There are many different types of composite milling and routing machines, but some of the most unusual and specialized machines use air to create holes or crevices in the material at hand. With these composite routers, there are some unusual considerations that one must make to ensure a successful job, though, which are different from traditional routing and milling. Composite routing with air machines requires specific air pressure, for example – a consideration that would not be necessary for traditional routing and milling.
Another problem that can occur during the composite milling process with air machines is wrong spindle speed, which can be a result of low air pressure, a machine in poor condition, or just the wrong router altogether. Spindle speed can greatly affect the performance of the composite routers bits. One must remember that smaller composite routers need higher spindle speed to cut at peak performance, so a tool with 1/8” diameter will work extremely well with routers that spin up to 40,000 RPM.
Composite routing and milling sometimes requires coolant, as well, or some manufacturers also keep a block of beeswax or bar of soap at each routing station. Operators dip the composite routers bits into the block before each cut, which greatly facilitates chip removal and produces more consistent finished parts.
The last thing that must be mentioned regarding composite milling and routing with air machines is the importance of maintenance. Air routers can easily become damaged without proper care, and their performance can be greatly hindered if the spindle and nose bearings are not replaced every six months or so. Vanes for the spindles should also be replaced every six months, and collets should be replaced every two to six months. With proper care and maintenance, though, these air composite routers can be the best tool for a number of specialized jobs.