Aug 4 2016

Aluminum Polishing and Finishing

admin

Keeping anything that is made of metal clean can be a hassle for anyone who is inexperienced in doing so. Getting rough aluminum you purchased from a manufacturer to look nice can be a chore as well. Thankfully both of these tasks are not too difficult once you know what to do and both of them can have your items looking much nicer whether they are newly crafted or if you have had them for years.

Aluminum cutting  and polishing

Aluminum cutting and polishing

Aluminum is one of the most common metals used in making items, from spoons to car wheels. Over time items made from aluminum can lose their shine and become dark colored. Restoring an item back to spick and span shape is an easy process as long as you are using the right tools. Start to clean your tarnished metal by washing it with water and plain dish soap. Once the item is soapy a cloth or rag can be used to scrub the dirt and grime off. If you need stronger scrubbing power use a toothbrush but make sure the bristles are not too rough or you could damage the aluminum with your scrubbing. Rinse the scrubbed item off with water and mix cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate) with some water to form a paste. Before applying the paste you can sand the item so that it will have more of a shine when you are done polishing. Using your cloth or rag from before to apply the paste and wipe the aluminum using circular motions. In hard-to-reach spaces like corners or in grooves you can put the scrubbing toothbrush to further use. Once you have polished to your satisfaction rinse the item off with water and dry it with a cloth. Lastly you just need to apply aluminum polish and your item will shine once again. Do not apply polish to the inside of a pot or pan, utensils or any other surface that comes into contact with food; polish can be toxic. Some polishes are also flammable so if using them on a pot or pan or anything else that can be exposed to flames do not use the polish on an area that will be touched by fire. When you choose your cleaning supplies do not use baking soda or any other alkali-based cleaner as they cause discoloration to aluminum. If you are using a cleaning product you have never used before you should probably clean a small section of your item before applying the new chemical fully in case there are any mishaps. Do not forget to be gentle and timely with it when cleaning. Harsh scrubbing can scratch aluminum and if aluminum is not hand dried quickly enough streaks and spots will form from air drying.
Now that you know the steps for properly cleaning aluminum we will talk about finishing raw aluminum so that your clean items will be made from the finest material you can work with. There are several options for finishing it. Your first option is to brush and anodize the aluminum. This is a low-cost option and it can be done quickly. A brushed appearance is also fairly popular for making products. On the downside brushing can alter the tolerance of aluminum and if you brush too forcefully the aluminum can come out with a rough surface. The second option is to use bead blasting. Bead blasting is like power washing but you use an abrasive substance, such as sand, instead of water. This method can make aluminum look very nice without changing tolerance but it will require some trial and error to get the result you want. Bead blasting is also more expensive than brushing and rough aluminum will need to be tumbled before being blasted, raising prices even further. The process of bead blasting is also done manually which can cause inconsistencies in the finish. Your third option is to bead blast while also bright dipping and then anodizing. Bright dip is a substance used in place of etching that reduces the dullness of the metal. Bright dipping leads to excellent textures and appearances in aluminum and costs roughly the same as anodizing. However, bright dipping is corrosive so it can be difficult to find this service in some countries. Since this process still involves bead blasting you will retain the downsides of that process as well. Find the process that works best for your goals, your project and your budget and you should be able to get your project just the way you want it.


May 26 2016

Aluminum Types

admin

Aluminum Types

Aluminum is a metal commonly used for milling but there are multiple types to choose from, each with different uses that make them best suited for a variety of projects. 1100 (also called pure aluminum) resists weather and chemicals and is low cost and easy to weld. It is commonly used for chemical equipment, fan blades and sheet metal. 2014 is used for structural applications like parts on planes, trucks or other vehicles as well as other machines. 2024 is also used structurally and has high strength and workability while also resisting corrosion. These traits make 2024 aluminum ideal for large pieces of equipment like truck wheels and recreation equipment as well as small items like rivets and screws. 3003 is a general purpose material with the same capability for welding and formability as 1100, but it is stronger than 1100. It is used for many of the same things as 1100 along with seeing use in making more everyday items like cooking utensils. 5052 is even stronger than 3003, allowing it to be used in marine environments while still having all the uses of weaker aluminum alloys. 6061 has good weld-ability, formability and corrosion resistance on top of its impressive strength. It is used in the construction of vehicles, furniture, architecture and even basic sheet metal, amongst other things. While there are many more types of aluminum available than the ones mentioned here these are some of the more common varieties that millers may find themselves using.

Badog Aluminum

Aluminum

Machining aluminum can be a tricky task but there are some things you can do to make sure the process goes smoothly. There are cutting tools that are made and sold specifically to cut aluminum and these are the ones you want to use. Aluminum is a soft metal and becomes very sticky when you are cutting, clinging to your cutting tool and gumming it up. The tools built specifically for aluminum cutting are made to counter this effect. To separate a chip from the rest of the material you are going to want high rakes angles. Using positive rake angles up to 20 degrees axial and 25 degrees radial is a common practice. Having a high helix angle (at about 45 degrees) is also a good idea. Keeping the helix angle this high will help to move chips out of your cutting area and will give you a good surface finish while softening the impact when you start to cut as well. Using a two- or three-flute end mill will allow for larger flute areas. A core diameter just below 50% of the cutter diameter also helps the flute areas. The use of an open flute design will further help in getting chips out of your cutting area. Aluminum likes to stick and the hot chips will try to stick to your otherwise smooth surface area so keeping them out of the area is important. Chips can also be kept out of the flute area with the use of coolant, which you will also need to keep your tool at working temperatures. An air gun spraying a mist is a common choice for coolant but flood coolant can get chips out of the way if the pressure is high enough. Using an air gun should be satisfactory is your tool is coated. Slick tool coatings on your equipment will help to reduce friction on the flute surface. The three big things to remember when preparing to mill aluminum are to use a cutting tool specifically designed for aluminum, use a machine with speeds and feeds that are high enough for aluminum and make sure you can get chips out of your cutting area while working.


May 12 2016

CNC machine types what are the differences?

admin

CNC machine types what are the differences?

Numerical control (NC) refers to automated machine tools. That are controlled with pre-programmed computer commands. As opposed to machines that are operated by hand. Most numerical control today has evolved into computer numerical control (CNC). The difference from NC being the large and important role computers play in the system. With the computers modern CNC systems use computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software to run. This article will highlight several different types of machines that can use this type of set-up and software.

CNC ROUTER MACHINE

CNC ROUTER

CNC mills use rotary cutters to remove excess material from raw material that are “fed” into the machine at an angle with the axis of the tool. These machines can be used on small individual scales or for large heavy duty operations. Milling is one of the most common methods used to machine precision parts today. The computer controls on the machine are used to translate programming into various locations and depths that the machine can follow. G-code, the standard programming language on CNC machines, is used most often but some machines have their own languages created by machine manufacturers. Custom languages can be easier to learn than G-code but have the downside of being unusable on other machines.

LASER CNC Machine

LASER CNC Machine

Lathes are machines that rotate workpieces on their axis, allowing the user to perform tasks such as cutting, sanding and drilling. This allows the finished project to be symmetrical along its axis of rotation. They can be used for a variety of differing projects like woodturning, metalworking and even glass-working. They can also be used to shape pottery (a potter’s wheel is a type of lathe). CNC lathes can make fast, precise cuts using indexable tools and drills using their computer programmed commands, allowing them to create items that could not be made on a manual lathe. The CNC versions usually have tool holders and coolant pumps to reduce wear. Controls on a CNC lathe are similar to a CNC mill. Like a mill they can usually read G-code and the custom language of the manufacturer (if applicable).
Plasma cutters use plasma to cut material, commonly steel and other metals but other materials can also be used. Gas, such as compressed air, is blown out of the nozzle at high speeds while an electrical arc is formed through the gas as it comes out of the nozzle to the surface of the material being cut. This turns some of the gas into the plasma used for cutting. Plasma is so hot that it melts the material being cut and it moves fast enough to blow molten metal away from the cut. Plasma cutters are used to cut metal as frequently as mills are used to cut wood, giving them an alternate specialty compared to other machines that can do similar work. Like other CNC machines they can be programmed with G-code but also sometimes have a manufacturer-designed code available as well.
Water jet cutters (frequently just called water jets) use an extremely high pressure jet of water (or a mix of water and an abrasive substance, such as sand) to cut materials. The term pure water jet (or water-only) refers to a water jet that cuts without abrasives and is usually used on soft materials like rubber or wood. Machines that use an abrasive and water mix are called abrasivejets and are used for cutting hard materials like granite or metal. Water jets are common for cutting machine parts and are used for parts made from materials that are too sensitive for the high temperatures used in other cutting methods.


Apr 29 2016

Wooden world map NASA sculpture creation with CNC

admin

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 67108864 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 1009886 bytes) in /home/woodjigsaw/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 380