View Full Version : Making metal blanks

Mike Null
10-30-2010, 7:31 AM
I recently had a very good customer ask me to make some sublimated plates for marble awards. I have a Newing Hall rotary engraver and could do the job with it but it is tedious and sometimes a little rough. Then I caught an idea--rout them.

I made the wood pattern on the laser for 4.75" diameter discs. Then taped the pattern and affixed square aluminum blanks to it. Trimmed close to the pattern with my metal shear then took it to the router table where I had installed a trimming bit. In less than 60 seconds on the router table the disc was made and with smooth, not sharp edges. I then proceeded with the sublimation process.

There were only two, but this is a prime customer so it's easy to say yes even if there's some challenge.

They were very pleased.

Keith Outten
10-30-2010, 8:11 AM

I am often in the same boat and I like the idea of using a router table for thin aluminum.
How did you hold the disks when you were routing the edge?

I have a suction cup that I use to route Corian plaques on my router table. The handle helps control the part and makes it easier on my hands and arms when I have to route plaques all day long.

Mike Null
10-30-2010, 9:33 AM

I used double back tape but a word of caution--it need not be extra strength tape as there is little resistance on the router and you want to be able to remove the plates without damage. I just held the whole assembly against the router bearing by hand.