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Feed and Speed for Garolite LE?

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  • Feed and Speed for Garolite LE?

    I have to mill some insulators from 1/4" thick stock. I can find info on other grades, but not this "easy to machine" grade. Supposedly you can just use HSS to machine it because it uses cloth instead of fiberglass as the reinforcement.

    Anyone ever mill this stuff before?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by polaraligned; 09-15-2019, 09:18 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by polaraligned View Post
    I have to mill some insulators from 1/4" thick stock. I can find info on other grades, but not this "easy to machine" grade. Supposedly you can just use HSS to machine it because it uses cloth instead of fiberglass as the reinforcement.

    Anyone ever mill this stuff before?

    Thank you.
    Never milled plastics, but it sounds like its related to Micarta in the way it uses cloth. Is it a proprietary type? Some quick googling shows this: https://www.wshampshire.com/ryertex/

    which bears out my theory that its just a trade name for Micarta. Should machine like hardwood, but I've never actually done it.

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    • #3
      McMaster says its just a trade name for phenolic. Havent machine phenolic, but i have gone through micarta, which is near enough to be the same thing. Honestly, you can rip through it pretty easy. Id say same general speeds as if you were cutting something like acrylic. Sharp tools, mid-high rpm, decent feed to keep it from just melting/burning on the tool

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      • #4
        Thanks. Searching for Micarta got me to a thread on PM that discusses milling the cloth based phenolic, which is what the LE is.
        I think I will put in the 20K RPM sub spindle and an 1/8" carbide endmill and see what happens. Melting on the endmill would be bad.
        Will be running this CNC.

        This is the part, the holes are 0.2" for scale.

        Last edited by polaraligned; 09-11-2019, 09:33 PM.

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        • #5
          Just ran Gwizard for 1/8" carbide at 20K RPM. Looks like feeds need to be in the 50 to 100 ipm range for hard plastics.

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          • #6
            Like many things, don't forget to account for the hazards of the dust that might come from machining it. It might be quite abrasive and breathing it is likely to fall in the category of "bad things to do".
            Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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            • #7
              Originally posted by polaraligned View Post
              I have to mill some insulators from 1/4" thick stock. I can find info on other grades, but not this "easy to machine" grade. Supposedly you can just use HSS to machine it because it uses cloth instead of fiberglass as the reinforcement.

              Anyone ever mill this stuff before?

              Thank you.
              Yes, I've milled both the cloth and the glass. Cut both on my table saw with a carbide tipped blade.

              JL................

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              • #8
                It machines “like butter” for the most part. Unlike real butter, it is far stronger, you can tap it and make reasonably strong threads, and it won’t melt. The exit sides of drilled holes can chip if you push too fast and hard on breakthrough. The burrs consist mostly of fiber fuzz. I use a shop-vac to control the dust. It can be smelly if you get it hot. It is not particularly abrasive, unlike the G-10 fiberglass grade.


                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                • #9
                  It's not "eat your face" dust like fiberglass. The worst aspect is it reeks. Really doesn't melt either; it's not a thermoplastic.

                  Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rklopp View Post
                    Unlike real butter, it is far stronger, you can tap it and make reasonably strong threads, and it won’t melt.
                    yabbut, can you spread it on your toast?

                    Polaraligned, what's it going to be insulating? Looks almost like something to hold a heating element.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by polaraligned View Post
                      I have to mill some insulators from 1/4" thick stock. I can find info on other grades, but not this "easy to machine" grade. Supposedly you can just use HSS to machine it because it uses cloth instead of fiberglass as the reinforcement.
                      Anyone ever mill this stuff before?
                      Thank you.
                      Yes, you can use HSS upon it. We just made a pile of Worm Wheels with it. I made the Single Point Tools for it. Only needed on for all of them. ( there were three of these boxes )








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                      • #12
                        It machined up real nice.
                        Thank you for all the advice.

                        I ended up using a 1/8", 2 flute carbide endmill and ran at 25K RPM and 30 IPM. I started at 50 IPM, but backed off a bit as my high speed inline spindle didn't seem to like it all that much. It might of been ok, but I was playing it safe.

                        And someone had asked what these were for. They are for line audio thru a metal chassis. There are binding posts that pass thru these.

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                        • #13
                          super neat!

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