• Spring 2024 meetup in Calgary - tentative date Saturday, April 20/2024. Other regions are also discussing meet ups. If you want one in your area get going on organizing it! discussion
  • We are having email/registration problems again. Diagnosis is underway. New users sorry if you are having trouble getting registered. We are exploring different options to get registered. Contact the forum via another member or on facebook if you're stuck. Update -> we think it is fixed. Let us know if not.
  • Spring meet up in Ontario, Newmarket, April 6/2024. Discussion

Tool Face Mill recommendations please

Tool

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
I realize this is somewhat of a meaningless endeavor because this arbor might be much softer than the Susquatch arbor.

There is a winter storm blowing in here today so SWMBO prolly won't go anyplace, but if I can sneak out to the shop I'll see how easily they machine. I'm guessing it will be a piece of cake.

WRT existing heads do you mean that yours have brazed carbide lathe tools for "inserts"? They look pieced together but clever compared to today's insert tools.

OK, I understand now. Hopefully that's clear for @slow-poke too.

Yup, I think my old heads were designed for HSS but one of them now has brazed carbide instead. Who knows though. They are older than dirt. But apparently I'm not very good at guessing age....
 

little ol' e

Jus' a hobby guy
Regarding turning down the stub to 22mm, well curiosity got the better of me this morning so I put an old arbor that I don't use in the lathe just to see how it would respond to the cheap carbide cutters I'm using in my lathe. I realize this is somewhat of a meaningless endeavor because this arbor might be much softer than the Susquatch arbor.

I did make a few scratches with a fine tooth file to get a sense of how soft or hard this arbor is and I would say not soft but not heat treated hard either. My lathe has no problem with light passes.
My guess would be PH- H13 material
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
There is a winter storm blowing in here today

Maybe that's what we got in Calgary, 40cm in one day

Back on topic, my Arbor and 2 of the heads are all from different sources, and they all fit, may be just an old imperial Arbor has different dimensions than the metric ones, I imagine all of the metric stuff will fit each other
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
Ahhh, its just your eyebrow fur heading down below your glasses. ;) A good budget pair of Aliexpress scissors should take care of that.

There is WAAAAY more truth in that than you know! The guys on here joke about my hairy knuckles. You should see my eyebrows! The bride uses a hedge trimmer on them regularly! Sad truth is that I have to trim them once a week or so. This is just 3 days or so.

20230222_111150.jpg

I confess that I did comb them down for effect. The wind and snow look after that naturally. Sort of like a musk-ox or a Yeti - hence my nickname.
 

Stellrammer

Well-Known Member
I think on such a machine as you have, the hp exceeds the machines stability to be used to its fullest extent. The reality is a 2 inch face mill with multiple inserts wouldn’t be any more advantageous than an old school fly cutter. Can it function, yes, but nowhere near its potential if you are only concerned about facing. A single point fly cutter can give an excellent finish at light depths, .005- .030 or so, and in a very wide cut.
Modern milling inserts and holders are designed to yield high removal rates, a lot of the design features preclude them from being used efficiently in low powered spindles that lack rigidity. This is accomplished with edge preps and geometry becoming more positive or tailored to materials along with various grades of carbide exhibiting toughness or wear resistance and enhanced coatings.
Productivity can be measured in cubic inches per minute of metal removal, on average it requires about .6 -.9 hp per cubic inch, a bit ambiguous because of the aforementioned tooling designs and efficiency. A decent 45 degree 2” face mill can comfortably remove 10 cubes a minute, 800 rpm, .200” doc, 1.5 wide @ .010 feed per tooth. My Excello 602 can do about 2 cubes per minute but nowhere near those parameters.
The 45 degree has the advantage of producing an average chip thickness of .007” at a feed rate of .010” so can be pushed quite hard, it requires a lot of power and good rigidity. Mostly the inserts available for thes style cutters have a heavier protected edge , a combination of chamfers and hones, at light feeds they are practically negative inserts, and need to exceed the width of the lands in feed rate to become truly effective.
The same with long-edge inserts such as the APKT style 90 degree cutters, they reduce cutting pressures through positive geometries, but require a bit mores rigidity as someone else pointed out, the opposing forces become radial rather than axial, pushing against the axis of the spindle rather than upwards into the spindle ,such as a 45 degree or a shallow cut on a button cutter.
The smaller diameter APKT styles can be effective though, 1” and under if you need to produce a square shoulder, as with anything it depends on the rigidity of your machine and the workpiece itself.
Because very few of us here are demanding money for our efforts we tend to ignore the time it takes , it’s a hobby or just the satisfaction of being able to do it. Trying to maximize removal rates is not compatible with the types of machines most of us have either, and we tend to spend our money a little more wiser where it counts and be resourceful in how we accomplish things with what we have.
Myself I tend to use a lot of carbide end mills, I would rather be milling at 1500rpm with a 1/2 cutter and getting through the work quickly than worrying away at 250 rpm with HSS, sure they are far more brittle than HSS but you get a feel for them, and typically the finish far exceeds what most indexable long edge inserts can give , and leaves a dead square face without steps. Dollar wise carbide is nearly as cheap as good quality HSS.
To answer a few more questions, the 90 degree TPU style inserts were acceptable in their day 30-40 years ago, there weren’t a lot of alternatives. They typically have a negative chamfered edge or more likely a rolled honed edge as well as neutral geometry presented to the work piece. They do suck up power and the lack of rigidity in the spindle or machine base itself shows very quickly and convincingly in chatter, an APKT style insert will outperform them in low power and less stable machines by a considerable margin, and they aren’t necessarily overpriced for the output they s give. A brand name such as Sandvik, Seco, Kennametal et Al will be $18-20 each for a 16 mm insert, likely $15 for a 10mm, the Amazon offshore ones are useable in a hobby environment and are reasonably priced. They are a better option than the old triangle neutral bodies and inserts.
Round inserts have their place for certain features, they can be ran shallow and at high feed rates with positive geometry and loads of edge prep options, they sacrifice surface finish somewhat when used as a face mill, they do not have wipe flats on the bottom as do square and AP style inserts. They will also push back and chatter on a light machine machine (such as the LC30 you have) if the depth is increased, not really a viable option for your machine.
A 45 degree cutter is useful in that it can chamfer as well as face but your machine (LC 30) can’t really use a 2” one to anywhere near its potential.
Get some decent carbide end mills, some small diameter HSS end mills for small key ways and such and find out what your machine is capable of and it’s limits, maybe borrow a 45 degree cutter and a Ap style and try pushing your machine a bit, the worse you can do is stall it, maybe chip an insert.
Cheers Tim
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
Cheers Tim

Excellent Tim.

Sometimes I get caught up in testing the limits of things just to satisfy my curiosity.

More often, I just want to make or fix one-offs and don't really care about limits or optimizing things as long as it works and I'm happy with the results.

It's good for me to remember that not everyone's interests or needs are the same as mine.
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
Just because you don't have the machine to push these cutters to the limit doesn't mean your shouldn't use them

Push an hss tool to 100% or push a carbide to 20% while still getting more productivity/ tool life, I know what I'm choosing
 

Stellrammer

Well-Known Member
Excellent Tim.

Sometimes I get caught up in testing the limits of things just to satisfy my curiosity.

More often, I just want to make or fix one-offs and don't really care about limits or optimizing things as long as it works and I'm happy with the results.

It's good for me to remember that not everyone's interests or needs are the same as mine.
Cheers, after 40 years, and working in hundreds of shops from Mom and Pop to Boeing I’ve seen a lot of bright people doing amazing things and learning from them everyday, and having the privilege of working with some of the best in the world when it comes to development of and applying cutting tools
I do still miss the days when you bought your customers business via lavish expense accounts and “entertainment” though
 

Stellrammer

Well-Known Member
Just because you don't have the machine to push these cutters to the limit doesn't mean your shouldn't use them

Push an hss tool to 100% or push a carbide to 20% while still getting more productivity/ tool life, I know what I'm choosing
I agree, sometimes the right tool for the right job is just that. I will always use an indexable if I can simply because I don’t want to hang around all day making chips slowly. Inserts are cheap and easily indexed, and I would rather wear out a $7 insert over an $80 carbide endmill, especially if the setup is sketchy due to awkward work pieces.
despite new lead screws and nuts it is still dicey doing anything other than light climb milling on my Excello, and wearing out HSS quickly is not very appealing.
I have a brand name 1. 1/4” Ap style cutter that takes an APKT 10mm insert , it rips quietly , smoothly at 300SFM .005” per tooth at .250 by 3/4 width using an insert specifically designed for a low power machine and soft alloys. Put some off shore generic insert in it, no longer performs and draws a lot more power, it pays to spend wisely if you desire a certain outcome.
 

slow-poke

Ultra Member
Tim,
Thanks for taking the time to convey your knowledge, for me half the fun is making something and the other half is learning. Most of what I learn is from places like this. From what I have read, watched and gleaned from some google searches as well as from the responses above I'm ready to try a 2", 45degree cutter even if it's overkill for my machine.

Perhaps this one, or something similar: (SEHT insert type)

Or the slightly smaller BAP300R 40-22-4T (APMT inserts) might also be worth a try.

My LC30 might be a tiny bit more rigid than typical because I have filled the column and have some extra hardware (linear bearings) to maintain registration, etc.

Can't wait to try this.
 
Last edited:

YYCHM

(Craig)
Premium Member
My LC30 might be a tiny bit more rigid than typical because I have filled the column and have some extra hardware (linear bearings) to maintain registration, etc.

Filled the column with what?

Post some pictures of the extra hardware to maintain registration please.
 
Last edited:

Stellrammer

Well-Known Member
Tim,
Thanks for taking the time to convey your knowledge, for me half the fun is making something and the other half is learning. Most of what I learn is from places like this. From what I have read, watched and gleaned from some google searches as well as from the responses above I'm ready to try a 2", 45degree cutter even if it's overkill for my machine.

Perhaps this one, or something similar: (SEHT insert type)

Or the slightly smaller BAP300R 40-22-4T (APMT inserts) might also be worth a try.

My LC30 might be a tiny bit more rigid than typical because I have filled the column and have some extra hardware (linear bearings) to maintain registration, etc.

Can't wait to try this.
Can’t beat the price, I would be too impatient to wait until April to get it. Choose the SEKT inserts not the SEHT unless you are doing aluminum or copper only. Ten inserts is about twice the price of the cutter body. You will find the SE inserts are very free cutting with that huge rake.
When I worked for Do-All they made a line of large bandsaws that were filled with an expandable concrete powder to add stiffness and weight for vibration damping, it was very effective.
 

little ol' e

Jus' a hobby guy
Tim,
Thanks for taking the time to convey your knowledge, for me half the fun is making something and the other half is learning. Most of what I learn is from places like this. From what I have read, watched and gleaned from some google searches as well as from the responses above I'm ready to try a 2", 45degree cutter even if it's overkill for my machine.

Perhaps this one, or something similar: (SEHT insert type)


My LC30 might be a tiny bit more rigid than typical because I have filled the column and have some extra hardware (linear bearings) to maintain registration, etc.

IMHO, don't throw your money away on the 90 deg style, 45 is the way to go on your mill for facing.
Dial in your speeds, feeds and DOC for what you have and you will be happy you did vs the 90 deg.

On a side note,
If you plan to machine with greater depths than most here do then,
Even though you filled your column and have a little more rigidity, it will be the 90 deg type tooling, and the garbage flat top triangular insert face mills that others have mentioned that simply do not cut well, those will eventually damage your equipment. This type of tooling will eventually pound your spindle taper into a chattering mess over time.

If you don't plan a little heavier DOC's and are happy talking skim passes, then I would agree with Tim @Stellrammer and just use a homemade single swiping HSS facing cutter and carry on with your day.

Guys that don't believe this, well, put a small dab of grease down then add in some layout blue and mix.
Smear some up into your spindle, draw your tool holder up a few times and wipe off until you see a thin coverage. That will tell you what shape your spindle taper is in and what type of tooling would best suit the situation that is going on.

Good luck with your decision!
 
Last edited:

Stellrammer

Well-Known Member
IMHO, don't throw your money away on the 90 deg style, 45 is the way to go on your mill for facing.
Dial in your speeds, feeds and DOC for what you have and you will be happy you did vs the 90 deg.

On a side note,
If you plan to machine with greater depths than most here do then,
Even though you filled your column and have a little more rigidity, it will be the 90 deg type tooling, and the garbage flat top triangular insert face mills that others have mentioned that simply do not cut well. This type of tooling will eventually pound your spindle taper into a chattering mess over time.

If you don't plan a little heavier DOC's and are happy talking skim passes, then I would agree with Tim @Stellrammer and just use a homemade single swiping HSS facing cutter and carry on with your day.

Guys that don't believe this, well, put a small dab of grease down then add in some layout blue and mix.
Smear some up into your spindle, draw your tool holder up a few times and wipe off until you see a thin coverage. That will tell you what shape your spindle taper is in and what type of tooling would best suit the situation that is going on.

Good luck with your decision!

Yep, I recall a shop with at least 20 knee mills , standardized R8 tooling, 2.5 inch two flute using TCMT .5” 90 degrees, the day of reckoning came about 5 years later when most spindles were no longer capable of producing finishes acceptable to standard, or even functioning in some cases. They shot the messenger who told them so.
 

little ol' e

Jus' a hobby guy
Yep, I recall a shop with at least 20 knee mills , standardized R8 tooling, 2.5 inch two flute using TCMT .5” 90 degrees, the day of reckoning came about 5 years later when most spindles were no longer capable of producing finishes acceptable to standard, or even functioning in some cases. They shot the messenger who told them so.
I like your way of thinking, your posts are much better than mine lol, very detailed and informative!!
That will certainly help some guys here without a doubt.

I've seen beaten spindle tapers as well, even on a used and abused Fortworth that was at auction years ago. Some unlucky sole ended up with it for over the asking price.
Also seen some CAT 40 spindle tapers being reground over the years.

The spindle taper is the first thing I check when looking at anything used.
 
Last edited:

Stellrammer

Well-Known Member
Those bodies are soft, you can bore it out to 1” if you can hold it accurately
 

Stellrammer

Well-Known Member
I like your way of thinking, your posts are much better than mine lol, very detailed and informative!!
That will certainly help some guys here without a doubt.

I've seen beaten spindle tapers as well, even on a used and abused Fortworth that was at auction years ago. Some unlucky sole ended up with it for over the asking price.
Also seen some CAT 40 spindle tapers being reground over the years.

The spindle taper is the first thing I check when looking at anything used.
There used to be more than one company in Ontario regrinding spindles in situ for a reason.
 
Top