Carving my first piece of aluminum

Using a 1mm 2 flute ball for the finish. Looking good so far


Some really good detail. Part is 50mm in dia.

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Tried cutting thru at .5 deep ramp cuts but cutter dulled fast. Also unbelievable chatter so scrapped that idea

Looks like a great start. Thanks for sharing and good luck with this project.

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What were your feedrate/RPM/Depth per cut and end mill parameters?

Dulling of a bit is most common due to feed rate too slow / RPM to high.
Chatter is a function of vibration frequency and elasticity of your system.
If bit it not cutting properly chatter will become very real very fast.
If bit is going too deep it will want to deflect and all kind of things can happen.

Dewalt was set to 1 for speed. Feed was at 700mm/m. And depth of cut was .5 ramp cut. Piece is just over 16mm thick and it cut fine till it got about half way thru. I believe it was the cutting and the way I chose to cut. Was using a 6mm 4 flute. I should have opened it up and had it think it was cutting a slot so it gave cutting room instead of just profiling line down. If that makes sense lol. I just woke up

Chip clearing is essential and the deeper you go the harder it gets to get them out of the way. Recutting of previous carves chips will clog things up fast. Out of tram router will also compound to this issue.

As far as speeds go, I use 6mm often and the datasheet that follows it suggest a chip thickness (slice) per tooth = 0.050mm. For a 1F bit running at 16k RPM = 800mm/min.
You ran at 700 with 4F => 0,0175mm/tooth/revolution and this is “rubbing territory”.
Once you got deep enough recutting started to happen and the bit gummed up.
Atleast that is my opinion :wink:

You can dissolve the aluminium of the gummed up by letting it submerge overnight in lye (caustic soda).

If you do - use a glass container and make proper precautions for skin/eye protection as the solvent is highly alkaline and will cause severe burns

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Thank you. Will adjust next time I try to cut thru that thick of aluminum. It was just a piece I found lay g around and figured why not. Lol

No worries :slight_smile: As no machine is identical dont take my numbers at the “truth”, they are a guideline but highly dependant on the actual rigidity of your system.

I would however try to keep the chip thickness within spec and go shallower per pass to decrease overall load & counter flex.

Go fast, go shallow and keep the RPM low :wink:
I use 1F and 2F for alu mostly (and 10k RPM)

To better clear chips you can also use a wider slot/tooling strategy to make a wider path as you go.