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Tool Tooling up a milling machine

Tool

CWret

Ultra Member
Premium Member
@Susquatch said - "I have 6 R8 End Mill Holders. These are not collets."
- I'm not sure why you'd need a holder for an EM smaller than 1/2". Wouldn't the ER give all the holding power you need for small diameters? Is it because tool and holder diameter tolerances are much tighter?
- Do you have matching dedicated EMs for the holders or do you grind a small flat onto a regular EM?
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
@Susquatch said - "I have 6 R8 End Mill Holders. These are not collets."
- I'm not sure why you'd need a holder for an EM smaller than 1/2". Wouldn't the ER give all the holding power you need for small diameters? Is it because tool and holder diameter tolerances are much tighter?
- Do you have matching dedicated EMs for the holders or do you grind a small flat onto a regular EM?

One of the many reasons for not going crazy tooling up a new machine (the real topic of this thread - imagine that) is that you never know what kind of used gold will fall into your lap.

I believe I got the end mill holders early in my learning curve with the bigger mill and after I had an endmill drift on me in an R8 collet that had been abused. They were cheap. Why not. Another generous member shared an endmill windfall with me so I have lots of them with flats.

It took me a while to find an R8 ER32 mandrel. So the R8 holders preceded my ER collet use.

So why do I keep them? If you re-read my earlier post, you will see where I said that double tapers are not as precise as a single. When I am working on something where I want every advantage I can find, I use the R8 holders. I have enough end mills with flats in them that I never have to grind new flats.

If you keep your eyes open, you can find lots and lots of deals on new and lightly used end mills. Why use a whack of your coin to buy new end mills when you can save it to buy a power Z-Axis....... (just to pick a timely relevant example).
 

graig

Member
Now that my milling machine is more or less completed I'm looking to spend some money on tools for it and looking for advice on were to cheap out and we're quality wins out for getting going.

It would be nice to buy all name brand stuff and top quality butttt I would like be able to have more functionality now rather then later then change out some of the "beginner stuff" later.

Wouldn't mind buying good used stuff but it's pretty slim Pickens on the west coast and shipping some stuff just doesn't seem worth it.

I want to buy a new Kurt 6" vise as my current vise has almost 1/8 of jaw lift I can't seem to work around but curious if there is any other comparable brands out there in same price range.

Also would like to pick up rotary table and some indexable tooling and collet holders and shell mill few other bits and bobs. This is the stuff Im thinking of cheaping out on as some of it can be tuned. As I'm not currently looking at doing any production type work so i think there is some quality flexibility here.

I would also like to hear what you guys can't live without that you would recommend picking up. And wouldn't mind know we're to guys source out your carbide end mills or other consumables

Also wouldn't mind recommendations on what carbide inserts to stay away from if there is any odd ball stuff out there that is cheap but not worth it.

Thank you for reading look forward to some input also for those curious on my budget it's around 3k lol. So in the machining world probly won't get me super far.

*Side note now that I'm thinking of it most of the work I would like to do will be maintenance and restoration type work would also like to dip toes in some engine rebuilding capabilities but have read knee mills aren't considered the best for that type work.

I have been buying tooling from Accusize. They are Chinese tools but are better quality than the "crap-shoot" of buying directly from a Chinese supplier. They have done their homework. I'm just a hobbyist but I'm satisfied with the quality. The DRO suggestion should be near the top of your list. It "eliminates" all the backlash in the machine. I bought mine on Aliexpress and am satisfied with them. KBC tools has very good vices that are much cheaper than Kurt.
 
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graig

Member
Yeah, lots to be said in favor of the boot-simple Weldon Shank tool holders. They just work.

I like the idea of ER holders from the perspective that I got very used to having access to a large tray of collets for the matched sets of Milling Tool holders we had at work, so if I wanted three different, say, 1/2 inch shanked cutters, (rougher, finish mill, ball end, for eg.) I could set up three of that size, without needing to have multiples of every size, as you would with Weldon style. That is still how I see tooling up a mill, using multiple of one ER size chuck, with multiple sets of collets in hand, so as to allow maximum flexibility in use.

I'll also add that the mill I used most, had a push button to operate the air cylinder powered drawbar (no rattle wrench, it compressed a stack of spring washers, and used a draw stud), so setting up a bunch of cutters was pretty normal, rather than just swapping the cutter in one holder.

My go-to for Large cutters, (on a 40 taper spindle) was a Nikken Lyndex hydraulic milling chuck, that held on to the cutters like they were welded in, once you torqued down the outer nut. I stalled out a 7 1/2 HP milling spindle with a large HSS end mill in it, and it did not pull out! Needed a coat hanger to recover my undies, pert-near, but the mill did OK! :)

There are a PILE of different entire systems of tool holders out there, stick to simple at first, buy the fancy stuff later, if it looks to offer an advantage over what you have, but only then. Unless it's a bargain! LOL!
When I bought my mill, I also bought an Autolock end mill holder. The end mills look like a normal Weldon shank but also have a male thread on the end. It is a great system, fast and easy to change BUT finding Autolock end mills is "challenging"!
 

Dabbler

ersatz engineer
So here is how I rank the tool holders I own and why:

1. Weldon - this venerable style has low stick out, but for a full sized mill it is fine, and is the very most rigid (of the ones on my list). This is on an R8 mill, remember. These effectively stop pull-out, and gives you the best use of your mill fro regular end mills. I use them about 10% of the time, because I only have 2 sizes. For 3/4" end mills I use these exclusively. They also hold solid carbide end mills even better than ER40 in the 3/4 inch size.

2. R8 collets - I use these most often, partly because of the near zero stick-out, and that I am used to them. I have them in all the sizes I need for the mills I buy. I know they aren't perfect, but neither am I. I use these about 70% of the time.

3. ER40 - I bit the bullet and bought ER40 and made the mistake of buying imperial sizes of collets. Get the complete metric set and post a little cheat sheet for your imperial cutters. I'll have to buy a metric set now, and I'm not feeling great about my collet purchase. With an R8 to ER40 adapter, the stick out is longer than a Weldon. Another purchase advisory: many of the offshore adapters (mine included) add a little to the runout - a little more than a Weldon end mill holder. If you buy a really good one, you cannot measure the additional runout.

An additional problem is that my brake isn't 100% and to use the ER collet adapter you need to use the brake and both hands for best results. I'm going to mill some flats into my ER adapter so I don't stress the system as much. So I use my ER40s about 20% of the time.

A cautionary tale about my personal stupidity:

I had not used my big mill for about 6 months and was doing a job and I had to remove the R8 collet and put in the drill chuck. The R8 wouldn't let go. I tried, and then I tried harder. Finally I figured out that I was tightening the R8 collet! I must have easily hit 200 ft lbs, and probably stretchjed my draw bar threads a little. I felt really sheepish.....
 

CWret

Ultra Member
Premium Member
@Dabbler - Great summary of both what you use and why.
All these R8, ER, weldon holder comments and posts have been very informative and helpful.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
3. ER40 - I bit the bullet and bought ER40 and made the mistake of buying imperial sizes of collets. Get the complete metric set and post a little cheat sheet for your imperial cutters.

I feel your pain with the drawbar. Every once in a while I do that on farm equipment - some of which has left hand threads like wheel nuts used to be.

I wish I could put multiple enojii's on your thread. I'd like a heart for your comments and an oh oh for your drawbar. Ps - it's usually pretty easy to see if you yielded the bar and also difficult to do without knowing you did.

Please tell me why Metric adapts better to Imperial than Imperial does to Metric? I've seen references to that elsewhere but never really understood it. Is this a next best smaller deal? If so, then it makes sense. But I confess I'm lazy and have not run the numbers..... Please don't do it for me. If that's what it is, just say so and I'll run the numbers myself.
 

Dabbler

ersatz engineer
- I'm not sure why you'd need a holder for an EM smaller than 1/2"

Please tell me why Metric adapts better to Imperial than Imperial does to Metric? I've seen references to that elsewhere but never really understood it. Is this a next best smaller deal? If so, then it makes sense. But I confess I'm lazy and have not run the numbers..... Please don't do it for me. If that's what it is, just say so and I'll run the numbers myself.
So it is pretty easy - the imperial sets do not include the whole range, because fractional things don't usually increment in 64ths, so there are important missing ranges in the Imperial set - for instance 18mm is not served well, etc. Because the metric set covers EVERY range from 1mm to 25mm, (and extra 26mm collet is available for those using 1" cutters) there are no gaps and all metric/imperial end mills can be accommodated.
 

DavidR8

Scrap maker
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
So it is pretty easy - the imperial sets do not include the whole range, because fractional things don't usually increment in 64ths, so there are important missing ranges in the Imperial set - for instance 18mm is not served well, etc. Because the metric set covers EVERY range from 1mm to 25mm, (and extra 26mm collet is available for those using 1" cutters) there are no gaps and all metric/imperial end mills can be accommodated.
I acquired a set of metric ER20 collets to use for drills because the metric set accommodated imperial drills across a smaller number of collets.
 

thestelster

Ultra Member
Premium Member
So it is pretty easy - the imperial sets do not include the whole range, because fractional things don't usually increment in 64ths, so there are important missing ranges in the Imperial set - for instance 18mm is not served well, etc. Because the metric set covers EVERY range from 1mm to 25mm, (and extra 26mm collet is available for those using 1" cutters) there are no gaps and all metric/imperial end mills can be accommodated.
I just checked the Techniks website, and they have 23 collets for their ER40 series, and they show complete coversage from 0.086"-1.000", and there are overlaps on all.

But their Imperial set only has 13 collets, so yes, there are gaps in the sets.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
So it is pretty easy - the imperial sets do not include the whole range, because fractional things don't usually increment in 64ths, so there are important missing ranges in the Imperial set - for instance 18mm is not served well, etc. Because the metric set covers EVERY range from 1mm to 25mm, (and extra 26mm collet is available for those using 1" cutters) there are no gaps and all metric/imperial end mills can be accommodated.

I see. But can't you buy the ones that are missing from the set?
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
I acquired a set of metric ER20 collets to use for drills because the metric set accommodated imperial drills across a smaller number of collets.

This is the next best smaller effect I referred to earlier. I guess I'll have to do the math now..... LOL!
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
I just checked the Techniks website, and they have 23 collets for their ER40 series, and they show complete coversage from 0.086"-1.000", and there are overlaps on all.

But their Imperial set only has 13 collets, so yes, there are gaps in the sets.

23 piece imperial sets of Er40 are readily available too.
 

justin1

Super User
I bought the 18 piece er32 collet set from Accusize while back, I'm fairly happy with them so far mind you if I was thinking harder about it at the time when I bought it I would of bought the er40 set just to get a bit more range.
 

justin1

Super User
Came across this bad boy on ebay and was curious if making a copy of it as kinda of a addition to mill would be of any benefit as you could could set it up as accurate as you want more or less or could just use the clamp end against a 123 block, seems like it could have some uses.

Thought I would share it as it kinda intrigued me but I image well placed hold downs would work better in most cases.

Ebay Vise
Screenshot_20230328-224750.png
 

Dabbler

ersatz engineer
I have a name brand one. Never used it. I've had it about 12-13 years. I thought I was going to do some larger work on my big table, but it never materialized.
 
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I use then often enough but hoping to start using boring bar for the larger holes anyway as after you get past 1" drill bits start getting more money lol. And most of my drill bits are of the 1/2 shaft flavor. I got some bigger guys running around not sure what drawer or tool box there in atm still in the organization phase.

So it would be worth while maybe having a larger keyed chuck mounted to #40 then a keyless on a straight shaft?
Annular cutter, works great.
 
@Susquatch "Another option not mentioned is end mill holders. These don't use a collet. Instead a grub screw tightens onto a ground flat on the endmill shaft and a precise fit is an absolute requirement - no ifs ands or buts."

These is called Weldon mounts and NO! these actually cause less accurate cutting. Yes I use them for a few very specific cutters but overall have gone to several R8 heads with ER heads in them.

The reason is simple a screw or two provides a point load and it deflects the shank, even with a tight fit even with Carbide, HSS is even worse.

Getting carbide cutters with Weldon flats is difficult, unless you are using HSS, in which case, we you have lots flex any way so whats a little more.

I started with R8 for what I thought was better performance (grip), Weldon-R8's and then went to ER32-R8's and on occasion when I want deeper reach or quick change ER with straight 3/4" shank and 3/4" R8.

My advice here is setup time, I have about 5-6 cutters I use consistently, these are permanently mounted ready for use, the rest get swapped in and out as needed.

Knowing what I know now and I was to do it again, 3/4 R8 holders, everything else 3/4" straight shanked ER collets system, why? The R8 holds the straight shank holders and allows easy swap out and the ER grips and center the cutters, with collars allows for repeatable depth setting (CNC).
 
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