Lube Job

I’ve been gearing up for another crack at routing non-ferrous metals on the CNC- primarily aluminium, but also brass & copper if the opportunity presents.

There are a couple of areas that did not get sufficient attention first time around, that along with feed rates and depth of cut, resulted in a few bit breakages. 

The primary culprits are chip clearance, and lubrication.  

I picked this up on eBay for a massive $10, including shipping (from Hong Kong)

Which is a misting unit.  Compressed air entrains oil in the air stream, and simultaneously lubricates the cutting area, and blows the resulting chips clear.

For the price, it is worth the experiment!  I have some upcoming projects that I want to do with aluminium, so hopefully this proves to be a good solution.  If not, there are other solutions out there that don’t cost a lot more (although some are a lot of dollars for very little more). 

You have to shop around on eBay- the one I bought for $10 is also sold for $40 from another supplier!

You can get something called a “FogBuster”, which in a practical sense is no more complicated, comes with a few extra parts (including a reservoir), and costs over $400.  Not saying that it is a bad solution, and it may have some significant benefits, but I’ll start at the $10 mark and work up!

Hmm- I wonder where this is all leading? (And no, that is not a rhetorical question).

ManSpace TV is coming back


SawStop – as in Stop that Sawblade!!

Driver cheats death on Chinese motorway as huge saw blade cuts into car bonnet – Asia – World – The Independent.

SSYTC082 Australian Animals Series

(A slight delay in the SundayCNC post!)

The Australian Animal series, from (scroll down a bit to the Australian Animals)

A really nice set of designs, with some real standout patterns.  By far and away, the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is the most impressive, at least in my opinion.  However, it was the Echidna that I had to make a second time, because the first was ‘requisitioned’ by one of my work colleagues, as being “too cute”.

I really like the delicate magpie, and the facial (and mouth) detail of the Tasmanian Devil.  But I’m sure everyone will have their own favourites.

I would say these are more advanced patterns, as they take a bit more effort to assemble, but slowly and surely each can be bought together.  I occasionally shaved some pieces down just a little to loosen the fit, as I was gluing them, rather than leaving the models so they could be disassembled at a later stage.

Routed on the Torque CNC 9060, using the 1/16″ straight, 2 flute 45190 cutter from, running at around 40mm/sec, and 12000RPM.  Each cut from 3mm MDF, with most being able to fit either 2, sometimes 3 to a 900×600 sheet.  Except for the Cockatoo – that took pretty much an entire sheet on its own.  Of course, there is no reason why you cannot go bigger if you choose – cutting from 6mm, 12mm (or thicker) MDF.  And you don’t actually need a CNC to make use of the patterns.  A laser and/or router are all very well, but you are not limited to computer controlled machinery.  Print out the designs and stick them on stock timber, and you could cut them out with a scrollsaw or bandsaw.

The animals in the series are:

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Frilled Neck Lizard
Salt Water Crocodile
Kangaroo with Joey
Tasmanian Devil
Koala Walking
Koala in Tree

A fun series, with some real standout designs.

AA-1 AA-2 AA-3 AA-4

A Momentary Lapse of Concentration


On the turning away
On the CNC router
And the words we say which others won’t understand
“I don’t believe what I’ve just done
Another bit is now suffering
I’ve mixed up the axis again
And now it is gone”

That moment, 2 seconds after clicking a button, and hearing the tip of the bit hit the wall of the shed.  When you have moved the tool in the Y axis, and not the Z.

And another 1/16″ bit bites the dust (literally, and figuratively).

10 Tips for CNC Router Aluminum Cutting Success – CNCCookbook CNCCookbook

10 Tips for CNC Router Aluminum Cutting Success – CNCCookbook CNCCookbook.

Thanks for the link John – a really useful reference for machining aluminium.

The G-Wizard is probably a useful calculator, but is quite a bit for a sub (of course, broken tools cost more very quickly).  Have to think about that one.  If I was a commercial operation, it would be an easy decision!

Another missed birthday!


Somehow, managed to miss (once again) the birthday.

Now 8 years old, and counting.

2.5 million views (directly, not counting subscriber views) at a rate of over 1000/day (around 385000/yr, plus subs).
over 2200 subscribers (counting RSS)

I can’t even begin to estimate how many video views etc any more – I could if I wanted to spend an hour or so collating the info, but it is a lot!  One video has already amassed over 75000 views.  Not much in the scheme of viral videos, but not bad for a lowly woodworking one.  Over 450000 views of the videos on YouTube alone, and that is only a portion of the total video library. Safe to say, the total views of videos (through iTunes, the blog, Blip.TV (now ended), Howcast (also ended), and YouTube) easily exceeds 1/2 a million (and that is conservative).

Oh well.  Happy 8th birthday blog.


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