Tools/method for 1/32" wide through hole slot in aluminum


I want to replicate these slotted brackets out of aluminum on our Tormach PCNC1100 mill. Bracket is 1/8″ thick (we can make it thinner if necessary to accommodate maximum drill depths ) and through hole slots are about 1/32″ wide at the smallest point (ends of the slots) and 0.3″ long. What tools/ methods would you recommend for this? Is it best to use a 1/32″ end mill and just mill out 1/32″ depth or less at a time? Or use a twist drill to make a pilot hole and end mill to elongate the slot?



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Best Answer

You certainly could slot it with your endmill.  You’ll likely have deflection problems as that’s a pretty small endmill.  If you’re going to make enough of these to be worth the experiment, I would try chain drill the slot with a twist drill and then finishing it with the 1/32″ endmill.  You could also plunge mill with the endmill.  It’ll take some experimentation to see which method is best.

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