Speed & feed aluminum

30x30 LM, 1/4" carbide up cut endmill, Makita router. What would be a good starting point to cut aluminum (6061), speed and feeds?

First recommandation is to use a 1/8" bit made for cutting aluminium. Feeds and speeds should be provided by the manufacturer.

I also started cutting aluminium with random bits and the main results was pain in ears and eyes.

Unless you want to try the 1/4" bit, I suggest using same speeds and feeds as for wood but a really small cutting depth… 0.1mm to 0.5mm

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@ozguzzi Several users have had success milling aluminum. Here are the settings that I have used. I got them some time ago from @BillKorn

Using a single flute or o-flute bit, of nominal 1/8" diameter, I use about 0.015" DOC with about 20% stepover at 22 in/min.

This is very conservative, but gives a very good finish off the machine.

One final thing. Keep the router as high up in the clamp as you can. This reduces the lever effect on the Z gantry and improves accuracy.

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Thanks JHahn and gwilki. I am making a three wheeled motorcycle, and need some aluminum parts. Should prove to be interesting.

I did get the project done. Broke a couple of endmills (I expected that), but the parts turned out OK. Tried using lube, but had better luck running it dry. Thanks guys for the advice.

@ozguzzi I’m glad to hear that things worked out, OG. I’d love to see pics of the bike - and the parts, too.

Since your original question has been addressed successfully, I am closing the thread. Feel free to post pics in the show off category. :grinning:

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