First attempt at carving aluminum, finishing ideas

Last night I made my first attempt at carving aluminum. I had a scrap piece and thought I’d make a 40mm diameter coin. At first it was going to have text, but after lots of warnings I drew a Mickey Mouse head instead. Using the default settings in Easel for a 1/16" bit and aluminum it took about 4 hours, then my right Y belt broke and the bit broke soon after. I assume the belt break caused extra load on the bit because it seemed fine for a long time before that.

The surface finish seems pretty good, it looks worse in the photo because the light really enhances the lines. I was wondering what others thought. I was also wondering about any post processing steps to polish it up, do I need to sand, then buff? I’ve also got a rock tumbler and was wondering if anyone has tried a home brew tumbled finish? Someday I’ll take a spare piece and put it in the tumbler with plain old sand and water and see what happens.

You can reduce that “ripple” effect in the bottom of the pocket by running a larger diameter end mill in the pocket at high rpm, very low feed , and just fuzz the surface (shave off around 0.005" - 0.01") (make sure the endmill is new, or relatively uniform and sharp!)
The slower the feed rate, the cleaner the surface finish.
Gotta say, looks really good!!

-=[ insert thumbs up emoji here ]=-

Thanks. I didn’t notice until later that the features aren’t as symmetrical as I had drawn them. I tightened all my pulley screws and used Loctite blue. I’ve got some M3 socket screws on order which should be less strippy than the grub screws.