Help with aluminum

So, I got thrown into figuring out how our company x-carve works with no knowledge of CNC, like at all.

My issue is that I have a 12"x12"x0.063" sheet of 6061 aluminum that I’m trying to make a small(38.1mm dia.) circle with a hole cut in it but, I keep running into errors where it’ll either not cut all the way or the bit will break. I’ve been using the 1/8" fishtails with 2F from inventables but those are apparently rather fragile. The only other bits that we have are either too small(1/32), expensive($50), or is a 3F(destiny tools viper).

Honestly, any help would be appreciated. I’ve tried both the recommended cut settings and custom ones(0.1mm/0.2mm/0.5mm). At this point, I’m out of ideas and figured posting on the forums couldn’t hurt.–7gvR-HPm2Ng

Look up Steven Sweet on this forum I purchased his X-Mist to do aluminum with but sadly I have been to busy to play with it. He may have some posts you can benefit from.

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For such a job the lack of a mister is not a deal breaker. Squirt some WD40 or denatured alcohol on occation :slight_smile:
For larger production runs a fixed mister will improve results.

What you first of all must adhere to (literally) is to secure the back surface fully onto the table. This is to prevent/minimize the chance of the sheet lifting due to the upcut nature of the bit. If it does all bets are off :slight_smile:
Line the rear surface with blue masking tape, do the same for the work surface/spoil board. Glue/sandwich these two together with CA glue.

Next, use whatever 1/8" bit you have (Destiny?) and run the Dewalt on minimum RPM (16k)
This is actually a little on the fast side, but not critical.
Feed rate 40IPM, depth per pass .001" with a 3F tool. (Shallow and fast)


Thanks, I’ll look him up.

Thanks, @HaldorLonningdal! I’ve been using a can of WD40 “Specialist” that we had laying around and that seemed to be helping a bit.

I’ll try those settings on my next try, just waiting on a fresh sheet of aluminum to arrive.

Winston Moy has great videos with speeds and feeds recopies. He uses a Shapoko but I use his feeds on my Xcarve.

I’ll look him up. This is the new end mill I got the other day. Do you think those speeds @HaldorLonningdal mentioned will work with it being a 2F instead of 3F?

Drop speed to around 30ipm with 2F vs 40ipm for 3F.
Start shallow and increase feed by ear, when shallow the feed rate is less critical.