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HomeCommentaryMill Brass & Aluminum with a CNC Router | Popular Woodworking Magazine

Mill Brass & Aluminum with a CNC Router | Popular Woodworking Magazine

When it comes to highly machinable materials, Aluminum series 6061 is an excellent choice. It is easy to work with and it is widely available. As far as the material properties go, it has strong corrosion resistance and it is strong. Using a CNC machine to mill this alloy should pose no significant problems. Feed rate and speed of rotation need to be carefully chosen, just like with any other material, and proper lubrication should not be neglected.

Key Takeaways:

  • A CNC router can mill brass and aluminum as well as wood as long as a different method is used.
  • Choose the right alloy to mill such as Aluminum alloy 6061 or ultra machinable 360 brass
  • Chose the correct bit, depth of cut and lubricant while clearing the chips to insure a good cut.

“No doubt you have had the experience of scorching some wood while routing. The dense structure of metal creates even more heat as the bit balances between cutting and rubbing, so lubrication is critical to keeping the bit cool. A cool bit means a longer bit life and a better cut. To lubricate a cut there are several options: wax, spray can oil, or an oil mister.”

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