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Greetings everyone, I'm new to the forum and relatively new to routing. I want to experiment with some aluminum bar stock (nothing thick) and was wondering if anyone had any tips. I don't have anything specific in mind; for starters I want to joint some stock to create straight edges for some jigs. Are there any bits that might be better for aluminum? I'm under the impression that aluminum is soft and most router bits will be able to handle it.

Thanks in advance,
Michael
 

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Michael
I have made many items out of Alum.stock.
This is what I do,1st I cut the part(s) I need on the wood band saw,with in .030 then use a Shear Flush Trim Bits to made it clean and sq.
You can make a quick and easy jig to fit your router table fence to make it into a planer that will get the item true. (sq.)
I use a flat brass stock ( 1/16" x 2" tall x 8" long ) and stick it to the out feed side of the fence and then zero it out to the bearing on the out side feed of the fence.(left side of the bearing )
I got the brass off a old plaque I had in the shop.
You can use just about anything that flat and true.

Most of the router bits work fine but heat and alum.gull build up can be a problem.
I use Auto. ant-seize comp. on the bits that helps a little .
Don't use your best bit for this type of job It will be dull when your done with the job.
The Alum. will glue/stick to the bit(s).
Use the lowest speed on your router or a speed box.

Hope this helps..

Bj :)
 

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Even though aluminum is a "soft" metal, it isn't as forgiving on your bits as brass is. Router bits are made to cut wood not metal. Cutting metal will dull or severaly damage a bit. As Bob has stated, make sure you use a bit that has a bearing.

Welcome to the board. :D

Ken
 

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Just one more note :)

If you use your router table to work on the Alum.besure to make a chip shield for the router motor.
You don't want to wipe out your router with alum chips that will fall into the motor.

I use a spray paint filter,(3 1/2" cone type) cut the tip off of it and slip it over the router motor then tape it to the router then put into the router table.
When they cut metal (alum.) they use fuild/air to carrier off the chips and the router is in a pin type setup or a CNC setup,or to say the bit is down and the motor/drive is on the top.

Just a tip BJ :)
 

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You're Welcome mpphoto

Please repost if you buy a bit (Type "O" ) to cut the alum.stock, I for one would like to know how they work in a standard router. (plunge/table router)
Plus a link where you got it ,and the price.
Looks like they run/cut at 18,000 rpm.that's just about right for a standard router.

Thanks
Bj :)
 
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