A lot of materials require some form of lubricant when machining for best results–aluminum will bond to your tool eventually if you don’t use some lubricant.  There simply is no combination of feeds and speeds that will 100% prevent it from happening, but a little mist or flood and there’s no problem.  Most materials can benefit in terms of surface finish from use of coolant too.  Unfortunately, coolant is messy.  If you don’t have a full enclosure, it’s often unacceptably messy.  The enterprising machinist won’t let a little thing like lack of an enclosure get in the way, though.

So the next time you’re getting ready to machine, forget the age old HSS or Carbide question. Instead ask, “Paper or plastic?”

I couldn’t resist!


There’s something quite entertaining about this very pragmatic solution!

What looks to be a radial engine block is also quite interesting…


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