Carbide End Mill Recommendation for 302 SS
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  1. #1
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    Default Carbide End Mill Recommendation for 302 SS

    I have a job coming in that I would like to try using a carbide end mill on. I do mostly aluminum work, but I have a new customer and all of their parts are SS. Machine is a Might VMC950, Cat40. Material is 304 SS. Maximum Depth of cut is .550". All of my tooling I have to order, where I live is not manufacturing based. Looking through the US Shop Tools catalog I see that they have Melin and YG1 in the size that I want. I also can get SGS from McMaster which I know will cost me more. Can anyone give any input on these manufacturers? Any where else I should be looking at to purchase from in the Southern Ca area? I'm not interested in buying from MSC unless I have to. If only I had a tooling rep like some guys!

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    Call my tool rep , he is honest as day 1 , he is also a machining Garou , he came out of a handle turning , then CNC shop , he will sale you what you need ONLY , and give you great advise , I have no irons in this fire , just know if I need some help on tooling he is my first choice , he handles all types of brands , 828 384 1884 ask for John , located in SC , but no telling where the tooling would be coming from. Just my 2cents

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    I use niagara stbilizer ht for all of my ss 304/316 and they work like a charm. I have actually never try the other brand you name so i cant comment on them.

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    You can get the SGS from carbidedepot.com - should be a bunch cheaper then msc.

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    My main goal is to use a brand that I can obtain locally, that way when I need something for the next day I can get it. I would probably use Niagara if they where available locally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter.blais View Post
    You can get the SGS from carbidedepot.com - should be a bunch cheaper then msc.

    Pretty much everything is cheaper than MSC

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    YG1 are good cutters for the money, but they have a hell of a range if your supplier can get the full variety? I get on real well with there K2 coated stuff, but they do have a more stainless specific range to from memory.

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    You'll want a variable helix 4 flute endmill for stainless.
    Good brands that I've use are Lakeshore Carbide, Garr, HTC Hotmill, and I also have my cutter resharp guy make his own variation for a few bucks less than anyone else.

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    I use Lakeshore Carbide's 5-flute made specifically for stainless in 304. High speed machining is your friend. I've found that heavy cuts in 304 allow too much heat to build up (even with coolant) and it starts work hardening.

    I run it at 2300 rpm and .005 ipt which gives me a feed rate of 57.5 ipm. 0.700" deep but only taking .050" profiling what's basically a small "tower". I actually have 2 identical endmills as tool #1 and #2. #1 acts as a rougher, and #2 does the finishing pass. If #1 gets too dull, toss it, and move #2 to #1, rinse and repeat.

    On the last batch I think I did about 135 parts and kept the same 2 endmills. Might have started using wear comp towards the end there, but it's been a while and can't quite remember.

    You say you're using the full width of the cutter, but are profiling, not slotting? Never had luck with that in 304. Shallow DOCs just burn up the tip of the endmill. For slotting or the 2" pocket, I'd pre-drill and then spiral out or do trochoidal paths.

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    Variable flute end mills are to steels and stainless like 3 flute high helix is to aluminum work. They work like a charm. Look for those instead of any old 'stainless cutting' end mills. Get one with a coating too. I use TiAlN coated ones. Also, like the guy said above, use HSM if your CAM has that. Otherwise program it manually using HSM techniques. Makes a world of difference. Machining jobs that otherwise destroy endmills, HSM cam get it done without broken tools.

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    YG1 endmills are good quality and inexpensive. They'll work fine for your job. Look for the V7 line of endmills. They are variable flute with AlTiN coated. Should be around $40 for a 1/2" endmill. Search Suncoast Tools in Google if your supplier is a bunch more than that. Also don't forget, if you only need a stubby endmill, GET the stubby endmill. 304 needs a rigid setup...

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    Here's another source for you:
    CARBIDE360.COM - HOME

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    Quote Originally Posted by exkenna View Post
    Here's another source for you:
    CARBIDE360.COM - HOME
    Very nice pricing!

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    Here is a picture of the part. It is 1.5" long, 1" tall. I was going to cut three parts out of a 6.5" piece of material. I had planned on using a "rougher" and "finisher" approach like you had suggested. You don't think the end mills will hold up being fully engaged cutting these parts?




    two-port-adapter.jpg


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