After successfully cutting aluminum with pretty decent quality, I wanted to improve the efficiency of it. The major problem I tried to solve was that of coolant. I've tried running the machine without coolant, and it works just not well; it overheats way too fast and leaves burn marks.
With coolant works much better and I sat there and watched the machine the whole time spraying it with compressed air and pure wd-40 lubricant, which was time-consuming and meant I couldn't leave the router to work on other projects.
After posting about cutting aluminum on Instagram, someone mentioned that there was a product just for this issue. I was already aware of its existence, but not sure about the price and how easy it was to setup. After doing a bit of research, I came across this video, which explained how to set up a cheap coolant system with an air compressor and liquid coolant. The way it works is it combines the compressed air and liquid coolant and sprays it out through an adjustable nozzle pointed at the tool.
The video had links to all the different products I would need, and so I purchased them all, and they came in the following week.
The setup was straightforward. The only thing not listed was PTFE tape, which allows it to have a perfect seal, and no air leaks out. I also added for ease of use was magnets. I bought two large magnets from Lowes and attached one to the router base on the Shapeoko and the other to the side of the mist system. I wanted a simple detach system as this machine commonly for cutting wood, and the mist system would get in the way pretty quickly.
I found that the air regulator 20 PSI that he recommended in the video was not enough for what I wanted, so I just raised that to 30 PSI, which worked well for my projects.
Once I started up the machine, I knew I had a problem right away. The magnets I got started sliding around from the vibrations of the router, which was not good. From the vibration, it meant that if I had the nozzle positioned wrong, I could get knocked into the tool which would grind and possibly break it or have an equally disastrous outcome.
A quick solution was to glue some pieces of wood to the sides of the magnets; this makes them sit parallel with each other and prevent vibrations from moving it in the vertical direction. The wood worked to a certain extent, but it didn't feel very sturdy and didn't look very pretty, so I designed a simple brace for the magnets to sit on so they fit inside of each other and keep things sturdy; which I will cut out of aluminum later.