Engineering & Tooling Thread, Machining Bakelite in Modelling; Does anyone have experience of machining Bakelite?
I've aquired some lengths of 3/8" Bakelite and wondered how well the stuff ...
Does anyone have experience of machining Bakelite?
I've aquired some lengths of 3/8" Bakelite and wondered how well the stuff machines. The only info I can find online suggests carbide tipped tools, no lubricant and
for milling, a high speed and coarse feed should be used, and if possible, remove all the material in a single cut as light finishing cuts produce a torn appearance.
Dont need or want carbide, HSS or stelite with a negative rake and no coolant. It stinks as you cut it and dont breath in the dust.
Milling much the same you can doa finish cut but put the RPM up and the feed way down. I used to machine parts for aircraft from the stuff.
Scale Model Member
Alan,be careful Paxolin and Bakelite dust is carsogenic.
Is this from the use of formaldehyde in the resin?
I'm still on the lookout for a synthetic material which would lend itself to machining small detailed model components, machines without plastiscizing and gives a good finish, taking paint well and thats reasonably durable for small wheels and other parts.
Scale Model Member
Probably is Alan ? all I know is that we had a storeman who insisted on grinding paxolin blocks in a confined space,he suffered for his actions,I have never used the material since,I just wish that I could suggest an alternative product for you to use ?
Many people do not understand the dangers of these materials.
Hi, I'm new here but I've had some machine shop experience in the distant past. Kevin is quite right about neg rake and HSS tooling, but I hope that he won't mind if I add that you can virtually discard your carbide tools for model engineering unless they are of the correct grade and quality for the job, and your machine is fast enough and rigid enough to impart the required finish. I finish grind my HSS tools with a smooth diamond file, hone them when appropriate, and you will be amazed at the results. Mind you, my ancient EMCO MaximatV10 helps. I have owned two Chinese lathes but stumped up the money for something decent!
Great site and I look forward to contributing where I can.
I was reading some threads elsewhere and stumbled upon "chemiwood"
It's a polyuretahne modelling board used for rapid prototyping and model making. It's dimensionally stable and inert. Dense uniform composition and flatness. Machines better than timbers with no material break out. Can be milled and turned, sands quickly by machine or hand.
It's a mixture of resins, fillers and plastics.
It also goes by the names model board or model lab board.
Does anyone have any experience of using this stuff? It sounds pretty expensive and isn't supplied in smaller quantities for modellers, seems to be in 4ft x 1ft sheets in a variety of grades and densities.
Sounds ideal for machining small model components.
I've found this supplier:
Not really sure which grade would suffice though, gets a little technical with details about it's flexural strength?? and Coefficients of Thermal Expansion...
Last edited by alan2525; 16-05-2007 at 08:39.
new to trains's Gallery
i have used it, for years, mostly in the manufacture of rapid prototyping/ product modelmaking - chemiwood- its a ciba geigy product, it is excellent to use, machines very very well, paints nicely- bonds easily and generally is spot on !- its virtually 100% dimensionally stable, basically unaffected by moisture/ heat variations...............
it has no grain so the finish is superb, -its a fleshy/ pinky colour and comes in sheet / slabs, can me worked with machines and also easily by hand...it does take the edge of cutters/ blades fairly quickly.
as far as grades of product goes then its a new one on me, when i used it it was all one grade- so i was not aware there are different types, ( we just went to the stores and got another slab out and used what we needed )
its turns and mills beatifully, flycutting is a dream and the only downsides are the price and the dust, one kills your wallet the other kills you.... the dust is ultra fine due to the fact it has no grain, machine it at higher speeds and as a general rule treat is as if it were a metal, it is failry tough stuff however it will snap if heavily impacted, - but its ideal for manufacture of parts you wish to mould, its often used in CNC procedures and for fabrication of components.
we were turned onto it an uni on the modelmaking course i did, we used to be able to buy it through the uni shop but most students used to contact local modelmaking businesses in the are and go and buy their offcuts for alot less than the going rate ! - but i suppose it depends on the quantity you need....
i think amber composites retail this stuff too..........
Thanks for the extra info, I think i'll probably just buy a big sheet of the stuff and have enough to keep me going for ages.
I got a bit fed up with trying to get hold of old offcuts from local businesses after one place just pointed me towards the skip and I cut my hand up badly trying to slavage some sheets of Arcylic from a local signmakers. It was all 8ft sheets that where more holes than anything else.
Someplaces are more helpfull than others when it comes to being helpfull!