drilling in aluminum

I have some holes ranging from 1/8" to 33/64" to be drilled in aluminum
sheets. The thickness of the aluminum is from 0.090" up to 0.200".
Question: What is a good cutting fluid to help things along? Someone
suggested kerosene......... any opinions on this?
Reply to
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Dry, kerosene, even WD-40 or candle wax will work.
-- "That's for the courts to decide." - Homer Simpson Website @
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Reply to
Tim Williams
Unless you've got thousands of holes to drill, I wouldn't bother. More important is probably altering the angle on the drillbits so that it won't grab. The larger bits will grab as they go through.
Reply to
Ian Stirling
I use kerosene too. It works great for me. Here's what Ernie once wrote, however:
"I have been saying this for several years now, and will continue until the entire world sees the light of day. The best cutting fluid for aluminum, bar none, is industrial strength Citrus based solvent. I don't care what brand. The one I use is made by ZEP, and is called Big orange. The active ingredient is D-Limonene, and is extracted from orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit skins. It is the same stuff in Fast orange hand cleaner , and all the citrus based cleaners. The greater the percentage of active ingredient, the better. Big orange is 98% D-Limonene. Take Off ( a floor cleaning solvent) is 45%, and is available from Asplund Cleaning Supply. Big Orange works better than any industrial aluminum cutting fluid I have ever used, and smells great. It is also extremely safe, biodegradeable, and water soluble. The shit just works great. Try it , and you will not go back.
"I use it for tapping, cutting, drilling, sawing, milling, and turning. Just keep some in a small pump spray bottle. Squirt a little on the cutting edge as you cut." - Ernie Leimkuhler
Grant Erwin Kirkland, Washington
Marty wrote:
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Hi Marty,
When I use a jigsaw on aluminum I spray WD-40 on the blade and it prevents the teeth from getting gumed up with aluminum. I was 'told' that good old fashioned water is a good lubricant for cutting aluminum... Hope that was of some help
Reply to
Jim & Lil
The big problem with machining aluminium is that the metal swarf effectively welds itself on the cutting tool. Ally is soft and the temptation to use high cutting speeds is very persuasive, but if you want to cut dry, keep the speed down. I've had drills break in aluminium, but it works fine if the speed is kept down. For high speeds you must use a lubricant - paraffin is very good.
Reply to
It depends on the alloy and temper of the material. If you are working on 7075-T76 which is hard, it might only need a light flood of Kool-Mist 77. If you are cutting on 3003-0 it might need something with a thicker base, like a heavier oil, so that the chips don't stick to the cutter. It might also depend on how you are drilling, in a drill press or by hand, what position, etc. I've been using the Kool-mist as my general purpose lube, and have been fairly happy with it. It's cheap, doesn't smell, stain, or smoke, and the water evaporates so clean up is greatly reduced. But, I do revert back to oils when I want maximum lubrication effect, such as threading or knurling.
Reply to
On this side of the pond try parafin - I believe it is the same as kerosene. I do not like water for aluminium.
Reply to
Neil Ellwood

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