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Router bit longevity???

Discussion in 'CNC Routers & Engravers' started by Rick Tennyson, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Rick Tennyson

    Rick Tennyson Member

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    How much time can you get out of a typical name brand 3/16” up cut carbide bit cutting only .040 aluminum sheets.
     
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  2. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Depends on the router, aluminum type, machine quality, and bit cooling... we typically get 1-2 sheets our of our onsrud bits with our 1/2hp router
     
  3. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    1-2 sheets?! we cut .080 on our router, and we generally get 15-20 sheets per blade, using a quarter inch. We cut .040 with 1/8" bit once in awhile... never more than 2-3 sheets at a time, we do it every other month... usually we go through 1-2 bits a year... so I'd say close to 10-15 sheets, cutting 3x6"signs throughout the sheets.

    We use a high end multicam with a mister that was designed for cutting aluminum. 1-2 sheets seems pretty low per bit though... do they break on you, or are you just getting bad cuts?
     
  4. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Worn out, our router is a 1/2hp and no cooling.
     
  5. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Make sure you're using the minimum chipload. Feed rates that are too slow will also dull a cutter.


    JB
     
  6. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Have you tried these?



    Our canadian supplier couldnt find any...we had to order one on ebay. We got it for when we cut aluminum with prints, since youcant use mist when its got vinyl on top. We've used it a dozen or so times and it's still good... it may last longer since its designed for no coolant.


    https://www.cncshop.com/uk_en/router-bits/belin-single-flute-upward-spiral-no-coolant.html A link to the UK store so you can get part numbers... Seems even though they posted the video on their website, the supplier doesn't sell them in USA/Canada.
     
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  7. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    That's the same as the onsrud bit we use... Onsrud and Belin are both LMT companies. Onsrud is Standard and Belin is Metric.
     
  8. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    I don't think Onsrud makes a no coolant version, do they? We looked everywhere for one from any brand, and this is all we found... and no Canada/US supplier had them, or knew why they didn't. These ones have a special coating on them to keep them a bit cooler and prevent chips from sticking. Belin was the only brand we could find that made no coolant ones. Not sure if thatd help in your situation, but for us it works great when we have to turn coolant off... while our normal onsrud aluminum bits (64-6xx) would often have the chips fuse and break.

    We only use it for printed material...so it doesnt get much use beyond that,so I can't say how long it lasts with no coolant.. we don't want it to die and go through all the hassle of ordering it from the UK/ebay seller again.
     
  9. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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  10. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    whoops, yes.. 63-620 is our main one, I always get it confused with 64. They're quite a bit different than the belins I linked - They're not o-flute, and they do have a special coating on them to prevent chips from fusing and it heating up too much.

    I don't know if you'd get more than 2 sheets out of them since the mister isn't the only factor, but with the special coating it may help. Of course you might not even cut aluminum enough for it to even matter or make a difference.. but having other options is always good!
     
  11. Rick Tennyson

    Rick Tennyson Member

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    We don’t have a mister but use spray silicone, but 4 sheets of .040 seems to be max we can get out of a Onsurd $20 bit.
    What feed rate and rpm are you guys running on aluminum?
     
  12. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    For .080 we do 40,000 rpm and 240in/min with a quarter inch bit.
     
  13. Rick Tennyson

    Rick Tennyson Member

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    and how long on average does your bit last?
     
  14. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    At least 15-20 sheets before we notice the edges get rough. Then if we goto two pass we can usually get another 10... Which we may or may not do depending on how busy we are.

    We cut a mixture of stuff though. Sometimes we cut hundreds of 6" 6" signs... Sometimes it'll be 2 48x48 signs per sheet.... So the amount of cutting varies. Most of our signs are usually within 24x30. Our machine runs 8 hours a day, so we use it a lot, and non stop.

    But again... This is the quarter inch bit, I know our 1/8 doesn't last as long, but we only use a 1/8 bit when we need to cut smaller holes so we don't use it much...so I can't be too much help with how long that bit lasts.
     
  15. fixtureman

    fixtureman Member

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    If you are only getting 1 to 2 sheets I would check runout on the router. You may need a better chuck and collet someting like Precise bits make
     
  16. johnnysigns

    johnnysigns Very Active Member

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    FWIW we've found it beneficial to use better, more expensive tooling. I'd done a spell of cutting where we were using Amana bits and we were seeing 30% of the lifespan we'd see in the onsrud tooling that were comparable.
     
  17. Rick Tennyson

    Rick Tennyson Member

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    I am the OP. We use Onsurd bits and silicone spray and still get a max of 3-4 040 sheets. This is with a new collet and nut.
    Any advise?
     
  18. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    We use Belin bits across the board, almost everything gets cut with a 1/8" single flute upcut. Even something like 3/8" aluminum I'll run an 1/8" bit. The primary upshot in the smaller diameter is less load on the spindle and bit. I use the LMT code 333217A, which is the 1/8, with a CEL of 5/16". It will last me countless sheets, especially on something like .040, it can 1/8" in one pass, but I prefer to run one pass at .035 and one at .125 to reduce the load.
    For years we used a micro mist lubrication system from Tryco, with MD fluid that would lubricate the bit. After the mister went down, and finding another one put the price around a few hundred dollars, I opted for a different misting solution, that cools instead of lubricates (though it does lubricate to a degree). It's made by Kool Mist, I'll have to find the part number if you're interested, and it's relatively easy to either hook it up to the router electronics for automatic spraying, or to just hook it to a compressor and flip the valve when needed.
    040 barely requires mist on my setup, but the tools would last a lot longer with it. Reece carries the Belin bits.
     
  19. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    It depends on the aluminum sheets too, cheaper sheets have much more silicon added in & that tears up bits.
    You can tell if the sheet is brighter/more reflective and more rigid than normal.

    Assuming I didn't do something stupid and snap the bit, I would get 20-30 .125 aluminum sheets cut with my 1/4" ,single flute, up-cut bit.
    I hated the double fluted bits; they would break much easier and would produce aluminum slivers instead of scallops, the slivers
    would get into everything and were hard to get out from underneath your skin.

    Why wouldn't you get an aftermarket mister? It would pay for itself after 10 bits.
     
  20. Rick Tennyson

    Rick Tennyson Member

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    We have slowed down the rpm and has helped a lot. As far as the aluminum sheets,
    we just buy the normal .040 etc from GSG or Reece Supply, pre painted most of the time. I am not sure how you determine “cheap” on these but, I am assuming you talk about mill finish .125 sheets.
     
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