I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

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Thread: I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

  1. #1
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    Default I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

    I am not a trained machinist and take my hat off to you if you are. I have though, built a cnc router and used it for years. It took a while to learn Fusion and to cut alloy with a high speed spindle without welding my cutter to the work-piece - etc etc.

    I have been asked to manufacture some small solid parts for a mechanical chair that is used in hospitals. Quite a cool project really. The parts are small 50*30*70mm, quite solid, the sample(s) attached both bolt together and allow a steel rod to be moved back and forth between them before being sandwiched together to hold tight. There is a bit of swing on the part. But it is a good representation of the job. There are other similar parts but the sample is good enough.

    I am using 5083 - its all I know to use because I can machine with it. My boss asked me today if I should be using a high strength alloy? I dont know what to say or do. Any input would be appreciated.

    Do I perhaps look at using 6061 instead and having it heat-treated? I understand you cant heat treat 5083.

    Or is there another grade I should look at that I can machine with a high speed cutter, and will give me a stronger end product?

    It would be awesome to hear from a guru please - I dont want to look like a tool in front of me boss if you know what I mean. B

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  2. #2

    Default Re: I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

    Hi,
    5083 is generally considered a marine grade, it is not as strong as 6061 but has pretty fair corrosion resistance. You need to approach with care when
    machining, it can be 'sticky' and result in Built-up-Edge. Coolant and lubricant reccommended.

    6061 and 6063 are both very readily available and have a good balance of strength, corrosion resitance, machinability and weldability. There is a reason
    that they are so popular.

    There are higher strength heat treated and work hardened grades like 2024 (aircraft grade), but rare as rocking horse s****t and pricey.
    Tooling grade 7075 has come down in price as it is used much more widely than it used to be. Great strength, good machinabilty only fair
    corrosion resistance, and weldable only with full solution heat treatment.

    Craig



  3. #3
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

    6061-T6 is already heat treated, and is readily available.

    Gerry

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    Default Re: I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

    Hi. I read that most of the 5083 came in O state which would also add to it being gluey correct? It took ages to manage to machine that without trouble and is absolutely unforgivable if I am not careful with passes and lube. .

    So just to check, 6061 is going to be easier to machine than 5083? Infact, the 6061 I have been quoted for a 3600*1524*50mm sheet (massive piece at NZ$12758) is in T651 condition is also machinable by high speed router?

    Ok....ok - am I realising here that the 5083 I bought all those years ago and have been using is not a good choice of alloy to learn on. But is that a good thing and its only upwards from here? B



  5. #5

    Default Re: I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

    Hi,
    yes 5083 is sticky bu not hugely more so than 6061.

    If 6061 is 10, then 5083 is 7.

    The temptation is to spin the tool too fast which will increase the built up edge (BuE) problem bigtime. Most hobby machines have high speed
    (approx 24000rpm) spindles of low torque. Therefore we tend to run the tools fast but at low cutting speeds, all of which leads to BuE.

    Try reducing the surface speed to 200m/min and increase your cutting speed (chip load). Climb milling is preferred and any, I mean ANY
    means to remove chips from the cutzone, be it compressed air or coolant the better. Recutting chips is a sure fire way to BuE.

    I have used di-boride coated tools for aluminum, they are rare to rarish beasts but superb at beating BuE.

    Craig



  6. #6

    Default Re: I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

    Hi,
    there is a company in Hamilton that sells offcuts of aluminum but big chunks, like 50mm thick etc.
    Works out to about $10NZD/kg. They used to stock 6061 and 7075. Check them out.

    Craig



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    Default Re: I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

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I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.

I need to machine some parts and have a couple of questions please.