First attempt at cutting aluminum

(Griff Carpenter) #1

Nothing fancy or difficult, just exciting to me it came out so well. All dimensions within .01.

Used an old 2 flute non-coated Carbide 1/8” endmill, some 3 in 1 oil, 1/4” 6061, design and toolpaths F360, CAM CM 409.

Thanks Rich C and all you other aluminum cutters for posting your experiences enabling the rest of us to learn!

(Adam X) #2

Feeds and speed used? Nice work!

(Griff Carpenter) #3


To be honest, not real sure on feeds and speeds. I specified multiple cuts at .05”, set feeds to 30 ipm and Super PID to 10k. Did an air cut, 30 ipm just feli too fast so bumped it down in CM to 30% of that. Didn’t like the sound at 10k so ramped it up to 12k. Not so scientific as most of you guys, I like to feel my way through things.

Looking forward to learning more and better quantifying results.

(Adam X) #4

Quality over quantity! That idiom is completely misapplied here, but I’m with you; frequently qualitative gets ya there rather than fretting about the quantitative.

(James Carter) #5

So much of machining is “listening and feeling” that I think you might be a natural :slight_smile:

(Dan Nelson) #6

I just did my first aluminum cutting as well, but used very different speeds/feeds,

1/8" ZrN coated 2 flute end mill
DOC = 0.020"
Step over = 40%
Feed = 22ipm
Plunge 11ipm
Dewalt on SuperPID all out around 30,000

Tried with and without WD40 as coolant, didn’t appear to make any difference, but made a mess.

I had originally started with a slower 22645rpm spindle speed and a slightly slower feed/plunge, with a larger 0.040" DOC and the SO3 did not like it at all (end mill clogged, machine lost steps, had to hit the EStop). So I halved the DOC and it was a lot better, but still not great, so I upped the spindle speed and feed/plunge and it went still a little better. I’m using GWizard, and I’m still not very confident with the numbers it gives me. For almost anything I feed it I get 30,000 for RPMs, not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I’ll keep watching videos… There was noticeable deflection where I had tabs, which I sanded out in the final pieces. Lots of hand finishing, which I tried to avoid, but I think that was my fault for using too many tabs (probably should have just done an onion skin.

All in all I would call mine “semi-successful”. The clamps I made are usable, but not very pretty… Learning!

Yours look much cleaner than mine, cool stuff!


(Griff Carpenter) #7

Nice, much more ambitious then me :slightly_smiling_face:. I want to make a vice next but I think I’ll practice on some clamps similar to what you’ve done.

I just wish I had more time to play!