This may be a dumb question, but here goes. I have a piece of alum. .125"
thick that I was using as a splitter on my TS. I bought a Frued thin kerf
blade and need a thinner splitter, so I need to mill about .025" off the
splitter and was thinking I could do it with an end mill with a 1/2" shank
in my router and holding the splitter to the work bench with double sided
tape. Does this sound safe enough to do? Thanks.
Safety issues are often a judgment call, but here's mine:
"No." I would not do it.
That router is spinning at something like 22000 RPM if the tape let go
for any reason the splitter would be a flying blade.
I would go in the direction of making a splitter to use with the thin
blade, or perhaps better yet:
Why not clamp the splitter at one end and file the other, then switch.
If you are trying to remove only .025" or so, filing it would be
reasonable, and safe.
Risky! What I've done using a piece of 1 1/2" aluminum angle is to cut
off a piece as long as the splitter will be, screw it firmly to the edge
of a flat 2"x4" (the leg that will be the splitter is vertical, the
other leg is horizontal and has the screw through it), hold this
assembly against the miter gauge (clamping would be a good idea), and
push it past the blade. Trims it nicely.
No. Don't do it! You'd give an entirely new meaning to the
expression "being PO'd". Double-sided tape isn't a secure
workholder. The metalworking guys can supply numbers and details;
but you would want lower RPMS, a bit designed specifically for
cutting aluminum, a secure workholder, and some kind of cooling
at the workpiece/tool interface.
The safe solution would probably be to take the old splitter to a
local machine shop and have 'em make you another 0.100" thick.
That way you'd still have the old one; and you'd have a new one
to use with the thin kerf blade.
forget it, use a file. Yesterday I made a few hundred cuts (using a 100
tooth aluminium cutting blade) and have a few more left to do. After I am
finished cutting I will be cleaning the shop for the rest of the day,
aluminium is everywhere, it looks surreal in there, like in a movie or
Anyway, use a file. Cutting aluminium is best done with a lubricant anyway,
and with a router spinning at 6000 rpm minimum there's going to be a huge
Greg (who yesterday bore an uncanny resemblance to a shiny sasquatch)
"Paul O." < email@example.com> wrote in message
I don't have a problem routing aluminum, just with the operation he wants to
I have used carbide router bits, and slow speed to route aluminum. Just the
other day I used a 1/8" round over bit on some 1/4" aluminum plate. Used my
PC 7539 on slow speed, 10,000 RPM with no problems. Chips are hot and fly
all over! Safety glasses are definately required!
FYI the recommended cutting speed for a 1/2" 2 flute end mill is 3000RPM,
that is at a feed of 3"/min with a max depth of cut of 1/4". The problem
with what the OP is sugesting is the method of holding the work.
Routing Aluminum itself isn't a problem, I did my own table insert out of
1/4" plate using a circle cutting attachment 1/4" bit and wd40 as a
lubricant. Pat Warner (patwarner.com) has several references to routing
Aluminum, his site is apparantly down at the moment.
I agree with Greg, I cut al on my tablesaw, up to 2" thick, lubricate with
wd40 and wear a full face shield because those chips are hot.
I am talking personal experience but seeing as people like to see things in
print I suggest DAGS 'aluminum routing' there are about 65,000 replies.
The problems that the OP had were probalbly using too large a bit and the
method of holding down the work. If for example he had a way of screwing
down the work with counter sunk screws and limited the bit to say 3/8" he
wouldn't have had any problems. A 0.025" cut would be the proverbial knife
This reference http://astro.umsystem.edu/atm/ARCHIVES/APR00/msg00747.html
gives the data for calculating speeds and feeds as well as other useful
information, it also discusses using standard woodworking bits.
ya, little metal thing flying, bouncing, ouch!
i feel pretty confident with a file and a sanding block, and some money on
it, and you let me get it mounted securely first, i could get .025 off that
thing in less time than it would take to read every post in this thread,
outloud and legibly. <g>
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