Can I mill steel this way?


I’m wondering if it’s possible to drill into a steel anvil blank with the Nomad and what type of bit I may use to go about this. I don’t plan on drilling too deep. About .005", plus another .005" deep for a dimple in the center.

I’d like to create a stamp for my arbor press that can be used to dimple spring steel plating, similar to the picture below. I suppose I could use aluminum but I’m not sure how many stamps I could get out of it without denting the metal too much.


Thank you for your consideration!

Dog Guy Josh

I don’t see why you could not machine steel, Josh. I haven’t machined steel with the Nomad, but have machined spring-temper stainless steel using a Proxxon IB/E spindle on my Tormach, which is roughly similar in oomph range of the Nomad. The stainless was .003" thick, and I machined it with a solid carbide bit .020" in diameter. I was blanking out prototype spring clips and machined the whole thickness at once.

I think you’d want to use a small cutter like .020" or .030" and take small depth of cut, maybe .002" or .003", to minimize flexing/stretch of the X-Y drive belts during the cut. But CNC machines are very patient when you tell them to take a whole lot of small bites…

But I don’t know if mild steel would work for dimpling your spring steel parts. I have not had success with mild steel anvils for pressing a stainless PEM stud into a stainless sheet–the mild steel deformed before embedding the head of the PEM into the sheet. And I don’t know that 7075 aluminum would be any worse than mild steel–it is a pretty tough aluminum alloy.


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Thank you, Randy. That’s very helpful. I’ll definitely post an update once my Nomad arrives and let you know how it goes. I’ll probably have more questions then!