First brass project - Labels

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RobCee
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:33 am
Location: Birmingham, UK

First brass project - Labels

Post by RobCee » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:44 am

Hey guys, it's been a while since I posted any projects. They happen sporadically, but I forget to photo them or they are just a bit boring.
This one was a bit more interesting and I thought I would share it.
I am making a chest of drawers and wanted some labels for each drawer to show where it fits, one for the case and one for the drawer itself. Last time I did this I used aluminium and it was not a great finish as the material I had was very soft. This time I grabbed a sheet of 'engraving brass' which has a slight lead content to make it easy to machine (CZ120).
I super-glued the small sheet to a chunk of MDF to hold it flat and to keep the parts locked down. I didn't want to use tabs this time.

First I engraved the letters using a 90 degree V-Bit at 500mm/min and 24000RPM which was a bit over-ambitious as a single pass (the maximum depth of cut was about .75mm). In hind sight I should have made a few passes to get down that deep.
83 Labels1.JPG
V-Carving the letters
83 Labels1.JPG (188.29 KiB) Viewed 1704 times
Then the outlines were carved using the same V-Bit, again at 500mm/min and 24000RPM but only to a depth of 0.4mm. Here too, I experienced a lot of chatter and should have been more conservative with my depth and feed rate.
84 Labels2.JPG
V-Carving the outlines
84 Labels2.JPG (196.61 KiB) Viewed 1704 times
To cut out the shapes, I used a short three flute 3.2mm spiral end mill cutter designed for aluminium at 800mm/min and 20000RPM with a 0.3mm depth of cut. This worked perfectly and everything was cut out very nicely.
85 Labels3.JPG
Cutting out the shapes
85 Labels3.JPG (211.66 KiB) Viewed 1704 times
ShapeOko2 #3400 - Chinese 800W AC Spindle - Stiffened X-Axis - TR10 Z-Axis - Inverted Z Motor - Hall Effect Limits - Drag Chains & Custom Brackets

RobCee
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:33 am
Location: Birmingham, UK

Re: First brass project - Labels

Post by RobCee » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:49 am

The final step was to heat them up to release the super glue, which I did with a blow torch (outside - the fumes are nasty).
A quick polish and they just need holes drilling and they are good to go.
86 Labels4.JPG
Labels removed from MDF
86 Labels4.JPG (293.75 KiB) Viewed 1703 times
For an idea of size, they are 32mm x 16mm (1 1/4" x 5/8") and the larger one is just under 75mm (3") long. The brass sheet was 1.2mm thick (16 gauge, I think).

They took about three hours to go from idea to finished item and look a whole lot better than the aluminium ones I made last time!
Last edited by RobCee on Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DanMc
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:34 am

Re: First brass project - Labels

Post by DanMc » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:06 am

Looks great! I've got a couple pieces of brass that I've had laying around to play with. Question: did you lubricate at all?

RobCee
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:33 am
Location: Birmingham, UK

Re: First brass project - Labels

Post by RobCee » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:55 pm

I don't usually use lubrication with brass as the major issue (as with aluminium) is chip clearance. I find that lubrication tends to make the chips stick together rather than clear away nicely. With brass, the chips are really fine and vacuum up nicely. Also these cuts were not really long enough to warrant any special setups. I did have the vacuum on high to clear the chips, which did really good job.
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aarvidsson
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:46 pm
Location: Frosty Sweden

Re: First brass project - Labels

Post by aarvidsson » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:01 am

I'm curious about the glue you used and about how much?
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RobCee
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:33 am
Location: Birmingham, UK

Re: First brass project - Labels

Post by RobCee » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:00 pm

I used a thin (very runny) super glue (cyanoacrylate) and covered the back of the brass sheet all over then tipped it onto the MDF. I managed to get glue all over me and my work surface, as the glue was very runny. Next time I would flip the MDF onto the brass, not the other way around. It took ages to clean it all up and I still have bits of paper stuck to all sorts of things in the workshop!
As I was cutting everything into small pieces, I really wanted to ensure that nothing could move around. It is easy to remove with a bit of heat afterwards as long as your work is not flammable, as the glue bond breaks down when it gets hot. Just be careful of the fumes, they are very nasty.
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aarvidsson
Posts: 150
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Location: Frosty Sweden

Re: First brass project - Labels

Post by aarvidsson » Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:00 pm

Superb :) I usually use CA to hold down thin aluminium, but I didn't know that the CA would adhere to the MDF. Now I do :D How do you remove the CA residue from the brass? Heat or acetone or something else?
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RobCee
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:33 am
Location: Birmingham, UK

Re: First brass project - Labels

Post by RobCee » Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:44 pm

As you say, you can use acetone or heat to break down a CA bond.
I used heat to remove the pieces, then a bit more heat to ensure that it had all burned off. With the MDF, most of the 'extra' was soaked into the MDF, so there was only a very thin bond between the brass and MDF faces, so not much to get rid of.
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JeromyReno
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 11:28 pm

Re: First brass project - Labels

Post by JeromyReno » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:34 pm

looks awesome

fredfow3
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Re: First brass project - Labels

Post by fredfow3 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:31 pm

Very nice! Must try this. Thanks for posting cutters and speeds/feeds...

Fred
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