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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcoope View Post
    ...2.75 is getting pretty thick for waterjet...
    Say what? There's a place not too far from us that routinely cuts 6" material. It slows down the travel speed
    but it cuts. To me the major advantage of waterjet is that it will cut thicker material--otherwise it's too expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    ...And secondly, what magical torch are you using where it hardens A36 material?

    Try this now, take a piece of A36, heat it red fucking hot... see if it flame hardens.
    It won't get hard, ever. Unless you add carbon to it.
    Don't take a genius to realize that does it.
    Of course A36 doesn't flame harden but I certainly find that the slag is tougher and tends to be abrasive.
    Yes you can machine through it but taking a few minutes to grind it off definitely saves wear and tear on
    cutters. And never mind the wear and tear issue; if you're trying to position a piece of material on a milling
    machine table or in a vise it's much easier when all surfaces are clean and smooth. There are some things
    you just couldn't machine if you left the slag in place...

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    Quote Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post
    Of course A36 doesn't flame harden but I certainly find that the slag is tougher and tends to be abrasive.
    Honestly, I've never had an issue with flame cut or waterjetted (is that a word?) A36.

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    Yes, A36 flame cut leaves nasty slag that is extremely abrasive. It is a lot like hitting a sand pocket in cast iron. Much better to hit with an angle grinder to remove slag prior to machining.

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    The torch cuts I get have a thin scale, but nothing I would call slag. My guys to their cutting under water, perhaps that makes a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    FWIW, torch cut A36 does NOT have a hard scale. Machines off like butter. (4130 is a different story)
    My reference to stress relieving was not aimed at flame cut edge hardness but at dimensional stability. This stuff moves all over the place when cut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by norb View Post
    My reference to stress relieving was not aimed at flame cut edge hardness but at dimensional stability. This stuff moves all over the place when cut.
    I would agree, stress relieve would be best for stability depending on the shape of the part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    its like when a apprentice or a engineer doesnt think slag can be hard and or abrasive. obviously not worked with A36 too much. whether on surface or deep in a steel plate slag can be hard and abrasive.
    .
    yes i have worked with hundreds if not thousands of tons of A36 over the last 40 years. i have worked on steel columns that were 5000 lbs for each column it dont take long to reach 1000 tons
    .
    obviously try hand filing slag off A36. dont take a genius to realize slag is hard and dulling the file
    A36 "slag" (it's dross, not slag) is hard and abrasive. But on thick plate you really shouldn't get any except around the pierce unless it's being hand cut or with bad feeds and speeds. There should be absolutely none on the edge of the metal itself other than a very thin oxide film. Thickest I work with regularly is 1/2" but I can file any edge of it no problem straight off of the table.

    You would think the guy who cut 1000s of tons of A36 would have dialed in his table but I guess not. Maybe doing things the exact same way over and over doesn't make you an expert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post
    Say what? There's a place not too far from us that routinely cuts 6" material. It slows down the travel speed
    but it cuts. To me the major advantage of waterjet is that it will cut thicker material--otherwise it's too expensive.



    Of course A36 doesn't flame harden but I certainly find that the slag is tougher and tends to be abrasive.
    Yes you can machine through it but taking a few minutes to grind it off definitely saves wear and tear on
    cutters. And never mind the wear and tear issue; if you're trying to position a piece of material on a milling
    machine table or in a vise it's much easier when all surfaces are clean and smooth. There are some things
    you just couldn't machine if you left the slag in place...
    We have a 30Hp pump so yes you're right that you can cut a lot thicker, we don't often cut more than 2" because it slows down exponentially ~1/thickness^1.15 and above 2" it's getting pretty slow! The other advantages of waterjet are the lack of heat issues, which seems to be a topic here (!) and the versatility, i.e. I can turn around and cut glass, tungsten and then leather. Also it's incredibly fast to either import shapes or just whip up simple blanks on the machine. I had to do a CNC lathe job last night and made a 5.5" disk of 1" thick delrin on the waterjet in about 2 minutes including the CAD step. It took longer to find the material.

    NB for the OP's application you could readily imagine modifying the design a bit so you can cut the entire thing out on waterjet except the side holes. The part has pockets with a web left in the middle, but you could lighten it and retain strength by doing vertical webs instead. That's where waterjet would be really an advantage, just cut, machine second ops, paint and you're done.

    Regarding the comment earlier in the thread about sand being a problem for the part, no the sand comes right off. I once even cut a bolt of fabric into 8" wide sections and it didn't build up.

    Regarding the hardening, I've never tried to cut flame cut but have tried to machine sides on 1/2" hot rolled plates that were going to be counterweights for an exotic camera mount. And I blew through several HSS endmills before I figured out what was happening, apparently because of hard inclusions in this uncertainly sourced material. I have since heard of other similar experiences but I sure carbide wouldn't have had any problems with this however so it was more of an issue with the tools I had at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    i usually use a grinder rather than dull a hand file
    Oh the Irony, you talking about a dull file.

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    Why not plunge mill the larger features?

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    Why not plunge mill the larger features?

    I looked up that Sandvick 210 cutter mentioned earlier in this thread and this guy was just blowing through a huge piece of steel by plunge milling. Looked like .375-.5 stepovers. I still haven't figured out how to get all that material out. Looking at inserted cutters at the moment. Were not going to water jet at this point.

    Again, I really appreciate all the tips. I'm the most experienced guy in the shop and being that this is the only shop I've ever worked in I'm not exposed to new ways of doing things. So having the forum is a great tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rokstarr999 View Post
    I looked up that Sandvick 210 cutter mentioned earlier in this thread and this guy was just blowing through a huge piece of steel by plunge milling. Looked like .375-.5 stepovers. I still haven't figured out how to get all that material out. Looking at inserted cutters at the moment. Were not going to water jet at this point.

    Again, I really appreciate all the tips. I'm the most experienced guy in the shop and being that this is the only shop I've ever worked in I'm not exposed to new ways of doing things. So having the forum is a great tool.
    Well the inside radius of the pocket is 3/4, so I would use a 1-1/4" indexable cutter and a pocketing strategy.
    Or drill a start hole and use a plunge mill strategy. Plunge milling is a very fast way to remove stock,but you still need to come back and clean up walls and corners, so I would weigh the time for both types of strategies.
    How many pieces do you have to do?
    1 other option for that pocket, is to drill 2 clearance holes for a 1/2-13 stud, tie down the center slug of the pocket (in 2 places!), and just mill the outer perimiter of the pocket using a ramping toolpath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    Well the inside radius of the pocket is 3/4, so I would use a 1-1/4" indexable cutter and a pocketing strategy.
    Or drill a start hole and use a plunge mill strategy. Plunge milling is a very fast way to remove stock,but you still need to come back and clean up walls and corners, so I would weigh the time for both types of strategies.
    How many pieces do you have to do?
    1 other option for that pocket, is to drill 2 clearance holes for a 1/2-13 stud, tie down the center slug of the pocket (in 2 places!), and just mill the outer perimiter of the pocket using a ramping toolpath.
    There's only 4 of them and I should of clarified earlier, but that pocket in the center doesn't go through. It's 1.0625 deep from both sides for weight reduction. I have other parts in the assembly though... (See attached) like this column strap. So finding a process that works for all these parts would be ideal. I use FeatureCam and don't recall a plunge mill tool path, but that doesn't mean it's not in there.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 49-p1.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by rokstarr999 View Post
    There's only 4 of them and I should of clarified earlier, but that pocket in the center doesn't go through. It's 1.0625 deep from both sides for weight reduction. I have other parts in the assembly though... (See attached) like this column strap. So finding a process that works for all these parts would be ideal. I use FeatureCam and don't recall a plunge mill tool path, but that doesn't mean it's not in there.
    Oops, I missed the part where it wasn't a thru pocket. lol.

    1 way to do the strap that you attached, is to bolt them together with a spacer and bore that on a lathe. Provided you have a large enough lathe to swing that. That would be the fastest way to remove the stock IMO.

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    most insert mills can be run slower feeds and speeds and less depth and width of cuts to have a large safety factor so cutter dont have a sudden tool failure with hard spots of slag on surface or in thick A36 steel.
    .
    why dull inserts faster trying to machine heavy torch cut slag off as it usually only takes a minute to grind off then you can rough mill much faster for longer tool life.
    .
    i often see rough milling at 70 ipm feeds and at 20 ipm feeds. why 20 ipm is cause somebody had multiple sudden tool failures over the years and has slowed things down so dont happen as much. if you grind off big chucks of slag from torch cutting off first and then can save 30 to 60 minutes (or more) by rough milling faster and have longer tool life its faster to grind the slag off,

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    Quote Originally Posted by rokstarr999 View Post
    There's only 4 of them and I should of clarified earlier, but that pocket in the center doesn't go through. It's 1.0625 deep from both sides for weight reduction. I have other parts in the assembly though... (See attached) like this column strap. So finding a process that works for all these parts would be ideal. I use FeatureCam and don't recall a plunge mill tool path, but that doesn't mean it's not in there.
    I don't use Featurecam, but one thing you could possibly do if you can't find or have trouble with a plunge toolpath, is to create some points (or circles) and just use a drill cycle. I've done this a few times where a plunge toolpath didn't do what I wanted, or wasn't as efficient as needed. Drill cycle with the plunge tool worked just fine.

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    I realize that is heavy piece of Steel, so kind of a bitch to wrangle. But for the cutouts is a Waterjet/Plasma faster than a Vertical Bandsaw? It's A36--so melted Volkswagens and old soup cans right. Ideal material to saw, plus you get the cutout material. I have no clue about Feeds on a Water/Plasma tables.

    R

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    Quote Originally Posted by litlerob1 View Post
    I realize that is heavy piece of Steel, so kind of a bitch to wrangle. But for the cutouts is a Waterjet/Plasma faster than a Vertical Bandsaw? It's A36--so melted Volkswagens and old soup cans right. Ideal material to saw, plus you get the cutout material. I have no clue about Feeds on a Water/Plasma tables.

    R

    We were actually talking about drilling some relief holes and then roughing it out on the band saw. The main thing I was looking for in this thread was what the common practice was for removing large chunks of material and it sounds like most just mill it out which I can do. Just wasn't sure if common practice was to utilize water jet or flame cutting first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thesidetalker View Post
    I don't use Featurecam, but one thing you could possibly do if you can't find or have trouble with a plunge toolpath, is to create some points (or circles) and just use a drill cycle. I've done this a few times where a plunge toolpath didn't do what I wanted, or wasn't as efficient as needed. Drill cycle with the plunge tool worked just fine.
    This may be an option. I spoke with FeatureCam as plunge milling looks like a good approach, but we only have the standard version and plunge milling isn't an option with standard. So we'd have to upgrade to the premium version.

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    You can also just slot, and drop that chunk out as a solid. Half from one side, half from the other..
    You could do it pretty easy with a sub $50 1/2" or a 5/8. No need for fancy plunge cutters and water
    jets, and screwing around on the bandsaw, no need to upgrade software packages...

    Slot-Drop-Done.


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