Currently I have the 3/16th steel bar between the Y-Axis makerslides, supports for the X-Axis slides attaching it to the wasteboard, and nylock nuts securing the eccentric nuts (now washers), I used the dewalt on speed 1. I have done a bit more lately, but those settings are what I ran on that setup.
Edit: that was cutting 6061 aluminum T6…1/4" plate
Theres a lot of optimizations you need to be aware of when cutting aluminum (at least, on a production scale, which it looks like your gonna ramp up to).
Your feed rate is a bit too low you want to maintain ~.005-.01 inch per tooth (chipload). If not, you will “rub” the tool and you’ll get chip welding (as you’ve experienced). Once you’ve got your feed rate you need to do a little bit of testing to figure out a usable depth of cut that your spindle (and frame/steppers) can handle. IIRC, I used to run 18-20k RPM, 60 in/min @ .015" doc, slotting with a 3flute ZrN coated 1/8" EM.
Your 4flute EM can easily cause the chip welding. Most ‘aluminum-optimized’ EMs are 3flute, and even then I’m having trouble evacuating the chips fast enough. There just isn’t enough space for the chips to clear effectively. I’ve never welded chips with a single flute and with a 2flute I’ve only welded chips when I don’t use air or any lubricant.
I would say, speed on 1, 40 inches per minute minimum and .005 for depth with 2 flute. Then try .01 for depth. I really prefer the two flute bit over three or one for my aluminum and brass milling and also use ZrN coated bits. I use constant air cooling with no lube. I have can of WD40 handy but try not to use it because of the mess.
The nice part of my last job as a jail officer I knew all the meth heads and they stayed clear of my placeThe slum lord that owns most of the homes down the block lost all of his renters because I moved here lol he hates me. there are only 3 occupied homes down a 2 block stretch of road now.
I Still have ties to the place but I changed jobs last year because of the lack of any pay increase. and being a small town almost every inmate knew me from growing up with me or from some other job or just related to them that in it’s self makes the job even harder.
If you are looking for good metal at good prices, check out https://www.midweststeelsupply.com/store/index.php and http://www.howardprecision.com/random-rack. Both have a huge assortment of metals and fair prices. Their products are in top condition and arrive fast. The random rack to Howard’s is a great place to pick up stock for projects from .125" to over 4" thick. We use either or both of these places weekly for production runs and they are both great to work with. Howard’s random rack is a bit cheaper overall and the more you order, the better the shipping comes out. But you will be hard pressed to get the same size stock week to week so setting up production runs on plates of stock is not as easy as ordering a standardized stock size from Midwest and running the same Gcode job after job when you change out plates.
Try to get the same alloy and temper so your feeds and speeds can move from one job to the next without issues. If you try to cut 5082 at the same feeds and such as 6061 T6, you will find issues and start to dislike milling aluminum dry.
It can not be said enough, keep the chips clear on aluminum while you mill. Air blasting will do a fine job if you are able to keep a steady firm air-stream at right angels to your cutter.