Milling Aluminum - First Results

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Todd
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:39 pm

Re: Milling Aluminum - First Results

Post by Todd » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:43 pm

This is a very good link http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCDryMachining.html to milling metals without coolant. I'm still setting my system up, but can't wait to try something like this out.

nfortosis
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:26 am

Re: Milling Aluminum - First Results

Post by nfortosis » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:24 am

I have been running some simple aluminum jobs the past few weeks. One major warning I would throw out there is to be careful with the aluminum chips. I just spent 20 minutes picking tiny aluminum slivers out of my hands just from removing my work piece from my fixturing. Not sure if there are special gloves people ordinarily use but I would recommend finding something so you don't become an aluminum pin cushion like me! At least vacuum up as much as you can before handling.
Shapeoko #165: 1m X 1m, Double X, Dual Y motors, Acme upgrade, DW660

levlandau2
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:52 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Re: Milling Aluminum - First Results

Post by levlandau2 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:38 am

Do you run a vacuum during the milling? I am hoping my vacuum will pickup most of the aluminum chips so the cleaning up would be minimal :-).

Jimmy0x52
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:20 am

Re: Milling Aluminum - First Results

Post by Jimmy0x52 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:38 am

Just like drilling aluminum on the drill press. The shards are nasty!

So are those end plates usable in the original post?

levlandau2
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:52 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Re: Milling Aluminum - First Results

Post by levlandau2 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:13 pm

I ended up ordering plates from Edward. I think the aluminum milled endplates were usable, but I became frustrated with the aluminum milling due to a large amount of flex in the z-y plane. When the endmill would plunge into the material the endmill flexed and slid in the -y direction instead of simply going in the -z direction. This was no surprise, since the z-axis has play.

So while I think it was possible to mill your own plates, and I was successful in milling two which seemed rigid (1/8" aluminum), I decided to go with Edward's for now. I plan to dive into aluminum milling again when I complete the double x-axis makerslide upgrade in order to firm-up the z-axis.

nfortosis
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:26 am

Re: Milling Aluminum - First Results

Post by nfortosis » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:36 pm

@ levlandau2 Yes I currently run a vacuum but have not installed a dust show yet so I have to manually follow the tool with the hose. It definitely helps, but since the shavings have more weight to them than sawdust, they tends to fly a lot farther and so the vacuum only captures maybe half of it. I think a dust shoe would solve this problem though.
Shapeoko #165: 1m X 1m, Double X, Dual Y motors, Acme upgrade, DW660

philIam
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Milling Aluminum - First Results

Post by philIam » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:01 pm

Hey,

I've been using a DC quiet spindle. It seems from what I am reading WAY too slow.

Here's the terrifying problem I've experienced.

When my quiet spindle goes around a circular piece it catches a snag or piece and dives into my metal which is already like 1/2 way through cutting ! Its terrifying!

Does this happen with the upgrades?

I'm cutting at 15 ipm and .006" step down!

I've debugged everyhting software (makercam), flex, loose screws, etc for this. I'm hoping a better router / spindle will change the game for me!

criznach
Posts: 220
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:28 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana, USA

Re: Milling Aluminum - First Results

Post by criznach » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:56 pm

How deep is your cut when this happens? And are you clearing the metal chips away? You need to keep the cut as clear as possible or the chips will heat up and weld themselves to the bit. This usually ends in a disaster, sometimes like what you're describing, or broken bit, etc...

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