Aluminum Specific End Mills
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    Default Aluminum Specific End Mills

    My name is G00 and I'm a cheap endmill buyer, but I'm admitting I have a problem and want to change.

    I have been buying commodity grade carbide endmills ever since I started to use my own money. I've programmed my way around their limitations. I'm to the point now that it may be time to step up my selection. I'm running 10,000+ RPM BT30 machines and they seem to have different tastes than my old 7500 RPM Cat40 machines. They seem to really like 3/8" EMS running 10k at about 250 IPM, and as much radial step over as the fixture can handle. I could do a little better with dedicated roughers, but I'm just not a fan of the mess they make and the additional tool changes, so they are off the table. Three flute is my preference. I use high speed toolpaths almost exclusively. I am a bit fixture rigidity limited because the parts are sitting on top of a 5 axis trunnion. Price is still a variable I consider. If an endmill costs twice as much, it better make me twice as much money... or at least make me smile when it runs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    My name is G00 and I'm a cheap endmill buyer, but I'm admitting I have a problem and want to change.

    I have been buying commodity grade carbide endmills ever since I started to use my own money. I've programmed my way around their limitations. I'm to the point now that it may be time to step up my selection. I'm running 10,000+ RPM BT30 machines and they seem to have different tastes than my old 7500 RPM Cat40 machines. They seem to really like 3/8" EMS running 10k at about 250 IPM, and as much radial step over as the fixture can handle. I could do a little better with dedicated roughers, but I'm just not a fan of the mess they make and the additional tool changes, so they are off the table. Three flute is my preference. I use high speed toolpaths almost exclusively. I am a bit fixture rigidity limited because the parts are sitting on top of a 5 axis trunnion. Price is still a variable I consider. If an endmill costs twice as much, it better make me twice as much money... or at least make me smile when it runs.
    .
    roughers with wavy flutes like corncob cutters tend to make less vibration and typically you can increase depth and width of cut often 200% if vibration is a limiting factor. not sure i see the point of feeds over 200 ipm. usually bigger rougher can often do in one pass what smaller cutter takes many passes. obviously longer tools and tool holders you need bigger dia too. you aint going to do much if needing a 12" depth of cut and all you use is a 3/8 end mill
    .
    good luck doing a 10" deep bore with a 3/8 dia end mill
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails rnc_2in.jpg  

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    I would recommend you check out YG1. Probably the best bang for the buck. I use their 3 fluters for roughing out alum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    .
    roughers with wavy flutes like corncob cutters tend to make less vibration and typically you can increase depth and width of cut often 200% if vibration is a limiting factor. not sure i see the point of feeds over 200 ipm. usually bigger rougher can often do in one pass what smaller cutter takes many passes. obviously longer tools and tool holders you need bigger dia too. you aint going to do much if needing a 12" depth of cut and all you use is a 3/8 end mill
    .
    good luck doing a 10" deep bore with a 3/8 dia end mill
    Sorry Tom, I must not have been clear that I am running BT30 machines that are capable of very fast feed and rapid moves. Not big giant bed mills cutting 5000 pound iron castings with 10 inch bores. Most of my parts are aluminum and end up weighing way less than a pound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    I would recommend you check out YG1. Probably the best bang for the buck. I use their 3 fluters for roughing out alum.
    IMO, their 2flute ally cutters actually take a larger cut because they don't bind (deeper flutes).
    OP - for out and out roughing, go with something like a MAFord series 134 (45deg 3 flute) - it will mince the swarf (lower forces) and you can run it as fast as your rigidity and control will allow. 14mm is the max you want to run - any bigger and you end up hammering the spindle, and put it in a Maritool short nose sidelock.
    The only other tool worth considering is a Garr similar/equivalent - it was 3 flute but smaller knuckles, but ran the same prog (so same feeds and speeds). It was also 3/4 the price of the MA Ford.
    I had two Robodrills, then laterally 3x Feelers with 15spindles, and the tools were the best MMR we could find.

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    I second the YG1 Alu-power cutters ... I buy there 3/8" 20 at a time and run the hell out of them .. 12k spindle and I push the feed up tell I snap a cutter then back it off 20% and run parts... if its a big job with over 2K worth of chips I have found the TAS cutters from lakeshore do good or Helical ZRN coated .... I have a set or Helical cutters I run on a ongoing job and the pair have done over 8K pounds of 6061 chip and still look like new ..

    YG1 cutters are cheaper than Helical by about half .. "BUT" YG1 seen to fatigue and snap off right at the top of the flutes over time .. The Helical endmills don`t do that ,,

    One trick that makes a HUGE difference in the life of the aluminum cutters is blasting the chips out ,, Re cutting chips well screw up a cutter super fast ,, I take most of the production jobs back to cam after seeing a new job run ,, but for the most part I try to cut in X or Y positive and not negative. most of my coolant comes from the front right side of the spindle. It sounds like a pain to program around how your coolant flows but I can go from hours per cutter to weeks just by a 5 min program change.

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    DD,
    You need to make a new coolant manifold or do *something* so you flood from all around.
    Programming for your coolant limitations would drive me insane...

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    When you guys recommend YG-1 are you talking about their Alu_Power endmills? They have a pretty large assortment.

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    Part# E5521 in my case

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    .
    roughers with wavy flutes like corncob cutters tend to make less vibration and typically you can increase depth and width of cut often 200% if vibration is a limiting factor. not sure i see the point of feeds over 200 ipm. usually bigger rougher can often do in one pass what smaller cutter takes many passes. obviously longer tools and tool holders you need bigger dia too. you aint going to do much if needing a 12" depth of cut and all you use is a 3/8 end mill
    .
    good luck doing a 10" deep bore with a 3/8 dia end mill
    Why do you even respond to some of these questions? Did he not make it clear what he was doing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    When you guys recommend YG-1 are you talking about their Alu_Power endmills? They have a pretty large assortment.
    Yes. The YG1 Alu-Power are good. Great bang for the buck.
    I have had amazing results from SGS S-carbs as well.
    sgs-s-carb.jpg

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    Yep. YG1 AluPower end mills are good. I am very fond of GW alumigators as well, especially the type with chipbreakers. They will rip and tear like no one's business. They can be pricy depending on distributor but we can get them for close to the same as YGs.

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    MA Ford makes the best 3 flute aluminum specific corncob 3/8" roughers, other diameters and my recommendations change, and Destiny Vipers are the best 3 flute aluminum specific end mills IMO. I know you say you don't want to entertain a dedicated rougher but you did say you are fixture limited on how hard you can remove metal, and you said you like to go as fast as you can. NOTHING compares to a good corncob mill for maximum metal removal with minimum cutter force, NOTHING! And the chips are about 4 times denser so they take up less space in the pan or bucket, that's because the chiploads are at least 4 times bigger.

    Harvey makes an interesting 5 flute finish mill but the surface finish at the same high feedrate is about the same as a Destiny Viper even though it has more flutes. Still I use the hell out of a 3/16" one.

    The YG-1 endmills are nice for prototyping and such where they tend to not wear out from natural causes. They are a lot cheaper.

    Destiny Tool makes the nicest 3 flute 45 degree chamfer tool I have tried, the one with a helical platform. Very smooth finishes at high chiploads in aluminum and burr free in polyethylene plastic.

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    I have a customer with similar tooling needs to you. I used to sell them the YG-1 Alu Power series. We have gone to Helical 45 degree series since then. Helical is a little more expensive however they have an incredible size variety compared to the YG-1. That said I think the performance is the same on the standard tooling.

    Do you have a coolant through spindle? If you do these will blow your socks off Helical Solutions - High Balance.
    My client who manufactures aluminum racing parts. Used 5-10 3/8" 3 fluters a month. They bought 2 of the high balance coolant through Helical end mills. The first one lasted 6 months!

    It's been painful for tool sales but very impressive!

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    Ive been impressed by the Garr HSAL endmills. Not the highest end product, but for the cost I have been impressed. I usually break one before it goes dull, and even using their conservative recommended feeds and speeds, they remove a lot of material in a hurry.

    I used to cut a LOT of aluminum at a previous job (augers were definitely required DD ) we ran Gorilla Mills and I gotta say, they were a heck of a tool. Lasted forever, great finishes, and as long as you could hold onto the part, they would take a hell of a cut.

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    I'm a pretty big fan of Helical and Destiny endmills. They both have lots of options depending on what you need and phenomenal performance.
    When I'm feeling a bit cheap I usually swing for Lakeshore Carbide's VFA series, which has also been pretty good for me. They have some rough/finish endmills that will break chips and still leave a finished wall, so if you're limited on toolchanger capacity those might be worth looking at.

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    Does anyone make a reduced shank corncob rougher? I've been using Maritool's 3/8 or YG-1 AluPower 1/2 reduced shank endmills, but I'd love something that would reduce forces and make more compact chips. Alternatively I could go up to a larger diameter tool to get the reach, but those are expensive.

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    I appreciate all of the replies so far, I must be the only one that loathes corncob and wavy flute endmills. It just seems to me that those little snowflake chips get everywhere (especially between the part and the soft jaws, and in my flip flops). So far it seems like YG-1 is a preferred option. Their recommended feeds and speeds are pretty conservative (and they should fire whoever makes their youtube videos). I'll see if I can get a couple samples next week to run side by side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    I appreciate all of the replies so far, I must be the only one that loathes corncob and wavy flute endmills. It just seems to me that those little snowflake chips get everywhere (especially between the part and the soft jaws, and in my flip flops). So far it seems like YG-1 is a preferred option. Their recommended feeds and speeds are pretty conservative (and they should fire whoever makes their youtube videos). I'll see if I can get a couple samples next week to run side by side.
    With a 3/8" corncob you should be using a .03"-.04" per tooth chip load, which doesn't make "snowflake" chips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielG View Post
    Does anyone make a reduced shank corncob rougher? I've been using Maritool's 3/8 or YG-1 AluPower 1/2 reduced shank endmills, but I'd love something that would reduce forces and make more compact chips. Alternatively I could go up to a larger diameter tool to get the reach, but those are expensive.
    Look at helical. I have one of theirs in 1/2" and I LOVE it. Super versatile.
    http://www.helicaltool.com/prod/Redu...-Neck_328.aspx


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