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Thread: Router Mill for Aluminum (Poor Man's Milling Machine)

  1. #1
    Supporting Member scorch's Avatar
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    Router Mill for Aluminum (Poor Man's Milling Machine)

    After hand working a bunch of sand cast parts for my Gingery lathe I decided there must be a better way. So I built up a little mill consisting of a wood frame, cross slide vice and standard router for preparing the surface of cast aluminum parts.

    Here is a link to a
    .

    Assembled Mill:
    Router Mill for Aluminum (Poor Man's Milling Machine)-overview.jpg
    Router Removed (exposing cross slide vice):
    Router Mill for Aluminum (Poor Man's Milling Machine)-vice_pic.jpg
    Closeup with workpiece shown through router hole:
    Router Mill for Aluminum (Poor Man's Milling Machine)-closeup.jpg


    EDIT: Added details below this line.

    One of the comments Wmrra13 made below made me think of some additional details that might be interesting.

    The router was mounted to a ring of aluminum which was in turn bolted to piece of wood that made up the top of the router mill. The ring of aluminum was made from the bottom of a nonstick aluminum frying pan. In the picture below the top plate of the mill is leaning against the back wall so you can see the black, non-stick (Teflon) coated, side of the frying pan.
    Router Mill for Aluminum (Poor Man's Milling Machine)-cover.jpg

    I used a high speed high helix bit specifically designed for high speed aluminum machining for most of my cuts but I also used regular wood cutting bits if I needed a special feature like inside corner rounded.

    I usually sprayed the work piece with WD-40 to prevent the chips from sticking to the bit. The WD-40 seemed to work well for that application.
    Last edited by scorch; 04-14-2015 at 04:44 PM. Reason: Adding details

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to scorch For This Useful Post:

    blkadder (04-14-2015), GlennR (04-12-2015), kbalch (04-13-2015)

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    Altair's Avatar
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    Brilliant idea. Looking forward to seeing the finished lathe!

    Al

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    Good solution.

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    Thanks scorch! I've added your Router Mill for Aluminum to our Machining category, as well as to your builder page: scorch's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:


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    Supporting Member Wmrra13's Avatar
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    Scorch,

    I just looked at your site - lots of cool stuff!

    I'd be interested in seeing more about your aluminum casting tools and techniques.

    Your router mill is cool and would be even better if the top plate that that the router is mounted to was made out of polycarbonate or something else transparent. Still, I'm not sure why you need it since you have a really cool CNC router setup?

    Cheers,
    Tyler
    Last edited by Wmrra13; 04-14-2015 at 11:12 AM.

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    Supporting Member scorch's Avatar
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    Thanks Wmrra13,

    I do plan to post more of my stuff. I am pondering building a minimalist foundry to post. It is pretty shocking how much you can do with very little investment.

    You are right I don't really need the router mill anymore. In fact I don't have it. I sold off the cross slide vice and have since mounted the router motor to my CNC mill (using a cast aluminum part). I didn't have the CNC mill when I made the router mill.)

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    Supporting Member Wmrra13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorch View Post
    Thanks Wmrra13,

    I am pondering building a minimalist foundry to post. It is pretty shocking how much you can do with very little investment.
    I just bought the Gingery casting book. I think that's one of my next projects.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorch View Post
    ...since mounted the router motor to my CNC mill (using a cast aluminum part). I didn't have the CNC mill when I made the router mill.)
    That's what caught my eye.

    Thanks,
    Tyler

  9. #8
    Supporting Member scorch's Avatar
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    FYI, I added an additional picture and a little more description to the original post above. (for future readers)

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    Supporting Member blkadder's Avatar
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    Okay, now I need to go buy a router. Amazing work. Thanks for posting.

    Ron
    Ron

    ...Semper Fidelis...

  11. #10
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    That's a great post, scorch! Thanks for the idea.


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