Routing Aluminum

I keep trying. Maybe one of these posts will actually make it to this group.
Does anyone have any experience routing hard aluminum like 6061T with a wood
workers handheld router?
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we fixed an aluminum ladder with a router. used a two flute endmill and some cutting oil. took light passes maybe .020-.030 deep

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I have worked small quantities of aluminium with a wood cutting saw and accepted that the results may not be ideal either to the work or the saw blade. It has worked though. One thing to consider is the cutter speed. Wood machining is normally carried out at high speed. I suggest you check the recommendation for aluminium and work out the tip speed of the router bit.
John

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On 09 Jul 2004 02:54:38 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Charlie Wilson) wrote:

We aircraft homebuilders use wood routers all the time to cut out things like ribs, bulkheads, instrument panels, ets. Use carbide at low speed with wd40 or kerosene. Wear long sleaves, a hat, and glasses. Tie your pant legs over your ankles and wear high top shoes or be prepared for some discomfort. The chips are hot and sharp.
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Charlie Wilson wrote:

I have done a pile of 2024 with an electric Dewalt router. I used a piloted 2 flute carbide bit to follow my plywood template. I was cutting panels to contour (about 2 foot by 4 foot, irregular) out of .080" 2024-t3. No lube was used, but I did put a vacuum onto the router to help clear the chips around the working area. It was still messy, with chips everywhere. The finish was good enough that the panels required just a quick deburr to be used.
I made 48 of those panels with the same bit, but did have to get a new router (fried armature) midway through the project.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Hey guys,
There was a recent (today??) question posed about a 1980's HURCO mill, by a poster who was unknown to me. He wanted to know about connecting to a PC. I intended to reply, but I must have discarded it.
Anybody have the original post to send me?
Thanks. Take care.
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario.
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I did some prototype parts in the basement using a router and a 1/4" carbide endmill. I did have some problems when I tried doing a long slot in some 1/8 5052 without taking some of the material out first. The second part I used a jigsaw to relieve some of the material away first, and the cut was much better. The endmill had a tendency to pull out a bit, a straight flute cutter might be better. I used a jig made of wood, the inside width to match the router base for the straight cut. and a wider one to cut a 2x5" hole in the aluminum. the jig = the dia. of the router base + the size of hole - the cutter dia. The main thing is to take light cuts and use a bandsaw or jigsaw to remove as much material as possible first.
Charlie Wilson wrote:

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James P Crombie
Slemon Park, PEI
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Hey Charlie,
I think your posts are making it out OK. I saw one with this question very very recently. I've never done routing of metals with a wood-router. Maybe nobody here has either, as most here on RCM at least ascribe to being "metal-workers", and as such would normally have a milling machine to do the same type work.
Let us know how it works for you, and we'll all learn something.
Take care.
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX On 09 Jul 2004 02:54:38 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Charlie Wilson) wrote:

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    Several of your postings on this subject have made it, and there have been lots of answers. It sounds as though your newsfeed is broken on the receiving end -- either AOL's news server expires things too quickly (you may need to log on each day to check, because they may be expiring in a single day) or your newsreader is constipated (a common problem for those who use Outlook Express for a newsreader). The trick with that (from what I have read) is to unsubscribe from the newsgroup and resubscribe to clear its memory of what it thinks has been already read.
    I'll send an e-mail copy to make sure that you get it.
    You probably should go to google and look at what they have archived for your questions and the answers which you have received.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
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