Rounding, smoothing & polishing aluminium

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Deadeye

Established Member
Joined
21 Aug 2017
Messages
689
Reaction score
162
Location
Buckinghamshire
I need to make a replacement part and thought I'd have a go in aluminium.

I'm pretty confident about drilling the holes, and making a straight cut with the table saw.
I want to round over the coners and plan to use a router. Any advice on speed? Shallow cuts obviously.

In terms of cleaning up cut surfaces or rough edges, do I just work up through normal sandpaper grades?

Any other advice? I'm barely a woodworker let alone a metal worker!
 

wallace

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2011
Messages
2,117
Reaction score
229
Location
county durham
A router is fine for aluminium but like you say light cuts. Ali is really easy to get a good finish, You can get a mirror finish after going to 3OO grit then polishing
 

hawkeyefxr

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2017
Messages
358
Reaction score
24
Location
hants
Ali is very 'sticky' to machine, as Wallace says very small cut and really hold the router.
As for polishing once your down to the fine paper or better still wet-n-dry use Solvo Autosol.
Ten million bikers cant be wrong, i have used it for 56 odd years now. Rub it till it goes black then polish it off with a clean cloth, you get what you put into it but it will be like a mirror when done.
 

Peri

Established Member
Joined
11 Jun 2012
Messages
433
Reaction score
534
Location
Shropshire
Brush/spray the cutter often with wd-40 - it'll stop the ali sticking.
 

sploo

Somewhat extinguished member
Joined
8 Nov 2014
Messages
3,536
Reaction score
768
Location
West Yorkshire
Aluminium grade matters - some stuff can be horrible to cut; really "sticky" and soft. As Peri says - use WD40 for lube. If you can get it I'd recommend 6082 T6 as a good grade for machining.
 
Top