What metals can the X-Carve Mill?

Out of curiosity, what metals can the X-Carve mill? Is it only Aluminum? What upgrades would be needed to mill stronger metals?

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With all the mods that have been suggested and done on lots of machines to make the machine as stiff as possible with the structures you are working with you should be able to machine most non ferrous metals IE Alu, Copper, Brass and Bronze.
You will not machine them fast and your depth of cut will need to be adjusted for the machine.

Hope this helps

Ariel, WA

What stiffening mods would you recommend for milling bronze or copper?

I’ve not done any mods and mill sheet copper just fine. :smile:

Dave, got your machine built yet?



What feed rate and depth per pass do you use?

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In sheet copper I use 160mm/min, 0.2mm DOC at 3000rpm with a double flute up cut 1/16 bit. No mist/flood but a quick smear of beeswax before starting. Goes all day. Yes, not quick but reliable.

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First consideration is which alloy, and what are its milling characteristics (and safety considerations — make certain any alloy incl. copper does not contain beryllium).

LIst of metals / alloys and feeds and speeds here: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Materials#Metals

No my machine is not complete. I’ve stalled on it with other stuff getting in the way.

Ariel, WA

That’s a shame Dave. Was watching your build thread with interest. You’ll get there. :smile:

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Is that RPM correct? you said no mods but i have not seen any non-modded machines go as low as 3000rpm, did you mean 30000?

3000 is correct and is on an original X-carve with a spindle not router.


I have used ESTLCAM with trochoidal milling on light steel. Very slow but can be done. One could mod to plasma.

I thought the original XCarve spindle was single speed at 14000rpm. I will admit I don’t use mine very much because I hate that spindle and just ordered parts to upgrade the spindle. But that’s just what I thought it was, a single speed 14000 rpm spindle.