Cutting 20mm thick aluminum plate with a maslow!

Its time to upgrade my rubbish (wood) spindle clamps to some nice beefy aluminum ones, after searching high and low on the web I just couldn’t find what I wanted. So I decided to cut my own out of 20mm thick 5083 marine grade alloy with the maslow. Thought id test the limits. 350mm min 150mm min plunge .5mm pass. 2hr cut time. First cut got halfway through then my old wooden spindle mounts shattered. So I fibreglassed them roughly and tried again the next day. 6mm straight 2 flute bit. Success! Had to face 3mm off to fix a small error from the day before. Here are some photos/video link


Would give you full speed control from ~0 to +20000 :-). Nice build!

Sorry probably confused you, ive been calling the router a spindle, however I am thinking of getting a proper cnc spindle once I kill the makita. I can go as low as 9500 rpm with the makita and that seemed to work fine for the alloy. Its actually not a bad wee router for what it is!

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500w air cooled (my current setup) is a bit low. Water cooled is a bit of an effort moving around a full sheet. Seen 850w air cooled at decent price. Will be my next choice. You will appreciate the reduction in noise and the full speed control.


I did see those air cooled ones, aliexpress has them quite cheap, very tempting… might have to look into it. You can also get a 1kw version too I see.

how do you find the twin dust extraction? I noticed when cutting the alloy the odd chip would stick to the wall of the cut on the opposite side of my suction port. I’ve got a really strong shopvac but I could probably improve that side of things next. May as well!

making an angle towards the direction of the bit rotation works perfect and a 3.175 mm (1/8 inch) bit does not create that much of waste to begin with.
edit: The cap is a cut off coke bottle.
Not tested aluminium though. Might melt my cap…

That is brilliant, I dont think it would matter, the chips from the aluminium are pretty cold, if you create hot chips with aluminium they will weld to the cutter and itll break pretty quick. Its amazing just how sticky alloy gets when it warms up. But I could always do something similar with some thin stainless tube I guess. Could work quite well.

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I have some crappy aluminium sheet scrap i can test and abundance of cheap 2 flute china bits, Would like to learn how to cut bad aluminium. @aluminumwelder has some insight.
Thanks for giving me the drive to go further then i could imagine.

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I did read with cheap aluminum that a single flute bit that has a polished finish can work well, I was using a 4mm single flute polished carbide bit (cheap China one) before my wooden clamps broke and snapped that bit. It was cutting really well. (My only one I have more on the way). I have also just ordered some 6mm and 4mm aluminum spesific cutters that are 2 flute (can also get 3 flute) and have a different profile and are also polished too. Who knows if it makes a difference or not? These are them


So I’m seriously looking at this spindle now 65mm 1.5kw air cooled it’ll fit in these clamps im making now.

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That is a beefy thing! Has it’s price, though should last a while. Seems to be made for heavy and long jobs.
Edit; Don’t understand the connection,

but it must have 0-10V PWM control to allow speed control from within the g-code.
I see a 10V there. That could be it.
Makerverse is providing that from the software side. I’m having this one ready and been waiting for over a year to test it on the Maslow.

It would be nice to control speed on the software side, it’d be nice to go down to 5000rpm so 3 flute bits can be run. Here is the finished mounts.


That looks rock solid!


Its alot better than the wooden mounts for sure! I’m going to draw up a linkage kit this evening as I still don’t have the bit perfectly centered inside my ring system. I have some 2mm alloy sheet ill use for this.

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If you have the tools to clamp the linkages and drill them together on a bench drill, this way all holes will be the same distance. Other then friction, the most important for linkage system.

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Ok sounds good, I have the gear to do that, could I just let the maslow drill the holes as well or will it not be quite accurate enough?

How many parts will your kit have. A slight difference in the hole distance will have some impact on future accuracy. It’s better to drill all holes through the linkages stacked on top of each other, so and wandering off of the drill will effect all parts. It they are all off by the same amount it will not matter. If on one side the holes are slight different from the other, the linkage will not work accurately. A laser cutter (if calibrated) can reach that precision to cut all parts separate, a desk-top cnc to an extend. On the Maslow I would not attempt this. Not saying that its not possible. With a good calibrated machine and all pats close to the centre, it might work. It’s just that the Malsow has so many variables that can influence the outcome precision, that i personally try to be as accurate with the hardware as possible.

Ok good point, in that case what I might set it up to do is drill just 1 set of holes on the same end and bolt all of them together then I can use the drill press for the rest. And this will help clamp them together for the other holes. It’ll just be a standard 45 degree setup 10 pieces in total.

For inspiration: