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Pod&Rail machine processing aluminum?10/17
With many years of experience under my belt when it comes to woodworking and panel processing using Pod & Rail Machining centers (mostly Biesse Rovers) I am stumped by a new requirement for a new product segment:
The profiles are usually rectangular tubes from 3/4" x 3/4" all the way to 3"x2". Some might be round pipes as well. I am especially concerned about the small diameter holes of 1/8" I would need to drill for riveting. Would I need to run cutting fluids to saveguard the tooling? This seems to be pretty messy for someone who is used to produce wood dust. Or is there tooling out that can withstand reliably continuous drilling into tubes with fairly thin wall thickness ~1/16".
You can drill certain grades of aluminum without mist or flood coolant within the parameters you stated ( thin wall !). You will not want to do this with your boring block because of the fixed rpm nature and it could be cumbersome when "pecking" and the limitations on shank size.
Hope this helps.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Yes, I intend to create vise style jigs for proper positioning and holding of the tubes. Using the spindle with a much better control is good advise as well. I hope I can get by without misting/cooling.
We machine parts that are too big for the machine shop down the street. He provides the tooling, feeds & speeds. Peck drilling is usually used. There are some alloys that machine easily and some that stick like glue. Have to resort to mist for the sticky ones.