Best Face Mill for Live Tooled Lathe
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    Default Best Face Mill for Live Tooled Lathe

    Hi Everyone!

    I am considering a project where I would cut down 1.5" round prehard (~30 HRC) 4140 to 2" length of 1.375" X .875" rectangle. The alternative is to put it in a mill but since we need to get to all six sides of the part I am investigating what it would look like in the lathe so as to avoid tons of handling and gain unattended operation (it is a barfed lathe.)

    The lathe is a swiss Tsugami B0386-III so the material is supported by the guide bushing pretty close to the cutter and since it is 1.5" round I consider the PART to be pretty rigid. As far as live tooling goes we have a 1.0kW ER20 spot and a 1.4kW ER16 spot. I imagine the bigger bearings and tool shank the ER20 spot can accommodate is advantageous over the higher-torque 1.4kW ER16 but it still is just a rinky dinky collet compared to what a 30 or 40 taper mill can brandish.

    Can anyone recommend a radial-facing tool they have experience with on a comparably-equipped lathe regarding tooling specs as that will likely be the limiting factor (as opposed to the cutting tool itself)? If so, can you share what speeds, feeds, and depth of cut are working for you?

    Thank you!

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    Don't buy Walter. They are made in China.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gobo View Post
    Don't buy Walter. They are made in China.
    Haha, I saw that! I’m working on a short video for my company that pushes the “Made in America...REALLY!” element and points out the whole “MADE IN AMERICA!.....of foreign and domestic parts...” and “MADE IN AMERICA!......from globally-sourced materials...” and “designed IN AMERICA” and even “...printed IN AMERICA” (on the packaging haha!) etc.

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    So you want to face along the axis right - so something less than 1.5" diameter moving parallel to the Z axis?

    I heard a podcast where somebody was describing a Datron "face mill" is that like 16mm on a smaller shank, which apparently makes mirror finishes. So they, and other folks making tools for very small ultra fast spindles might be worth you examination.

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    I recently looked for a face mill for a small live tool lathe and settled on an Ingersoll Chip-Surfer paired with an ER25 integral shank. They make the shank in ER20 as well.

    Here's the cutter head I'm using. It's 25 mm diameter with 6 flutes.

    https://www.ingersoll-imc.com/produc...ductId=3759621

    And here's the ER20 shank to go with it. They also make a version with a longer shank.

    EDP: 4508049 - Part Number: ER20T10SA-02 - Series: ER*T - Solid ER, Neck Relief

    Let me know if you're interested, and I can post more details on my application.

    They make a wide variety of cutting heads for that shank, including some indexable insert, high feed mills if you want to go that route.

    I was also considering this tool. It's part of their lineup of tools for Swiss and live tools lathes.

    https://www.ingersoll-imc.com/produc...oductId=245860

    Also, Iscar makes the exact same thing as all these products if you'd rather deal with them.

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    I feel like whatever tool you use, it'll start beating the crap out of that machine as soon as the cutting edges begin to dull. It's just a lot of material to removing from semi-hard bar in a smallish lathe with an even smaller holder.

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    I'd recommend you look at the Iscar multimaster tools, where you use a threaded shank with replaceable screw on carbide cutting heads. What's your shift from the center of your live tool to the face of the guide bushing? That'll obviously determine your cutter diameter. I only have 10mm on most of my machines, and I don't run parts that big, so I don't use them, but I think they'd be a big time saver in production. They are supposed to repeat to about .001" when swapping the carbide heads out. Also, I was told by my GWS guy that they're making competing replacement carbide cutting heads that will thread onto the Iscar shanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    So you want to face along the axis right - so something less than 1.5" diameter moving parallel to the Z axis?

    I heard a podcast where somebody was describing a Datron "face mill" is that like 16mm on a smaller shank, which apparently makes mirror finishes. So they, and other folks making tools for very small ultra fast spindles might be worth you examination.
    Yeah, either feeding along the part in Z of across the part in Y...probably along the part in Z. I think I've got 6,000 RPM on the cross live. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmpy View Post
    I recently looked for a face mill for a small live tool lathe and settled on an Ingersoll Chip-Surfer paired with an ER25 integral shank. They make the shank in ER20 as well.

    Here's the cutter head I'm using. It's 25 mm diameter with 6 flutes.

    https://www.ingersoll-imc.com/produc...ductId=3759621

    And here's the ER20 shank to go with it. They also make a version with a longer shank.

    EDP: 4508049 - Part Number: ER20T10SA-02 - Series: ER*T - Solid ER, Neck Relief

    Let me know if you're interested, and I can post more details on my application.

    They make a wide variety of cutting heads for that shank, including some indexable insert, high feed mills if you want to go that route.

    I was also considering this tool. It's part of their lineup of tools for Swiss and live tools lathes.

    https://www.ingersoll-imc.com/produc...oductId=245860

    Also, Iscar makes the exact same thing as all these products if you'd rather deal with them.
    Quote Originally Posted by TeachMePlease View Post
    I'd recommend you look at the Iscar multimaster tools, where you use a threaded shank with replaceable screw on carbide cutting heads. What's your shift from the center of your live tool to the face of the guide bushing? That'll obviously determine your cutter diameter. I only have 10mm on most of my machines, and I don't run parts that big, so I don't use them, but I think they'd be a big time saver in production. They are supposed to repeat to about .001" when swapping the carbide heads out. Also, I was told by my GWS guy that they're making competing replacement carbide cutting heads that will thread onto the Iscar shanks.
    Thanks for the info! I've used a couple of the iscar multimasters and they seem expensive to me...like $50 for a 3/8" 90 degree chamfer mill head. It seems to me that the value in those heads is in making it quick and easy to replace them once they've worn out, but you pay for that. I was thinking more along the lines of a mill with inserts like the last one wmpy suggested, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll look into the multimaster again (and the Ingersol version, too.)

    The ER16 spots are 14mm from the guide bushing and the ER20 spot is 22mm from the guide bushing, so I don't think cutter size would be a problem.

    wmpy - if you are able, could you share what DOC/S/F you are getting with that Ingersol tool in your lathe?

    Thanks, guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmpy View Post
    I recently looked for a face mill for a small live tool lathe and settled on an Ingersoll Chip-Surfer paired with an ER25 integral shank. They make the shank in ER20 as well.

    Here's the cutter head I'm using. It's 25 mm diameter with 6 flutes.

    https://www.ingersoll-imc.com/produc...ductId=3759621

    And here's the ER20 shank to go with it. They also make a version with a longer shank.

    EDP: 4508049 - Part Number: ER20T10SA-02 - Series: ER*T - Solid ER, Neck Relief

    Let me know if you're interested, and I can post more details on my application.

    They make a wide variety of cutting heads for that shank, including some indexable insert, high feed mills if you want to go that route.

    I was also considering this tool. It's part of their lineup of tools for Swiss and live tools lathes.

    https://www.ingersoll-imc.com/produc...oductId=245860

    Also, Iscar makes the exact same thing as all these products if you'd rather deal with them.
    Quote Originally Posted by TeachMePlease View Post
    I'd recommend you look at the Iscar multimaster tools, where you use a threaded shank with replaceable screw on carbide cutting heads. What's your shift from the center of your live tool to the face of the guide bushing? That'll obviously determine your cutter diameter. I only have 10mm on most of my machines, and I don't run parts that big, so I don't use them, but I think they'd be a big time saver in production. They are supposed to repeat to about .001" when swapping the carbide heads out. Also, I was told by my GWS guy that they're making competing replacement carbide cutting heads that will thread onto the Iscar shanks.
    Thanks for the info! I've used a couple of the iscar multimasters and they seem expensive to me...like $50 for a 3/8" 90 degree chamfer mill head. It seems to me that the value in those heads is in making it quick and easy to replace them once they've worn out, but you pay for that. I was thinking more along the lines of a mill with inserts like the last one wmpy suggested, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll look into the multimaster again (and the Ingersol version, too.)

    The ER16 spots are 14mm from the guide bushing and the ER20 spot is 22mm from the guide bushing, so I don't think cutter size would be a problem.

    wmpy - if you are able, could you share what DOC/S/F you are getting with that Ingersol tool in your lathe?

    Thanks, guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdlinger View Post
    Thanks for the info! I've used a couple of the iscar multimasters and they seem expensive to me...like $50 for a 3/8" 90 degree chamfer mill head. It seems to me that the value in those heads is in making it quick and easy to replace them once they've worn out, but you pay for that. I was thinking more along the lines of a mill with inserts like the last one wmpy suggested, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll look into the multimaster again (and the Ingersol version, too.)

    The ER16 spots are 14mm from the guide bushing and the ER20 spot is 22mm from the guide bushing, so I don't think cutter size would be a problem.

    wmpy - if you are able, could you share what DOC/S/F you are getting with that Ingersol tool in your lathe?

    Thanks, guys!
    My current parameters are .081" doc, 1000 rpm (260ish sfm), and 6 ipm (.001 ipt). This is from running the job one time, and I plan on boosting those parameters considerably next time. I went very conservative because I was unsure of the milling capability of this machine, but it performed very well. The application is cutting soft 416 SS in a Hardinge Elite 42M. This is like a newer version of your Conquest T42. I don't know the HP of the live tools, but it has 5000 rpm, ER25 holders with VDI30 mounting. I'm face milling an .800" diameter round section on opposite sides to a thickness of .312". I have no Y on this machine, so I needed a cutter bigger than the diameter of the part. I mill towards the collet, taking each side in three passes. The final pass is taking nearly an .800" width of cut. Next time, I plan on changing to two passes, then upping the ipt and the sfm.

    I didn't find the cutter heads terribly expensive. They were almost $83 each. Compare that to a standard 6 flute 1" end mill, and it doesn't seem so bad. Plus, how would I hold a 1" end mill in my little ER25 holder?

    I don't know how much this helps with your application since your machine is quite different. Sometimes the best thing to do is just give it a shot. Maybe the applications people at Morris can be helpful here?

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    I was going through my old notes on this and came across a couple more options.

    This is another version of that 1/2" shank, 1-1/2" diameter cutter I linked to above. It just takes a different insert. The 7 inserts are nice for the application.

    https://www.ingersoll-imc.com/produc...ductId=2349671

    This is a similar tool from Sumitomo. You can get a 25 mm diameter indexable cutter with a 12 mm shank. They're unique in that they're designed to butt up against the face of the ER collet to give the tool more stability.

    https://www.sumitool.com/en/download...alog/SS071.pdf

    One nice thing about the Chip-Surfer / Multi-Master screw on system is the ability to use the ER20 integral shank. The shank size for the largest available (T10) connection is about 0.600". Using collets, you're limited to 1/2" shank size. That's a pretty significant increase in rigidity. Even if the shank sizes were the same, I have to think that the integral shank has to be more rigid and have less runout than a comparable sized shank in a collet.

    One last thing to consider... I don't know the layout of your machine, but consider how difficult it will be to change a bunch of small indexable milling inserts in a Swiss machine. It could be pretty annoying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmpy View Post
    I was going through my old notes on this and came across a couple more options.

    This is another version of that 1/2" shank, 1-1/2" diameter cutter I linked to above. It just takes a different insert. The 7 inserts are nice for the application.

    https://www.ingersoll-imc.com/produc...ductId=2349671

    This is a similar tool from Sumitomo. You can get a 25 mm diameter indexable cutter with a 12 mm shank. They're unique in that they're designed to butt up against the face of the ER collet to give the tool more stability.

    https://www.sumitool.com/en/download...alog/SS071.pdf

    One nice thing about the Chip-Surfer / Multi-Master screw on system is the ability to use the ER20 integral shank. The shank size for the largest available (T10) connection is about 0.600". Using collets, you're limited to 1/2" shank size. That's a pretty significant increase in rigidity. Even if the shank sizes were the same, I have to think that the integral shank has to be more rigid and have less runout than a comparable sized shank in a collet.

    One last thing to consider... I don't know the layout of your machine, but consider how difficult it will be to change a bunch of small indexable milling inserts in a Swiss machine. It could be pretty annoying.
    Wow! Thanks for all the info! My guy says 25mm max or it’ll just rattle around but I am really interested in that integral shank dealy! You’re right - all the teensy 0-80 / 2-56 screws are a bit of a pain. Thanks, again!


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