these Harbor Freight Scissors to cut the tabs and remove parts from the sheet. Have had them for about 2 weeks and so far they are fantastic. I can cut out parts without removing the sheet from Maslow frame.

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I’m fan of a good old sharp chisel, no wires, available everywhere and cheap.

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One of these little Japanese flush cut pull saws works perfect if you plan your tabs on a straight edge.

I picked this one up a few years ago at Ace.