Milling Aluminum..

When milling aluminum is there a good starting point when it comes to depth per pass? With wood I usually go 4 mm per pass and that works fine for me but I would figure with aluminum you would need a smaller bite to not bog down the motors or break the bit.

Also for extra points. Anyone ever mill sheet steel on their machine? If so, same question applies.

Im shocked to see you do 4mm per pass with wood. Maybe I am just being overly conservative but I am using 1mm mostly with 1.5mm on my 1/4 bits in wood.

4mm works pretty well for me. Machine doesn’t bind or lose steps. Cuts come out nice and without burning the edges.

For Aluminum I was testing with DOC of 0.3 to 0.5mm. Also some successful tests with 1mm DOC using trochoidal paths.

About wood, pine/mdf I use 3mm DOC with 1/8 mills. Not testing yet with 1/4 mills.

@Martindb, what RPM are you running at for aluminum ? 30k rpm?

My router is 26k rpm at full speed, 2 flute end mill… I have some new 1 flute end mill to test, this should be better.

I’m assuming that when milling aluminum it’d be smart to change my stepover. I use the full end mill width when milling wood. But maybe half that for aluminum would yield better results.

With adaptive clearing or trochoidal milling enabled, aluminum should start to get much easier.