Need input on a Project I'm considering

Good Afternoon,

I found a project I would really like to attempt but I need input on several aspects of this project.

Project Summary:
I watch a video where a pistol slide was customized with some CNC cuts and what not. I have the same Pistol and would like to attempt this myself. I will post a YouTube link to the video that’s 10 minutes long. This video will show what im trying to accomplish.
***My First question at this point: Do you think the PRO4896 with 4HP HITECO spindle is ridged enough to attempt this project? My PRO4896 is basically a toy so I can take extremely shallow depth of cut’s and run for 2 days continuous if need be. I’m not limited on time because of customer projects…

***If the consensus is the machine is ridged enough then I’ll need to identify some tooling. I’m thinking I could do this project using 2 tools. A ballnose and Endmill that’s specifically for steel. I’m not sure which 2 tools would be the best so suggestions are welcome. If you would like to make a suggest please include the Amana part number. 100% of the time I use Amana bits that I purchase from

***Brainstorming options for a vice to hold the pistol slide for this process. My Avid machine is used for woodworking projects 98% of the time. I have played with a couple blocks of 7075 Aluminum before so… I’m going to look at some amazon workholding devices since this will probably be a 1 time project. I don’t want to drop hundreds on a work holding vice for 1 project.

For now I’ll stop here and see what information is posted then on to the next step.

Here is the link to the YouTube video.


The Avid CNC is rated at 0.005" accuracy. It wiggles and shimmies a bit (I’m currently trying to convince my laser to burn straight lines :wink: Other than that, I’ve done some milling with a stepover in the 5-10 thou range and got reasonable results in wood.

I’d suggest getting some scrap metal and “try and see” what you can do.

Youtuber Breaking Taps did a couple of videos cutting steel on an Avid Benchtop Pro with a 3 HP spindle. I was surprised he had any success because steel is something like 10x harder than aluminum, and basically no one cuts steel on a CNC router. That said, it was only a short test, and it took him a while to find decent feeds & speeds. Also, his benchtop machine has ballscrews and a shorter gantry and might be a little more rigid than a PRO machine. If you’re just doing one small project, it will probably work fine. Expect to do a lot of tests to get the feeds & speeds right.

That looks like a really nice part, though, and if it were me, I’d be looking for a friend with a CNC mill so I wouldn’t have to worry about the vice, coolant, rigidity, machine wear, etc.

Here are the two videos I saw: