Your newsletter for tips on selecting manufacturing technology.
- Question of the month - should our elected officials lower gas taxes?
- Tips on selecting - the right cutting tool
- Hot products
- Manufacturing education and training - CNC training for teachers
- Reader's gallery of shop photos -A shop dedicated to the joys of machining
Be sure to check out recent issues of AMERICAM MACHINIST magazine. They feature some of the letters we have received in reply to Tom's Question of the Month.
Tips on Selecting
The right cutting tool
With thousands of cutting tools to choose from, how do you decide which to use? Most tooling suppliers recommend working with experienced tooling specialists. They can help you through a number of steps:
1. Define the operation. Is it roughing, finishing, or a one-cut operation? Does it require through-spindle coolant, minimal-quality lubrication, or dry machining?
2. Define part geometry. Identify challenging features such as 90-degree angles or shoulders.
3. Define workpiece material. Cutting tools are now optimized for specific materials.
4. Determine workholding rigidity. Consider if parts have thin walls or demand tools with long overhang. These conditions can cause vibration, requiring rigid workholding to compensate.
5. Analyze the operation closely.
- Milling - Because cost/cubic in. determines productivity, it's important to know how much material a tool removes, how quickly it comes off, and the cost per tool.
- Turning - Tool performance relates to cost/piece, so select the optimum insert based on substrate and topform geometries.
- Parting and grooving - There are many types of these applications, so differentiating factors for parting, turning, profiling, and internal, undercut, and face grooving include the use of single and double-edge inserts, chipbreaker geometries, carbide grades including PCD and CBN, and face grooving options.
- Slotting, slitting, and cut-off tools - Look for close-pitch design with all inserts positioned in-line. Ensure inserts have strong edge-geometries that can tackle hard materials with little vibration. Pick a supplier offering a variety of coated and uncoated grades for the various operations in different materials.
- Holemaking - Here, the cost/hole is most important. And rigidity is crucial. Use the shortest drill possible for the required hold depth.
When deciding among solid, carbide, modular, or indexable-insert drills, tolerances are important. Solid-carbide drills typically deliver tighter tolerances than indexable-insert ones. But with larger tolerances, you can choose based on the cost or convenience of modular or indexable-insert drills instead.
Application also influences your decision. For example, if you are drilling stacked plates use solid carbide tools. However, indexable drills are preferable if a drill enters on an angled surface greater than five degrees.
Lastly, consider coolant flow. Deep-hole applications require through-tool delivery but for short holes (2XD), this is unnecessary and uneconomical.
- Tapping/threading - For this, cost/part is most important. Thread-rolling tools, though expensive up-front, drive down costs in the long run. Shops having machining centers capable of 3-axis helical interpolation, through-spindle coolant (250-psi minimum), and spindle speeds of > 5,000 rpm can exploit advanced thread-milling technology like multifunction tools that drill, chamfer, and thread in one operation.
Seco-Carboloy is committed to continuously improving the productivity of its customers' metal removal operations through knowledgeable application of superior carbide cutting tools and related products, systems, and services. View demonstrations of the most advanced cutting tools in Seco-Carboloy's family of drilling, milling, turning and PCBN products by clicking now on Products on Demand.
First Index harnesses the strength of the world's foremost database of manufacturing suppliers, allowing buyers to quickly locate suppliers whose capabilities exactly match their requirements.
Get more information
Banner's EZ-SCREEN Guarding System guards areas and perimeters without a controller and starts at only $795.
Check it out
Sunnen Products Company is the global leader in the manufacture and distribution of bore-sizing and finishing equipment.
Visit Sunnen's website
For serial numbering, date coding, and part numbering, Numberall Stamp & Tool Co. Inc. offers a complete line of metal-marking equipment:
For more information
Manufacturing Education and Training
CNC training for teachers
Ken Wright, CNC instructor with the Haas Technical Center located at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich., is giving several seminars for high school and college CNC and machining-technology teachers. One will take place August 1-4, 2005, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Attendees will learn the latest in CNC machining and programming technology, with featured topics including G150 general pocket milling, feeds and speeds for carbide tooling for milling, thread milling, and set-up and operation of VMCs. To register, call (877)855-5252. For more information on this and other upcoming seminars, contact Ken Wright
Learn how automation can save U.S. jobs. Reader's Gallery of Shop PhotosA long-time reader's website focuses on "the joy of machining" and is "dedicated to people fortunate enough to have as a hobby what they do for a living." Check it out
Coming in June:AMERICAN MACHINIST will focus on grinding.
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