strange router bits


I have discovered that I like machining aluminum and brass almost as much as I like machining wood. It is surprising how easy it is no machine aluminum using standward woodworking tools like a band saw, scroll saw, drill press and router.
I have a few rather strange router bits that I inherited from my father. These are small 1/4 inch single flute bits designed to cut aluminum. They are not carbide tipped but possibly pure carbide. The company that made them is "The Tarpley Company". I can find nothing about the company and it's products.
The question is can I use any carbide tipped router bit to route aluminum or is that a really bad idea?
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On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 23:41:39 GMT, "R. Pierce Butler"

Bad idea! Typically router bits are large diameter, and not designed for aluminum. Also I am not familiar with a single flute bit.
You can tell just by the weight if it's solid carbide or not. Carbide has about twice the weight of steel.
Gary
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in wrote:

I would say they are pure carbide. They are remarkably heavy.
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R. Pierce Butler wrote:

Carbide is an obviously different color too.
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R. Pierce Butler wrote:

You can use high speed steel bits too, single flute or not. Just don't try to take off too much at a time and be aware that aluminum shavings may fuse (melt).
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On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 23:41:39 GMT, "R. Pierce Butler"

Metals should be cut at a slower speed than metals. There are tables you can get to find out the proper speeds for any particular metal. Most routers turn too fast for metal work.
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Tell that to the Boeing Aircraft Company. They (and their suppliers) have been routing aluminum for years. Table mounted router. Template guided work. The book speed for aluminum with carbide is 1200SFM. These table are very conservative and were made in the early days of carbide. I routinely run 4000SFM with good results. I use better carbide than the average router bit though but 2500SFM would not at all be unreasonable. A 1/2 router bit at 2500SFM would be turning at just over 19000 RPM. That said, I wouldn't do it on a regular basis with any router I cared about. The machine is not designed for it and aluminum chips gall up the works pretty bad. I have a PC 690 sitting in the garage right now that has done considerable amounts of aluminum. The height adjustment is wasted.

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