Tooling board?

Since we apparently got a brand spankin’ new CNC machine, someone brought up the use of tooling board for making molds. Anyone know anything about this material. Is it used for straight pulls, or must be coated for a good finish first? Longevity? Price vs Aluminum?

It’s generally a high density urethane foam.
Must be coated for a smooth finish.

Once coated…isn’t a production tool built in reverse from the foam ? Or is it actually used as THE tool ?
I’d love to have a mold made from a cnc’d program.

It depends what you want to do and how.
You could machine a block of high density foam, coat it, and use it as a mold for a one-off part.
Or you could machine it as a model, then make a mold from that to actual produce parts.
For machining the actual tools, you’d want to make them from aluminum at least.

Yes,sounds great…but C O M P L E T E L Y out of my personel budgets,lol.

I used to use Renn tooling board all the time. I used it for plug building. Then poly primer.

If you sand it, it will polish, and you can pull parts from it. Its not durable, and in my opinion makes a horrible mold.

We paid about $200 for a 2’x 1" x 4’ board. $400 for the 2" thick version of the same board. The real benefit is faster tooling time, and less wear and tear on your equipment.

The best way to descirbe it is a perfectly cosistant board with a bondo like consistancy, only way easier to sand. I really like it for plugs.

Heres a pic of it so you can see what I meant by the bondo comment:

Wouldn’t balsa wood cost less $ ? Not that buying tooling board was a bad idea.

I wish my boss allowed me full access to his CNC machines. I could make a few nice aluminum molds.

About aluminum molds or plugs, maybe you could try that? eBay has decent prices on aluminum billet stock. Just make sure you use 6000 series AL or higher for a good tough surface.

I have heard of guy’s machining urethane foam blocks in a CNC machine. it will probably make the coolant messy ( swarfy ). So don’t run any coolant on the foam ( duh like i needed to say that LOL).

Tooling board would work for some molding applications. The material machines easily on most machines without the need for a coolant system like metal requires. The molds wont last as long as a metal mold. Most tooling board types can only be heated to around 200 degrees. The best use for tooling board molds would be to prove a design for prototypes and then have a production mold produced from something more substantial. You might get 5-50 pulls from a tooling board mold vs. several thousand with a metal mold.

goldenwestmfg has “butterboard” tooling board that machines really nicely.

freemansupply has different grades of renshape tooling board and their higher heat boards will withstand slightly higher heat ranges.

JRL, do you still have the capabilities to make a piece similar to the steel one you have pictured? I am in need of something just like that!

You can buy it from Cant remeber which rudder system it belongs to. I think the feather light.

EDIT: Heres the link…

Ok, so the only good point of the tooling board is prototyping and mold making. I can live with that.

Now to get CATIA or Solidworks for Vista! grr

Thanks JRL
You can buy from here…