Thursday, April 3, 2008

Milling 6061 Aluminum

Milling 6061 Aluminum

Even using a two-flute end mill isn't working real well. The fly cutter isn't doing any better.

I see from articles like this that aluminum is really hard to mill (thanks, I know that now) and that either cooling fluids or air flow are necessary both to cool the part and the end mill, and to keep chips from clogging the mechanism.

I don't think the problem is the mill vise; I think the problem is that the end mill is failing to clear the the metal quickly enough. Because the chips are hot, they aren't flying away; instead, they are perhaps hot enough to "stick" to the workpiece.

I could have a stream of water pouring over the workpiece, but that sounds messy. I'll trying using the shopvac to keep a flow of air through the area, and see if that helps.

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