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Machining soft aluminum, 6061-O

Machining soft aluminum, 6061-O

Machining soft aluminum, 6061-O

(OP)
Are there any recommendations on how to machine soft aluminum without lubricant, specifically 6061-O? What are the recommended methods?

Found this post, but it's from 10 years ago, and maybe the cutting tool technology has changed since then: https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/cnc-machinin...

Would PCD tools be the way to go still?

RE: Machining soft aluminum, 6061-O

I frequently use a CNC router on 6061. I have no way to use coolant with its wooden deck. I use TiAlN coated mills at 21,000RPM and wax. I've never had a problem.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Machining soft aluminum, 6061-O

Compressed air and wax solution directed right on the cutter from at least two directions , with 6061-0 this stuff is like machining lead, you have to keep the cutter sharp and clean. The minute the metal builds on the cutter, it is all over bar the shouting. I find that a relatively high cutter speed with a low feed rate works well. The feeds and speeds will depend a lot on your machine. Good luck with this.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Machining soft aluminum, 6061-O

High rpm is not your friend with gummy aluminum. High rpm means heat and lots of friction, sorry but sometimes you have to cut aluminum like its a chunk of hard steel and using high speed steel cutting tools. I'm from the days of no carbide end mills and only cemented carbide face mills.

RE: Machining soft aluminum, 6061-O

freeze it first

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A Great Place For Engineers to Help Engineers

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