I just finished mounting up a new Porter-cable 690vs router to home-built cnc. Cuts thru wood and plastic just like butter. Will carve Elvis-on-lexan at a later date. Right now I'm feeling the urge to build a big-ass r/c monster-truck (giant T-maxx)...I'm sure you all can relate.
I want to cut shapes into 6061 plate 1/8 to 1/2 thick. I was having some limited success with my poorly-mounted, beat-up, Bosch laminate trimmer.... it was a struggle, but I managed to cut out a few parts (like those router mounts). Now I have added a bigger router, stronger mounts, a cold-water cooling system (ice-maker kit from home depot),and a good work-hold system.
Drilling goes OK (10Krpm still seems fast to me). Finish passes not bad (shaving a few thou with 1/4" carbide 4-flute endmill).
Roughing-out is a different story. I thought the new setup would chew right through, but Evil vibrations are causing the tool to stray. I am forced to take light cuts at slow feedrate...not good. It is obvious there is some flex in the router-shaft or slop in the bearings.
I have read all the great suggestions here about different tooling, upgraded bearings, spindles, motors, etc.... I get the feeling that a router will never work well on aluminum, just because it spins too darn fast. Does anybody agree with this?
If I were to go to a spindle arrangement (strictly for aluminum), what tool rpm and HP should I be shooting for ??
What speeds do Bridgeports or VMC's run??