braveviper

cutting aluminum

24 posts in this topic

Hey, looking to make some fluke balls in an old blank do-it mold.I figured I needed a spherical ball that can cut aluminum.Anyone have any ideas?

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I've got some bits kind of like that, i'm not sure what they are for, but I got them at harbor freight tools, they surely won't last long, though :)

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Rotary files come in that size. Mcmaster-Carr has them. Let me know if you cant find one and I wll shoot you a link.

Jerk

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You can use a router bit the round ones use a drill press and make sure that you secure the mold down to the table correctly and use a slower rpm and don't push to hard on it.Also set some kind of a stop for the depth if you can.

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they make aluminum die grinder bits(and they are different). something that helps. cutting oil for aluminum, really helps cleaning out the bits while grinding. bet del can tell where to purchase the oil.

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For what he is doing that won't be neccessary kerosene makes a good cutting fluid for aluminium just use an acid brush dip it and dab it on the tool.You only need to do that if your doing alot of cutting.

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Just saw this thread.

one question that comes to mind, how are you going to use a 1" endmill?

I hope you have a quality hand mill?

not knowing exactly what you have heres some tips

use tool steel not carbide unless you have a very strong machine. anything from harbor frieght wont work

keroseen is the best coolant ( well diesle fuel is but it is messy).

carbide will give you chatter unless your machine is rigid , tool steel will load up and keep a load. how ever a 1" endmill your not going to load up.

give me some specifics of what your trying to do and with what. I will try to get to them tonight

Delw

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Um I guess if I read it better I would have seen that sorry

you can do it even with a not so sturdy machine. do-it molds are made of cast, they are very easy to cut. how ever they are extreamly hard to make both ends line up perfectly ( not hard just take some time).

I am going to assume you have some basic tools ie calipers, some kinda mill or heavy duty drill press etc.

Mill:

This would be the best way. even if its a crappy one you can make it work cause you are going to go straight down ( no side pressure) side pressure is what will kill you unless your mill is heavy duty especially on a 1" dia mill.

your going to need to buy a 1" ball end mill. 2 flute is best , 4 flute will work but you have a chance of getting chatter ( even going straight down)

make sure its NOT CARBIDE , Carbide does not cut alum very well unless you have good quality machines. Carbide also isn't as sharp and have the rake on the end mill required for alum. not to mention its going to be expensive.

first thing you need to do, I have found this to be the easiest way , is to close the mold put in a vice and and drill right between the to halfs a small hole as deep as you can. 1/16 bit works best smaller if you can.

you do this so you know where to make your sphere pockets.

then you will need to place the mold blank in a vise.(open and laying flat) then you need to indicate the mold blank so its flat and perpendicular to the spindle.

find the point you want to make your sphere and put the center of the spindle . endmill dead center .

Then just go slow straight down DON'T ROUGH IT OUT , roughing it out will cause your end mill to walk.

like I had said do-it blanks are cast material and very easy to cut. use keroseen go slow. spindle speed go slow,(500 rpms or less, preferably 100-200 unless you have a good quality hand mill) too much spindle speed will cause a big endmill to chatter and it could hurt you.

you can also do it on a drill press or hand drill and still be pretty close, but it would be perfect

take the closed blank and lay it flat side up( instead of the way I described above)

figure out where you want the sphere to be. Mark it.

then take a 1/16" drill bit and drill a hole through one half and part way into the other.

open the mold up and the center your end mill over the 1/16th" hole and drill it with your endmill.

then you can take a a dremel tool and cut the spruces for the lead to pour through.

if that doesn't make since let me know and I will try to get some detailed pics online

Dont forget you have a 1" ball endmill you need to make a 1" dia sphere so that means you cut down .500 from the tip of the endmill which will give you a half circle, then you repeat the process on the other side. when closed it will give you a one inch round sphere.

anyplace that sells machine tooling will have those endmills , they are avail on ebay and online cat stores.

Hope that helps

Delw

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It sure helps thanks,I was going to just use a hand drill but you make me want to look for a drill press now.Thanks again!

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gfpsr braveviper doit mold makes cannon ball molds from one ounce to 4 ounces instead of goning through all that.

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When I cut my own molds, I draw a picture of it on one side, then take the wire used to make spinners and cut some samll peices. Put one peice around the outside, but just in side the line, one at a time. Squezze the mold together if it is a longer peice, tap on it with a hammer. It will leave groves to follow. For a center hole I use a BB from a shot gun or BB gun. Cut the mold and a grove for pouring the lead. Use light sand paper on a block of wood to get rid of the groves that you make in the begingng and during the cuting. Pour lead and you have a guide for matching up the two sides. On the one you are making use the BB, drill a hole just under 1/2" with 1/4 drill bit, 1/16 bind in aluminum and break easily, use low speed. When you get your 1" bit go slow, to finish use a Dremel with the flexible sandpaper, then polish if you are not painting it.

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