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).

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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.

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

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