Author Topic: routing steel pannels  (Read 2676 times)

Offline Will_D

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routing steel pannels
« on: October 07, 2016, 06:49:14 PM »
i am about to need a housing for the CNC stuff to drive my Sieg SX2P mill.

I have the DDCSV1.1 controller, PSU, 3 x M542T stepper drivers, and various i/o connectors.

In order to make a nice neat job*  I need to rout the font panel for the controller, various vent holes etc etc.

My Sieg will go to 2500 rpm so what are my options when it comes to the router bit?

Note I us the term router as if this was wood then it would be routed!

An engraver bit just engraves!

An end mill is a milling cutter and maybe not a router cutter

So what should I use? Are there specific router cutters for the mill that will rout 1.2 mm steel?

*In th epast I have drilled holes and used a jig saw to link up the holes. Ok but a bit of a botch. It would be nice to spend as much time on this job as I have spent wonga!!
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Offline Will_D

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 04:38:32 PM »
Bumping this!

109 views and 0 replies?
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Offline vintageandclassicrepairs

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2016, 05:03:14 PM »
Hi Will,
Maybe the "routing" description is putting people off???
Way back when I often made panels for multiple gauges and indicators and the like from thin sheet
The trick was to stick the metal sheet to some fine faced plywood before drilling and cutting

Do you have the Seig up and running in test form?
If yes I would try some test cuts with a slot drill ???

Laser cutting is an option  :palm:
John

Offline awemawson

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 05:25:02 PM »
Maybe 'profiling cutter' will get the results you want?

When I've done aluminium front panels in the cnc mill previously I mount them on a spoil board, and cut them out with a 6 mm end mill, or smaller if the detail dictates.

Years back I did make up a clamping frame to suspend panels an inch above the mill bed, allowing plunge cutting right through, but the vibration and drumming of a 19" x 1/8" standard panel was too much. Mounting to a spoil board prevents most of the drumming.

However a caveat - the point of full cut out of internal features is a high risk time in the life of the end mill as illustrated when I profiled the special spanner I needed to pull my 60 ton press apart. It broke away and took a decent carbide end mill with it  :bang:
Andrew Mawson
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Offline DavidA

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 05:28:58 PM »
*In th epast I have drilled holes and used a jig saw to link up the holes. Ok but a bit of a botch. It would be nice to spend as much time on this job as I have spent wonga!!..

I would have thought any carbide cutter would deal with 1.2 mm steel.

You could use the same method as you outline above, but leave plenty of waste on the cut  (say 2 mm) and then go around with the mill and clean it up. That way you won't need to use very small cutters,

Dave.

Offline PK

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 05:55:31 PM »
Thin stock is hard. In my experience you need something like vacuum hold down and low to zero helix angle cutters. Laser cutters (of course) excel in this application.

Best solution I've seen to the fixturing problem was a thing called an Ice Vise..  Just a flat plate that clamped to the table, you spritzed it with water, put your work piece on it then opened some valves which dropped the temperature below zero and froze the part solid.  When you are done, flip the valves the other way and it got warm.

PK

Offline sparky961

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2016, 06:24:14 PM »
I have to agree, laser is the way to go for thin steel.  Even engraving/marking on the surface is simple.  Plasma is a somewhat-acceptable second choice, though no decent marking there.  There's got to be a place in a larger city near you, or an online resource you can tap.

With all the lasers I know of within 30km of me, I should start a job brokerage firm!

PS. The "Ice Vice" sounds cool!  Pun very much intended. ;)

Offline efrench

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2016, 01:02:53 AM »
It may be faster and more efficient to just do it the old way with a jewelers saw and a file.  A metal cutting jig saw is another option.

Offline SwarfnStuff

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2016, 03:22:08 AM »
Just a thought.
       Have you considered water jet cutting? Naturally this depends on there being someone nearby that does it but if you supply a CAD drawing the cost may be reasonable.
       Then, you perhaps want to do it yourself which is fine too, just need to work out how you can get the finish you want from my reading so far.

John B
Converting good metal into swarf sometimes ending up with something useful. ;-)

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2016, 04:18:01 AM »
Many years ago I made a fuse/switch panel to a boat. I used 3 mm aluminium, because any thinner or steel was no go.

I used 22 mm floor grade (extra strong) MDF as a sacrificial board. I drilled the fixing holes (that actually were used to fix it in the boat) and used them and panel printed out of transparency to mark the holes.

Inside the cutouts and over the holes I put thin doublesided tape.

MDF was prepared/clamped and one side had a strip of wood epoxied and milled straight. The strip was needed to index the panel straight before dropping it down. Good luck trying to straighten panel with double sided tape......

I used plenty of screws to clamp down the panel.

I milled the cutouts plenty of trough, but left generous "tabs" on longest sides. Then I screwed down the cutout, with a screw that had a large head, some unscrewed portion that was excactly same diameter that the slot I milled. After the hairy bit I found out that you need two screws on every four side of the square cutout. Phew.

There were some blemishes, but luckily I was working on the back side of the panel, none of them showed up on final work. I left some cutouts with the tabs, because It was not too hard to cut the tabs out and file straight parts.

Needs plenty of clamps to support thin sections between the cutouts. I used plywood.

Round holes cut with camfer bits came out perfectly camfered and clean.

I cleaned up the face of the panel with solvent and abrasive sponge. It came out nice.

Pekka

Offline nrml

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2016, 08:41:19 AM »
Can you replace the steel panel with an aluminium one? It would simplify things a bit.

Offline Will_D

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2016, 10:41:19 AM »
Many thanks for all the sugestions.

The water jet/laser/plasma options will have to wait till I've won the Lottery!

I will go with sacrificial mdf under and lots of screws holding the cut outs and also use the main mounting holes.

Will try a 3 flute carbide cutter running fast (1000 - 2500) and see what happens

I will leave tabs on the cutouts and nip them off and file to true at end of job.

Also mount the work face side down!
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Offline Joules

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2016, 10:42:36 AM »
I use a cheap Chinese plasma cutter.   Bought it years ago for a specific job and it's still going strong 7yrs later !!!   Might just be a lucky one, or the farm supplies place I got it from knew their onions on this one.

Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2016, 04:35:42 PM »
Forgot to mention that it is pretty cruicial to use thin doublesided tape. Thick foam type is no go. Another thing is to put piece of tape under fixing hole and washer on screw, it's surpricing how little pressure is needed to buckle a thin piece.

One day I'll really need buy a magnetig square chuck (or vacuum plate).

Pekka

Offline sparky961

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2016, 05:48:23 PM »
Thinking about the Ice Vice, is there something else that could be used as a temporary adhesive? Beeswax, or parrafin maybe? Easy to release with a heat gun or oven, maybe even a hair dryer. Plaster of Paris? Not sure if water gets rid of it after setting... or how well it would hold. I'm sure there are others, the key being a good bond that doesn't need a lot of pressure, gap filling ability, and an easy clean way to release when done.

Offline awemawson

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Re: routing steel pannels
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2016, 06:06:56 PM »
Superglue works ok, then release with a bit of heat. Historically the clock people used resin (rosin) chucks with heat to fix and release.

Steve (VTSteam) used superglue to fix his tractor head to the mill for skimming. Described in a thread here somewhere.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex