I've recently been working with a gob of the stuff commonly referred to as "Dymondwood" which is pretty much the same thing as you are talking about. From the sounds of it, you are only making one of these, is that right? I suggest you get enough material to make a couple so you can get a feel for how to work the material.
What I can say is that this stuff chips pretty easily even with brand new carbide bits, but you learn to get a feel for it over time. You may not have this luxury if you are only making one, so just work it slower than you might otherwise. I have also found that even though this is like a plywood material, the stuff I am using appears to have a bit of a "grain" to it. Meaning, depending on which direction you are cutting or routering, the perpendicular direction will invariably react differently. I am performing essentially all typical woodworking operations on this stuff and have literally cut several hundred pieces so far. Even with brand new carbide bits, I find you have to go over the same spot a couple times when routering as it will chatter a little no matter how careful you are or how good the bit is.
It cuts fine with a table saw, but quickly loads up even a very good blade. It doesn't seem to burn too easily but it will given the opportunity. I have used both a 24T rip blade and a 40T combination blade on the table saw. Both work but the higher tooth produces a nicer cut, but at the cost of loading up the blade faster. I am using an 80T miter blade on my chop saw and it produces a very nice finish.
it sands readily but produces a lot of dust, please use a good mask or cartridge respirator. I really don't know the effects this stuff has on your lungs due to the resin so I am extra cautious. The stuff polishes really nice due to the embedded resin, so requires no special finish. You can add a wax if you like but is not necessary. I am currently using a spiral sown buff which is pretty stiff but you can really bare down on this stuff and not have to worry too much about burning, but like I said, you can if you go too far. I first used the Peachtree equivalent to the Beall buffing system on my small lathe and that worked OK, but I found the buffs to be too soft unless you spent a fair amount of time on each piece. This job requires speed so I went with stiffer buffs and a 1HP buffing motor to be able to work faster.
BTW, I see you are in UAE, I was in Doha twice last year doing work for Qatar Airways for my previous vocation.
Thank you for the detailed reply! You should consider visiting UAE if you come to Qatar again, it's a 1 hour flight away and you won't regret it :smile3: (but not during June - September!)
You are right I'm planning to work on one piece only but I can buy 2 or 3 blanks to be safe, they are expensive but I'm OK with that if I can get 2 successful ones out of 3 blanks. I'm just worried that with the lack of experience and tools I'm still not sure if I can do this myself without damaging all the blanks! I can pay a pro to do the woodworking part for me then I finish the electrical and assembly part but the DIYer inside me is insisting on trying everything
I've been searching, reading and watching videos on tools till I got lost and confused by the overwhelming amount of different tools and attachments out there!
So for this project now (and maybe similar projects with similar materials later), what would be the proper tools I'll need?
To narrow it down a little, let's say I don't want to buy many big tools for now so the compact multi function type of tools with separate attachments for each specific job would be perfect.
Here's a photo showing how the blank(s) I'll be working on look:
And here's a quick sketch for the project:
Simply I want the enclosure to be one piece with one big deep cut out for the internals (will be covered with aluminum or maybe wood face plate) and smaller holes drilled for the connection, threads and vents.