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Metal cutting carbide router bits

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Apr 18, 2001
im sure there is one or more of you out there who can help me find a company that sells router bits for metal.
im still in the process myself searching.
want to make a decent waterblock.
i understand places like Danger Den would be much cheaper. just want to do it!
any help welcome.
Are you thinking of using a regular plunge router with a carbide bit for cutting copper? It may be okay for cutting wood but it is spinning way too fast to cut metal, you will probably end up burning up the copper and the cutter. I have used a carbide blade in a radial arm saw to cut copper flat stock but that is removing relatively little metal with a very open blade. Metal milling speeds are much slower than wood milling, also you need to apply a liberal amount of coolant (oil or "suds which is a mixture of water and a water soluble oil) - if you try that with a router you'll just end up covering the walls with it.
I milled out an aluminum block with a 1/2 inch shaft dual flute straight bit and a drill press. You must have a vice and go real slow. If you slip the shock will break the bit. Yes even 1/2 inch because it is hardened and dosen't like shock. Carbide burrs work good to.
Cold Mop's idea is better as a drill press can be run at a slow speed, and if you were to use a proper metal cutting end mill you would have a better chance of success. Trying to mill slots in metal with a hand held plunge router may not be a good idea if you value your physical well being.

I'm not trying to poor cold water on your idea, I'm just trying to keep a fellow overclocker safe. Trying to type messages on a keyboard when your hands a covered in bandages may get quite frustrating.
its well known to my friends that im not the safest person to be around when attemtin to be creative!
thanx for your advice and concerns.
how about i set up a jig, set the plunge depth so the flute blade wil only take off 1/16 of an inch on each pass. would the shrapnel be tiny enough to not cause to much damage even with my regular router?

i still have all the guards in place on the router lol
Actually, if you have sufficient control then yes you may get away with that, although I might try a 32nd or 64th first. If your pattern allows I'd suggest drilling at the ends of the channels first, where they are to meet each other, just to be sure the bit doesn't snatch as it enters a completed channel.

If you have a compressor you might try blowing compressed air on the bit while it's cutting. That way the metal cuttings, which will be quite fine, will be blown away and you will be cooling the cutter a little. I'm sure I don't have to tell you to wear eye protection. Metal particles in your eye is no fun at all, trust me on that one, I have experienced it first hand.
im waiting for a reply to an email i sent to an industrial company for bit pricing and sizing. ill let u know how it works.
thanx for the info and ideas bros!
Oh god I hope i'm not to late

only joined this forum to save your life, I'm not a techie, I build museum exhibits. Do not, I repeat do not try to cut metal with a carbide router bit!!!or any router bit for that matter. The carbide will imediatly chip and send little pieces everyware, and if your lucky the router will not bounce like a jumping bean on crack. The only metal cutting you can do with a router is if you have a special up-spiral tungsten-carbide trimming bit. even then you can only trim very thin alumminum laminate. If you want to make your own block you must use milling bits. you can try to use a drill press, but it lacks the torque and stability of an actual milling machine. Any professional and most enthusiasts/hobbiest can tell you that the only way is the right way and to do it the right way you need the right tools.
yeah. A few thousand rpm bit meeting copper block will end in bad news. Unless you have an itch to make it in the local news. I would suggest against it. But you get an A for effort.
milling machines ( the correct way to mill ), run at much lower RPM's, and even they use coolant while cutting metal.

I'm going to have to say the router bit is impossible; however you could drill many holes in the pattern you want, and use a die grinder or something to smooth your channels.

You could also get an all copper air heatsink, and try and convert it to a watersink. this can be done with solder or jb weld; i've seen both. Solder is better IMO, probably safer too! Watersinks perform fairly well; most high end coolers use the same principle now of passing water over a mini copper 'heatsink', aka the baseplate.
router to machine metal

I used to use a portable router to machine metal all the time - use a variac to slow the speed down (300-500 rpm is a good start), use wd-40 or similar to lube and cool bit, and use a regular hss (high speed steel) metal 'end mill' as a bit - the type of bit used in the real machining equipment. Get a 'center cutting end mill' so you can plunge or slot, and can get them at any tool supply like the fabulous Mcmaster-Carr (great website for finding what you're not sure you need). Jigging a guide is the best way, and move router left to right, or if cutting a path or hole, direct cutting path in clockwise direction. Keep piece clamped and supported well to minimize vibration. HSS endmills are much more stable than the tough yet brittle cobalt and such bits mentioned earlier. These tougher yet more brittle tools are only needed for stainless steel and other tough materials. Good luck.
I milled out an aluminum block with a 1/2 inch shaft dual flute straight bit and a drill press. You must have a vice and go real slow. If you slip the shock will break the bit. Yes even 1/2 inch because it is hardened and dosen't like shock. Carbide burrs work good to.

Would be easy as cake on a Bridgeport. There are a few places that you can get tools like that from though, one would be Reid Tool and Supply or even ebay, what you need is called an endmill as Argonian mentioned. And yes no need for carbide with brass or aluminum, carbide 1/2" endmills run about $50 whereas HSS is like $5. If you could find a podock machine shop around you too butter up to, doing somthing like that on a bridgeport is like drawling on an etch-a-sketch.

EDIT!!!: Whoooohhh Twelch,, If you are trying to save his life you are like 9 years late! Carbide isn't that dangerous to cut metal with,, I use to cut hardened stainless with it all the time but using a router is crazy or anything that is not secured. the biggest danger with that is the tool binding and throwing the part itself at you along with pieces of the tool you are using, and even HSS will shatter. With any kind of work like that I would highly recommend a semi skilled machineist and most of all the right tools.
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This thread is from 2001 guys. If he wanted to cut this, he would have done it many years ago.
On the bright side, Gerry continued posting for several years after he posted the message, so whatever he ended up doing - he didn't die from it!
I'm looking to use a router to make vitriolic cuts on schedule 40 pipe. Like allot of you i need cutters for steel. Putt it out there if you know.
This thread is from 2001 guys. If he wanted to cut this, he would have done it many years ago.

Might want to d
Start a new thread and does this have anything to do with PC COOLING?
Dave, there are people obviously still hitting this thread from Google... Adding new and useful information to it would be more useful to everyone really than starting a new thread that doesn't show up in Google. Ya?