Cutting Aluminum for trial and washers

Well I an done making new clamps I will use them for cutting aluminum, The part won;t move that’s for sure but the problem I am having the cut is not deep enough. I measures it at 0.125 inches. I used a 1/4 inch metal cutting bit. I had it from when I had a Grizzly Mill. I set it for 0.125 but it doesn’t come close.

Not knowing how far off 0.125" it really is once your carve is completed - it is not uncommon to set carve depth slightly lower (say 0.150") so it will go just beyond the material thickness. I suspect tool deflection is causing the discrepancy.

Nope, 1 wouldn’t do that. Besides it to hard cutting through the 1/2 of steel I have holding it down.

Did you ever create the washers? I have been pressed into service by my kid’s teacher to make washers out .125" aluminum. My EASEL drawing seems simple enough–with the hole being carved at .875. Then outlining at 1.125.

Using 1/16" metal bit. Advice?

I would use a .125" tool or even a .25" tool if you are just making washer you will have less problems with that

also just use a single flute o-flute tool for aluminum and you should have no problems how many are you wanting to do?

Thanks for the advice–total noob here.

Making about 64.

Every time I get to the carve screen, i get kicked back to the “simulating tool path” and it stops there. Thoughts? And thanks.

I cant help on that I have used easel in over a year I can help with Fusion 360 or v-carve pro

1 Like

YIKES. Just got the simulate to work…62 hours? That seems outrageously high for cutting circles.

Oh yeah that seems really high

What are your settings ?

Like feeds and speeds
Depth of cut

For an Xcarve and similar hobbyist machinist we trade rigidity for lower cost. Harder materials will take more time.

But - 62 hrs for that job is excessive, but Easel simulation is only based on the feed rates given. I cut fair bit of aluminum and if you are using Easel as design plattform I recommend “go fast and shallow”

A 1/8" bit would be my go-to bit, preferably a 1flute.
40-60ipm feed rate should be doable with a depth per cut = 0.004"

Great advice. I am running the DW610. Any advice on the rpm setting? For the two small projects (Wood) I have kept it around a two setting

I dont know the rpm range of the DW610 but those who use the std DW611 dont go faster than minimum speed (16k rpm)
I have a Makita which have a 10k rpm low limit, which also is a little on the fast side actually.


I would do some reading on feeds and speeds

here is a link to some info

this will help you understand what your tool is doing a little better


Tried 1/8" bit @ 25ipm, plugs rate 3ipm, depth .003. Extremely ragged.

Tried 1/16" at same settings and snapped off the bit. Cut was cleaner. But made it through three passes before breaking.

Could my machine be set up wrong…the router perhaps creating the chatter?

Looking through trouble shooting stuff now, Wanting to learn. VAST world!


1 - Those settings should be a safe starting point (but perhaps a little slow), if ragged the main culprit would be “softness” in the mechanics so it bounce about. Another factor would be the bit itself, what bit are you using? Link or photo :slight_smile:
2 - Smaller diameter bits require different settings.

How do you secure your material btw?

Chatter is a result of flex/oscillation of the system.

Secured scrap board to washboard using clamps (already had a misstep and plunged into the original waste board- learning is fun!)

Secured aluminum to board using additional clamps.

Here is the set of bits. I used the lighter gray as well as the blue (snapped)

Many thanks for your follow ups. I am back at work, so will explore stuff tonight, tomorrow.