5052 Aluminum Single Line Font Engraving

Looking for some assistance with engraving small single line font “OLF Modern - Regular” into 5052 aluminum with an Amana Tool 46280-K Spektra 6.2 Deg Tapered Angle Ball Nose x 1/32 D x 1/64 R x 1 CH x 1/4 SHK x 3 Flute Router Bit. I’ve had good results thus far cutting 5052 with a 1/8 single flute spiral at 20ipm, 0.006’‘doc with 3.5’’ plunge at 18,000rpm. Curious how this bit differs…

Few questions:

  1. When entering the tool into CC library should I put it under a ball mill or engraving mill?

  2. Would I include the 6.2 degrees?

  3. When selecting toolpath for engraving single line font would I choose v-carve or contour?

  4. What feeds/speeds/doc/plunge would you recommend?

  5. Is this the ideal bit for the job?

Image below is an example of what I’m shooting for:

It’s presently impossible to add detail tapered cutters with a front radius, so here’s what I so: I lie. I add it as a ball mill, and ignore the taper.

VCarve? No No NO! (not for this job/font)

If you have had good luck with those feed rates on 5052, stick with them.

IMO, no. It’s too costly of a cutter for what looks like a job for an inexpensive (small) ball or single flute engraving cutter (with a front rad).

FYI I’ve had great luck with single flute Chinesium 1/8 shank 60º engraving cutters from eBay (about 90 cents each in a pack of 8 or 10).


Thanks for the information Rich.

I gave it a shot and I’m not thrilled with the results. My first attempt (J7) I set max cutting depth to .0125’’ with a .005’’ doc. Looked to deep to me.

2nd attempt (J2 and J6) I dropped the max cutting depth to .006 with a .003’’ doc.

3rd attempt (J5) I threw in a space in between and dropped the max cutting depth to .003’’ with a .003’’ doc.

All cuts were made at 18000rpm, 3.5 plunge, and 10ipm.8006828-1.c2d (976.2 KB)

I’m using a probe for setting Z zero but it seems to be cutting deeper than the input.

I attempted to use a 1/8’’ engraving bit but with the 1/2’’ aluminum bed, my router won’t go that low. I was hoping to not have to make another jig but I guess that’s what I’ll have to do in order to use the smaller bits.

Shapeoko? If theres room you can loosen the mount and scoot down the router to achieve a longer reach.

You do want the bit nice and close to the collet (not extended out) so a sub plate/jig would be great to keep things as rigid as possible.

Chip evacuation and lubrication can help. A small bit fan, air blast, vacuum to keep recutting from occurring is ideal. A squirt of WD40 to aid the cut wont hurt.

Last, it would be best to check and dial in the runout of the endmill as well.


Your bits might be made of Chinesium, but your projects must be made with Tricknium!

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