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Route finger joints on edge of noard

Message 1 of 18
343 Views, 17 Replies

Route finger joints on edge of noard

Hello, I designed a finger joint to make a box with out a lid.  When I go to manufacture I have tried 2D pocket, 2D adaptive clearing, 3D pocket and adaptive clearing.  I cant seem to select a tool path that doesn't out-line the board.  I have to clamp the board edges down, that is why I cant outline the board.  I just want to cut the end.  The board is 6" x 3.125" x .5" with filleted edges on the fingers.  I'm cutting it with a 0.125 round nose end mill.   Any help would be great. 


Thanks, Carl Chrzan

Finger Joint.JPG

Message 2 of 18

I see a fair few problems here. Would you consider using a flat bottom endmill and some hand filleting? Are we looking at a Corner joint laid flat? Will you use a sacrificial board of say more than 3/8"?

Message 3 of 18

Hello, The reason I’m using a ball nose router bit is so that the fingers
can fit into each other. When the router bit goes in to cut the finger, the
corner is round not square, that’s why I want to round the inside part of
the finger so they fit together. I was planning on using a sacrificial
board so that the router bit can go all the way through.

Thanks, Carl
Message 4 of 18

Would you be able to share your Fusion file here?
File > Export > Save to local folder, return to thread and attach the .f3d/.f3z file in your reply.

Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 5 of 18

Hi Seth, I'm some what new to Fusion so maybe I did something wrong when I drew this up.  I will say though, I think this is the first time I've tried cut out an open pocket on the end of a board.  All my other stuff has been inside the boundaries.  I really appreciate your help.

Carl Chrzan


Message 6 of 18

The file that you've shared does not have any toolpath or setup data included with it. Are you machining these standing up or are you doing them flat on the table?

Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 7 of 18

Hi, I’m sorry but I didn’t include a tool path. Nothing I could generate
would work for me. I plan on routing these boards flat, and clamping them
down with four clamps two on each side of the joint. The tool path that
fusion generated for me wants to go all the way around the entire board,
that will hit my clamps. Other tool paths want to resurface the top and
then cut the finger joints.

Message 8 of 18

While you may not get toolpaths that are as you expect, it's always helpful to us to know what you've tried. No matter, I'll see what we can recommend..

Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 9 of 18

Have you considered how the tool radius is going to leave large fillets in the corner and how the mating part is going to fit?

Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 10 of 18

Hi, I have tried 2D pocket and adaptive, 3D pocket and adaptive. Maybe to
help clarify better I want to take a solid board clamp it down with four
clamps between the joint and have it mill out the entire center with both
the left and right finger joints.

Message 11 of 18

See attached file, it is quite straightforward to do with a 2D Contour to cut the profile and then a Parallel (or other surfacing toolpath) with Avoid/Machine Surfaces turned on to do the fillets.




You would obviously need to define your actual tool, which wasn't in the file, and then get your feeds/speeds and stepdown/stepovers correct.


If you use a flat end mill for the 2D Contour your won't need to cut so deep into the spoilboard. If you do use a ball tool for this profile you need to extend the passes by at least the tool radius or you'll have little cusps left at the start and finish, I have done so in this file.

Message 12 of 18

Hi Matty,

I went to 2D contour and used Face contours to select the curved part of the fingers and here is the tool path I got.   What am I doing wrong?  BTW, I will be using an .125 ball nose carbide bit. 

Thanks, Carl


 I've used another finger maker software that requires a ball nose bit to machine the fingers and radius. The software generates the G code and I use Fusion to do it.  The fingers always fit together perfect. The operation starts in the middle of ONE board and both joints are cut at the same time.  The problem is when you put the joint together, the top and bottom edges don't always line up. How can this be if it was machined from a single board?  I think there is a problem with and an algorithm or a rounding error in the software.  That's why I wanted to draw a finger joint with Fusion and see how it comes out.  I know my machine is accurate, I'm use to working with thousandths, I grew up in a machine shop my dad started.  Here is what the software looks like.

Finger software.JPG

Message 13 of 18

I would not use Face Contours for that toolpath and feature. Consider this:


Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 14 of 18

Seth's video shows exactly what I did to select the contour.

Message 15 of 18

Hi, The tool path doesn't include the finger joint down to the bottom of the stock, just the radius area.  At least that's what it shows.  I appreciate the help but this wont work.



Message 16 of 18

By the way, I added the finger joint script to F360 which helps you design the joints but it doesn’t tell you how to set up the CAM aspect of it. 


Message 17 of 18

The video shows two toolpaths and the selection methods involved. Have you opened the file and simulated it yourself? It machines the part as fully as is possible with that tool.

Message 18 of 18

Hi Matty, I'm sorry I didn't notice that the other tool path was turned off.  My bad.  I was able to select the tool paths and it looks great.  I will say though, selecting the bottom edges was finicky to do.  Sometimes it wanted to select the whole outline and not just a segment.  I'll let you know how it comes out on my XYZ table.

I want to thank everyone for their input and help!!



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