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Old 16-09-2005, 11:04 PM   #1
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Default Turning your own aluminium parts - Materials

If you fancy turning your own engine parts or getting some other fool to do it for you, be aware there are two common types of Aluminum.

Regular Aluminium rod is available in lots of different shapes and sizes however it can be a pain in the a*** (I added the *** before the swear filter did) for the person turning it as it has a tendency to pressure weld itself to the tip of the cutting tool giving a sudden annoying gouge to the piece. This nearly always happens on the finishing cut. The technical reason for this is because that's when it's the most infuriating. Although you cut aluminum dry, it can benefit from a cutting fluid to help prevent this build up but sooner or later, it's going to happen.

It's much better to use Free Cutting Aluminum. This is much crisper to cut, slightly harder which is good if you accidently knock it, takes an extremely fine finish straight from the tool and can be polished just as easily. The raw rod looks brighter or chromier than regular aluminum bar and most importantly, has far less tendency to pressure weld itself to the tool.

Regular aluminium can be used but always try to get free cutting ali if you're buying from a metal merchant. They should stock both types and the price difference is negligible.

Anyone in the UK looking for metal could do worse than try Smiths:

They're also a good stockist for brass and have branches all over the UK.
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