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Old 04-04-2018, 03:21 PM
Jpbivin Jpbivin is offline
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Default Cutting .063" and .025" Aluminum Sheets

I need some suggestions on how to do the subject. I have tried several times on my Stinger III and have a big problem with it always picking up the sheet and messing up the cut. I have tried taking multiple passes at depths of .005" each, I have tried taking a single pass at full depth, and still have the same issue. I have tried using single flute and two flute mills with the same result. I have also tried screwing the plates down to the table as well as using the hurricane vacuum setup we got with the router as well. My mills are all upcut mills and I am thinking to try down cut mills but am worried about the chip buildup snapping the mills as I have to use 1/8" mills to cut the profiles in the aluminum. Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to detail the things I have tried and hope to get some good suggestions on how to proceed with this. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:05 PM
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Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
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I would cut using a straight, single O flute, small diameter. 1/8 or 3/16"
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:55 PM
BradyWatson BradyWatson is offline
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Avoid using screws as much as possible since they have a tendency to dink the sheet and make it ripple and lift in other places. Take care to manage your vacuum hold down - meaning - seal it off as much as possible. Close off unused zones or lay flattened trash bags over unused areas, taking care that dust collection doesn't suck them up. If you don't have a vacuum gauge, get one - otherwise hold down is a shot in the dark with no operator feedback. At the very least, note the gauge reading at the start, half way through and end of the job.

You can use a downcut on AL that thin with the caveat that if you cut multiple sheets and reuse the same XY area - if the spoilboard is scarfed with the kerf marks from the previous sheet - it will not have anything to back it up and you'll get a burr on the back side. As Gary points out, a straight is good because it imparts no helical lift on the part, but that is not to say that parts still can't lift. It won't hurt to try a downcut - otherwise, where's the learning? You may find it does a good job, especially if you have marginal hold down. In thicker material, the chips get pushed down into the kerf and they reweld onto the edge because the chip, which carries the heat away, can't go anywhere but down...but this isn't a concern on thinner materials in my experience.

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Old 04-04-2018, 10:20 PM
Jpbivin Jpbivin is offline
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Thanks for the responses. I will try both suggestions.
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aluminum, aluminum sheets, thin metal

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