Cutting Aluminum with Nomad

Hello everyone,

I am new at CNC and Nomad 883, I have cut a few things out of wood and plastics. I have tried to cut aluminum (5052) with the Nomad but no matter how slowly I plunge the 102 bit, it crabs the metal and stops. I think the RPM is max., the cutter is new. I am just trying to cut .125 inch holes.

Any help is appreciated.


5052 is a magnesium alloy which is noted as being difficult to cut.

People have had success w/ it on a Shapeoko using a DWP611 and coolant though:

If it’s at all possible, use a different, easier to machine alloy, preferrably one suited to dry machining.

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You may be able to spot drill the hole locations using a ball end and some lubrication.

Hello Apollo,

I have tried all ways to cut aluminum but the motor stalls no madder what I do. I just watched a video that
Carbide 3d made of a Nomad 883 cutting 6061 aluminum, 1/8" thick using the following:
.125 " , 3 flute end mill, feed rate: 6 IPM, plunge rate: 5 IPM, RPM 8000, .02 " cutting depth, with synthetic none oil coolant

Finishing cutting:
.55" 3 flute end mill, feed rate: 6 IPM, plunge rate: 5 IPM, 8000 RPM, .01" cutting depth.

There is no way my Nomad 883 would do this.

You should have the file that was use to make the video, would you send it to me and I will set my machine exactly as stated in the video and try to make cuts in 6961 , 1/8" aluminum. If it works, I am doing some thing wrong

Please call or email me regarding this problem.


Robert E Allnutt

Hi Bob,

I sent you an email and left a message for you last week.

5 IPM plunge sounds like the problem to me.

The Recommended feed and speed for 6061 AL is:

Plunge: 1ipm
DOC .01"
FEED 8 ipm
RPM 9200

You had mentioned 5052 AL previously - I have not tested that alloy yet.

Please try the numbers above and confirm if you are using 6061 or 5052.

As @ApolloCrowe says, the exact alloy is important here. I’ve got some 5052 that requires .001 DOC to get a reasonably not terrible finish.

Hi Everyone,

Can someone recommend a good website or calculator for identifying the recommended feed and speed for specific materials? I have looked at a few websites, but I get the impression the rates are for larger CNC machines.

All the ones I’ve found are at:

The most useful / best-suited seems to be G-Wizard — it also has a nifty copy-paste integration w/ MeshCAM.

Accumulated cutting numbers for aluminum at:

Hi Nathan,

Do you have a Carbide 3D machine? If so, they have published their recommended feeds and speeds for each of their machines:

Nomad Speeds and Feeds Chart
Shapeoko Speeds and Feeds Chart

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G-wizard’s pretty good, and goes on sale fairly frequently. If you buy a one year “subscription” you’re set for life for a nomad. Sometimes he has special deals to get a discount on a carbide machine if you buy gwizard at the same time. Check out his site.

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