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  1. #131
    Hi guys, had some time recently to get some more done on the router. I had to get it out of the office and onto the shop floor so made a makeshift bench for it, it weighs about 80kg and is pretty sturdy, i bolted the router to the bench using M8 T Bolts.

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    With that done i set to work on the aluminium plates, i ended up purchasing the stock from the Aluminium Warehouse, i started with the most basic 5mm thick plates. It went pretty well, i tried to look at a feed / speed calculator to get a rough starting point but all of them were in inches or didn't actually give me the data i needed, i think i need to hit the books a bit more on that. I didn't purchase any additional tooling as i had a few 5mm Twin Flute Carbide tools sitting around, these seem to perform ok but are terrible at plunging and are very difficult to keep cool with air, i ended up running at 16,000RPM & 1m/min with cut depths of 1mm - as the machine is the opposite of rigid this seemed to "work" but is clearly not correct as a lot of heat was generated and i had to stop mid way through one plate as the spindle sounded as if it was going to stall!

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU3ciLg19es

    I'm looking for some advice on what tooling i should be using, how to calculate the correct speeds & feeds etc.

    Should i be reducing the entire stock to achieve the part, as opposed to simply cutting out the part from the stock?

    I watched one video where the guy drilled holes prior to pocketing, is this a good way approach plunging? Or is the a better / correct way to do this.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #132
    Double stick tape to hold down and cut the aluminium is a risky way to do the job. Better make the holes first and then use screws to hold down on your table the aluminium plates ,this way you minimize the risk of slippage. ;-)

  3. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by Nickhofen View Post
    Double stick tape to hold down and cut the aluminium is a risky way to do the job. Better make the holes first and then use screws to hold down on your table the aluminium plates ,this way you minimize the risk of slippage. ;-)
    Yes i know its not ideal, i came across this method online a few times so thought i would try it, it's masking tape on the spoilboard & plate with Super Glue in between, it was actually very difficult to get off :P

    Thanks
    Last edited by AlexDoran; 13-03-2018 at 10:33 AM.

  4. #134
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDoran View Post
    I watched one video where the guy drilled holes prior to pocketing, is this a good way approach plunging? Or is the a better / correct way to do this.
    First, a word of warning about double sided tape... don't use it to attach aluminium to MDF. I don't think it is a good idea because it doesn't stick well enough and is flexing in every direction. In my opinion double sided tape is only usable for PCB or acrylic, possibly thin aluminium (maximum 2mm) for panels. It is also OK for engraving, but not when you are pocketing or milling thick aluminium or other thick material. Use a vice or drill a few holes and screw the plates firmly to the MDF.

    Regarding pocketing, yes, in my opinion it is a good idea to pre-drill large holes. It saves time and material, as well as tools. It is much faster and easier to drill or saw even a very large hole compared to milling all the material, but it requires fairly accurate positioning on both the drill stand and then the CNC bed. I drill or saw a bit smaller then needed and mill it to the final dimension with the CNC. I have a set of drills and circle saws so I can drill from 0.5mm up to 70mm and if I'd need to make even larger holes I'd buy larger (note that the quality is high On aluminium I am using 4 flute 4 or 6 mm diameter cutters, 18k RPM. I am dry milling, not using any lubricant or any spray. Probably it would be better to use something, but I chose not to because of the CNC location (inside my house in an ordinary office like hobby room). Anyway, regarding the cutter, I have no issues with chips welding to the cutter, but I try to keep a fairly high feed rate and it seems to work fine.

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