Cannot cut aluminum for my life - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Nov 21, 2012, 10:39 PM
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gkamysz's Avatar
I run aluminum dry.
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Nov 22, 2012, 12:32 AM
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I would use carbide stub, double ended .125 dia 4 flute endmill. Four flutes are stronger than 2 flutes. Length of cut for stubs is .25-.375 inch long. The shorter the better. Only let the endmill protrude from the collet the length of cut. So clamp it real close right up to the end of cut of the cutting tool.

To get the chips to clear the cutter you're going to need an air/water spray mist. The water cools the cutting tool and the air spray clears the chips. You need the air velocity to be high with a little water volume. The spray has to set very close to the .125 end mill directed towards the bottom of the cutter.

The best way to cut the those arms is first rough saw them out with a band saw. Leave no more than a 1/32 oversize (less is better). now all you have to do is use the side of the cutter to clean to size. You should be able to go the full 1/8 depth of cut. 10,000 RPM, 5-10 inches per min on feed. Much less stress on the cutter.

Before you do any saw cut put some holes down the length of the arms. Very little clearance for 1/4 in. screws. Space them out 1 inch from each end and every 3 inches down the arm . Now get a 4 inch wide x (2 inches longer than arms) piece of Alum plate or bar 1/2 inch thick, now put in 1/4-20 threaded holes that are the same spaced as the arms. Now clamp down the plate to the the table and the arms to the plate using 1/4-20 socket head screws and steel washers. You could use 1/8 Aluminum sheet strips for washers. Now you've got a rigid setup that won't move when you cut the arms. Use the water spray and clamping of the 4 flute cutter as described above to get it done.

Good Luck.
Last edited by Rich Speroni; Nov 22, 2012 at 12:50 AM.
Nov 22, 2012, 09:25 AM
Registered User
A simple thing - but make sure your cutter is spinning in the right direction. I was cutting 6061-t6 when i was starting out .... They quite cut a fairway spinning in the wrong direction, before breaking.

Ask me how I know

Especially if using Mach3

Nov 24, 2012, 02:32 PM
You know nothing....
Stuart A's Avatar
Use something designed for the job-it'll pay for itself in savings on bits.
Nov 24, 2012, 05:17 PM
Registered User
Ward Hagaman's Avatar
Someone might have suggested this already, but cli mb cutting vs. conventional cutting is important.
Nov 25, 2012, 11:27 AM
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Fubar 123's Avatar
High rake angle tools with large flute clearance to get the swarf out and definatly a little cutting solution , weather it is parafin type or soluble oil is up to you.
A chip thickness of about 0.05 mm /tooth is about as low as you want to go as carbide likes to cut rather than let it 'rub'
You should be able to cut it like butter. Is your tool sharp ? any dinks on it ? take a look with a loupe!
Nov 25, 2012, 10:13 PM
Registered User

Shallow Fast Cuts are Key

I cut AL on my router almost everyday. the trick is to take shallow Depth of Cuts (DOC) with high feed rates. Try using a 3 flute carbide, with 0.011 DOC, at 75 Inches per Minute, and a spindle speed of 12285. A few squirts of WD-40 at 2-3 minute intervals will be enough to provide lubrication and cooling.

Nov 27, 2012, 11:17 PM
Crashaffinity on youtube
CrashAffinity's Avatar
Originally Posted by Lpbug
Forgot to mention the type of Aluminum, which is 6061-T6.
I used to be a CNC operator for a number of years, when i cut this, on my machine it was like butter, but i had a 10HP motor.

Only thing that you have to keep in mind is to keep the bit lubricated the entire time. I had a spray mist on the head at all times spraying lubricant. If you're breaking a lot of bits your bit is likely overheating.

Edit: I should note i always used titanium coated carbide bits, it made all the difference.
Last edited by CrashAffinity; Nov 27, 2012 at 11:24 PM.

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