Upcoming aluminum project

Going to be taking on this block of 6061 aluminium In a upcoming project for a guys car restoration. Four identical parts will be made from this block. I will be documenting this process from different aspects such as speed, feed, tool life, and problems that arise. There have already been 2 prototypes made one in walnut and the other in lead next is aluminium. The block measures 1x3.5x14 inches. Wish me luck.


Looking forward to it!

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Machining LEAD???

Curious and frightened at the same time…

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No typo it was lead. I have worked with lead for many years in many applications and would say this is the safest one yet no fumes. I do take proper precautions when working with lead and wear required ppe. And I still have a lead bullet lodged in the nerve bundle in my arm that can not be removed blood test every 5 years clean bill of health. The chemicals I have contact with at work daily are far more toxic long term. that is unless the 5,000 gallon nitric acid tank would happen to rupture by my work station then that would be fairly immediate. Or the sulphuric acid holding tank for the anodizer on the other side would get blended with the wrong chemical and boil over like last year. I could go on with the hot sodium hydroxide dip tank but I dont want to bore you with details lol. But I do appreciate your concern for others I just goes to show that we have great support on this fourm and look out for others.

Lol not yet just a little hard to get these days. It’s kinda mind blowing all the chemicals we use just to prep parts for painting some and anodizing others and also power coating. And in other news I got a new mitsutoyo gauge at work today very very small increments a mark from a sharpie pen throws the measurements off by around 20-30 microns thats quite a bit when your measuring the thickness of hard coat anodize.

Have you seen the oxtoolco video on that same subject?

Did anyone else want to blow on the gauge block to help the ink dry faster?

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If I am correct I think that was what my coworker was telling me about when we tried it.

Hey Shane, I have had some fantastic luck with aluminum, 6061-T6 to be exact, thanks to some tips from CharleyThomas.

Here are my latest numbers that are providing me consistent, fantastic results:
3/16" thick aluminum
1/4" viper upcut bit
dewall 611 speed 3
40ipm, .010 depth of cut, lead in rate of 1 to 5 ipm.
I do a final pass taking off 1/64 of material to produce a nice smooth finish.

no air, no coolant, fantastic consistent results.


I will have to give it a try thanks.