Aluminum Engraved Tags

Dear Carbide 3D Community,

I was wondering what type of 040" Aluminum Sheet should I use for engraved tags? I am relatively new to the metal sector of CNC, especially on the regular Shapeoko 3 that does not have the improved HDZ z-axis. I do not know what grade of aluminum can be machined with a tungsten carbide endmill. Also, does anyone have suggestions on where to buy the aluminum from?

Thank you and have a great rest of your day. Stay healthy and happy.

Sincerely, Russell Francis


Your best bet is to go with 6061.
Some grades are easier to machine than others, and 6061 is best (or at least best of the easily sourced grades)

You will find info on the various kinds and their machinability on the wiki

Definitely checkout Winston’s video for recommended feeds and speeds:

As to where to buy the aluminium from, I will be of no help since I live on the wrong side of the pond to answer that question, but the American folks here will be able to provide good tips I’m sure

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How much do you need?

Easiest source are the K&S Engineering stands which one sees at hobby shops and some hardware stores:

Big box stores will also have alu. sheeting in the construction/roofing areas. Some specialty internet shops are listed at:

Dear Julien,

Thank you for your response. I will definitely check out Winston Moy’s series and find 6061 alumimun to machine on my Shapeoko! Have a great rest of your day!

Sincerley, Russell Francis

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Dear Will,

Thank you so much for your response also! I appreciate everyones help! I have taken a look at K&S Metals. They seem like the best fit for what I am trying to do. However, how do I buy the aluminum from them especially if there are stores that carry the type near me? Have a great rest of your day!

Sincerely, Russell Francis

Engraved dog tags was a starter project for the batam tools mini mill. They still have some anodized dog tags on the store, but not sure that would be the best source.
I guess the question is do you want to stick to the standard shape or make your own?
If standard, there are companies that sell blanks that you could get for quite cheap.

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All of the local hobby shops have a display with K&S Engineering products and they are good about ordering anything which is not in stock.

Used to be Michaels had such stock of metals in their jewelry area.

If not, check in w/ a local hardware store — True Value franchises usually have these displays and a good stock.

EDIT: or will meet your needs?

McMaster Carr is my go to.

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