What do we use to face material with? A flat end endmill makes a pretty rough surface unlike a surface mill or a fly cutter but having only an ER11 collet limits us.

I have a surfacing endmill.

YEOW that sucker is as expensive as the router. I am on that company’s website and they make a lot of stuff. I like how that uses inserts so it is easily serviced but 100 smackers.

At least there are options and thank you.

I’m new here, so I can’t post links as it seems.

Search aliexpress for “surfaces milling cutter” and look for the red ones.

I’ve used one of these with my router, worked just fine.

Welcome and you will find a good group of people here and you will fit in nicely I can tell.

Thank you for this as I was told to use a flat ended end mill on Reddit and I almost split up my drink. I mean it works but wow plus, being Reddit, he was snotty about it.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000103958700.html Those? I am mostly using 6061-T6 for my material and HSS is evil with Aluminum so Carbide seems to not get nearly as gummy.

Thank you for your welcoming words.

Yes, I meant those. I used them for wood only, I guess you want to mill aluminium?

Yes, as wood would only ever be used occasionally.

What’s the easiest way to generate GCODE to fully face a spoilboard?

Draw a rectangle in a cad program, save as dxf, open in estlcam. Choose hole, pocket, check for reasonable feed rates and a depth of 1mm or smaller. If the 1mm isn’t deep enough, just run the program multiple times.

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Ok, sorry. I highly doubt those cutters will work for aluminium. You might find a cheaper alternative to what Barry suggested on Aliexpress though.

Just remember Aluminum is soft and its only problem is it likes to stick to stuff unlike wood. There is wood that is harder than Aluminum out there and this is why a wood cutting saw works well with cutting Aluminum. If using HSS you really have to use coolant but if using a carbide tool normally air is all that is needed.

That might do the job:

Don’t know if it’ll fit into ER11, and still quite pricey, though.

Edit: That one says “Carbide tipped”

Yep, I saw that one myself as I was looking after your post and it should work if only they would do a complete set or have various sizes I could scoop up. Some are misleading as they will just say Material: Alloy or will say Shank: Carbide. Yeah, the shank is but what are the cutting edges? Alloy? An alloy of what pencil shavings and chinesium?

Yeah, I guess that is the price you pay for buying cheap chinese tools :wink:
The $3.81 one looks as if it might be carbide cutters soldered onto it and then coated the same colour as the rest. I doubt the shank is carbide. Might be worth a shot.

From what I am seeing, and reading, it should work and is why I said I wish they sold other sizes too.

OH!! You want to face aluminum. Yea, you want a flat endmill. Yes, it will take a metric fuckton of time to face a large part. Our little routers don’t have enough ass behind them to plough a surfacing bit through aluminum.
1/8" endmill flattening a 6-ish inch diameter slug of aluminum. Was also running trochoidal, so took even longer than just straight cutting.

Finished facing. It looks rough, but it’s buttery smooth.

Final piece.


That shows the issue I mentioned about using a flat endmill but can’t we just go down say 0.1mm per pass for 3, or 4, passes using a surface bit or a fly cutter?

No. I tried, it will bog down our routers. Also, don’t try sticking a flycutter on there. They’re not balanced enough for these speeds on our machines. Remember the mpcnc was never intended for aluminum cutting, so we’re using wood routers that spin way too fast for metals. Just happens that with a single flute endmill we can sort of get away with it.


Yes, I was always worried of 12-16k rpm for metal. A flycutter at that speed I can see it flying apart like the tramming device did with NYCCNC recently.

This makes me wonder if putting the Router to the lowest speed and using a bearing setup for a 3:1 system would help? I know it would help the torque and would slow down the bit by three times so even a 6k rpm system would become 2k or 1.5k using a 4:1 system.

I am not an expert in such things but I wonder if the momentum at high speed increases the effective stiffness. A high speed bite can use the momentum of the router and the tool to its advantage but a low speed bite has to be fully supported by the stiffness of the machine. High end mills are made for huge loads and can go as slow as they want, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, a dremel in my estimation uses purely tool momentum.

So even the same depth of cut and feed per tooth could be more successful at high speed and less successful at low speed. Like if you slow down a blender by 100x, you might not ever get a smoothie, no matter how long you wait.

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