Jump to content

Using a variable speed plunge router to mill aluminum


Recommended Posts

I am working on surface grinder attachment for my KMG clone! So here is a mock up I borrowed from the net! To try and explain what I am up against! So you can refer to the concept drawing.surface grinder concept.jpg

So if you notice the magnetic strip up against the wheel the belt will run on. That is what I am about to attempt to cut the slots for the magnets. There is not a machine shop in my town and most of the ones the next town don't want to mess with this small a project and if the do they want an arm and a leg. Since I don't one of either I want to give up, (arm or leg) this is what I am about to do! 

 

I am going to set up my 2 1/4 HP variable speed plunge router to cut those slots for the rare earth magnets. So here is where I am looking for some advice. 

(I know from my woodworking experience that a 1/8" deep cut is probably maximum for depth per pass on the cuts!) So I am going to guess this would be true for aluminum as well!

 

Which is going to be the best end mill router bit for cutting slots in 3/4" aluminum bar stock?? My understanding a two flute bit is probably the best!

 

They also say running the end mill bit at: 

Instead, any milling process run at around 15,000 rpm or higher is likely to offer some optimum spindle speed, a "sweet spot," where the cut is significantly more stable than it is at both higher and lower speed settings. This sweet spot rpm value may permit double the depth of cut compared to other speeds!

 

Any advice on this set up will be considered and appreciated!! This is virgin territory as far as cutting aluminum. I have used routers for years but always on wood or formica! 

 

So I am open to any advice on cutting these slots. Type of bit, speed and depth of cut!  

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I were you, I'd just buy a magnetic chuck and mount it on the slide.  Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/VEVOR-Magnetic-Permanent-Powerful-Rectangular/dp/B07D552VNW/ref=pd_sbs_469_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07D552VNW&pd_rd_r=83af8c1b-0ae1-11e9-ba23-290598a1709c&pd_rd_w=C0DeQ&pd_rd_wg=cdRek&pf_rd_p=7d5d9c3c-5e01-44ac-97fd-261afd40b865&pf_rd_r=GRX92YFS4FN3WMTCZNFH&psc=1&refRID=GRX92YFS4FN3WMTCZNFH

 

They come in different sizes, and it seems like the ability to turn it off would be a good thing.  I just have a bad feeling about using a router as a milling machine.  The amount of clamping needed to hold the aluminum and how to keep the router itself from shooting off into orbit on first contact, plus the aluminum shavings flying around at high velocity...  :ph34r:  But that's just me. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

I just have a bad feeling about using a router as a milling machine.  The amount of clamping needed to hold the aluminum and how to keep the router itself from shooting off into orbit on first contact, plus the aluminum shavings flying around at high velocity...  :ph34r:  But that's just me. 

 

Me too, but I'd probably be tempted to try it B)

 

If I were, I think I'd try to sneak up on the width as well as the depth. 3/4 wide, even at 1/8 deep seems like a wild ride.

 

I'm thinking several passes 1/4, 1/2, etc.

 

Might also suggest a full-face motorcycle helmet and a chain maile shirt :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Don Abbott said:

Me too, but I'd probably be tempted to try it B)

Don, you know what John Wayne use to say, "if you gonna be stupid you gotta be tough"  that also works for poor as well!! Didn't see that coming.jpg

This router I have has the ability to set to three repeatable depths. So definitely would have to be done in small passes! The one attempt I remember making in routing a piece of aluminum did not end well!! It had only high speed operation. Of course I think I tried that with a carbide wood router bit. It slung a chunk of the carbide tooth went into a window and, oh well you get the idea, it did not turn out as planned!  explosives.png

 

Alan the magnetic chuck would be better in that you can turn it on and off! 

 

I run across one of those U-tube videos of a guy scavenging the magnetic from a microwave and turning into a magnetic chuck. But that almost scared me as much as the thought of the aluminum going airborne!  

 

You have to work around the adds and the paid endorsement but it does bring up possibilities! Electrocuted.png

 

 

Edited by C Craft
Link to post
Share on other sites

some of the ar-15 do it your self kits use routers with a guide/pattern so go slow and please no molding bits :P

Edited by dragoncutlery
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Charles dP said:

 Hmmm, will have to look at this!!

 

OK did a quick search and will have to set down and do some more research but Charles this may be just what I am needing!! B)

Edited by C Craft
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks Jacob. I still haven't given up on this idea! 

 

Charles, I checked some more on those door locks and they do not work without the supplied armature plate. The following is from the troubleshooting list on one of those type of locks! So that kills that idea. It really looked if it was a good one!

 

Check to see that armature plate is correctly aligned with the electromagnetic lock. If there is improper alignment, make a 1/4 turn of the armature plate mounting bolt and check for alignment.

Edited by C Craft
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, C Craft said:

Thanks Jacob. I still haven't given up on this idea! 

 

Charles, I checked some more on those door locks and they do not work without the supplied armature plate. The following is from the troubleshooting list on one of those type of locks!

 

Check to see that armature plate is correctly aligned with the electromagnetic lock. If there is improper alignment, make a 1/4 turn of the armature plate mounting bolt and check for alignment.

Ah, pity. Sorry.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Jacob Wilson said:

I just used my table saw to cut the grooves in the aluminum. Then epoxied the magnets in. 

01F823FF-D044-490D-AF04-57D1E5C453DD.jpeg

 

 

Jacob what kind of blade did you use. I checked on a recommended blade for cutting thick aluminum like the Diablo but, can't seem to find one! Not sure I am going to like the price when I see it! Also were you cutting to depth in one pass?? 

 

 

8 hours ago, Jacob Wilson said:

Saw Blades Aluminum Cutting #D1060N

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a regular carbide table saw blade. I marked the width of the cut on the side of the aluminum and cut to the mark on each side then cut out the middle. Check your cuts with a magnet, may have to nibble a little more. Some were a little big but the epoxy takes care of the slop. Just go slow, takes longer to clean up the aluminum chips than cutting the block. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/8/2021 at 3:53 PM, C Craft said:

I am working on surface grinder attachment for my KMG clone! So here is a mock up I borrowed from the net! To try and explain what I am up against! So you can refer to the concept drawing.surface grinder concept.jpg

So if you notice the magnetic strip up against the wheel the belt will run on. That is what I am about to attempt to cut the slots for the magnets. There is not a machine shop in my town and most of the ones the next town don't want to mess with this small a project and if the do they want an arm and a leg. Since I don't one of either I want to give up, (arm or leg) this is what I am about to do! 

 

I am going to set up my 2 1/4 HP variable speed plunge router to cut those slots for the rare earth magnets. So here is where I am looking for some advice. 

(I know from my woodworking experience that a 1/8" deep cut is probably maximum for depth per pass on the cuts!) So I am going to guess this would be true for aluminum as well!

 

Which is going to be the best end mill router bit for cutting slots in 3/4" aluminum bar stock?? My understanding a two flute bit is probably the best!

 

They also say running the end mill bit at: 

Instead, any milling process run at around 15,000 rpm or higher is likely to offer some optimum spindle speed, a "sweet spot," where the cut is significantly more stable than it is at both higher and lower speed settings. This sweet spot rpm value may permit double the depth of cut compared to other speeds!

 

Any advice on this set up will be considered and appreciated!! This is virgin territory as far as cutting aluminum. I have used routers for years but always on wood or formica! 

 

So I am open to any advice on cutting these slots. Type of bit, speed and depth of cut!  



Hey Man. Shoot me a message, or email me (mail@eagleeyeforge.com)  I work in a machine shop and can do this for you in my off time.  Just pay for the aluminum and shipping. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen I appreciate the offer! You don't know how much. Folks on the forum are good people. 

 

I found out what happened to the mill that used be in a machine shop I used till it closed after Covid hit. Talked with the guy and turns out he needs a little repair work done on a bathroom at his house. You know one of those you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours deals! :D Works for me!!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/12/2021 at 1:56 AM, Jacob Wilson said:

Just a regular carbide table saw blade. I marked the width of the cut on the side of the aluminum and cut to the mark on each side then cut out the middle. Check your cuts with a magnet, may have to nibble a little more. Some were a little big but the epoxy takes care of the slop. Just go slow, takes longer to clean up the aluminum chips than cutting the block. 

 

 

Totally agree with Jacob.
Personally, I use resin Aka-resin epoxy from Akasel.com - If you do it yourself then go as Jacob says " Go slow, it takes longer to clean up the aluminum chips than cutting the block" ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/13/2021 at 11:45 PM, C Craft said:

Stephen I appreciate the offer! You don't know how much. Folks on the forum are good people. 

 

I found out what happened to the mill that used be in a machine shop I used till it closed after Covid hit. Talked with the guy and turns out he needs a little repair work done on a bathroom at his house. You know one of those you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours deals! :D Works for me!!

 

 

Anytime mate!  Always happy to help out my forumites. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...