Tool holders and Coolant Through Spindle - Best Practices?
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    Question Tool holders and Coolant Through Spindle - Best Practices?

    I'm about to buy a bunch of tool holders for a new VMC (new machine day thread soon).

    The VMC has coolant and air blast through the 12k dual contact cat40 spindle. I'll be cutting almost all aluminum, mostly large parts. Lots of drilling and tapping in these parts, and a few of them have large through bores.

    I'm buying the shortest dual contact Maritool holders wherever possible. The largest indexable tools (facemill, huge T slot cutter, 2" drill) and everything indexable will go in side lock holders to plug the coolant gaps. The rest of the tools will go in ER32, SK16, or side lock holders. If I put the regular endmills in sidelocks, the CTS and air blast will be blocked. If I put them in SK16 or ER32, the coolant will blast through the collet slots (I think, right?)

    Is it generally a good idea to be running CTS for all tools, or is flood coolant just as good? My main concern is the CTS union. Do these unions have a service life that gives them a set number of CTS hours, or is it dependent on spindle RPM, ect? For those of you who have machines with CTS, do you run the CTS as often as possible or only use it when necessary? I want to get the best tool life possible, but I also want to avoid maintenance and expensive replacement parts and down time if running things a certain way causes problems that aren't immediately obvious.


    I think I have a pretty good understanding of best practices for tooling but I'd like for you to share your opinions and experience and recommendations. If you were in my place, what would you get, and how would you run it? Thanks!

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    I'd say half of our tools in the TSC machines don't have TSC capabilities. No problems here.

    I'd want as many TSC tools as I can get, but main coolant is usually enough for most things.

    For solid carbide endmills, there are endmills with slots grooved into the shanks, and holders that have holes around the periphery of the bore. Off the top of my head, Fitz-rite makes them, and there are surely others. I find they don't work too well at higher rpm though (5000+ and it just makes a spray everywhere BUT the tool).

    For things like drills for through coolant, there are collets that have rubber in the slots, and there are holders that have an adjustable "stop" that is supposed to seal on the bottom of your drill, so coolant only goes to the tool and not the collet.

    Anyway, all that being said, I don't think it is necessary for everything to be through coolant. BUT, if my boss were buying a NEW machine, I'd think he could spend a couple thousand dollars more for TSC everything (within reason)

    BTW, about union life and mixing tsc/non tsc tools, better make sure the operator (you?) doesn't fuck up and turn it on with a tool with no capabilities. I would make sure you have a "pressure valve" (I don't know why I can't think what its called, but it dumps pressure to the coolant tank if it exceeds, say, 1000psi)

    Edit: re-read and just wanted to say re:fitz-rite, I don't believe they have dual contact holders. And I have heard it isn't recommended to mix dual and non-dual because chips may get in there.
    Last edited by dandrummerman21; 08-21-2018 at 08:01 AM. Reason: added note

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    I see this very often when I deal with customers that get a new machine with coolant thru. They get the coolant thru collets. Spend big dollars on coolant thru endmills. They try to use coolant thru for every single tool in the tool changer. Most of the time they are doing simple shoulder milling or profiling and they are spending $120 or even higher on a 1/2 end mill with coolant thru. Once the excitement goes away I see 90% of my customers using coolant thru for drilling, tapping, and sometimes on indexable tooling. Drilling is where it really helps. Not having to peck or at least reducing the amount you need to peck really helps your cycle time.

    Don't get me wrong. Coolant thru endmills are very effective in deep pocketing and other tough applications. But for simple profiling or should milling where flood coolant can get to the tool and chip evacuation is no issue then you are just spending money for no reason.

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    Whats your background?

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    I put CTS pull studs on everything, just because it's easier to buy a bunch of the same thing. But I only use CTS on drills so far.

    I rigged up one holder with a 1/2" hose about 3 feet long. End of the day I stick it in the spindle and use the CTS for washdown. That cycles the high pressure coolant system and puts fresh coolant in the filters and pump, helps keep the coolant bugs from growing in there...

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    Fitz Rite Products


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    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    I put CTS pull studs on everything, just because it's easier to buy a bunch of the same thing. But I only use CTS on drills so far.

    I rigged up one holder with a 1/2" hose about 3 feet long. End of the day I stick it in the spindle and use the CTS for washdown. That cycles the high pressure coolant system and puts fresh coolant in the filters and pump, helps keep the coolant bugs from growing in there...
    I know how you use it. I do....


    But part of me imagines you having an operator see that tool and assume that they are supposed to put it in the spindle, turn on the coolant, then whip up the RPM to 5000rpm. That'd surely make the machine clean???

    Would at least be fun to see someone else do...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dandrummerman21 View Post
    ...But part of me imagines you having an operator see that tool and assume that they are supposed to put it in the spindle, turn on the coolant, then whip up the RPM to 5000rpm. That'd surely make the machine clean???
    Lol. Fortunately I don't have any operators to worry about.

    I did think about loading a sidelock holder with no setscrews and spinning that up- maybe writing a short washdown program. But I'm pretty sure I would be making a bigger mess than I was trying to cleanup.

    The machine has a separate flush pump that washes the chips into the conveyor, so the "hose in the holder" is mostly just for cleaning out the nooks and crannies but it works good. One of these days I will plumb in a proper washdown hose to the coolant flush pump.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dandrummerman21 View Post
    I find they don't work too well at higher rpm though (5000+ and it just makes a spray everywhere BUT the tool).
    +1, I found that out the first day. The coolant comes out the collet slots and makes a hard 90° turn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    +1, I found that out the first day. The coolant comes out the collet slots and makes a hard 90° turn.
    Yep, stuff looks wet but the tool in the middle of that cone of coolant is dry as a bone. I would very much like to run TSC on pretty much everything, but have failed so far in finding a good way to do it. Collets with coolant holes EDM'd in (Pioneer), sidelocks with the same holes, specialty collet nuts with seals just larger than the tool OD... they all fail to get the tool wet at high RPM. I do wonder what 1,000psi TSC would change about all that.

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    Never thought about that.
    Those holders above would prolly work well for HSS, but carbide - maybe not so much eh?

    I don't have any of them - yet....
    My only TSC app so far is 50 taper* and they may work OK there...


    * and I feel a whole lot better lookin' at a 50 taper stud with a hole in it than I doo a 40 taper stud!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Never thought about that.
    Those holders above would prolly work well for HSS, but carbide - maybe not so much eh?

    I don't have any of them - yet....
    My only TSC app so far is 50 taper* and they may work OK there...
    Yes, in lower RPM ranges, coolant through a standard collet or the purpose built sidelocks like I mentioned can work well for sure. I do use TSC with taps sometimes since the spindle is stopped, man does the tap get wet...


    * and I feel a whole lot better lookin' at a 50 taper stud with a hole in it than I doo a 40 taper stud!
    Pfff, you haven't lived until you see a 30 taper TSC pullstud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post

    * and I feel a whole lot better lookin' at a 50 taper stud with a hole in it than I doo a 40 taper stud!
    I thought the same thing. Lucky for us, our cat40 Kitamuras with TSC have much beefier pull studs than our other cat and bt machines. Like this:

    4RK-79-15C – Fitz Rite Products

    I have, however, had one break. But it didn't break in the spindle, it broke when the sub arm tried to pull it out of the magazine!! (This was when we first got the machine, it came with tooling, and we hadn't bought a tool or pullstud yet)

    We threw out all of those old studs right then.

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    I don't use TSC tools unless the part really benefits from it. When my machine changes a tool that has had TSC running thru it, a time consuming air blast tries to remove coolant from the spindle before changing the tool. Prolly a good idea but sure adds to cycle time. Again, use it where it is needed, but not for all tools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red James View Post
    I don't use TSC tools unless the part really benefits from it. When my machine changes a tool that has had TSC running thru it, a time consuming air blast tries to remove coolant from the spindle before changing the tool. Prolly a good idea but sure adds to cycle time. Again, use it where it is needed, but not for all tools.
    Good point. Depends on machine. The Brothers don't seem to have any time penalty at all, but Haas spends a LOT of time waiting for pressure to come up, and then blowing out the tool.

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    For all our smaller solid carbide and indexable head drills we use sealed collets from iscar which have rubber inserts at the tops of each slot to prevent coolant coming out of anywhere except through the drill and they work great. For the larger drills we simply use side lock holders. These are the part numbers for those sealed collets.

    ISCAR Cutting Tools - Metal Working Tools - ER-SEAL

    We typically buy a few of each size we use and keep them seperate from the rest of our collets so we only use them when we need TSC.

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    Last company I worked at had TSC and they really had no idea how to properly employ it. I guess that was one of the reasons I got hired. Suckered? No... he said hired...

    I would recommend getting enough holders for all of YOUR standard Drill sizes. Thru spindle coolant on a #7 drill plowing thru tool steel in a few seconds is a beautiful sight.

    Buy EM holders that have the two holes right on the face of the tool if you want to use TSC on endmills. I found this REALLY helpful in deep pockets whether steel or aluminum.

    I used through spindle air a LOT in many applications. Much to my bosses dislike. Sometimes I like to SEE what I am doing.

    Most all tool suppliers have "TSC" collets in whatever type you want. I have NOT had good success with the ones that use the little rubber plugs and prefer the solid coolant through ones.

    Be SURE to check with your manufacturer that you can use through spindle AIR. I have been pricing out a Brother and was Expressly told NO that was NOT a good idea, as the baffle (? might not be the right name) is made from Carbide, and without the fluid being there when it opens or closes it will likely break. They said it might work for a few years, might break the first time, just not designed to do it. Air blast for the tool change IS different that through spindle AIR.

    CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN

    Personally one thing I do NOT like about the dual contact is I found frequently chips were not completely cleaned between tool changes and we would get chips on the spindle nose.

    Additionally, and this is just my experience with a newer linear rail 40 taper, the dual contact did NOT add an IMPRESSIVE increase in rigidity. Bear in mind, we were not a production shop. So I only used dual contact holders where I needed them.

    CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN

    Keep everything CLEAN as best you can. If I had a tool that sat in the machine for a while unused, I kept a spray bottom of water at the machine to spray the tool down to get any coolant and chips off prior to running it.

    A few random thoughts... hope they help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Generic Default View Post
    Is it generally a good idea to be running CTS for all tools, or is flood coolant just as good?
    I'd start out just running CTS on the most frequently used drills and take it from there. You can measure the gains (or lack thereof) in your CAM and decide if it's worth it.

    CTS is a potential failure point. Coolant pressure dropoff can happen due to coolant starvation to the CTS pump, which can happen for a number of reasons, including clogged filters, forgetting to top off the sump, or a leak. Aluminum likes to float and can easily clog the screens in the sump. Some machines will alarm out when pressure dips, some won't. If your machine is in the latter camp, that's okay as long as you can touch off tools to check for tool breakage.

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    I'm in the use it or lose it camp. I believe machinery likes to be used. I recommend running your cts for at least a minute or two a day even if you aren't running a job that requires it. Keeps the hardware lubed up and the coolant in the whole system moving and aerating. Great for drilling deeper holes or slotting and deep pocketing with an end mill if you can find them with coolant holes in the flutes or at the tip at least. 1000 psi didn't help the high rpm 'fan' effect in my experience. When using cts drills it is important to follow the manufacturer's feeds and speeds for the material and drill size to make sure you are getting the small broken chips that can be blasted out.

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    I agree with brotherfrank 100%. If you turn on the CTS and the coolant is a different color for a few seconds you aren't using it enough. If you are running a job that isnt using any CTS then every 2nd day take the tool holder out and just turn it on for 30 seconds.


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