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Anonymous

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Hi all been a lurker for a while but finally joined.

Not strictly a woodworking question.

Need to cut a 27.5" circle in 6mm aluminium,normally I would plasma it and then spin it in the lathe but the lathe won't spin this diameter.

This where I get all "woodworky" would a router do this if, I was to manufacture a circle cutting attachment and take light cuts of say 0.030"
I once made a daggerboard for a sailing dinghy out of half inch aly and routered a radius on the edges with good success.

It needs to near perfect circle as it will be in public view.

I have dewalt 625, await your wrath for abusing such a fine tool.
 

DaveL

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Hi ali68,

Welcome to the forum.

I have never used a router on Ali but Tony (I think) recut the mitre slots on an Ali table saw bench and you have already proved that it can be done. :)

I think holding the work down while cutting it needs careful thought as the grab on Ali will bad compared to most woods. I would try to rough out the circle, how clean is the cut from your plasma cutter? Does it leave a thick edge? If it does I would either plasma and then file off the edge or cut with a jig saw, to give the router the best chance of working.
The cutter will be the thing that suffers more than the router.
And of course you will need (tap tap) safety glasses.
 

Chris Knight

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You can easily cut aluminium with a router. A normal cutter can be used but has a tendency to "gum up". A better bet is the specific tooling used for the aluminium window industry. Trend make a suitable range. Unfortunately their website (http://www.trendmachinery.co.uk/products/ ) is pretty hopeless but it is listed in their printed catalogue.

The cutters are aboiut the same price as the woodworking ones.
 

desmoengine

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hi ali68
have you access to a band saw ,that can be useful for cutting a good consistant circle out of large panels ,with a aid of a radius jig.
i recently had to cut a 54" radius out of 1.5mm SS ,i set up a large tramal type set up on to a jig saw ,resulut was clean cut radius very little dressing up required ,for info the length of the arc i cut approx 72",the SS ate 5 hss blades in all and a can of lubricant.

regards

Dave W
 
A

Anonymous

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Welcome Ali68

As Dave said, I recut the mitre guides on a record Ali table with no problems at all. Used only one cutter, a very cheap (free with router) 1/2" straight cut. No issues wwith cutting edge 'gummin up' etc although this does happen when hacksawing it.

Cutter was still fine after 4 cuts along the full table length

I ran the router at minimum speed as milling machine cutters run much slower than routers and this is, afterall, what I was emulating
 

Dewy

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Aluminium is likely to 'gum up' when being machined because it is so soft and the heat from the cutter will make it melt and stick to the cutter.
The normal way to prevent this is to use paraffin on the cutter as both a lubricant and to prevent the metal sticking to the cutter.
Use a small brush to keep applying the paraffin as you cut.
You might be better using an end mill, preferable 3 flute, as they are designed for metal and swarf clearance.
I have used these in my router on wood and they work perfectly.
 
A

Anonymous

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Dewy":ihst3z6t said:
Aluminium is likely to 'gum up' when being machines because it is so soft and the heat from the cutter will make it melt and stick to the cutter..
Good advice to take action Dewy.

Strangely, I had no gumming what-so-ever. The cutter emerged after 4 cuts of a meter or so with no residue of any sort. Possibly because it was a brand cutter new and thus very sharpe + I ran it as slowly as possible

I did expect aluminium to build up on the edge as I have been an engineer for 20+ years and have clogged up loads of files (cover with french chalk before use use file card to unclog ) and hacksaws. I used a stanley knfie to clean teeth on hacksaw :(
 
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