Steel milling

I have made several projects from steel on the xcarve from 22 gauge sheet to .25in plate and bar. And I will tell you this much take your time and be patient and use lots of coolant this will take a while. I have tried out many types of bits feeds and speeds and what is working for me on a 1000mm I will post below.

1 on the dewalt
5ipm (127mmpm)
plunge 1ipm 25.5mmpm)
depth per pass .005in (.127mm)
and this is the bit i have been using for some time now

here is the closest I could find on fleabay that the right one was cut with

imco left china right


Cool, What type of items are you making with the steel?

At the moment I am making a custom keyring per customer specs. one piece is cut with a cheapo china carbide and the other is cut with the imco I will post pics later of the vast difference between the 2 tools. The china tool cut piece is gonna need a lot of filing. And I mean a lot.
types of items made.
edc multi tools
knife blanks
other odd and end things

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Isn’t the dewalt going too fast for steel?

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On the order of several rpm too fast. But when they are willing to pay $$ for a hour of my time then a steel trinket they shall have. We shall call this method P.F.E.P. (power filing with extreme prejudice) lol. I would choose to march to the beat of a different drummer but I can not find one that will follow me.

I bought this machine to push it past what it was ever meant to do with the intent to build my own. I got this machine mid 2015 and fully expected to put it in the scrap pile in a few short months boy was I wrong. I will share my list of all the replace meant parts I have had to buy.

  1. Arduino nope did not need it was a error of mine and it is fine.
    2.Dewalt upgrade but who didn’t move away from the default spindle
  2. Xrail mod then new x rail. could have lived with out the upgrade but very happy I got it
  3. Dewalt brushes we all need them. 3rd set as of now.
  4. bits lots and lots of bits.
    Well I guess it was useless to make that list as nothing except the original spindle has failed. And still on the same set of drive belts v wheels and pulleys. You guys have a great job and I will let you know when something finally gives.

How is the noise? Would it be worth a 10 hour loop on youtube?

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really no different than anything else until you dull or chip a bit then dogs around the world cry.


You could try one of those cheap router speed controls from harbor freight, there only like $10 and should slow down the RPMs

Maybe if were a ball screw set up but the belts can not take the load required for proper milling. Currently in the process of gathering materials for a bench top cnc mill.

@ShaneBell What are you using for coolant?

I now have access to cnc coolant but at the time i was using whatever oil i had in the shop.


I am gearing up to do some bigger steel so thanks for your info. did a bit of small parts that worked out ok. And i have done a bunch of aluminum and seem to have that down. aluminum can be tricky if you try and go to fast too…gumming problem etc…steel just needs as you say a LOT of patience. fingers crossed. i’m thinking of a small recirculating tray system for coolant. get a small t-slot table and bolt it all down.

Had a few questions:

From which direction did you cut (down from top into material, or create a way to start from the side)?

You slow the cut head (dewalt) all the way down?

The link you provided takes you to a page with many bits, which bit did you go with?

1/4” shank on the but, I assume?

Thanks Shane