Machining Aluminum Bronze

I want to machine some aluminum bronze for some bushings but have never tried to turn it on a lathe. Is it tough and tricks or tips ?

thanks Mike Miller

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Tough as old boots. Not too fast on the spindle speed and a sharp non ferrous carbide tip sorts it out fine though. It gets stinking hot without coolant as you machine it though so be sure to let things cool down before aiming for the final size or heat expansion will mess you about. I generally rough to a few thou oversize and then finish the parts after they've sat a while. But that's mainly because I don't use coolant and can't be bothered rigging it up for the limited amount of turning I do.

Dave Baker - Puma Race Engines

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Dave Baker

I've done some machining of it. Specific alloy unknown. A metal warehouse gave me a chunk of it, saying they THOUGHT is was some regular (Cu/Sn) bronze. What I had doesn't machine too badly, about like other bronzes, a bit 'grabby', but not awful. Just don't try to solder this stuff! BAD news there! :-(

Dan Mitchell ==========

Mike wrote:

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Daniel A. Mitchell

The aircraft stuff that has nickel in it machines a lot like some stainless.

Squeaka squeaka............

Work hardens if you arent careful too, IIRC

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Almost like some tool steels in that respect. Take a chip, don't let the cutter rub or the stuff hardens up like you won't believe. I was countersinking some wear blocks for 1/4" flat head socket screws. Single flute 82 degree TiN coated countersink, decent drill press, low speed. Let up on the pressure for about one revolution. Had to finish that one with a carbide burr in a die grinder!


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Bill Marrs

I've never had any solid Al-bronze to work with but I have built up some shafts with AMPCO 200 and turned that down to size. I used TNMP-321 uncoated carbide inserts and it went well. These were in my tool holders

which give 5degrees positive rake. I say uncoated because they are sharper than coated.


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Ted Edwards

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