Face mill recommendations needed for small horsepower VMC (mini mill)
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  1. #1
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    Default Face mill recommendations needed for small horsepower VMC (mini mill)

    Long time lurker, don't post much. My father and I operate a very small machine shop. We are planning to purchase our first VMC, a new Haas Mini Mill 2 with standard 6k spindle. No need to go into the argument of purchasing more machine, we have done LOADS of homework and due to a number of factors, have settled on the mini mill 2 being the right machine for us at this time.

    Onto my question... Neither of us have much experience in modern tooling/inserts. We are coming from oldschool bridgeports and most tooling from that respective era.


    I need a recommendation for a 1.5"-2.0" 90deg (might be able to be swayed on the angle) face mill/insert that will primarily see aluminum and plastics. HOWEVER, we would like the ability to change inserts to machine stainless, steel, potentially a small bit of Ti from time to time. We understand the hp and rigidity limitations, and are not expecting removal rates that most shops operate at. We are a low volume, high tolerance prototype shop. Slowing down speeds and feeds to prolong insert life under tougher materials is not an issue. We have no current tool manufacturer relationships, so as far as sandvik, walter, mitsubishi, etc - that does not matter.


    Thank you for any help you may be able to provide. Any questions, fire away.

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    I picked up one of these from Frank and ran it on a 4k RPM TM-1 and it worked great. Mainly aluminum with some plastic thrown in. Biggest issue was dealing with all the chips it made.

    If you are only facing with it and don't need the shouldering capabilities, I would lean towards the 45* face mills. Both options have a nice range of inserts for everything you would see.

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    SECO Square Six.

    The only thing you can't do with it is ramp, but beyond that it is a really versatile cutter.

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    you pick inserts 1st then you buy facemill that takes the inserts. often if you buy so many inserts they give you the facemill for free
    .
    beware buying a cheap facemill that takes cheap inserts. usually you get what you paid for
    .
    if you buy from local industrial supply store they may tell you whats common and already in stock used by many (popular) the the area. catalog might list 10,000 different varieties and you might find less than 100 are commonly in stock, rest being a special order

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    Sandvik R390 with their inserts for aluminum. That cutter is tried and true.
    The 1-1/2" cutter will have 3 inserts and is coolant thru if you need it.
    Available in a 1-1/4" shank or the shell mill style.

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    I use 2" 45 degree, 3 or 4 flute face mills in my low horsepower Haas machines. I've bought them from a couple different companies, but the Nexus 45 Degree from Techniks is definitely my favorite. I got it for free, pre-mounted on a Cat40 Shank when I bought ten Cat40 toolholders... figured it was going to be a throwaway. It has greatly exceeded my expectations.

    I find my surface finish is significantly worse with 90 degree facemills, and with modern toolpaths, I definitely use solid carbide more than inserted cutters for roughing.

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    I guess there are 2 directions you can go..

    1)high end proprietary stuff.

    or

    2) the common stuff that isn't as *awesome* but is cheap and functional,
    and can be had from many manufacturers.


    The sandvik R390's are pretty sweet, ran those where I used to work.. But
    out on my own.. The insert and cutter body prices were a bit steep for
    how often I needed them.. APKT to the rescue.. Dirt cheap and you can
    get them from anybody, they aren't great, but for the rare times I need
    them, they are serviceable.

    LEAD angle facemills.. I highly suggest that if you haven't used them before,
    GET SOME.. I didn't believe it until I got a smoking deal on one from our
    own Curtis aka ExKenna on this site.. Again, you can go higher end proprietary
    type stuff, or the dirt common SExx inserts and face mills.

    On the lead angle thing.. Chip thinning comes into play.. So you can feed them
    harder.. And the lead angle effectively pushes about half the cutting forces
    straight back up the spindle, instead of the forces being all sideways.. Effectively
    making your machine seem bigger and more rigid than it really is.

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    Mari Tool has some decent face mills for a fair $$$.

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    I would avoid square corner inserts. Get something that takes SEHT or the like.

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    On my BT30 Robodrills, that then changed to Feelers with a 15k spindle, and then we standardised across the whole shop (the BT40 machines too) because they were sooo good, we used Korloy.
    I believe Frank Mari sells them?
    S10000 F5000 DOC2.5mm 80% Stepover (Cutting 6082-T6 aluminium) gives a nice finish.

    40mm Pro-X Mill Face Mill (PAXCM5000-A) | Cutwel - Milling Tool Supplier

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    I've been using Maritool's 2-1/2" 5-insert SEHT/SEHW insert facemills for 3 years on my 30-taper Speedio. Besides some irritating variances in insert size and seating consistency, they have been great. If I take the time to get all the inserts running within half a thou or so on height, the finish is PDG.

    I will say though that I only take finishing cuts anymore. While the SEHT/SEHW facemills can remove bulk material fast, this degrades the fragile high-sharp insert edges, and then final surface finish suffers. I HSM away the bulk material with an endmill to within .01" or .005, then take a finish pass with the facemill.

    Regards.

    Mike

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    RIPPER FACE MILL PROMO KIT

    I use this setup on a MiniMill daily. Hard to beat in Aluminum.
    He sells facemills specific for steels too

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    I support the 45* facemills... I have 5", 3.15", and 2" 45 deg facemills and they are very smooth and are capable of leaving almost mirror finishes at high feedrates. They push down on the part 50% instead of 100% side pressure, and this could be good or bad depending on how thick/supported the pieces are.

    One time I roughed out a piece in a vacuum fixture, 7000rpm ~200ipm ~0.05DOC, 2" 45* facemill, cut it down from 0.375 to 0.09 thick. It took like 3 mins and worked flawlessly, I didn't realize until the next tool threw the part out of the fixture that I had forgot to turn the vacuum pump on and it was only being held in the fixture by the 0.090-deep nesting pocket and the downward force of the facemill

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    absolutely loved my Lovejoy Tool xr45 indexable mills on my 10 x 50 "Bridgeport". octagon, .19 ea octagon face, 8 edges is great. remove material at surface footage feeds and doc that really impressed me. 45 deg corner left over? yep, clean it up with another tool, often the finisher would do. many different grades, coatings, and a number of round inserts that fit the same pocket too.

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    I've sold probably a couple hundred of these little 45 degree cutters to guys with knee mills all the way up to 30 hp VMC's. Inserts available for all materials. Very free cutting and more robust than the SEHT design.

    They have a 2 year no questions asked replacement warranty. Doesn't matter if you mill your Kurt vise and destroy it, $12 for shipping gets you a free replacement.

    ZCC USA FACE MILL


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    Curtis had a couple of these on a special a couple years ago. The "for aluminum" inserts will cut you! Wow do they cut. I used the steel type inserts on some 304. Very nice. The pic is aluminum.

    20190817_1124521_zpsj96wsife.jpg Photo by rbehner | Photobucket

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirAIG View Post
    .....
    I need a recommendation for a 1.5"-2.0" 90deg (might be able to be swayed on the angle).......
    So I'll try to sway you.
    If you do not need 90 shoulders use a 45. It is faster and more rigid as pointed out by many above.
    Or buy both and use the 90 when you have to.
    45 tools do have some downside and that is the "push" into the spindle or Z.
    In special application where the stock varies underneath like cylinder heads or engine blocks I go to 90 to eliminate the z defection or wave as you cross the holes.
    45 holders do this on entrance and exit to some minor extent on just plain flat stock if pushed hard but normally not a problem.

    I would think you would want both but the 45 will be cheaper to run in most cases.
    On the other hand, buy inserts with two corners and eat em up. We'll make more. YouTube
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rstewart View Post
    RIPPER FACE MILL PROMO KIT

    I use this setup on a MiniMill daily. Hard to beat in Aluminum.
    He sells facemills specific for steels too
    +1,
    I use one of those on my brother and it just blasts through aluminum with a really nice surface finish.


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