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Old 04-02-2016, 08:59 PM
mike.davison mike.davison is offline
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Default Aluminum recommendations

A friend talked me into creating an aluminum bracket to hold a disk brake caliper to a bicycle fork. We've worked through the design and created a few prototypes in wood (see photos) and are at the point where it's time to actually mill some aluminum.





So....

Any recommendations on which grade of aluminum would be a good choice from both the perspective of machining on a cnc machine that is mainly a wood machine? 6063 ok?

I have an 1/8" and 1/4" O Flute end mill, which, based on what I've read, are reasonable choices. True?

Any special lubricant I should use? I would like to manually spray/dribble rather than install a mister as this is likely to be a rare occurrence.

Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:40 PM
CosmosK CosmosK is offline
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6061 is a good choice. Cheap and available. I use HSS 2 flute uncoated. AL tends to gum up on carbide. I try to cut dry with blow off air at the toolpoint. If the cutting pass is long, I add a little cutting oil with a dropper. WD-40 is a good choice, but I don't want to huff the fumes, so I don't use it.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:44 AM
mike.davison mike.davison is offline
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Thanks Cosmos. Poked around a bit; looks like there are many sources for 6061 aluminum. I appreciate the help.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:15 AM
CosmosK CosmosK is offline
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I get most of my raw materials from McMaster. There are dedicated metal suppliers, but I've yet to be convinced as far as price and convenience go. Do you have spindle or router? I run about 7k RPM in AL.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:36 AM
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Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
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Mike...
My goto guys for metals are Online Metals: http://www.onlinemetals.com/

Cheaper, wider variety and ship just as quickly. Plus if you have frequent orders (I'm close to a $500 a month) you get discount codes based on volume.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:58 AM
CosmosK CosmosK is offline
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3/4" plate of 6061, 12"x12"

online metals: $99.64
mcmaster: $69.94

What am I missing? I've heard of these guys before, but shopping and comparing, MCM always wins.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:01 AM
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james mcgrew james mcgrew is offline
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The online metals is pretty much retail, I looked at the 24 x 48 1" thick 6061 and it is double what I pay at Charleston Aluminum,

both Online and McMaster are good for retail pricing

Which unfortunately is a large distributor and not sold to the public at all.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:07 AM
CosmosK CosmosK is offline
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My day job for the last many years has a large machine shop. We get tons of materials for them from Mcmaster, mostly for the smaller jobs.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:44 AM
mike.davison mike.davison is offline
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Thanks for the retail pointers guys. For this tiny project -- 6"x6" would be fine -- price isn't a big deal. That might change when millions of bikers want my new brake bracket! hehehehe...... Yes, I'll keep my day job.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:04 PM
de5 de5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james mcgrew View Post
Which unfortunately is a large distributor and not sold to the public at all.
Jim, are you saying that Charleston Aluminum doesn't sell to the public?
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