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Thread: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

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    Default Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    Hey G'day people,

    A few days ago a mate of mine presented me with some aluminium strips, 20 x 180 x 3mm to carve some information on them. I thought etching (easy) but he wanted them about .8mm deep. So not having worked with aluminium before I've come across some issues.

    I have a few bits that do the aluminium ok, some vbits which seem to work fine as well.

    But..

    I'm really finding it difficult to find the right Fonts that would look nice carved into aluminium. I've tried doing profile cuts for the single line Fonts and meh they don't look great. I've done some fonts as pockets, but the letters are too big and you can't fit much on the plate then.

    One issue I'm having is the top of the plate the metal seems to bur Speed I'm using ATM is 16000 rpm 20 mm sec feed, is that ok too fast or too slow?

    The V bits I have are ok for wood but they don't seem to work in the same way on the aluminium, in timber I get a nice V shaped channel on letters but in the aluminium it looks more like a pocket wood no V.

    The smallest V bit I have is .75 radius, I'm thinking that;s too big?

    Is there maybe a particular tool I should buy that is designed for aluminium specifically? or am I just going about it the wrong way.

    Any suggestions on the type of fonts I should be looking at suitable for V carving? or is V carving the wrong way of going about it.

    Any pointers gratefully received. I've looked across quite a few youtubes but most seem to etch rather than carve letters.


    Cheers,
    Steve

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    Default Re: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    Hi Steve - If your friend bought the Ali from a store and its general purpose stuff then it will be quite buttery and needs good deep cuts with lots of lub to allow a good cut. It won't be in a hard temper (T6) that machines well. I've only cut Ali on mills. My router does a terrible job on Ali so I'm making a mill. Look around for a speed/feed recommendation for that material.

    https://littlemachineshop.com/mobile/speeds_feeds.php

    Keep trying and there may be a combo that works... Peter



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    Default Re: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    Hey Peteeng,

    Thank you for your input, I've been trying various things and various degrees of success or failure. Maybe I'm just wanting to do something that isn't quite possible with Aluminium. I was trying to achieve lettering as you would find on a tombstone, nice vcut but not having much luck. I did find on this forum a link to some single line fonts, I will try those out and see if I have greater success.

    I don't mind the burs they are easy to clean off with my linisher - I spray the piece black then sand if off so the letters pop. The quality of the cut is where Im not happy. The aluminium was sourced from a mutual friend of ours who has a large steel work business so they type of aluminium Im not sure but I will ask. Seeing as you've given me a clue that not all aluminium cuts the same.

    Thank you for the link.

    Cheers,
    Steve



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    Default Re: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    Aluminium varies a lot by grade / alloy.

    Grades for bending will be very gummy and hard to achieve clean edges.

    You may just be using the wrong material.

    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)


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    Default Re: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    Hey Pippin ty for the courtesy of a post,

    You may well be right, I did try a tapered ball nose the other day and surprisingly the result was quite ok. I have done a few more cuts and found if I spray the piece let it dry and then run some sand paper over the top, I can remove the burring and the resulting pieces looks quite good.
    If it were a piece of wood I'd know what to do, Aluminium is really left field for me.

    Cheers and thanks for taking an interest.

    Steve



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    Default Re: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    Store-bought Al is usually terrible for machining. REALLY!

    You could try tapered ball nosed cutters at 2,000 - 3,000 RPM, with metho or kero lubricant. You WILL need the lubricant to prevent 'Built Up Edge', which can destroy the cutter and make a mess of the job.

    For 0.8 mm depth, you may need a couple of passes.

    Cheers
    Roger



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    Default Re: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    When i cut soft aluminium (hardware store grade) i always spray it with ethanol spirytus (cheap stuff sold as paint thinner or grill lighter fluid). It helps a lot - even if applied from hand sprayer.
    Using alcohol as cooling fluid for aluminium cutting is old knowledge - now there's even scientific article about it - https://www.machinedesign.com/materi...-metals-easier


    Wys?ane z mojego SM-N950F przy u?yciu Tapatalka



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    Default Re: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    Mate of mine was doing a production job on soft Al and was using metho. Problem was, by the end of each day he was over the driving limit!

    Cheers



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    Default Re: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    grg cheers mate,

    Interesting article ty for taking the time



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    Default Re: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    Mate of mine was doing a production job on soft Al and was using metho. Problem was, by the end of each day he was over the driving limit!

    Cheers
    LOL what straight without orange juice..... I used to do some custom painting nearly 40 years ago as a hobby, I know what your talking about. After a couple of hours in the spray booth you didnt know up from down.



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    Default Re: Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

    I THINK they eventually switched to kero plus an exhaust fan.
    I use an automated pulsed misting spray of 3 parts kero to 1 part olive oil. So little liquid gets used that there is no smell and the parts come out dry. AND I avoid BUE on soft Al too.

    Cheers
    Roger



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Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium

Looking for some advice v carving letters in 3mm aluminium