Tooling for Alucobond


Alucobond is a type of sandwich panel which was first introduced in 1969 and is now widely used in the residential and commercial construction industries. This ACM, (aluminum composite material) consists of two sheets of smooth 0.02” aluminum, thermobonded to a polyethylene core. The result is a light composite material that offers many benefits including perfect flatness, rigidity, weatherproofing, impact resistance and also features vibration dampening characteristics. These characteristics make this product truly unique and popular and it’s available in a wide variety of colors and textures.

 While standard tooling may be utilized,  you may find it a bit challenging.   We offer specific tooling for machining this unique product. For sawing, we offer a line of saw blades specifically engineered for quality results in terms of finish quality and extended tool life. These saw blades are designed for use on horizontal, vertical and most table saws and are available in sizes ranging from 250 mm up to 550 mm.

Positive Rake Angle Saw Blade

Positive Rake Angle Saw Blade

For folding applications, a “V-grooving” cutter head is available in two variations, 90 and 135 degree. This specialty cutter head is designed to be used on CNC aggregates, panel, vertical or table saws.  For CNC routing applications, a 90 and 135 degree profile router bit is also available for folding applications. These tools are specifically engineered to be used on Alucobond or similar products and will produce excellent results.

V-groove Router Bit

V-groove Router Bit

V-grooving Cutter Head

V-grooving Cutter Head

For additional information or questions,  contact Team GDP|GUHDO and we are happy to help you select the right tool for your specific application.

Tectus Hinge Replacement Router Bits

Are you looking for the right hinge to create a streamlined, invisible look on your doors? The Tectus Hinge gives you an overall seamless quality that is unmatched in the current market and is fully adjustable even after installation.  Tectus offers a complete range of hinges for door capacities from 88lbs to 352lbs with thicknesses from 1inch to 1-7/8”.  According to DoorBoy‘s statistics, these hinges are cast aluminum alloy and are engineered for use with large and heavy doors. Most Tectus systems use two hinges versus three and these hinges are made to last for the life of the structure.

Finding the right tool to prepare the frame and door leaf to accept Tectus Hinges can be a challenge.  Look no further, we have the tools needed.

Tectus Style Router Bit

Tectus Style Router Bit

 Contact us to order today!  We supply both the router bits and extensions needed for accurate hinge placement.

Tooling for Cutting Composites

The use of composite materials has been on the rise for years due to their unique characteristics including reductions in weight and increased flexibility.  By definition a composite is a combination of two other materials used to create a unique material that is superior to either input material (a super-material?).  The performance increase makes composites more difficult to machine,  however, selecting the proper tool for the application is paramount to optimizing tool performance.  Each composite type comes a unique set of cutting challenges due to the materials structure which, unlike metal or wood,  is composed of layers of fibers and resins bonded together with intense heat and/or pressure.

ceramic fibersDue to structural differences, composites will behave differently based on the materials used in the creation of the composite, so when cutting a new material it’s important to do a test cut on scrap material.   Cutting composites requires getting through the different layers of various material types by chipping, ripping or shredding.  Common composites include carbon fiber or fiberglass layered and bonded by polymer resins such as epoxy and polyurethane. Each of these layers react differently when cut and the heat generated by the cutting tool can cause de-lamination or worse if not machined properly, leading to excessive tool wear and a change in tool geometry.

Diamond tipped (PCD) tools are often most effective in cutting composites as it’s important for the tool to cut with minimal force applied to the material. Composites will “eat” through solid carbide tools in many cases, so while the sticker shock of PCD may detour some people the cost per linear foot machined will be drastically decreased when compared with solid carbide.

With drilling composites, splintering can be an issue, so using PCD tools is especially important as a dull bit will lead to layers being pushed aside vs being cut.   This leads to de-lamination or “blow-out” on the exit side of the material.  With a new material it’s best to test the characteristics prior to machining any large project as the observable properties will be important in finding the right RPM/feed rate to optimize cut quality.

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Carbon Composite/ Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Example

The example carbon fiber tools used:

1 Diamond-Dowel Drill

2 DIATEC-4 Diamond Router Cutter

3 DIATEC Diamond Cutter w/ Alternate Shear Angle

4 DIATEC-4-Quattor Diamond Router Cutter

 For more information on application specific composite tooling contact us today so we can discuss your exact needs.

Frequently Asked Questions on Cutting Tools

Reposting this article, in case you missed it, which was compiled by the Vance Publishing Team (Wood&Wood Products/CWB/

Industry experts answer woodworkers’ frequently asked questions regarding cutting tool usage.

Q: How do I know if my tooling is balanced?

A: The absence of a drill mark does not automatically indicate that a tool is not balanced, and the presence of a drill mark should not be proof of balancing either. The only way for customers to know a tool is balanced is to request and store balancing certificates whenever a tool is manufactured or re-conditioned. Submitted by Ron Migedt, Riverside Tool

Q: What is chipload and why is it important?

A: Chipload is a term for the thickness of the chip produced in the machining process per edge, per revolution. It is determined by the rotational spindle speed, the speed that the tool is moving through the material and the number of cutting edges of the tool. Chipload is an important factor in tool life because as it increases, it carries more heat away from the cutting tool. The formula for determining chipload is: chipload= feed rate/(rpm x #cutting edges). Submitted by Scott Feimster, LMT Onsrud

Q: What is a compression spiral?

A: A compression spiral is a spiral with an upcut on the bottom and a downcut on the top. This effectively pulls the material together and gives a clean edge on the top and bottom of the workpiece. Submitted by Chuck Hicks, Southeast Tool Inc.

Q: How will the cost of the tool affect my bottom line?

A: Unfortunately it’s too common that tooling purchase decisions are made in the spotlight of the tooling budget with little consideration as to how it affects the other budgets that make up the bottom line. You should take into consideration how the tooling decision affects throughput, scrap/rework, edge quality and maintenance costs. Submitted by Garry Davies, Surrey Precision Tools

Q: How can I get more tool life after sharpening?

A: This question requires a two step approach. First, request a re-manufacturing of your tool when it is submitted to service. This requests an OD grind and re-fluting grind process be performed. The OD grind from most service centers provides a sharper, stronger cutting edge while re-fluting removes more of the chips and wear points with minimal affect to the diameter. Next, reduce the runtime of your tooling so as not to produce as much wear. Because wear occurs at an exponential rate, reducing your runtime by a small amount can pay significant dividends. Submitted by Frank Horvath, FS Tool Corp.

Q: How do I determine if I should use carbide-tipped, insert, or diamond tooling?

A: A cost analysis is the best way to determine what is right for each customer individually. Based on work load, run times, material types, and potential bottlenecks in your process, you can determine which tooling is right for you. Each provides advantages as well as detriments. Carbide-tipped provides quick turnaround servicing and less expensive repairs for damage. Inserts provide consistent profiling without the necessity of sharpening. Diamond provides longer run times without diminishing quality. Submitted by Philip Broussard, NAP Gladu

Q: Can we utilize diamond tools for nesting, without giving up feed speed?

A: New diamond router designs offer users significantly improved tool life in small diameters to less than ½”. These true three wing diamond tools perform at or above speeds offered by solid carbide tools. Tool life of 20-30X longer than carbide provides exceptional return on investment. Submitted by Mark Alster, Leitz Tooling Systems LP

Q: Is there a diamond tool that incorporates the mounting interface in a single body construction?

A: These types of monolithic tool designs are in fact more accurate, but tend to not be cost effective. A better solution would be to mount the tool in a heat or mechanical shrink clamping unit and sharpen it while it is in the holder. You now have achieved the same level of accuracy and can re-use the holder when the cutting tools can no longer be sharpened. Submitted by John Michel, Leuco Tool Corp.

Q: When starting a new project, how do I achieve the desired finish or tool life?

A: It is important to understand that every time you change the material being cut, you must also change the machining parameters to obtain the proper chipload for that specific material. Cutting with the incorrect chipload will result in poor tool life, burning and chipping, and even tool breakage. If you change tooling to a different tool diameter or number of wings, you also need to recalculate your chipload as it will change. Submitted by Karin Deutschler, GUHDO USA

Q: How can I reduce my tooling costs?

A: Tooling costs should be measured in cost per cut. Reducing tooling cost per cut is about maximizing production time and decreasing downtime. The way to achieve this is to make sure you have the correct tooling for each application. The correct tooling type, configuration, and chip load are all important factors in achieving maximum tool life and resulting in more production time. Submitted by Philip Broussard, NAP Gladu

Q: How can I quickly determine if I have a tooling problem or a machine problem?

A: The quickest way to determine if you have a tooling or machine problem is quite simply to change the tooling with a spare. If the problem remains your issue could be with your machine. If the problem ceases you may have a tooling issue. Submitted by Philip Broussard, NAP Gladu

Q: Why am I breaking tools?

A: More than likely you are getting vibration or a movement of which you are not aware. This is commonly caused by worn collets. Submitted by Chuck Hicks, Southeast Tool Inc.

Q: Which is better – a V Point or Brad point drill?

A: V points will work better if drilling all the way through the material. The Brad Point seems to do better if drilling shallow (drilling shelf pins, for example). Submitted by Chuck Hicks, Southeast Tool Inc.

Q: How often should I change my collets?

A: The rule of thumb is to change collets 2-3 times a year if running production (meaning 8 hours a day of routing). Submitted by Chuck Hicks, Southeast Tool Inc.

Q: Why aren’t my tools lasting as long?

A: This could be due to a material change that you may or may not have been aware of, improper feeds and speeds, or the collets and/or holder. Submitted by Chuck Hicks, Southeast Tool Inc.

Q: What is the difference in an upcut and a downcut spiral?

A: An upcut spiral pulls the chips upward or toward the shank, depending on how the tool is running. A downcut spiral forces the chips down away from the shank. It is also helpful in getting a clean edge on the workpiece. Submitted by Chuck Hicks, Southeast Tool Inc.

Q: How do I dial in my feed rate on my CNC?

A: The rule of thumb is to keep increasing the feed rate until the quality of cut decreases to a point that it is not acceptable. Back the feed rate off 10% and that is your optimal feed rate. Submitted by Chuck Hicks, Southeast Tool Inc.