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Thread: Discussion: Using aluminum tooling plate to build a bridge mill.

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    Discussion: Using aluminum tooling plate to build a bridge mill.

    Since I'm a neophyte chip maker.

    I wanted to toss this out and see what everyone else thought.

    Would it be possible to build a fairly precise machine out of aluminum tooling plate?

    I'm not sure what the exact tolerances are, but it looks to be pretty straight.

    I was thinking that I could build a bridge/fixed gantry type mill with a pile of aluminum, bolts and a drill/tap. With THK linear rails? Possibly buy a t-slot table from the guy on the boards here.

    I don't have a surface grinder, or access to one. Additionally, the only thing that I have that resembles a precision metal working machine is the mini mill. Which should be ok for making the motor mounts etc..

    Would my mill be off?? Would it be possible to use the mill to face mill itself?

    By that. I mean if I got the rails aligned and parallel to each other. In theory, anything it cut would be straight and aligned?

    Am I missing something?

    I was thinking that I could take a 12x24 slab of 1-2 inch thick aluminum tooling plate and use it for the base. Possibly bolted to a granite surface plate? Then use a mini mill r8 spindle and thk linear rails.

    Would it be able to handle the cutting forces without flexing? I don't want to limit myself on what I can cut. But mostly it will be aluminum. With the possibility of cutting steel.

    Just tossing this out there. I've been fairly annoyed with the accuracy and work envelope of my mini mill. Everything else that I see, with the working area of 12x12x24 seems to be a fairly high price tag.

    Anyway, sitting at work and looking for something to discuss. Wanted to know how bad and fast the tolerances of the aluminum would add up and if this is even feasible?

    ((Yes I've seen stevie's giant gantry, but I think he had alot more experience over my own.))

    Thanks for any help/info.

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    I don't think it's reasonable to build a milling machine out of aluminium plate and THK rails that will cut steel and have the work envelope you are looking for.

    Eric

    I wish it wouldn't crash.


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    Are you looking at an accuracy stand point, or in the flexing of the aluminum?

    Not arguing, just looking for some clarification. I believe there are people that using wooden routers to cut aluminum and steel.

    I won't argue that it wouldn't be better with 2 tons of cast iron.

    Wouldn't the fee rate, mill size and depth have to do with it's ability to cut steel.

    ((Mostly, I'll be cutting aluminum metal bodies for paintball like markers.))



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