milling chuck VS sidelock
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    Default milling chuck VS sidelock

    My work has a new machining center on the way (Doosan VCF850LSR BBT40 spindle) and i'm working on a list of tooling i want. Most of our machining is in steel with 16-32mm tipped endmills and high feed mills, currently held in sidelocks in our existing mills. Will we see a improvement in performance/tool life by holding them in a milling chuck rather than a sidelock? The sales spiels say i will but i would like some feedback from people that actually use the tools rather than sell them. thanks in advance.

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    Any time you can reduce runout you will improve tool life.
    The only thing that side lock holders have as an advantage over other holders (besides price) is tools don't pull out of side locks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    Any time you can reduce runout you will improve tool life.
    The only thing that side lock holders have as an advantage over other holders (besides price) is tools don't pull out of side locks.
    Flip side (especially on 40 taper) is that any time you increase gauge length you have negative consequences on everything. And milling chucks (especially on 40 taper) suck for gauge length.

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    Great question.
    On a HAAS spindle I would say hands down a simple short gage length side lock will out perform a milling chuck with a 3" or 3-1/2" gage length ( milling chucks do not come any shorter as far as I know). I have literally dozens of phone calls with customers thanking me and verifying this.

    But now with a stouter and dual contact 40 taper machine this changes. I would say 3/4 diameter carbide end mill or smaller in a short endmill holder with average runout will perform same or slightly worse than a long milling chuck with better runout.

    Between shrink, hydraulic, milling chucks, side locks, and collets chucks there are a lot of overlapping benefits and also distinct advantages. But it is not black and white. And changes with different machines. Confused? I don't blame you.

    I always giggle when I see people bashing side lock holders. A few years ago I had a major carbide end mill manufacturer ream me a new asshole for making side lock holders. He wanted to phase out grinding weldon flats and having to stock cutters with and without flats. My side lock holders were getting in his way.

    I have billion dollar companies with 70 plus cnc's with no shortage of resources buying side lock holders from me on the daily. Standard and dual contact. Short and long. Not saying side locks are the best, but definitely worth having.

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    Realize that all the different styles of tool holding exist to solve a particular problem or set of problems. Side locks are cheap and easy to replace if damaged, and the tool usually will break before moving in the holder. If you have been doing good work till now with them why spend more money to do good work with a more expensive holder? A hydraulic holder should give you less runout and will likely improve tool life depending on your work, if the part is not held rigidly or is chattering/vibrating a bit then the tool will wear prematurely regardless of tool holder.
    I guess what I'm saying is that "Yes, hydraulic endmill holders will improve your situation but only if your side locks are the weak link in your process" But in most situations they aren't. Clear as mud?

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    Another small piece of "anecdata" in favor of side locks:

    I had a great conversation at one point with an applications engineer at Fraisa discussing toolholders. He made the observation that a lot of the big manufacturers make cutting tools and toolholders, so it's somewhat in their interest to exaggerate the benefits of exceedingly low runout in every application because it helps to sell their more expensive holders. Fraisa doesn't make toolholders, but they do a crap-ton of testing (all of the cutting data through their ToolExpert is based on actual testing).

    They find that for roughing, quality side-lock competes with the very highest-end toolholders. It's not every tool manufacturer that will sell you a $175 rougher and tell you to put it in a $150 toolholder, but Fraisa will and has the data to back it up.

    For finishing, they recommend shrink fit or hydraulics.

    I'm going to be tooling up a new BigPlus Cat40 spindle soon. I might buy one or two "high end" milling chucks to compare, but the majority of roughing holders will be side-lock.

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    Yep. I agree 100% with Mutiny. Don't get me started with the " for every tenth better runout you get 10% better tool life".

    Trust me I would rather make collet chucks or shrink holders than side lock holders. We have a tight diameter tolerance that is hard to hold and the set screw hole on the side certainly does not help with the grinding operation. Side lock holders have a much tighter tolerance on hole diameter that shrink, and shrink is easier to grind since you dont have a side hole.

    As far as finishing, If nose diameter allows hydraulic holders win. Much better dampening and leaves a better finish. Even if the RA measures the same visually you can see a better finish with hydraulic holders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmari --MariTool- View Post
    Yep. I agree 100% with Mutiny. Don't get me started with the " for every tenth better runout you get 10% better tool life".

    Trust me I would rather make collet chucks or shrink holders than side lock holders. We have a tight diameter tolerance that is hard to hold and the set screw hole on the side certainly does not help with the grinding operation. Side lock holders have a much tighter tolerance on hole diameter that shrink, and shrink is easier to grind since you dont have a side hole.

    As far as finishing, If nose diameter allows hydraulic holders win. Much better dampening and leaves a better finish. Even if the RA measures the same visually you can see a better finish with hydraulic holders.
    This has been my experience with a very rigid big plus 40 taper mill. Side locks for general purpose and roughing, hydraulic for fussy stuff and finishing. Best combo. Easiest to live with.

    One you get into 5 ax with long reaches heat shrink tooling wins every time.

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think a high feed mill is going to care much what holder it's in. Forces are mostly axial with the spindle, and they're very tolerant of runout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmari --MariTool- View Post
    As far as finishing, If nose diameter allows hydraulic holders win. Much better dampening and leaves a better finish. Even if the RA measures the same visually you can see a better finish with hydraulic holders.
    So when is the MariTool line of hydraulics coming out...?

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    Has anyone made a milling chuck with a shorter gage length? I know there are industry standards for the geometry of a CAT toolholder just below the flange, and the need for a constrained diameter in that area, but surely most machines nowadays don't have to worry about that, do they?

    Why not make a line of milling chucks with a 2" or 2.5" projection? Is there anything inherent in their design that prevents that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapatap View Post
    My work has a new machining center on the way (Doosan VCF850LSR BBT40 spindle) and i'm working on a list of tooling i want. Most of our machining is in steel
    Any particular reason why they didn't go with a 50 taper?

    On a machine that big, it makes sense to have a big spindle taper, and it really changes the game.

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    I have always wondered why milling chucks need such a long gauge length, like why canít they be made with 2.5Ē or less?

    To be honest nowadays I only run sidelock holders with my indexable spot drills and also indexable drills and quad drills. They work very well for that purpose.

    For all other applications I have a combination of collet holders, drill chucks, milling chucks, and a whole lotta shrink fit tool holders. The shrink fit I bought specifically for 5 axis work but I actually use them quite a bit now for general usage. They offer excellent runout, decent damping and are much more rigid that you would think, even the fancy ones with curvature and very very small nose diameters. I was pleasantly surprised with their rigidity on heavier roughing applications. Great for finishing too.

    I plan to buy some hydraulic holders to achieve even better finishing here pretty soon.

    Call me new school but I just donít really like side lock holders. They donít offer the range of gauge lengths I need and most of my (okay all of my) tooling comes without Weldon flats. Yes I could have them ground but, I donít care. I donít really care if my holder is $150 or 200 or even $350 like I pay for a milling chuck. Another benefit of milling chucks are the reducing sleeves so they are versatile. I would argue a milling chuck has much better damping than a side lock but Iím sure someone will whip out some testing that shows XYZ that proves me wrong but from my experience it is true.

    Frank, youíre trying to tell me that runout doesnt matter for tool life? I wouldnt expect that response from someone who makes tool holders! Side locks are known to have the worst runout spec of all holders, and yes they work splendid for roughing but that is it, they suck ass for anything else (except those massive quad drills I mentioned, which is arguably a roughing op).

    Your tool life will be better with a milling chuck. You can also use that same tool in the milling chuck and get amazing finishes, not as good with side lock. Yes they are cheap but youíll probably spend more on tooling over time because your tool life will be less.

    Everyone is going to buy what works for them and side locks have a place but Iím just not a big user of them for the reasons I stated.

    Edit: another disadvantage of sidelock is lack of balance...but that does t really matter too much with lower speed spindles. I like to push the shrink fit all day long because for us it offers the most features for a cheap price...most Shrink holders are not crazy pricey

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    All about the Weldon holders on a Haas. Iíve tried mill chucks and they suck. Gauge length is just way too long to be effective on an A) Haas b) 40-taper c) non-dual contact machine. The shorter the better. And if youíre buying Maritool holders Iíd expect .0003Ē TIR or less at the tool tip. I know it matters at some point but Iím sure the gauge length will affect tool life more than runout in that case (assuming a 3/8 or 1/2Ē tool, smaller can be put in a short ER32 etc and hold fine).

    But I can also definitely see where on beefier machines, 50 taper or 40 DC, gauge length becomes less important and runout goes up in determining performance. No direct experience but it makes sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Vise View Post
    Any particular reason why they didn't go with a 50 taper?

    On a machine that big, it makes sense to have a big spindle taper, and it really changes the game.
    Probably not much to gain from it. Machine construction and relatively small integrated motor spindle doesn't really scream 50 taper to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmari --MariTool- View Post
    Yep. I agree 100% with Mutiny. Don't get me started with the " for every tenth better runout you get 10% better tool life".

    Trust me I would rather make collet chucks or shrink holders than side lock holders. We have a tight diameter tolerance that is hard to hold and the set screw hole on the side certainly does not help with the grinding operation. Side lock holders have a much tighter tolerance on hole diameter that shrink, and shrink is easier to grind since you dont have a side hole.

    As far as finishing, If nose diameter allows hydraulic holders win. Much better dampening and leaves a better finish. Even if the RA measures the same visually you can see a better finish with hydraulic holders.
    Thanks for your input Frank, i really appreciate it, has given me some good points to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Vise View Post
    Any particular reason why they didn't go with a 50 taper?

    On a machine that big, it makes sense to have a big spindle taper, and it really changes the game.
    Wasn't available as a option, only Bt40 or HSK63.

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    Thankyou for the reply's everyone, it has given me some good points to think about.

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    Great info. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmari --MariTool- View Post

    As far as finishing, If nose diameter allows hydraulic holders win. Much better dampening and leaves a better finish. Even if the RA measures the same visually you can see a better finish with hydraulic holders.
    Just guessing that the Rz values are better with the Hydraulic Chucks? Same Ra values, but with smaller peaks and valleys for a better looking finish.

    Don't have one of those fancy surfaces measuring things, my calluses and finger nails have their limits on fine measurements.


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