Uncuttable underlayer? Or other ways to cut extremely tiny pieces?

I want to cut some tiny slivers of wood that are smaller than the honeycomb. They’ll fall right through. So I’d like to put something under the wood that isn’t cutable. I know we need the honeycomb to pull air through the system. I was wondering if there’s some mesh like a screendoor screen that would work, with holes smaller than the honeycomb holes. I was thinking that if I laid that under my wood and cut a small enough piece of wood – say, 12"x12" – there might still be enough air draw through the rest of the bed to be fine.

Is this a viable practice? My other option is to cut the pieces so that they are ever so slightly still attached via perforation, but with such tiny pieces as I’m considering, I worry about breaking them when I later crack the perforation.

Is the uncuttable underlayer viable? If so, what material should I use? If not, are there other options besides the perforation idea?

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Window screen is usually fiberglass or aluminum. I think your idea sounds plausible but I’d use a stainless steel mesh instead.

I’d also hold off until @dannym chimes in :slight_smile:

There’s a number of options.
I have cut on a solid plate of aluminum before. However, the plywood’s gaseous combustion products have nowhere to go and it pooled on the top of the aluminum so it stained the backside. There was a surprising amount of water vapor in that smoke, and it was condensing as water on the cold aluminum and actually getting it wet.

I had thought about window screens, but I haven’t tried it. Actually the ones that aren’t fiberglass are not aluminum mesh, it’s galvanized steel. There’s a minor concern that the laser could burn off the galvanization into zinc fumes, and inhaling a lot of that will cause welder’s “metal fume fever” but that’s unlikely with the laser exhaust running. I’d give it an extra minute before lifting the lid just to be sure though.

If that screen mesh is getting cut through, other meshes are made with larger wire. Chemistry supply uses a lot of thicker stainless meshes.

The air assist may end up being an issue with blowing small parts around.

Dorian does have a hopper with user-accessible debris tray. So you might just dump everything already in it before starting, then let your parts blow through and recover the parts there.

Note that Tarkin has a higher density honeycomb than Dorian. If you saw the parts falling through the honeycomb was prob on Dorian, it might not happen on Tarkin.

There is a company in Oak Hill that makes screens with stainless screen material. Just had four made for two screen doors. Not cheap. but might be just what you need. Dan’s Screens.

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I’ve cut thin veneer using double stick tape to a piece of MDF. Only problem was removing the tape from the veneer with out breaking it. I did not use the heavy duty tape for routing instead double sided scotch tape.

Oh, the other thing you could do is a plate of aluminum, but to mitigate the probs with cutting gases getting spread on the bottom, you could put a standoff in each corner so the stock is lifted up by 1/4" or whatever over the plate. This will only work over a limited stock width, and you may need to look at cut order to ensure you’re not cutting the middle free from the corner standoffs before doing everything else is done.

Thanks, all. You’ve given me several avenues to play in.