Thread: Milling Steel?

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  1. #1
    Just wondering with all the debate about how rigid have to be to mill aluminium, does nobody mill steel or is the rigidity beyond feasible for small workshop ?

    Thanks
    Adam

  2. #2
    i2i's Avatar
    Lives in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 23-12-2016 Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 693. Received thanks 30 times, giving thanks to others 0 times.
    no probs at all

  3. #3
    As well as a ridged machine you need a spindle capable of machining steel Adam, from what I have read the Chinese spindles that are popular don't perform very well at slower speeds which you need for machining steel.

  4. #4
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 5 Hours Ago Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 1,837. Received thanks 192 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    It depends on what you're trying to acheive?

    Yes you can tickle bits of steel with a flimsy machine, but you'll struggle with cutter life, tolerance and finish. It's not impossble though, as plenty people produce good parts with nothing but a X1, but it takes a lot more time and effort than a reasonably sized mill.

  5. #5
    Partly general question, steel seems to never get mentioned, hadn`t struck me about lower speed/ higher torque spindles, thanks.

    Looking at panel cutting for connectors, steel preferable to alloy in some uses and wondering if its a different machine to one that might mill chunks of alloy.

    Thanks
    Adam

  6. #6
    There's no problem cutting steel with Chinese WC spindles if the machines strong enough to handle the forces. It just requires the correct cutters which can cut metal at high spindle speeds. They are available to cut either dry or with suds and Like M_C says don't expect to hog great big lumps at a time but you still can get good finish and reasonable feed rates if the machines upto the forces.

  7. #7
    i2i's Avatar
    Lives in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 23-12-2016 Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 693. Received thanks 30 times, giving thanks to others 0 times.
    i have no problem cutting steel as i'm using a "milling machine" not a "router".

    I say this waiting for the onslaught of "a router mills just as well as a mill", and, " my machine cuts steel perfectly well if i pray to allah three time a week and the devil the last four".

    Steel doesn't get mentioned here much because this is primarily a router based forum, and because of a routers construction and operating speed, cutting steel is not it's primary function.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by i2i View Post
    I say this waiting for the onslaught of "a router mills just as well as a mill", and, " my machine cuts steel perfectly well if i pray to allah three time a week and the devil the last four".
    The devils in the details i2i and it can be done on a strong router with the right tooling and only three hail mary's .. . Lol . . . Knocks the shit out of it thou and not something I'd do on a daily basis or even monthly if can be avoided.!!

  9. #9
    i2i's Avatar
    Lives in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 23-12-2016 Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 693. Received thanks 30 times, giving thanks to others 0 times.
    only three, i'm surprised.....lol

  10. #10
    A mill having a fixed Z turret and moving X Y slides, and a router having a fixed table and moving gantry?

    So if wanted to mill, say chocolate moulds, , as an example thats come up before,fairly deep/ high level of finish, in steel, would really need to be on heavy iron fixed turret mill to get there?

    If wanted to cut square holes in 2.5mm mild steel , a moving gantry router would be feasible but probably not optimal?

    Yes, strikes me that cutting holes in plate is more a plasma cutter or for quite a few dollars more laser optimal operation, just looking at ideas at moment.

    Appreciate people taking the time to answer what are very basic questions.

    Cheers
    Adam

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