Best APKT 1604 insert for AR500?
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    Default Best APKT 1604 insert for AR500?

    Hello friends,

    I primarily mill AR450/AR500 on my two old manual Cincinnati mills (vertical and horizontal). Huge amounts of material removal (100lbs per workpiece at times) using indexed EMs and facemills. So far the best I've used is Kennametal MP91 grade inserts but I'm looking for superior options if anyone has any. I've really enjoyed Iscar's 908 grade as well but they only come in the smaller 1003 size.

    Much appreciated for any advice and experience!

    EDIT: I'd also entertain other insert designs if they are really exceptional for my application, I just have a lot of apkt cutters

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    Iscar make 1604's in 910 grade, which should be suitable for hardened steel.

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    You might want to look into an SEKN or similar if you're doing a lot of heavy material removal. I've always found them to be about the best roughing insert there is. The high lead angle means you can feed a little harder, and they are some of the smoothest running cutters I've ever used. If I remember correctly they are a good bit cheaper than APKT also, and you get 4 cutting edges instead of 2.

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    surprised you recommend such and "ancient" insert and the high angle for hard steel. not doubting you, just curious. what would all the new geometries be for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dian View Post
    surprised you recommend such and "ancient" insert and the high angle for hard steel. not doubting you, just curious. what would all the new geometries be for?
    Costing you more money! Also unnecessary on a manual machine. The high angle isn't necessarily as high as you assume, there are different edge prepa for different materials, the same as all the newer styles of insert. But for just banging off stock, SEKN is hard to beat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    You might want to look into an SEKN or similar if you're doing a lot of heavy material removal. I've always found them to be about the best roughing insert there is. The high lead angle means you can feed a little harder, and they are some of the smoothest running cutters I've ever used. If I remember correctly they are a good bit cheaper than APKT also, and you get 4 cutting edges instead of 2.
    Interesting, but are they good for extremely hard/tough materials like AR500? I only get maybe 90 minutes of cutting out of an EM/insert before they are completely destroyed (broken corners, etc).

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    i remember destroying tpnk (k2885) inserts on hardox 450. it fortunately has not come up since then, but i would tend to round inserts and a negative land for roughing (burry the land). you might get 6 edges out of them. some extreme heat coating also.

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    Cutting tough materials like AR plate, tool life often comes down to edge prep more than anything. It is critical for abrasive type materials. I have cut plenty of AR400 and AR500 with SEKN milling cutters. They work great, just like pretty much any other cutter with a good high positive rake. Keep the bulk of the insert positive with a small negative or radiused edge prep and it cuts just like anything else, with the caveat that you must use lower cutting speeds of course. Don't use a sharp edge or it will crumble. And do not let the tool dwell or rub, feed it fairly heavily. And yes, you will wear out inserts... Cutting tougher/harder materials generally comes with that trade-off. You get 90 minutes, but how many cubic inches of material removal? The minutes spent tell me nothing.

    TPKN inserts are a poor choice, you want to use a corner angle that is as obtuse as possible. The more acute that angle, the weaker the insert. Cutting hard materials puts a heavy load on the insert. If you use the ones with the little wiper flat that is at least a little better.

    The toughest part in my experience is if you try to tap it. Better to cut an oversized hole and weld a softer steel plug in the hole location and drill and tap that instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    ...
    They work great, just like pretty much any other cutter with a good high positive rake. Keep the bulk of the insert positive with a small negative or radiused edge prep and it cuts just like anything else,
    .
    How does one know what edge you get when ordering most tools? At one time a letter following (none,A,B,C) but this abandoned now.
    T-lands still called out sometimes but often even this unknown.
    Other than the fingernail test which shows upsharp how many can check or know the cutting edge a .001,.003,.006?
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    How does one know what edge you get when ordering most tools? At one time a letter following (none,A,B,C) but this abandoned now.
    T-lands still called out sometimes but often even this unknown.
    Other than the fingernail test which shows upsharp how many can check or know the cutting edge a .001,.003,.006?
    Bob
    Most people don't even pay attention to this and just order off the shelf stuff and assume that's all you can get. If you actually call and ask, the manufacturers will give you whatever they have that's most suitable if you call and get through to the technical support line. Other than that, you do it yourself. I have a microscope and can measure the edge prep pretty readily.

    There are still a few companies that offer varying geometry and edge prep in a set range too, like Seco, Sandvik and Kennametal have some I know of for sure. They don't generally tell you what that edge prep actually is, just that it's for heavy, medium or light cutting.


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