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Author Topic: First aluminum cut (and a few other projects)  (Read 2892 times)

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First aluminum cut (and a few other projects)
« on: December 18, 2012, 10:15:26 PM »
Well I tried my first aluminum cut tonight. I figured I would mess up somewhere so I no loss. I'm cutting 6061 .250 aluminum. The piece is about 8" x 3.5".
-I started with the logo using a .5" v-tip bit. The first problem was the material wasn't flat obviously. Not sure what caused it but I think when I put the hold down screws in the material lifted a little instead of going all the way down into the next layer. Then I used a .125 upcut bit to make the 6 .182 holes. Next I tried using a .5" ball nose to create a contoured edge then used a .250 bit to cut the outer profile.

Another issue happened when I changed to the .125 bit and forgot to re zero my X. That is what the big boo-boo is just right of center. So that bit snapped! The last issue was when I cut the profile the bottom left corner did not cut all the way through. So I lowered my Z and re-zeroed it and ran it again. I guess I re-zeroed the Z too low because it was chugging pretty hard and before I got a chance to hit the e-stop the router mount flexed and the bit when way off course.

I made all cuts with a .005 step with a slower spindle speed and the feed rate at 100 IPM. I started out soaking it with Rapid-Tap but it was getting messy so I tried just blowing on the bit with compressed air.

The cuts look ok but could be better. Thoughts? Opinions? Advice?
Re: First aluminum cut (and a few other projects)
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 10:20:17 PM »
Here are a few more projects.

The first is a coaster I made for my wife. I made a set of 4 using 1/2" pine.

The second is an address sign. It is 14"x7" with a pocket cut .200.

The third is also 14"x7".

The fourth is about 20"x10" MDF. It says Steelers Greetings and has a snowman on the right side. It is cut pretty shallow so it's hard to see with the camera.

I'm learning as I go and getting a little fancier as I go. I just cut a nice sign the other day that I am in the process of painting.

« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 10:26:24 PM by DHay13 »