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End Mill Reconditioning In Calgary

ducdon

Member
Premium Member
#2
I've wondered that too. Would have to be big ones to make it cost effective. Just cheaper to toss and buy new. I have some over 1 inch that could use a touch up.

P.S. Maybe you could buy a tool and cutter grinder and help out your friends on the forum? hint hint!
 

John Conroy

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
#3
I had some end mills re-sharpened at European Cutters in Edmonton. I DO NOT recommend them. When I dropped them off I was quoted a price per end mill. When I went to pick them up the bill was more than double what I was quoted. Some unpleasant words were exchanged and the owner reduced the bill but it was still more than I was quoted with no reasonable explanation as to why.
I now buy carbide end mills on Ali Express and when they dull I scrap them. They cost less new than it would cost to sharpen them.

My neighbor is a licensed machinist and the company he works for sends their end mills to someone in Red Deer for sharpening. He says it's quite reasonable and told me he would send mine with theirs when they do their next order but I haven't taken him up on that yet.
 

Bofobo

Well-Known Member
#4
We have a carbide sharpening shop in bowness (NW calgary) .... its an older gentleman and as i inderstand it, he does it for something to do. Shop local ;)

Keeping in mind I've never been inside, I have no idea what his limitations are. That being said, perhaps its time I investigated
 
#6
We have a carbide sharpening shop in bowness (NW calgary) .... its an older gentleman and as i inderstand it, he does it for something to do. Shop local ;)

Keeping in mind I've never been inside, I have no idea what his limitations are. That being said, perhaps its time I investigated
I have HSS end mills that need attention. Would be interested to know if the Bowness guy does those as well.
 

Dabbler

Well-Known Member
#8
I have a a tool and Die grinder that is supposed to be able to do it. Trouble is, I need another year to recondition it. (I've had it 18 months - I need a round tuit right away!) Second, it does take some skill to use it well.

If anyone has donor broken or really dull HSS end mills that I can buy cheap, then let me know!
 

Dabbler

Well-Known Member
#10
yychobbymachinist - teach myself sharpening, rather than chew up $100 Cleveland cutters that I currently own.

I could use chinesium HSS new-bought cutters, but why buy cutters just to resharpen?
- I'd love to also get all the carbide broken cutters I can find.
 
#13
I think it was in the Guy Lautard "Bedside Machinist" series of books that offered a couple of in-depth descriptions on how to "home shop build" an endmill sharpening jig to pair up with a tool-post grinder.

I wish I lived closer to Calgary (on very rare instances if the truth comes out), I have a small drawer very well populated with endmills suitable for your "learning curve" and know a couple of shops in Red Deer that I could get pails of used endmills & carbide inserts.
 

RobinHood

Active Member
Premium Member
#14
All Blades Canada Inc in Calgary / Edmonton will sharpen endmills. I spoke with them about it 3 weeks ago when I got my new bandsaw blades. They used to do it in-house. Now they farm it out. It used to be x$ per endmill, depending on size ( iirc they said $25 for small ones). Now they get charged depending on time required (set-up time); they said it would likely be more than $40 per.

This is the problem: even though I have a fully tooled Clarkson T&G, I have not used it yet to sharpen small endmills. It takes quite some time to set all the angles and reliefs. And they are different for each size / each type. So I just use my stash of EMs until I have no sharp ones left. Only then will I set-up and re-sharpen them. I am doing the same with the drill bits. Should be good for another 5-10 years at the present rate...
 

RobinHood

Active Member
Premium Member
#15
The Peter Stanton from Edge Precision on YouTube shows how he grinds a carbide endmill in this videos using a high precision 5 axis CNC grinder:

It might give you more of an appreciation why regrinding small, relatively inexpensive HSS or Carbide EMs is not economical for a job shop when you can make new ones much faster once you are programmed...
 

ducdon

Member
Premium Member
#16
Just looked on line at KBC Tools. Their everyday price on a 1/2 inch 2 flute HSS end mill is $14.20 Cdn. 4 flute of the same size at Busy Bee is $12.99. Better prices when on sale or in packages. What price point would you want to see to justify re-conditioning? Also if reconditioning requires grinding the flutes the mill will cut under size.
 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Premium Member
#17
The Peter Stanton from Edge Precision on YouTube shows how he grinds a carbide endmill in this videos using a high precision 5 axis CNC grinder:

It might give you more of an appreciation why regrinding small, relatively inexpensive HSS or Carbide EMs is not economical for a job shop when you can make new ones much faster once you are programmed...
Thanks for posting this @RobinHood - interesting video. 20 minutes on going through all the details and then 15 minutes machine time on that 5 axis. I can see why end mills, decent ones, are pretty expensive.

How much is the Numroto software? I could find a price googling. and how much is a 5 axis tool grinder?

I read the comments for the video, the author says:

Edge Precision
4 months ago
I bought this machine used. A new one depending on the options and tooling you get with the machine. It would be in the range of 500-650 thousand dollars.

Who is the manufacture of the machine ?
Edge Precision
8 months ago
The manufacturer is Star Grinder. They also make the Star gun drills. They are located in the state of Michigan in the USA. Not the same company that makes the screw machines.


The economics of his business are not clear to me. He says he does not make tooling commercially because he can't compete with the commercial manufacturers. So he is just grinding tools for his internal use - because he can get them faster and for somewhat less than ordering them made for him. Say he bought that machine for $200K - Straight line depreciation of 200K over 10 years (!) is $1666 a month. So he would need to be making at least that much in tooling each month for his jobs, not counting materials or his time. I'll have to watch more of his videos - maybe this makes more sense based on what he does.
 
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RobinHood

Active Member
Premium Member
#18
@Janger : I have followed him for quite some time. There is a video where he explains his relationship with the place he has access to the “fancy machines”. It used to be his company. He sold it, but they call him in for all the special, intricate, limited production run stuff. He mostly runs a big MAZAK for them. He has a small private shop where he has a HAAS lathe and also does some blacksmithing.

The main purpose of me citing his video was to show what is involved to make an EM.
If you want to recondition a used one, about 75% of the set-up steps still need to be followed initially for each size and model of EM to be redone. Hence the rather high price for regrinding. All Blade Inc. basically said that for anything less than a ~$50-75 tool, it is not economical. They will probably still do it for you if you insist and decide to sharpen a $10 endmill, but why would you?

As stated earlier, I am collecting my dull EM and drills. At some point I will set up my manual T&C and sharpen them. Mostly for my own practise and learning process. If I can get them back to a functioning state and get some more miles out of them, great. If not, we’ll so be it.
 

Dabbler

Well-Known Member
#19
That's why I want to collect old dull end mills - to practice with, and if successful, end up with a few sharp ones for my labour.