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Aluminum feed rates


New Member
Just wanting to confirm some feed rates for cutting aluminum, because what I read is completely different from what the guy who trained me on my ArtCAM software told me.

I have been ordering Onsrud bits from Hartlauer in Orgeon. On his "catalog" it says to cut aluminum with the 63-600 series bit at 125ipm with a 1/4" bit. I was instructed to do it at a much more conservative 20-25ipm. Just wanting to get other opinions on how fast to cut, because 1, its time saved, and 2, its important to keep your chipload up, and at the 20-25ipm, chipload is not existent.

And I am cutting .190" 3003 aluminum


dennis j

New Member

I have not cut any aluminum but I saved a post from Letterville. In the post they were cutting .080 aluminum with an Onsrud bit 63-620 at 50 ipm and 19000 RPM. They said to use Climb Milling also.

Hope this helps.


New Member
If you have a mister you can cut the aluminum at faster feed rates with no problem. Using an Onsrud 1/8 upcut spiral I cut 1/8 in aluminum at 75 - 100 ipm.


New Member
I would think that the 125ipm they recommend would not be for .190 alum. I cut .080 at about 60 to 80ipm I have never cut .190 but I would think 30to40ipm would be fine.


New Member
If you want to cut aluminum at all successfully you need 5052 alloy. Most painted aluminum is 6063 which in my experience cuts poorly. You'll most likely need to get 5052 from a metal supplier and not a sign supplier. Using onsrud bits at 40-60 ipm, 1/4" bit, 1/8" per pass, 19k rpm you should get chips shaped like "c" and not shards that should fly out of the bit tangentially to it's direction of travel at high speed. The chips should be hot-thats part of the cutting heat being removed.


New Member
I spent a lot of time last year looking for the perfect feed and speed for cutting thick aluminum and leaving a nice finished edge.
I typically use an Onsrud 63-620 or 63-622 tool (1/4" dia, 3/8" or 3/4" cel) climbing at 33ipm and 18000rpm with a 0.125 step. I've found that this slow feed and faster spindle speed gives a really nice polished edge on the final product.
I also use a dual mister to keep everything nice and cool; at such a slow feed, I'd imagine things could get messy without any type of coolant.


New Member
Ain't no way to cut alum w/o coolant. The Gerber tech told me to use a hand sprayer and water. This was 7yrs ago. He was full of it, bit still gummed up. I am on my second mister since the 1st dual mister kept losing one side. We use that veggie coolant, maybe something else works better.
6061 is the recommended alum for routing, 5052 is softer and tends to heat up more. Most will use 5052 because it's significantly cheaper.

If your gumming up your spindle speed is too fast. You can always move faster thru material, it's just that you have to keep your bit cooler.

I use a air cooler and that's all I really need, but out of habbit before having the cooler I still squirt a little WD-40 on the bit as it's going now and then. I have a mister that sprays coolant but I've never hooked it up because they are messy and can mess up my spoilboard


New Member
Crisco (lard) also makes an excellent cutting lube.

We use the cheapest dollar store vegetable oil we can find, works great.
I work at a large electrical sign shop, 90% of what I cut is alum.

are you cutting .190 or did you mean .090?

I usually cut .125 around 20- 30 ipm.


New Member
Another option you might want to consider is a vortex tube. I've used one when I cut 1/4" aluminum plate and it does a great job of keeping the bit cool and you don't have the mess of oil. I bought my table with the lubricating option but have never used it once in the past six years.http://www.airtxinternational.com/how_vortex_tubes_work.php

good info, so you use it often or just that once?
What cut rate can you achieve for say .125?

Looking at this table what one would you recommend?


Sorry for so many questions, but that would solve some issues...