Carbide burr vs Aluminum - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:55 PM
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Carbide burr vs Aluminum

I learned a new trick today and thought I would pass it on, ok it's probably an old trick for most of you already but it's new to me.

Anyone who has attempted to work Aluminum with a burr and die grinder knows the frustration of the clogging problem of the Aluminum and the burr teeth, the usual trick of applying grease first definitely helps but the Aluminum is still a PITA most of the time. Today I was needing to do some heavy Aluminum removal on a part I could not fit in my mill so I chucked up a new burr in my die grinder and while looking for some grease I spotted my jar of Permatex Silver Anti-Sieze and I thought why not, let's give this stuff a try. I will never use grease again! I was amazed at how long I could use the burr without it loading up and when it did a quick brush with a stiff wire brush easily and completely removed the clogging.

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Old 05-20-2011, 01:07 PM
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Good idea,I use wax and it helps but not 100% I wish you had posted this earlier because I just finished up grinding a intake.Next time.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:40 PM
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Excellent tip oldred.

Aluminum is a bear to work with for sure.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:11 AM
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Mold release or PVA works well also, usually can find a spray can at body shop suppliers for use with Burrs on AL...never tried the never seize though...might be good in a pinch as I don't always have PVA laying around but almost always have some never seize!

Good tip!
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:27 AM
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Great idea!! Thanks. Also I was thinking, has anyone used Muriatic acid to clean clogged ones?
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:36 PM
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I used wax but my concern was that when the burr gets warm the wax liquefies and slings everywhere inside the port, trapping debris in it. Never figured out a good way to the get the wax out, just cleaned it best I could & moved on. I will try the anti-seize next time -at least it's solvent cleanable. thanks for the tip!
Muriatic Acid [sp?]: is that quick or slow, doesn't damage the burr?
What's PVA?
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:56 PM
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PVA: Poly Vinyl Alchohol, mold release agent used in all kinds of molds...from plastics to metal injections.

Another good burr lubricant is plain ole varsol, stinks when it gets hot but leaves the best finish especially on AL.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:01 PM
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I used to swear by a little paraffin wax rubbed into the cutter, but I was at lowes once and ran across a can of dupont teflon dry wax lubricant in a can and decided that I would give it a try and I swear that I've never seen anything work as well (at least as long as I kept things at a reasonable speed). I literally got an LT1 intake and a pair of cylinder heads completely done without having any of the burrs that I was using get clogged at all. it looked like one had a few bits of aluminum stuck to it and was going to get clogged, but I sprayed some of the stuff on it and it cleared itself off while I continued cutting.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vexzer
I used wax but my concern was that when the burr gets warm the wax liquefies and slings everywhere inside the port, trapping debris in it. Never figured out a good way to the get the wax out, just cleaned it best I could & moved on. I will try the anti-seize next time -at least it's solvent cleanable. thanks for the tip!
Muriatic Acid [sp?]: is that quick or slow, doesn't damage the burr?
What's PVA?
Pretty fast. It's what we always used to take aluminum out of the bore on a snowmobile when they had a meltdown.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:32 PM
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Great tips ...arent there carbide cutters made just for aluminum? someone was showing me one a few weeks ago that they said was made just for aluminum the teeth (blades were spaced father apart...I orderd one but havent used one yet...
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
Great tips ...arent there carbide cutters made just for aluminum? someone was showing me one a few weeks ago that they said was made just for aluminum the teeth (blades were spaced father apart...I orderd one but havent used one yet...
DBM, you are correct.

For the other folks in this thread that don't know this...yes, there are specific burrs for aluminum and other soft metals/plastics. A typical 1/2" diameter flame shape burr for aluminum only has about 7 or 8 teeth(flutes) and looks more like an end mill for a milling machine.

The typical SC(single-cut) or DC(double-cut/cross cut teeth) burr for harder materials has close to 20+ flutes.

Lubes can get you by in a pinch, but nothing beats the correct burr for aluminum if you use one more than on a rare occasion. If you are going to port aluminum heads or intakes...you need a AC (aluma-cut) burr.
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:19 AM
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Ya the correct burr for alum really makes a big difference in the work and don't clogg up.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:47 PM
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Even with the correct burr you'll need lube.

For that matter, the correct burr, lube and speed control are all necessary...
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