Last night I was milling the sides of a hexagon in 3/4" 6061 bar, rough cut to 1/16" - 1/8" of nominal size, by taking 1/8" deep passes along the sides. I've been slowly increasing my cuts, trying to figure out the limits of this little mill. I think I found one...

I've cut all the way around the hexagon, and am working on the last side. This is one of the rougher sides, so I'm cutting a good 1/8" x 1/8" per pass. The mill is vibrating a fair bit, but it is cutting fine. Chugga chugga chugga. Getting down towards the bottom I notice the cut is getting rougher and rougher. When I finish, I reach up to turn off the mill, and notice that the head is tilted to the left about 5-10 degrees. I guess all the vibrating worked the bolt at the bottom of the column just loose enough for the side pressure to push the head over.

I'm learning all the time, here...

This does make me think I need a better end mill - I imagine I could cut more aggressively with a sharper mill, without working the machine so hard. Since I seem to almost always use a 1/2" mill, and generally work in aluminum, I'm thinking about this one. Any advice?

-Pete

I've cut all the way around the hexagon, and am working on the last side. This is one of the rougher sides, so I'm cutting a good 1/8" x 1/8" per pass. The mill is vibrating a fair bit, but it is cutting fine. Chugga chugga chugga. Getting down towards the bottom I notice the cut is getting rougher and rougher. When I finish, I reach up to turn off the mill, and notice that the head is tilted to the left about 5-10 degrees. I guess all the vibrating worked the bolt at the bottom of the column just loose enough for the side pressure to push the head over.

I'm learning all the time, here...

This does make me think I need a better end mill - I imagine I could cut more aggressively with a sharper mill, without working the machine so hard. Since I seem to almost always use a 1/2" mill, and generally work in aluminum, I'm thinking about this one. Any advice?

-Pete

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