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Fastest way to remove aluminum with a mini mill?

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  • mc_n_g
    replied
    I also strongly recommend 1/4 through 3/8 roughing mills, 3 or 4 flute.
    I use them in my Sherline and they are awesome.
    You might be able to use a 1/2 in with the mill you have, not sure.
    I have used Wholesale Tools, Travers, and Ebay to get what I wanted.
    They are a little more expensive but worth the money

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  • BCRider
    replied
    I've got a something power head band I use quite frequently now. And for serious magnification I rely on some old 50mm focal length "standard" lenses of old 35mm cameras. The larger aperture versions make SUPERB magnifying glasses.

    More than once I've also thought about stronger reading glasses where I punch out one lens on each side of two pairs so I can dig around and find cooties that get into my eye now and then despite fairly large safety lens reading glasses. Haven't done it yet though.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cenedd
    replied
    I regularly tell myself that I can't feel hard done by if I've been stupid enough to wipe the chips away with my fingers.... again. Did exactly the same today with wood so it's not just the metal.
    I'd recommend some decent (or strike lucky on some cheap ones) pointy nosed tweezers and an LED-illuminated "40x" loupe held in a solder mate (aka third hand). I say "40x" as the fashion seems to be to wildly exaggerate the magnification of such things on eBay/Amazon. Decent 10x headband stereo magnifiers would probably be as good....but the ones I know we're strong enough were out of stock.

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  • BCRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Cenedd View Post
    BCRider on a light mill one of the bonus side-effects is that because the cut is deeper and the chips sort of cross-cut, you end up with a quite civilised spew of blunt chips coming off - rather than the thin wispy needles just waiting to skewer you.
    Now having had a stupid moment or two where I wiped away such chips without thinking that is something I would truly appreciate!

    Leave a comment:


  • Cenedd
    replied
    BCRider on a light mill one of the bonus side-effects is that because the cut is deeper and the chips sort of cross-cut, you end up with a quite civilised spew of blunt chips coming off - rather than the thin wispy needles just waiting to skewer you.

    Leave a comment:


  • BCRider
    replied
    I like that running up to max power PROVIDED the machine itself does not start complaining by chattering.

    On lighter machines I too found that it is often better to go to a smaller size and use more of the cutter. I also need to buy some roughing end mills and try them out. The promise of better chip control and resulting deeper feed per flute has a nice sound to it.

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  • garyhlucas
    replied
    Start with an amp meter and use a rougher. You want to use all the HP available, which immediately says motor at 100% speed, whether using high range or low range gear if you have it. Pick the tool that matches that spindle speed in aluminum and use the amp meter to adjust depth of cut and feed rate to use maximum amps. Note that passing the tool through the material the least number of times increases tool life and removal rate. So a deep depth of cut that requires a slow feed will not be optimum. Roughers are smooth running and produce tiny chips that are easily blown out of the toolpath to avoid recutting. My first experience with a rougher was machining 304 stainless and I was amazed at how fast it was.

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  • darryl
    replied
    I like Bobs method- I was thinking along similar lines. My idea was to mount a fly cutter- and don't bolt the aluminum down. Feed aggressively- guaranteed that aluminum will be removed from the mill in short order.

    But on a serious note, I'm hearing a lot about roughing end mills. I don't have any, but I'm going to buy some. It just makes sense that it would work well.

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  • epicfail48
    replied
    Originally posted by RB211 View Post
    No one mentioned a belt sander?
    Too many bad memories trying to hog off aluminium with a belt grinder...

    Leave a comment:


  • CalM
    replied
    The way I heard it.

    If it's just stock you need moved, use a hack saw
    if you need to hold dimensions, use a machine tool.

    I follow that principle whenever fabrication is being done. Saves on consumables..... ;-)

    Leave a comment:


  • RB211
    replied
    No one mentioned a belt sander?
    Mass is king on a milling machine for removing metal.
    My vote is also a rougher endmill.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stu
    replied
    If you have one, a band saw if the best way I have found to remove a lot of material fast. Cut oversize and finish on the mill.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doozer
    replied
    Originally posted by CalM View Post
    Drilling is the fastest way to remove stock. Drill away the waste, then clean up with a two flute end mill.
    Yes indeed, but I will say it another way...
    Plunge cutting is the fastest way to remove metal on a vertical mill.
    This is because the mill is MOST RIGID in the vertical axis (Z axis).
    The vertical mill architecture is a letter C, like a C clamp.
    Forces should spread a C clamp, not twist it.
    Milling X or Y directions is twist. Not rigid.
    So put the most force in the Z direction
    for the least chatter and the most available cutting pressure.
    --Doozer

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  • Bob La Londe
    replied
    Fastest way to remove aluminum with a mini mill?


    Loosen clamps, hold downs, or vise. Lift or crane aluminum from table.

    Leave a comment:


  • CalM
    replied
    Drilling is the fastest way to remove stock. Drill away the waste, then clean up with a two flute end mill.

    Leave a comment:

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