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Anyone use their router on metals?

2893 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  TomB
Another newbie question. I know this is general routing under the general woodworking section but didn't know where else to turn. I did a search on google and couldn't find any info so I thought I'd ask you guys. Would it be possible to use the router on metal, maybe a soft metal like aluminum. Have any of you guys tried it? From the little that I found I guess you need an "end mill bit"? The problem is the end mill bits I found all had 3/8 " shanks. I guess they weren't meant for hand held routers. If someone can shed some light on the whole "routing metal" topic I would appreciate it. I wonder if a carbide spiral bit would work.
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I make these push sticks from 1/8" aluminum sheet using a BS to rough cut the blanks and then using a vacuum clamping jig and a flush trim bit to make near perfect copies.

Carbide bits will indeed do a fine job on aluminum, I've worked with a few small rabbets on 1/4" bar stock and done a good bit of flush trim work with the 1/8". I haven't tried plowing any dadoes yet, but wouldn't hesitate to at least try it.

A few words of caution:

1. use lots of candle wax as a lubricant for cutting aluminum
2. wear long sleeve shirts and any safety gear you have, these chips REALLY fly and can sting, as well as being hot.
3. don't let the wife walk barefoot thru your shop to get the newspaper DAMHIKT
4. SUPPORT THE STOCK!!!! ... push blocks, featherboards, vise grips, WHATEVER IT TAKES! this ain't wood that's gonna get thrown at ya if you slip!!!

DC probably isn't a bad idea, I've nicknamed my shop 'tinsel town' after seeing what it looks like when I make a dozen or so of these at a clip.


maker of quality tinsel in PA
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