Help with cutting copper sheet

Looking to cut some numbers for a rustic wood clock from copper sheet. Thinking 20mil thickness but wondering if anyone has any tips for cutting numbers out. Im thinking ~2" tall numbers.

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Some notes on this at:

— may need to sandwich it in-between two sacrificial layers of a more rigid and more easily cut material.

EDIT: These were:

Use very sharp cutters with copper. Many alloys (and the element itself) are “gummy” and difficult to machine.

3-4 IPM 0.015 cut depth at the low end of the DW611’s speed range with lubricant — Copper sign

  • Speed: 10
  • Depth Increment: 0.015"

Ascertain that if a copper alloy, it does not contain beryllium.[142] (Note that such alloys are normally only used for non-sparking tools for certain industries.[143])

Nomad: “For brass and copper I use Plunge rate 170 m/m , Feedrate 400 m/m or more 10% / 20% and depth 0.07 mm. whit 0.063” cutter . And I use Alcohol for coolant to and the cuts are better ."[144]

1/16" carbide flat with DOC 0.07mm. Feed 400 mm/min Plunge 170 mm/min RPM 19000 and coolant Trichloroethane whit good ventilation. [145]

Horsepower Unit Factor (Copper)


MaterialMonday Nomad Copper

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I’ve made a copper top table before (not with a CNC) so let me tell you of my experiences with copper.

I roughed up one side of the copper with rough sandpaper and then used epoxy to glue it to a plywood backing. I then cut it on a table saw with a standard rip blade. Copper is so soft the table saw cut it like it wasn’t there. EXCEPT it throws out the smallest, sharpest and nastiest pieces of copper out from the cut. So be prepared for that even on a CNC.

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Thanks for the added info. I was planning to sandwich between a thick and thin piece of wood (thin on top).

I have some pretty good dust extraction integrated into my shapeoko 3 so Im hoping the copper chips are caught by it too.

Superglue/tape it!

I make custom copper turbo gaskets all the time this way, its the best!

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How do you undo it? I would be afraid that I would bend the copper too much trying to get it off the backer board.

Most adhesives can be reversed with heat.

The painters tape comes right off, no hassles. I do 030 sheet no problem

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Cool. I watched some videos and have a plan formulated. I have not cut thin sheet metal stock before so it will be a learning experience. My plan it to cut copper numbers for a large pallet wood clock and then add a patina to them. Well see how it goes.

I’m curious to see how this works for you. Mind sharing some pictures?

Will be happy to share what I get. Many firsts here so bear with me.

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