Hardcore Aluminum milling on an S3

Pleas do upload to youtube I would love to see the videos.

I love the mod vise. It clamps so tight I could probably lift the machine by the clamped work piece and that’s just using the serrated side of the SS jaws. It’s super low profile gives you a lot of z clearance. I bought the SS reversible jaw inserts, a spare set of soft jaw blanks, and 3 sets of talon grips “keep in mind it needs 2 sets as a minimum if you plan on using them and they are stupid expensive”. I will be buying another mod vise in the future but just with the SS inserts as 4 sets of talons cost more than the vise.

You will have to use the SMW bed or make your own adapter plate to use it.


After 3d adaptive roughing with no finishing passes. Machine time was around 35 minutes. The first block from the left was over an hour with the stock z running Winston’s speeds and feeds from his single flute Youtube video. After the upgraded HDZ and aluminum bed I cut the machine time by over 60% running higher DOC, WOC, and almost double the feed rate.


I covered the bed with a spare aluminum plate and other scrap wood to make cleanup easier. The orange 3d printed part was an old dust shoe I made that has a embedded nut on the tool lock button side so I can tighten a bolt that holds the lock in so I can change bits. Being a Quad with no finger function makes holding a wrench and the button by hand impossible. So I had to make a way.


I was able to put the stock XL back into commission for feeds and speeds testing in aluminum. This was mainly to test out cam for a remote job.


Finished the back side machining and all the parts came out great. Not bad for a dude with no finger function.

I thank you Vince for posting your speeds / feeds as they helped me push harder and greatly reduce machine time and get great results fairly fast.

What do you think about a new thread called

IN THE CUT- Proven speeds and feeds for aluminum

There can be 2 separate threads
One for Nomad users and one for Shapeoko users

A place for users to get proven feeds and speeds for various aluminum cutting so they don’t have to search a bunch of threads or figure out speed calculators. I see problem cutting aluminum threads often and feel a in depth chart would help so many users and save many end mills “after all end mills have feelings too”

I’m thinking basic levels along the lines of end mill size / type -flute count with 3 levels Minimum , Medium, Maximum depending on the machining strategy being used AKA adaptive, contour, pocketing, finishing, DOC, WOC, how much stock to leave to have a enough material left to do a proper finishing pass without rubbing and what setting the router should be set to.


Found a great Fusion 360 sphere milling strategy video that fits this thread perfectly so I had to add it in.


Hey all, might want to check out Vince’s IG, cool announcement…



Well done Vince, reward for the hard work.


What’s the announcement for those that don’t gram?


Julien does that mean you’ve joined Instagram?

Nah, just lurking there now and then when I get pop-up notifications. To be honest, these past few weeks I have been going there more frequently in the hope of catching a new glimpse of the Nomad3 :slight_smile:


i just checked out proven cut. Really cool and helpful. Can you give any hints at what you will be adding to proven cut?

I’m not involved in that at all, you would have to ask @Vince.Fab

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@Vince.Fab dude congratulations on that job I love both John’s Saunders / grimsmo and especially their business of machining podcsst. What makes this even cooler is they were talking about you on it :grin::grin: will try to dig the episode out and link it, well done Vince!! Go forth and spread the word of SO3


Thanks for the all support everyone!

And everyone else cause the tag feature is weird lol. @bpk9p4 I will be in charge of all hobby machine content and customer requests for special feeds and speeds for all different kinds of materials. Right now ProvenCut is pretty light on the hobby side so that’s where I get to nerd out on.

Right now the machines are
PocketNC V2-50 5axis
Tormach Xstech router
Bantam pcb mill
Bantam Desktop mill
(Hopefully) a Nomad 3 :wink:
Wazer waterjet

And of course an
MDF bed Shapeoko with Z plus
SMW fixture plate bed Shapeoko with HDZ

@Able that’s an awesome video on how to do a “poor man’s steep and shallow”! Ive started to use the same techniques on those types of surfaces, works awesome!

And…I’ll just leave this here. Cause everyone else is having full linear fun and I gotta stop being lazy. Let’s dial in the motion system and keep pushing those limits!


Welcome to the SMW playground


Intrigued by the whole “fixture plate” vs waste board approach for hobby machines. SMW approach to an integrated package of accessories at a reasonable cost is quite tempting.

Show me more.


You are making me drool…


What would you like to know @griff? It’s the best way to go about modularity. Bolt on low profile vises, bolt on consumable sub plates. I asked about a sub plate with locating pin as well.

I’ll be using the SMW stuff exclusively so we’ll see if any issues come up.

I have to wait for my own SMW fixture plate setup because they haven’t made stock yet. But until then…

Psssss @Julien