We featured Kingjamez’ video on making an aluminum AR-15 lower receiver on a small hobby mill (Sieg X3) quite a while back. He used our G-Wizard Feeds and Speeds successfully, and I was tickled to get a note from him recently about his use of G-Wizard for this project:
Just wanted to write and say thanks for GWizard. I’m a hobbiest (you featured my youtube video of my CNC’d AR-15 a couple years ago) and have a tiny CNC Mill, but thanks to GWizard my first efforts at machining 6AL-4V titanium went flawlessly. I used high speed machining techniques (at low speed, and inspired by your HSM blog post) on my little X3 mill and was able to make deep passes that had great surface finish the on the very first cut. I didn’t break any tools, or say any curse words! Who would have thought that possible on a benchtop CNC machine with an inexperienced operator? Not me! GWizard paid for itself on just this project alone in the tooling and frustration it saved me, and I’ve had it for 2 years. That’s money well spent. Thanks again.
Thank you Jim, for all your interesting projects on your video channel!
Most hobbyists are afraid to tackle Titanium, but Jim has had some great success with it as has John Grimsmo, the custom knifemaker we’ve covered from time to time. Check out some of his initial work on the Lower Receiver:
Jim is not only using G-Wizard for Feeds and Speeds, but he’s also using some High Speed Machining (HSM) techniques…
Some thoughts for others who may follow in Jim’s footsteps:
– Be very paranoid about clearing chips. Titanium work hardens.
– Titanium particularly prefers coolant because it doesn’t conduct heat very well.
– Do watch the runout. Jim lost an endmill to runout, and it is a particular problem for hobby mills and tooling. Imagine that your runout is added to your chip load, and that too much chip load is typically why endmills break.
That Titanium Lower is really going to be a unique and cool project for Jim when he gets it finished. I’ll be glued to his video channel to watch it unfold. Amazing that you can do a project like this on such a small mill.
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