How to smooth sharp edges in aluminum

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tomb18
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How to smooth sharp edges in aluminum

Post by tomb18 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:27 pm

Hi
I've made a few aluminum parts and was wondering how you smooth the edges of the cuts. There a combination of pockets and outside profile cuts.
Do you use a ball head mill and turn the part over? Or do you use a file? Or sand paper?
Thanks for advice.
Tom

sgth0mas
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Re: How to smooth sharp edges in aluminum

Post by sgth0mas » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:26 pm

If you are looking for rounded/radiused edges...you want to use a corner rounding end mill. Examples in link below:

http://www.harveytool.com/cat/Corner-Ro ... s_200.aspx

If you are just trying to break sharp edges, a file will work as well as other debur tools.

Estlcam
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Re: How to smooth sharp edges in aluminum

Post by Estlcam » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:30 pm

You can use a blade (e.g. large box cutter) and just scrape along the edges.
(Do not cut into the material - the knife edge points away from the direction of movement).

This works fairly well (and is also the working principle of professional deburring tools).
But don't use expensive knifes - they will be damaged.
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WillAdams
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Re: How to smooth sharp edges in aluminum

Post by WillAdams » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:04 am

There are specialized tools for this: http://www.grainger.com/category/machin ... alog/N-c3b
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tomb18
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Re: How to smooth sharp edges in aluminum

Post by tomb18 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:23 am

ok, thanks for the tips.

WillAdams
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Re: How to smooth sharp edges in aluminum

Post by WillAdams » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:33 pm

Added this to: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... ssing_Cuts

Any other techniques / tools which people are using?
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Fablicator
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Re: How to smooth sharp edges in aluminum

Post by Fablicator » Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:17 pm

I either use a 45 deg Vee bit to break edges, 400 grit sandpaper, or a Fiber abrasive buff on my Dremel.

Estlcam
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Re: How to smooth sharp edges in aluminum

Post by Estlcam » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:03 pm

A good, sturdy router table with chamfer bit also works very well for small chamfers (1x1mm is OK / 2x2mm with caution / 5x5mm is asking for trouble).

But this is only suitable for large, flat parts you can hold securely - do not do this with small or irregular shaped things - its just too risky.
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Will Winder
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Re: How to smooth sharp edges in aluminum

Post by Will Winder » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:53 pm

In the past I would clamp the part in my bench vice and hit the corners with a file - which I still have to do for removing tabs.

This summer I found a vibratory tumbler at a yard sale which I'll try for this in the future (not my video):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2olHGE0R54
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