The metalwork industry is a growing business and a great way for comfortable craftsmen to expand their talents. If you’re a craftsmen who is already comfortable using a dremmel, then you may find that the ideas and uses of a cnc end mill bit are already familiar to you.
Very few craftsmen need excuses to expand their tool collection. Still, a quick look at the popular craft and gift site, Etsy, will reveal several ways that you can hone your routing skills and make money in the process.
- A Carved Wooden Sign
Remember the lovely wood carved sign at the last wedding you went to? It had the bride and grooms initials carved inside a heart? That was probably made with an end mill bit. Unlike drill bits, an end mill bit can move both horizontally and vertically. This means that any sign where the words are bored into the wood were probably created with a milling machine.
You may be able to use an end mill bit and carve out words or even images by hand, but most of the products sold on craft sites and at art festivals use cnc technology to make the most accurate lining possible. A standard end mill will give you the very smooth finish of a professional looking carving, and relatively inexpensive carbide inserts will make for an even faster and smoother finish.
- Leather belt
If you’re looking to put a notch in your belt, an end mill bit is your best bet. Intricate leatherwork and leather writing can either be burned or etched into the surface. Just attach your bit to your router with a clamp such as ER collets and you can bore, mill, and grind just about any surface.
This work can be finer than a large wood sign, but the end results are just beautiful. Practice by making a bracelet to hone in on your technique and get comfortable with using an end mill bit.
- Commemorative Coins
The intricate relief of Lincoln on the face of the penny is beautiful and can be accomplished with metalwork. Choose the right carbide end mill bit and you’ll be able to create the smooth planning and delicate detail on metal surface.
A commemorative coin or metal plaque is a less rustic and more distinguished gift. The minute detail of this project would require the special precision of a swiss style-lathe. A Swiss cnc router can maintain accuracy within a few tenths of a thousandth of an inch! No matter how fine the end mill bit, there’s no matching that accuracy without the right machine behind the task.
Each of these gifts are beautiful, personal, and require the help of an end mill bit. They’re also great introductory projects for an amateur metalworker to test out new tools and new skills.
Gardner’s Capital Spending Survey estimates that the metalworking industry grew by 37% in the last year. This indicates that more and more craftsmen are exploring the world of CNC routing and end mill bits. These craftsmen will go on to carve keys, bore pockets in metal siding, and carve cog work. It’s time to join their ranks and learn for yourself!
There are a million other great uses for end mill bits out there. What milling projects have you completed using these tools? Share your success in the comments section below.