Cutting Brass

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hanselcj
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Cutting Brass

Post by hanselcj » Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:05 pm

I am looking to cut thin brass for inlaying into my woodworking. The wiki has essentially no brass information other than that there are lots of different types. My first handfull of attempts ended up in broken bits. Once I got it slow enough I was able to obtain some results. I was cutting 0.010" brass shim. Upspiral bits caused a ton of burring, so I switched to straight fluted. That helped some, but there was still a lot of burring. Next, as the part would heat up the brass would warp really badly. This may mean I have to come up with a better clamping method, or sandwich the brass between something for support.

My plans are to try thicker brass to cut down on the warping, and to use cutting fluid. If I can't get rid of the edge burring I can at least sand or file a thicker piece without mangling it. Anyone have further suggestions?

-Chase
Shapeoko 2 #4951: Xbox 360 Pendant, Z-axis lead screw and NEMA23 upgrade, DW660 with Loc-Line dust collection, Googly Eyes, Swivel cutter attachment.

WillAdams
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Re: Cutting Brass

Post by WillAdams » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:39 pm

No, but cutting brass is one of the reasons I got my machine (and I have a piece which I've been meaning to cut for a project I've not yet begun).

It'd be great if you'd share the specific numbers which you've tried thus far and the details of your machine.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
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hanselcj
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:57 pm
Location: Central Florida (east coast)

Re: Cutting Brass

Post by hanselcj » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:59 pm

I have a fairly stock shapeoko 2. Z axis upgrade and a DW660. My only half decent results were with a 0.063" straight flute bit from dillman1 on ebay. Mill paramaters as follows:

Feed 5in/min
drop 5in/min
drop distance 0.015"

I make no claims that these are anywhere close to good, just that they sort of worked for me.
Shapeoko 2 #4951: Xbox 360 Pendant, Z-axis lead screw and NEMA23 upgrade, DW660 with Loc-Line dust collection, Googly Eyes, Swivel cutter attachment.

DanMc
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Re: Cutting Brass

Post by DanMc » Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:10 pm

Have you done any aluminum milling? I'm curious as to how the brass compares as I too have had an interest in milling some brass.

WillAdams
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Re: Cutting Brass

Post by WillAdams » Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:37 pm

It's my understanding that a given alloy can have markedly different machining characteristics --- not sure how that will enter into milling on a Shapeoko though, since it has to take such light passes and depends more on the spindle to do the cutting than a typical mill.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

hanselcj
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:57 pm
Location: Central Florida (east coast)

Re: Cutting Brass

Post by hanselcj » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:14 am

No aluminum milled yet, I have more of a desire for brass at the moment. No telling what type of brass this shim stock is, and that could honestly be part of my issue. I have more endmills coming in, and will do more experimenting Friday/Saturday.

-Chase
Shapeoko 2 #4951: Xbox 360 Pendant, Z-axis lead screw and NEMA23 upgrade, DW660 with Loc-Line dust collection, Googly Eyes, Swivel cutter attachment.

Gadgetman!
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Re: Cutting Brass

Post by Gadgetman! » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:26 am

How many flutes on that bit?
Weird guy...
Shapeoko 2014F: 1000mm X/Y, 300W Quiet Cut spindle, Arduino Uno/G-shield and GRBL 0.9i
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hanselcj
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Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:57 pm
Location: Central Florida (east coast)

Re: Cutting Brass

Post by hanselcj » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:26 am

Shapeoko 2 #4951: Xbox 360 Pendant, Z-axis lead screw and NEMA23 upgrade, DW660 with Loc-Line dust collection, Googly Eyes, Swivel cutter attachment.

RobCee
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Location: Birmingham, UK

Re: Cutting Brass

Post by RobCee » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:07 pm

Ideally you would want to use Engraving Brass (CZ120 / CW608N) which has 2% lead added to it, or Free Machining Brass (CW614N / CZ121) which has 3% lead content. This makes it lovely to machine, particularly compared to ordinary brass, which is nasty, messy and very gummy once you start cutting it.
I make clocks (very slowly) and it is the clockmakers material of choice, so you may find it from clockmaking suppliers.
ShapeOko2 #3400 - Chinese 800W AC Spindle - Stiffened X-Axis - TR10 Z-Axis - Inverted Z Motor - Hall Effect Limits - Drag Chains & Custom Brackets

CastIrony
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Re: Cutting Brass

Post by CastIrony » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:00 pm

RobCee wrote:Ideally you would want to use Engraving Brass (CZ120 / CW608N) which has 2% lead added to it, or Free Machining Brass (CW614N / CZ121) which has 3% lead content. This makes it lovely to machine, particularly compared to ordinary brass, which is nasty, messy and very gummy once you start cutting it.
I make clocks (very slowly) and it is the clockmakers material of choice, so you may find it from clockmaking suppliers.
Are there any easily-machineable brass alloys that don't contain lead? Kind of freaked out at the idea of lead dust floating around.
Shapeoko 3 #192 - Complete! Needs limit switches.

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