Can't get a clean cut in 6061 with V-Bit

Trying to v-carve into 6061 aluminum with a new Whiteside 1541 60deg 1/4 shank carbide v-bit on my Shapeoko XXL. It is not making a clean cut. No matter if I run faster or slower IPMs still seems to mash the metal rater than cut it, leaving a ragged edge. Dewalt router on #1 - cutting 30ipm 30plunge .015 pass(pictured below). Ran half that speed and cut was worse. Starting to think it is the bit - ran two cuts with Amana 1/4 2 flute zrn coated upspiral and did a super clean cut. Any advise would be great.

Absolutely positive its 6061? Did you try any sort of coolant for lubrication? Also I tend to run deep aluminum V carving at very shallow passes because it engages more and more each deeper pass. Usually first 0.010 pass will look meh, cleans up on the next. What do your chips look like? What rpm

1 Like

Have not tried lube but I will give it a shot. Chips are very small and thin like 1/8 segments of very thin wire. Dewalt 611 is on setting 1 - 16k rpm. Not 100% sure 6061 but I ordered it off amazon as 6061. Speeds don’t seem to matter but the depth might.

Honestly it should be cutting good at that speed and feed with the exception of the plunge. Reduce that to 4ipm. Carbide create default is 0.010 per pass and ive cut very well with that recipe

I believe you. You sir are a wizard. Thank you for the help.

1 Like

Not a wizard lol, just happen to push the right buttons

Let’s get a look at your cutter as well if you don’t mind

edit I’ve been given a prototype job for some Gen5 Viper wheel centercaps, i’ll be doing some v carve testing. I’ll be at the shop all weekend so if you need any help just message

1 Like

Tried another couple cuts at 30ipm 4ipm plunge, .010 depth, Dewalt setting #1(16k rpm) - I did one dry and one with plenty of WD40. The 30ipm dry one was not much better than the previous attempts but it did make bigger curly chips. There are still a bunch of ragged chips attached to the bottom of each dry cut. The wet cut was cleaner, but still not even close to as clean as the dry zrn coated end mills. Also I would prefer not to use lubricant if possible. Cutter still looks clean no welding.

Vince - I am happy to get a different cutter - what do you recommend? Just looking to do some basic v-carving into 6061, dry if possible.

I’ve done a little ebit of v carving using a chamfer mill, very similar settings to you, but I suggest trying upping the rpm, if you work out your speeds and feeds based on a 1/4 diameter that will work at the top of the V, where the diameter is close to 1/4, but at the tip the speed of the cutting edge is much lower, because the diameter is smaller, hence more rpm required.

I’d keep everything the same and go for 24000 rpm, whichever setting that is on your router.

1 Like

@stutaylo that could help but as those cuts went deeper they should have cleaned up if that was the only issue imo.

What are the specs on that cutter? Im starting to think that’s your issue. It’s a 2 or 3 flute? Whiteside usually makes wood oriented cutters right?

These are the ones I use, always have worked beautifully and that’s what the local cnc place stocks. Also good in 90s for wider cuts. I use an airblast with minimal alcohol for cooling, although I don’t see you really needing that because its not a super aggressive cut.

Here’s a sample of my carving, 0.125 5052 sheet (harder to machine). Super thin powdercoat yet no machine lines, that’s with zero cleanup as well.

I just got back into the shop today so i’ll run that recipe. V carving looks so crazy good when it comes out right. We’ll figure it out

1 Like

Fair call, it’d probably only make a difference on the shallower cuts.

Another vote for the kyocera bits here too - I picked up a couple of them from drillman1 on ebay, I’ve only used them on wood but they give me by far the sharpest finish, even bettering the amana insert v bits

1 Like

Test cut with carbide create library soccer ball and stock default settings on my stock s3 (yes at 12krpm). 6061 plate, didn’t have an airblast or mister setup on this machine so I used small amounts of wd40 a few times. I wasnt watching it cut and wasn’t clearing chips. A Richard style wd40 dripper would work wonders.

Dry is a tough one, at the very least a blower/mister


That soccer ball cut looks very clean! I just ordered multiple Kyocera 2002-2500.060a1 (and a 90, 45) from drillman1. I suspect the 3 flute Whiteside is not clearing chips at the same rate as the Kyocera 2 flute up-spiral. I will report back in a few days once I get my hands on them.


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.