Aluminum Mold making tooling suggestion
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    Default Aluminum Mold making tooling suggestion

    I am making a 6061 male mold for carbon fiber sleeves. I want it to come out of the cnc lathe with an awesome finish quality to minimize sanding afterwards.

    Should i go to brand new HSS, Diamond, uncoated, coated? I have heard many opinions and just wanted everyone else's thoughts?

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    New aluminum specific carbide inserts, which are rarely coated, but I have never used diamond so maybe that is the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    New aluminum specific carbide inserts, which are rarely coated, but I have never used diamond so maybe that is the best.
    I was just told about diamond on aluminum and how it was from another world so thats why im here lol

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    Rule of thumb is uncoated on aluminum, honed super sharp. Diamond is for abrasive materials, like any coating it is applied after the tool is sharpened so the edge won't be as sharp.

    Now, why 6061? That stuff is like bubble gum. Aluminum injection molds are usually 7075 or one of the proprietary alloys like FORTAL or QC 10.

    Dennis

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    Quote Originally Posted by psandherr View Post
    I was just told about diamond on aluminum and how it was from another world so thats why im here lol
    Natural diamond chip cutters are best, compacted diamond next, then Al-specific carbide inserts. A light coat of lube or alcohol on the finish passes helps if the alloy is gummy.

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    You'll have better results getting your process* dialed in, other than buying expensive diamond/pcd inserts IMO. Also, I think for the exotics to function well they need really high sfm (but I am no expert, hopefully someone will chime in on that).

    *proper coolant concentration, finish stock allowance, feed rate/sfm, rigidity, quality material, etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    You'll have better results getting your process* dialed in, other than buying expensive diamond/pcd inserts IMO. Also, I think for the exotics to function well they need really high sfm (but I am no expert, hopefully someone will chime in on that).

    *proper coolant concentration, finish stock allowance, feed rate/sfm, rigidity, quality material, etc
    My issue is i only need to make 1 so I dont have a couple trys to dial it in so i wanted to just start with the "best"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Natural diamond chip cutters are best, compacted diamond next, then Al-specific carbide inserts. A light coat of lube or alcohol on the finish passes helps if the alloy is gummy.
    No coolant?

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    Get rid of the shit 6061 and get 2024
    Uncoated carbide tooling
    Rough however you want, finish with small stepover, leave 10k for your finish pass
    12k or better rpms
    Coolant of your choice

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    Get rid of the shit 6061 and get 2024
    Uncoated carbide tooling
    Rough however you want, finish with small stepover, leave 10k for your finish pass
    12k or better rpms
    Coolant of your choice
    The program i have is similar to what you say. I'm gonna go with aluminum specific carbide un-coated.

    But is the 6061 that bad in your opinion its T-6 if that makes a difference? I havent had issues with it being gummy and i like how it machines compared to 7000 series.

    Never used any 2000's

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    How long are your sleeves, and what's your plan to get them off the mandrel? Are they straight, or tapered? If straight, it's going to require a fair amount of force and 6061 aluminum won't take long to get scuffed by the rubbing. If you're only doing a few it shouldn't matter much, but if you're going to do a lot some kind of steel will be a better choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by psandherr View Post
    The program i have is similar to what you say. I'm gonna go with aluminum specific carbide un-coated.

    But is the 6061 that bad in your opinion its T-6 if that makes a difference? I havent had issues with it being gummy and i like how it machines compared to 7000 series.

    Never used any 2000's
    One of my jobs is making wax injection molds. While 6061 will and does work, from a machinability standpoint and finishing 2024 is far superior. When programmed right there is little to no hand work needed. Even fixtures with complex forms come out excellent. We are using stepovers of 2-5k on tools up to .375 for finishing.

    Don't know if I've ever heard they like how 6061 machines lol


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