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    Default Geared live tools?

    I’ve been kicking around the idea for years of using geared up live tools in my Doosan Lynx. I do a lot of engraving with tiny tools and the 6000 rpm limit on my live tools is slowing me down. Almost exclusively, the longest run time in any of my programs is the engraving tool. How well do the 2x and 3x geared live tools work? Does running at 18000 rpm lower life expectancy of the tool any? The entry fee for these tools is high so I don’t want to make an expensive mistake.

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    No personal experience myself but when I was looking at those lathes a lot of the salesman seemed to tell me that the 2x rpm tools did not last very long at all.

    I was looking at a lynx but really wanted faster live tooling. Those heads were also very expensive. Ended up deciding to go for a different machine due to those factors.

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    Colibri sells, or used to, what is a coolant fed spindle speeder, SpinJet, that will fit in a boring bar holder. I have a version for a 40 taper machine but they have straight shank versions too. At 230PSI, I was able to get 25K RPM for engraving.
    There are other makers too, that would work great in a lathe environment. Coolant Driven Spindle Speeder Technology | Colibri Spindles

    Paul

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    They last a lot longer if you ramp up your RPMs with a dwell of a few seconds at each lower RPM. Like if your max is 6K, do 1K, 2K, 4K, 6K, with a 3 second dwell after each. Ramp them back down instead of just shutting them off, too. Make sure they have good coolant flow on them to keep the heat down.

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    Also, if you're ONLY engraving, and not trying to do any heavy milling with small tools, an electric NSK spindle will last A LOT longer than a gear driven live tool. Like.... the NSKs run at 60K RPM for YEARS vs the gear driven spindles that need a rebuild every 1000 hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LockNut View Post
    Colibri sells, or used to, what is a coolant fed spindle speeder, SpinJet, that will fit in a boring bar holder. I have a version for a 40 taper machine but they have straight shank versions too. At 230PSI, I was able to get 25K RPM for engraving.
    There are other makers too, that would work great in a lathe environment. Coolant Driven Spindle Speeder Technology | Colibri Spindles

    Paul
    Those are still available, at least through Iscar/Tungaloy.

    They are pretty ridiculously expensive though.

    For a coolant driven speeder, the Toodle is a much easier to swallow price, and plenty good enough for engraving. Also available as air driven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    Those are still available, at least through Iscar/Tungaloy.

    They are pretty ridiculously expensive though.

    For a coolant driven speeder, the Toodle is a much easier to swallow price, and plenty good enough for engraving. Also available as air driven.

    Very true and I was looking for the toodle but couldn't find it. But, if your going to spring for a 2:1 live tool holder, the cost will be about the same. No?

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by LockNut View Post
    Very true and I was looking for the toodle but couldn't find it. But, if your going to spring for a 2:1 live tool holder, the cost will be about the same. No?

    Paul
    I priced one out recently and you could almost buy two 2:1 live holders for the price of the SpinJet and its wireless monitor.

    The Toodle is expensive for what it is also, but you could buy half a dozen of them for the price of the SpinJet.

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    These are relatively in-expensive. I was quoted $1k for a kit -

    1 speeder head
    2 bearing kits(that's the whole rebuild, 2 bearings)
    tool install kit

    Ultra-High-Speed-Spindles

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    Bought one from WTO for our Doosan GT2600LM in April 2018.

    It runs at 3k at the turret so 9k at the tool, running a 1/8" ball mill engraving about 20 5mm letters, .2mm deep on each part and we do between 60 and 80 parts a day.
    It has almost cut the engraving time by a third.

    No issues with it in 3 years until someone forgot a decimal point and ran it into the workpiece (twice). Cost $1600 to have it repaired...

    Our turret maxes out @ 3,300 rpm so I cant comment on how it would last @ closer to 18k.
    We do have a much bigger lathe that also engraves but I think with the large chuck it would struggle with the C-axis at 3 times the feed-rate.
    I think it is a great investment for the smaller machine.


    410410004-55 STRAIGHT OFFSET MILL / DRILL HOLDER ER16
    18,000RPM, 1:3 GEAR RATIO, BMT55P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ianagos View Post
    No personal experience myself but when I was looking at those lathes a lot of the salesman seemed to tell me that the 2x rpm tools did not last very long at all.
    We were faced with a similar problem. We bought this, and etch times are less than 10 seconds each.
    FM-S Laser Marker by Boss Laser

    Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by doug925 View Post
    We were faced with a similar problem. We bought this, and etch times are less than 10 seconds each.
    FM-S Laser Marker by Boss Laser

    Doug
    fiber lasers rule!
    too bad you can use in process, the machining environment is so nasty!

    but i agree, if you could mark offline they are great marking quality and super quick with reletively low cost/setup considering.
    i ran 1500 parts just the other morning. place in jig, footpedle activate, 5 seconds later do it agian. if you need a deep engrave it will take a little longer. all depends on removal rate. but it wont tie up a spindle either! if you want deep get a 50W and a more focused lens

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stirling View Post
    fiber lasers rule!
    too bad you can use in process, the machining environment is so nasty!

    but i agree, if you could mark offline they are great marking quality and super quick with reletively low cost/setup considering.
    i ran 1500 parts just the other morning. place in jig, footpedle activate, 5 seconds later do it agian. if you need a deep engrave it will take a little longer. all depends on removal rate. but it wont tie up a spindle either! if you want deep get a 50W and a more focused lens
    I agree wholeheartedly. Why tie up valuable spindle time?

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    Take a look at WTO. They have several different models available in both air and coolant driven. I haven't priced them, so I don't know what kind of investment they are.

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    For reference in case anybody is wondering, the speeders offered by WTO are the Toodle units I mentioned earlier, sold under license. They are available from a number of other sources also.

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    Thanks for all the input! I think I’ll pass on the geared live tools. I’ll look at other speeder options talked about above though. Laser wouldn’t work for the job I’m working now, and have been working on since January. It has potential for my own products but I don’t do enough volume of those to make it worth while.

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    I have a Toodle Blue that I was using on a VF-3SS. Ran about 30K RPM with 1000 PSI TSC, worked well for light cuts with small tools. I've seen the electric spindles used to good effect in Swiss machines.

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    I use Heimatech 1:2 and 1:4 right angle speeders in a Nakamura NTY3 machine for high feed milling using Seco Jabro endmills. I have three of the 1:4 and have been using them since late 2013 in the 20,000-24,000 rpm range. I recently had one rebuilt by Heimatech because it started getting a little play in it. These driven holders are used quite often so I was okay with the need to rebuild considering it lasted 8 years before needing the rebuild.

    I also have some Alberti 1:4 cross drill holders on a Nakamura WTW-150 (4 turret machine) that are even older and never been rebuilt. They aren't used nearly as much as the Heimatech on the NTY3, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric U View Post
    Thanks for all the input! I think I’ll pass on the geared live tools. I’ll look at other speeder options talked about above though. Laser wouldn’t work for the job I’m working now, and have been working on since January. It has potential for my own products but I don’t do enough volume of those to make it worth while.
    Eric,
    Just now saw this post.
    We run 2x speeder tools, WTO brand. These are in 24/5 production >500 cycles a day and we see a life of about 2-3 years. But they can be rebuilt for not a lot of money. Coolant for cooling is a requirement though.


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