Waterjetting plywood – Not all it’s cut out to be?

Waterjetting of plywood

One of the basic assumptions I have been using is being able to waterjet cut plywood. To test this I cut up various thicknesses (6, 15 and 22mm) to produce the bases for the Presentation Engine Hand Control stand and a sample of Frame 11 of the cockpit (6mm outer, 22mm filler).

It was evident that while the cuts are extremely accurate, the very high pressure penetrates between the ply layers at times and cause damage. The wood also gets pretty wet and the moisture penetration causes warping.

Frame 11 waterjet cut plywood showing damage

Good news is…CNC Routing!

It was therefore a relief to find out that I can have the same patterns CNC routed at a significantly reduced cost. Using a 6mm router bit results in the sharp inner corners having a radius of 3mm, but this is easily removed with a file.


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