My first experience with milling Aluminium on a CNC 6040 Router

In this video I’ll take you through my first experience with milling Aluminium on my CNC 6040 Router. I’ve broke some tools, burned some aluminium and finally got things working pretty well.

Honda CBR 600 off-road buggy project:

CNC oxy-fuel cutter rebuild:

Six low budget end mills for aluminium:
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Tool 1: ⅛ inch 2 flute:
Tool 2: 4 mm 3 flute:
Tool 3: 5 mm 3 flute:
Tool 4: 4 mm 2 flute:
Tool 5: 4 mm 2 flute:
Tool 6: 6 mm 2 flute chamfer:
Test video with Feeds and Speeds:

I waited with cutting aluminium on my CNC 6040 Router for my new low noise compressor and a cheap eaby mist coolant system to arrive. Aluminium is a soft metal (compared to steel/stainless) and when you generate to much heat while cutting, the aluminium start to stick on your end mill. Blowing small drops of lubricant on your end mill will dramatically help to lower the friction, and the generated heat. The the airstream helps to evacuate chips so you don’t recut them. The cheap Ebay mist cooling system worked pretty well. Because I didn’t had a suitable lubricant I filled the mist system up with water. I experiment with manually spraying some WD40 on the cuts. This works well. You can hear the cutting sound changing just after spraying the WD40 on cut.

When the mist coolant system was mounted on the CNC 6040 Router is was time to do the first Aluminium milling. The local hardware store only had one type of aluminium and they didn’t knew what kind of alloy it was. So after breaking the first super cheap cutter on the material I decided to order some new material to know for sure that it was suitable for milling.
When package was arrived I did 17 cuts with different feeds and speeds. All the cheap end mills I tried(expect one) performed poor. They were all 4 flute cutters. The 1 dollar 3 flute cutter did the best of them all.

After I was done testing it was finally time to do the real workpiece. I used the 5 dollar cutter and them performance difference was huge. Although the end mill was a little to long for this job, It made a good cut with perfect chip evacuation and the axial surface finish was pretty good for a first try. Because of several reasons the radial surface finish turned out pretty bad, enough to improve on that point.

In the end I’m happy with the result of this project. I learned a lot about the CNC 6040 Router in the process and with some more upgrades, high quality cutters and some more practise I think the result will be much better.

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