Milling Silver with CNC Router

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    Member liamtbranch's Avatar
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    Default Milling Silver with CNC Router

    Hello,
    I am a watchmaker and have begun to manufacture several project watches of my own design. I have however ran into difficulty manufacturing one part, the watch dial (face of the watch). The dial needs to be made out of silver, and I have acquired dead soft sterling silver sheet (0.4mm thick) to cut the dials out of. My difficulty is how to cut the dials, and drill the holes out of this sheet. The best idea that I have had so far is to cut them out of the sheet using a CNC router. Ideally I would like to purchase a router so that I can do this myself and have been looking at some affordable Chinese machines, namely the 3040 router. The machine would have to be able to cut the circumference of the dial, drill holes (including two blind holes on the reverse) and cut a recess. Does anyone have experience with these machines? Would they work for cutting silver sheet, or be able to handle my requirements? Or would I be better off having a professional machine these parts for me?
    I have included an PDF attachment of my design for reference.
    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    Default Re: Milling Silver with CNC Router

    Is that something you make lots of ?
    I have made two machines so far for gold and silver, but i build them way to strong for what they have to do. Those cheap chinese ones might work but you will be regretting that choice soon.
    If you have to make more of the same type/design, it would be much better to make a small hand press with tools for diferent types. Most probably using hardened steel would not be required bringing the price down by quite a bit.



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    Default Re: Milling Silver with CNC Router

    A milling machine, which is designed for cutting metals, would be a better choice than a router, which is intended for wood and other soft materials. The spindle in a router can only run at high speeds, which may not be ideal for your particular cutter, material, and project. Milling machines can operate at a wider range of RPMs. They are also generally stiffer than routers, with less slop and runout - both of which can ruin metal projects and cutting tools. Take a look at some of the small Taig and Sherline mills on my site for alternatives that would serve you better.

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Default Re: Milling Silver with CNC Router

    I’m currently working on prototypes, so for now it would just be a few pieces, but eventually I need to make quite a few. I did think of using a die to punch them out, however I don’t belive I can get the recesssed section using such a method as the bottom of the dial must be flat.



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    Default Re: Milling Silver with CNC Router

    You might also look into spray etching. It's good for making delicate cut-out parts from thin flat sheets of metal without distorting them. Here's someone who does it: https://www.greatlakeseng.com/photo-...machining.html

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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