Nomad aluminum feed/speed tests

I’m not the one to say, but I have been reading and watching @RichCournoyer 's videos and threads on aluminum cutting. He recommends a coated mill (without Al in the coating) and you’ve probably seen his WD-40 drip lubricator as well. He will probably weigh in, but he seems to be our resident Al milling expert with these machines.

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Yes his posts are what made me try the coated ones.


I’ve read that too, which just reinforces the fact that (1) anyone can post to the internet, (2) not everything you read is true and (3) I’ve learned that what works for a larger commercial mill (Haas, Fadal, etc) does not always work for a desktop router. Meaning there are some rules that don’t apply OR are different here.

Coatings (I’ve tried them ALL): ZrN is the BEST (Which is why I asked C3D to carry them in the store). You can cut DRY with these about 90% of the time. Where I’ve found that you will need a little WD40 in DEEP NARROW grooves (e.g. 1/4" wide slot greater than 3/4" deep).


I was looking at McMaster and they don’t seem to carry end-mills that are ZrN coated, does it go by any other names?

No, and it’s because this is a fairly new coating. The problem with McMaster, is that they update their new products usually only once a year because of their catalog.

Can you buy from ebay?

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In addition to the wiki lists:

More would be welcome.


Yes, but I know there are sometimes some dubious sellers on eBay, at least for other products. Are there any good sellers on eBay you can recommend?

Many of use buy from Drillman1 on Ebay.

I have never been disappointed with his tools (usually high-end micro grain Japanese) but I think he buys overstock so his inventory is hit or miss, and at present he has a very limited stock of ZrN coated tools. I have been buying my ZrN coated tools from Carbide3D, but look for the other sizes of end mills on eBay…


Very true.
I cut aluminum all day long, every day, and you can bet I use lube. I’ve tried and tried to do it dry, like people claim, but I never liked the results.
I use off road diesel BTW. Works fine for me.


That is why when you want reliable advice on the internet you need to look beyond these little forum sites. The advice you get from a forum site might help you “dial” in a particular hobby machine.
I caution everyone not to regurgitate what you are told from said sites as gospel.
Chip evacuation and cooling are the first key to good results milling aluminum.


Hahaha, yup I agree! I drive a diesel and admit O1 and O2 work GREAT, but the smell is a bit too much for my little shop (shed).


I can second the Drillman1 recommendation. I have purchased several end mills for my Nomad 883 and Othermill Pro from his ebay store. Plus he ships from the Austin, TX area and I’m in San Antonio so I my orders arrive in a day or two via USPS. :slight_smile:

I was using the ZrN coated mills from Lakeshore too. I’ve been pretty happy with them but they are a bit expensive.
Now I used the MoS2-coated (Molybdenum Disulfide) Destiny Viper endmills I found on the Drillman1 site. These seem to last longer for me on 6061 Alu than the ZrN tools from Lakeshore. Just have to find them on Drillman1’s site when he is running a sale.

I run the vipers a bit faster on the Nomad 883 Pro (9500, 340 mm/min, 0.18 - .20 DOC in 6061, dry, no lube).

I have tried some cuts with the viper end mill using Fusion360 3d Adaptive Clearing at same speed/feed as above but with a 3mm DOC and Optimal Load of 0.15 - 0.18. I was just trying to find the limits of the Nomad but the cut actually worked out pretty well. I’m going to try it with the ZrN tools soon. I expect they will be just as good.

–thanks, Ed


Thanks for the Drillman1 recommendations, I just got some Destiny Viper cutters from there as well. Interesting to hear about the DOC you used with the Fusion 360 adaptive clearing. I’ll have to try that soon, I heard good things about it before here.

I would like to add another coating which I am pretty happy with…diamond like coating (DLC)…at least that’s how the manufacturer calls it…not cheap, but I can do a depth of cut of 3mm

That’s the milläser/VHM-Fräser-DLC/p/201735

diameter: 3mm
radius: 0,3 mm
10000 rpm
stickout: 15mm
stepover: 0,5mm
DOC: 3mm
Material: AlMgSi 0,5 (6060)

It was just a test, so there is no final product here :wink:

But wanted to share it anyway as the coating was not mentioned here…



Are the size options on that page in millimeters? What size did you use, and what collet?

it’s mm…i used the 3mm mill…


–> I use the first ones “ER”

Thanks for adding the feed/speed info. Where does the “radius 0.3mm” value come in? I’m clear about all the others.

That would be a rounding off of a square endmill:

Ah so that’s referring to a property of the cutter’s geometry. The photo didn’t look like it had rounded corners…

Cutter geometry, yes

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