Dry Cutting Aluminum


Hi Bob,

Would you consider writing an article on dry cutting aluminum? I know its not generally recommended, but I imagine a lot of home shop machinists do it any ways, for the convenience of not having to deal with coolant, especially on a manual mill. I’d also be interested to see what you could get away with on a CNC mill, but you would probably need a faster spindle than most home shops have.


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Best Answer

Probably not.  Sooner or later, and usually sooner, it will bite you.  There are no hard and fast guidelines that guarantee to make it work.

It works best on very thin aluminum when you’re cutting all the way through.  It works best with very shallow depth of cut and strong air or vacuum blowing the chips out before they can weld to the tool.

But any time the tool starts to recut many chips, it will wind up welding and be a problem.

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