Dead soft Aluminum

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Lew Hartswick
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Dead soft Aluminum

Post by Lew Hartswick » Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:13 pm

I have a small piece of the stuff but am going to need several square feet at least. It's about .005" thick but would like some even thicker if possible. The stuff I have is like very thick Food wrap foil . I want to use it to cushion the knurl when I hold a bunch of parts in the lathe chuck to finish machining operations. I've tried roof valley flashing but it's too "hard/springy" to wrap around a 1" object and I tried some time ago to "anneal" it with no so good results. :-) So any ideas for a source / or other material substitute ?? The pieces will be about 3-1/2 " long by 3/4" wide and I'm going to need a BUNCH of them :-)
Thanks for any suggestions.
...lew...

Harold_V
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by Harold_V » Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:20 pm

No need for the aluminum if you have a three jaw with master jaws. You can grip a knurl without damage by using soft jaws, even jaws made from steel.

Note that the knurl can be damaged if it isn't uniform in diameter, or if you do any roughing. It will generally allow for light cuts without any damage.

Note, too, that if the knurls vary in diameter from part to part, you can experience some deformation. The soft jaws should be bored to the exact diameter of the knurled parts.

If you're determined to use thin soft aluminum, 5052-O should serve quite nicely, assuming you can find it thin enough.

H
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GlennW
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by GlennW » Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:24 pm

https://www.mcmaster.com/metals

3003 Annealed sheet.
Glenn

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pete
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by pete » Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:49 pm

Or use a few short lengths of split lengthway's 3/4" or 1" copper water pipe. Short copper coupling sleeves are an off the shelf item in any building supply out there.Form to fit each of the chuck jaws (lots of Youtube videos showing the making of) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkCdNJqQgsM&t=25s this ones pretty good. Copper will be a bit hard but it's easy to return it to a soft condition just by heating to red hot then air cooling after the jaw pads are formed.

LIALLEGHENY
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:31 pm

Annealing aluminum is a very simple process. Assuming you have Oxy/Acetylene setup, or similar. Using the acetylene, or other, apply a coating of soot to the aluminum. Now take your torch and heat the the aluminum just to the point where the black soot disappears, quickly quench in cold water. Brings the aluminum to about T-0 hardness.

Nyle

shootnride
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by shootnride » Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:57 pm

Here's a link to some aluminum foil in various sizes:

https://www.mcmaster.com/aluminum-foil

Ted
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earlgo
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by earlgo » Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:03 pm

Beer cans are about .004" aluminum. They are compression formed so the aluminum is not dead soft. A couple of wraps would of course double the thickness. Maybe you can find some in your neighbor's recycle bin. :lol:
--earlgo
Before you do anything, you must do something else first. - Washington's principle.

ChipMaker4130
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by ChipMaker4130 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:36 pm

pete wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:49 pm
. . .Copper will be a bit hard but it's easy to return it to a soft condition just by heating to red hot then air cooling. . .
Better to water quench. It 'cleans' the surface and gets the copper to the absolute softest possible state.

jcfx
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by jcfx » Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:21 pm

Lew, I think what you have is 1100 pure aluminum, artists sculpture armature wire is 1100 very easy to bend and pound flat.
McMaster's spec on it is 2500psi yield compared to 5052 at 47000psi and 3003's 21000psi.

pete
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by pete » Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:13 am

Yes the water quench would help remove some of the heat scaling, but the copper will be in the exact same degree of hardness air or water cooled. It's the red heat temperature that softens it not the cooling method.

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Lew Hartswick
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by Lew Hartswick » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:50 am

I think that McMaster 1100 stuff would be the ideal but all I need for ever would be a 3 or 4 ft., a 50 ft roll would be overkill :-)
All the cans and like has been tried in the past and is way toooo hard . I don't "do" any welding even Oxy Acet. so that annealing is out.
As to how much machining is left, there is drilling and threading as well as finish facing and turning ,so they need to be pretty well held in the chuck. Thanks for the ideas.
...lew...

Mr Ron
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Re: Dead soft Aluminum

Post by Mr Ron » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:04 pm

I would think several thicknesses of heavy duty aluminum wrap would provide enough cushion.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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