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Aluminum 6061-t6 metal shaping help

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  • #16
    Originally posted by FM117 View Post
    Never heard of mounting sawblades backwards.
    Hope your neighbors like the sound of rivet bucking!
    Dave P
    I've heard of mounting blades backwards, tried it, don't recommend it. Blades are sold for cutting metals, I'm a believer in using the right blade.
    Funny thing, I recently picked up a flyer at Lowes for some translucent roofing panels to use on a car port some day. In the Tuftex pamphlet they say to turn the circular saw blade backward to cut the panels. I was shocked they would recommend using a power tool in this manner.
    To all who contribute to this board.
    My sincere thanks , Pete.

    Pureox OA
    Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
    Miller Syncrowave 250
    Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

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    • #17
      Originally posted by trstek View Post
      I was wondering about the backwards blade advice...

      There is a program for members of the EAA, "Tech counselors" , before I start fabricating will get involved in that. Basicly, someone looks over my shoulder at every step to make sure I am doing it right. Someone local so they can stop by and inspect. (if I understand how that works)

      This by all accounts will be a 2 - 3 year adventure for me, if life cooperates.

      Appreciate all the knowledge, and help put forth here.
      Tom
      Tom,
      You have it right, for the most part we are a group of engineers and/or builders that will help you not only with the techniques and processes, but also logistics, paperwork and the like. Attending the sport-air workshops are a good start if your not familiar with metalwork. By metalwork, I mean you will find lots of formblock work. I think the reason you will find many builders just using snips on things like ribs, is that of the hour and a half or so spent making each rib, it takes maybe 2 minutes to cut it with snips. For cutting long sections, a cordless circular saw set up with a fine tooth carbide metal blade and a 8 foot jig has become very popluar. The sonex is a great beginner project, well thought out and very simple.

      -Aaron
      "Better Metalworking Through Research"

      Miller Dynasty 300DX
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      • #18
        Update, leaning heavy towards scratch built.

        Going to start running the numbers for materials and getting quotes to compair to the kit option.

        My friend has offered a corner in his shop to me.

        Scratch will add some time to the project, but truth be told I really like the idea of building it from raw stock. Just adds something to it.

        Tom

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        • #19
          6061

          this alloy bends and forms nicely, you need a very large amp plasma to cut through it, a bandsaw works for making straight cuts on tube and angle.
          A skill saw with nice sharp carbide blade really makes short work it. just use a fence to make your cuts square.
          trailblazer 280 nt with 3000 hrs and running strong
          today I bought a new trailblazer 302
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          • #20
            Tom: Hi I've done a lot of routing doing templates to make repetitive parts but not in Aluminum. Don't see why not if the material is thin. It's the same thing that I do with my mill and the Mfg. I get my bits from listed non ferous metals for them.

            You have to choices for bit types. Bearing mounted and pilot bushings. Bearing mounted come in top and bottom mounted. Mostly I use top mounted and put my pattern where I can see all the edges. I screw or clamp it to a work surface smaller than the patern or use a spacer so I only cut the material not the work surface. These usually cut to the exact dimentions of your pattern.
            Pilot bearings mount to your router and are similar to top mounted bearings. The big difference is that the cutter is smaller than the pattern so size the pattern accordingly. With these you can use spiral bits however. If you use a down cut bit the router tries to pull down holding it tight to the work. Downcut spirals help hold the material in place while using handheld routers. They also toss most of the waste of the bottom away from you.

            Hope this may help. By the way I get the bits from MLCS. Not the top of the line but as good as and with a better selection than HDepo, at a decent price.

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            • #21
              DSW,

              Thanks for the info, puting the material list together, should get an order out this week and have some parts to show in a week or so.

              What is MLCS? Do they have a web page.

              Thanks,
              Tom

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              • #22
                Tom MLCS is a company that makes carbide router bits.

                http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/order...routerbit.html

                I hope the link went in right. ( still learning how to post) Good luck

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                • #23
                  When I was doing sign work I used a router quite a bit on copper, brass and aluminum. The biggest problem with aluminum was the flutes clogging. I did not have the advantage of the internet then, or other people openly willing to give up trade secrets all the time. Lubing the aluminum and rpm seemed to be big factors but never completely solved the problem. I guess what I'm saying is you might want to seek out a "best flute style", speed and process for routing aluminum, if there is such an instruction set. Like I said, the aluminum cut easy, it was the clogging of the flutes that was a problem.
                  To all who contribute to this board.
                  My sincere thanks , Pete.

                  Pureox OA
                  Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                  Miller Syncrowave 250
                  Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by burninbriar View Post
                    When I was doing sign work I used a router quite a bit on copper, brass and aluminum. The biggest problem with aluminum was the flutes clogging. I did not have the advantage of the internet then, or other people openly willing to give up trade secrets all the time. Lubing the aluminum and rpm seemed to be big factors but never completely solved the problem. I guess what I'm saying is you might want to seek out a "best flute style", speed and process for routing aluminum, if there is such an instruction set. Like I said, the aluminum cut easy, it was the clogging of the flutes that was a problem.

                    Bees wax. That is what they use in really good defense plants.



                    Sincerely,


                    William McCormick

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by trstek View Post
                      For an experimental aircraft application, is there an issue with using a plasma cutter on 6061-T6 Aluminum sheet?

                      The application would be structural parts. The parts are riveted together after shaping.

                      Looking at the option of scratch building vs buying the kit. (kit has laser cut parts)

                      Specifically, will the heat of the cut effect the metal in a bad way?

                      One practice recommended is stacking blanks together, then using a band saw to cut out parts. I was thinking plasma cutter with a pattern guide would be faster. Both processes would have edge clean up, not sure about the heat zone.

                      Any thoughts?

                      Thanks,
                      Tom
                      Get someone to print out cadd drawings exactly to 1:1 scale of the parts you are going to make. Then glue them on with the reusable self adhesive glue, to the aluminum sheet. And cut them out on a high speed band saw. Carbon blade 14 teeth per inch is great. It takes minutes.

                      You can get an inexpensive barrel sander from Sears that works really well. The barrel moves up and down, in the table, so it does not just wear out one spot on the barrel. To finish up the edges. You can sand them to the printed cadd lines. Then peel off, remove any glue with auto paint prep, wax and grease remover.

                      Sincerely,


                      William McCormick

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                      • #26
                        Here is something I do with the paste and cut procedure.

                        http://www.Rockwelder.com/GeneralCad...nch/index.html

                        In the attachments is something else I did with pasting the cadd drawings.

                        It goes very fast and very well. I also add a little bees wax to the bandsaw blade now and then.

                        Sincerely,


                        William McCormick
                        Attached Files

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Bill McC View Post
                          Get someone to print out cadd drawings exactly to 1:1 scale of the parts you are going to make. Then glue them on with the reusable self adhesive glue, to the aluminum sheet.
                          Sincerely,


                          William McCormick
                          Who makes the reusable glue, is it like a gum tape?
                          I have always used 3M spray glue. It comes off real easy with regular paint thinner. There is two kind of spray glue from 3M. Super 77 and super 99 I think, anyway,sorry if the numbers are wrong , I've used both and they both work. One leaves a smoother coat, I think its the super 77 but I can check that tomorrow when I go out to the shop.
                          To all who contribute to this board.
                          My sincere thanks , Pete.

                          Pureox OA
                          Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                          Miller Syncrowave 250
                          Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Currently I use the Permatex reposition able gasket adheasive. But I could not find it in the Permatex site.

                            I believe that 3M also makes some.

                            Some of the art stores carry it. But some of them use a wax that does not take temperature well. So if you have small parts with a lot of curves the parts get hot and the wax melts.


                            Sincerely,


                            William McCormick

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                            • #29
                              I just went out to look at mine, its the 3M super 77. It goes down smooth, holds up to heat from cutting real well and the patterns come off by wiping paint thinner on them with a rag. Once the paper gets wet with thinner it just lifts right off.
                              I have used it on steel parts and got the pattern hot enough to start burning before the edges started lifting.
                              To all who contribute to this board.
                              My sincere thanks , Pete.

                              Pureox OA
                              Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                              Miller Syncrowave 250
                              Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Cutting Metal with a Backwards Blade

                                Hi All! I have cut much metal with a skill saw and the blade turned backwards. Not airplane parts though. Just metal roofing and siding. That small cutter in a router sounds like a good idea.
                                Having worked for an outboard manufacturer 6061-T6 is a very normal metal to check for hardness and cracks. Sometimes it seems to crack just by looking at it too hard. Treat it very gently when your making a wing rib.
                                Lee
                                Think Alot
                                Learn Alot
                                Read Alot
                                And Then Do It Again & Again

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