Machining Hardened Aluminum on Shapeoko

Hey Guys, I’m curious to know if the Shapeoko is able to machine “hardened aluminum” I’ll have a picture reference for the aluminum im referring to at Mcmaster-carr. If so could you recommend some speeds and feeds…im doing a few holes and a contour profile, nothing fancy. I have XXL without HDZ…Thanks…

You linked 6061 on the picture, which may or may not be what you were intending to do.
I’d say that’s the most common alloy for us in this community as far as working with aluminium. Winston made some pretty solid videos, but I think this video has a no joke feed/speed part here:

Edit: whoops wrong video
Edit 2: Winston is demonstrating this on the old Stock XL.


And it’s pretty good at it too.

There’s some guide to which alloys on the Wiki

6061 is one of those that’s easier.

Winston has some great intro videos on his YouTube to get you started.

Single flute cutters are an easier way to start, then go read all of vince.fab ’ s posts :wink:


It says under HeatTreatment = Hardened? so i was assuming it was hardened 6061…Im new to this so forgive my misunderstanding.

Also can i ask why you recommend single flute vs 3flute? I’ve seen videos from nycnc and recommends this tool (picture attatched) Thanks for all the info.

Winston has that covered as well!


The T6511 temper is apparantly close to T6;

Ah, because those who know more and went before me largely recommended it for dry cutting at high speed on a Shapeoko and in the cuts I’ve made so far they appear to have been correct :wink:

Edit - Like Josh says


Great…Thanks guys for the quick response and info!!

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