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    Default How do you choose tooling?

    Hey All,

    Our shop is always trying to maximize our value when we buy things. Right now I am trying to spend a healthy chunk of change to get our tooling stock back up to snuff. We also have a fixed amount to spend so there is always a compromise somewhere.

    How do you go about selecting tooling? I have a pretty good idea what type of stuff we're going to need, for example we do a lot of very deep features that tend to have small corner radii, so I have found Helical Solutions and Harvey have great offerings for getting down into those spaces. But there are always curve balls that come up where I need to buy a tool last minute. I prefer not to do that of course. But you can't predict you will need a letter P air craft drill that is 12" long ahead of time...

    Another annoyance is lack of redundancy, for example I use a 1" Kennametal insert mill alot for roughing but we only have one, so I end up switching it in and out. Obviously I need another so I don't have to deal with that.

    Many of you run production jobs, some of you R&D, some of you prototype. We fall into the prototype/R&D job shop so we never know what is going to come thru. How do you select tooling and what factors do you consider when purchasing?

    This doesn't only apply to carbide or tooling decisions. If you have any tips or hand tools, or organization methods that you recommend I would love to hear it! I am always trying to optimize. So each machine has metric and standard T-handle hex drives so you never have to search for those. Things like that, I would be really grateful how you guys do it! Are there any game-changers or deal breakers you have learned over the years?

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    General tooling like common end mills, HSS drills or production tools are stocked in a tool vending machine from Tool Crib Inc.. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Newer uncommon things are either stored in a specific bin on a shelf labeled by row/bin, or if it’s for sure a one-off I keep it on my desk until the job comes up. Goes into a bin of similar tooling when done, kept in the back of my mind.

    Special tooling like weird taps, special drills, etc should be quoted in at the time of quote. If not it’s picked out during programming, I usually either browse MSC to find it or ask Tool Crib to quote something to suit the need.

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    Look at Korloy and YG, .IMO&E you can go further and fare no better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    Are there any game-changers or deal breakers you have learned over the years?
    Just one, but it's a big one. Build an arsenal of specialized tooling, a Maginot line of defense, or build a global telecoms network to do the really HARD stuff you hate to do and wish you did not HAVE to do, but hope to make some major advantage off of?

    So long as you have made the massive investment and are fully prepared to do the hard s**t?

    Sure enough.. nobody will ever again invade in the direction of that line of defense, ask you to bid that type of job, nor run even a single byte of data over your network.

    Might call it the "Edsel Ford Factor?"

    "Maginot" sounds too much like "Imagine? NO!"

    Ultimately? it's just one more special case of Lybarger's Corollary to Sod's Law:

    "All else being equal? You lose!"

    Your WISEST investment as "tool"?

    MONEY .... kept available...

    ..so you can rapidly BUY, hire, or sub-out to specialists.. even at a premium price and expedited delivery cost .. EXACTLY what you REALLY need, fast and of high-grade.. because when you HAVE the job FOR it .. the best staffing and the best tooling becomes the least-costly tooling ... off the back of simply knowing it is NOW going to assure on-spec, under budget, and beating the RDD ...so as to EARN its price for-sure ....improve the chances at winning the NEXT job... and NOT sit and corrode or go missing out of NOT having a "real job" or being too shiddy to properly DO a job at all.

    Start with money. Add good people. Motivate them. TRUST them.

    Hardware will follow the "winners".

    Not the reverse.



    If ALL of that team is "just ONE" of you?

    Be happy.

    You won't waste time on meetings, arguments, or waiting in line to eat or use the s***ter.

    Same rules otherwise apply in commerce as in warfare:

    Win, always. Whine, never.

    The "how" part can change by the day or even the minute.

    That's why you have a brain, not a flush-handle.

    "Winning" can become a healthy habit. Self-sustaining, even.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Just one, but it's a big one. Build an arsenal of specialized tooling, a Maginot line of defense, or build a global telecoms network to do the really HARD stuff you hate to do and wish you did not HAVE to do, but hope to make some major advantage off of?

    So long as you have made the massive investment and are fully prepared to do the hard s**t?

    Sure enough.. nobody will ever again invade in the direction of that line of defense, ask you to bid that type of job, nor run even a single byte of data over your network.

    Might call it the "Edsel Ford Factor?"

    "Maginot" sounds too much like "Imagine? NO!"

    Ultimately? it's just one more special case of Lybarger's Corollary to Sod's Law:

    "All else being equal? You lose!"

    Your WISEST investment as "tool"?

    MONEY .... kept available...

    ..so you can rapidly BUY, hire, or sub-out to specialists.. even at a premium price and expedited delivery cost .. EXACTLY what you REALLY need, fast and of high-grade.. because when you HAVE the job FOR it .. the best staffing and the best tooling becomes the least-costly tooling ... off the back of simply knowing it is NOW going to assure on-spec, under budget, and beating the RDD ...so as to EARN its price for-sure ....improve the chances at winning the NEXT job... and NOT sit and corrode or go missing out of NOT having a "real job" or being too shiddy to properly DO a job at all.

    Start with money. Add good people. Motivate them. TRUST them.

    Hardware will follow the "winners".

    Not the reverse.



    If ALL of that team is "just ONE" of you?

    Be happy.

    You won't waste time on meetings, arguments, or waiting in line to eat or use the s***ter.

    Same rules otherwise apply in commerce as in warfare:

    Win, always. Whine, never.

    The "how" part can change by the day or even the minute.

    That's why you have a brain, not a flush-handle.

    "Winning" can become a healthy habit. Self-sustaining, even.
    Hmmmm leave it to thermite to throw out some new-agey mumbo jumbo. Ill take it! There's some good nuggets in there

    Yes I do understand your sentiment, but you somewhat contradict yourself by saying "build your tooling Maginot Line" and then later you say "have money at the ready to buy when you need it" lmao, SO i guess I will take a little from both and buy some and save some. Balancing act of not painting myself into a corner and not having any money leftover to buy something if I really need it.

    Keep in mind this ain't my own money im spending so I have very little emotion attached to it haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Look at Korloy and YG, .IMO&E you can go further and fare no better.
    I am actually very interested in the Korloy Pro-V mill for aluminum roughouts, but I can't seem to find them anywhere to buy. Who do you buy from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Job Shopper TN View Post
    General tooling like common end mills, HSS drills or production tools are stocked in a tool vending machine from Tool Crib Inc.. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Newer uncommon things are either stored in a specific bin on a shelf labeled by row/bin, or if it’s for sure a one-off I keep it on my desk until the job comes up. Goes into a bin of similar tooling when done, kept in the back of my mind.

    Special tooling like weird taps, special drills, etc should be quoted in at the time of quote. If not it’s picked out during programming, I usually either browse MSC to find it or ask Tool Crib to quote something to suit the need.
    We definitely end up with a good amount of specialty tooling at the end of each year that may or may not ever be used again, such as my 12" letter P drill. However more and more it seems that we are getting more and more specialized each year, as in things that were one-offs 2 or 3 years ago are now used regularly, like the long reach stub flute endmills i spoke of. I use those on practically every CNC project now.

    Starting to look into things like barrel mills for accelerated 5 axis and swept surface finishing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    I am actually very interested in the Korloy Pro-V mill for aluminum roughouts, but I can't seem to find them anywhere to buy. Who do you buy from?
    I'm in the UK Engineering Cutting Tool Supplier | Cutwel Ltd

    You could try Curtis here Lathe inserts .com he's a PMer (ex kenna) and has a good reputation on this board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    Hmmmm leave it to thermite to throw out some new-agey mumbo jumbo. Ill take it! There's some good nuggets in there

    Yes I do understand your sentiment, but you somewhat contradict yourself by saying "build your tooling Maginot Line" and then later you say "have money at the ready to buy when you need it" lmao, SO i guess I will take a little from both and buy some and save some. Balancing act of not painting myself into a corner and not having any money leftover to buy something if I really need it.

    Keep in mind this ain't my own money im spending so I have very little emotion attached to it haha.
    Nah. .the Network that went obsolete-dark before it ever carried traffic few ever knew about, even in the industry.

    ..but s**t like that, and the Maginot Line ..were INTENDED to illustrate that the best planned lays of mice and men gang often gluey.

    Stay flexible.

    IF/AS/WHEN one's own recent experience shows too much planning, not enough heads UP, out of the cockpit, and scanning as if about to be bounced and shot-down? Over-detailing just risks too much capitol tied-up, leaves too little room left to adapt FAST?

    And it is ALWAYS "your money" if you have been given a say over it.

    You'll be just as f**ked if you haveth-not the price of operating to goal if it WAS your money or F.N Other.The only flavour "haveth not" is made in is "emptier".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    I'm in the UK Engineering Cutting Tool Supplier | Cutwel Ltd

    You could try Curtis here Lathe inserts .com he's a PMer (ex kenna) and has a good reputation on this board.
    WOW those are some great prices! My kennametal shell mill bodies are almost $500 with no inserts. Thanks for the link!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Look at Korloy and YG, .IMO&E you can go further and fare no better.
    I have to ask because I see YG recommended fairly frequently here and I have to know what you use them for to recommend them? The shop I work at uses a lot of YG endmills of the V7 PlusA line which is supposed to be their high performance mills in mostly 4340 or similar alloys. They do OK and that is all. They are absolute garbage when it comes to plunging/ramping cuts however. I've had HTC brand plain endmills that are much cheaper than the YG mills that have lasted over 4 times longer than the YG mills in ramping down to rough out a pocket. I've had another job that I was using YG mills to spot a face on an angled surface and kept having the tool break after a few holes only to replace it with a completely worn out MA Ford endmill that ran for the rest of the order. Sure they are a lot cheaper than MA Ford, but I consider the improvement in quality and the reliability to not just explode on me to be worth it.

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    That's interesting - probably down to the different uses we put them to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAMasochism View Post
    I have to ask because I see YG recommended fairly frequently here and I have to know what you use them for to recommend them? The shop I work at uses a lot of YG endmills of the V7 PlusA line which is supposed to be their high performance mills in mostly 4340 or similar alloys. They do OK and that is all. They are absolute garbage when it comes to plunging/ramping cuts however. I've had HTC brand plain endmills that are much cheaper than the YG mills that have lasted over 4 times longer than the YG mills in ramping down to rough out a pocket. I've had another job that I was using YG mills to spot a face on an angled surface and kept having the tool break after a few holes only to replace it with a completely worn out MA Ford endmill that ran for the rest of the order. Sure they are a lot cheaper than MA Ford, but I consider the improvement in quality and the reliability to not just explode on me to be worth it.
    The problem with the YG's, is that they are variable flute only, and they start at 90-90-90-90 on the bottom,
    They absolutely suck at shallow cuts. Narrow and deep, awesome, but shallow, you don't get any of the
    benefits of the variable geometry and might as well be using a finishing endmill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAMasochism View Post
    I have to ask because I see YG recommended fairly frequently here and I have to know what you use them for to recommend them? The shop I work at uses a lot of YG endmills of the V7 PlusA line which is supposed to be their high performance mills in mostly 4340 or similar alloys. They do OK and that is all. They are absolute garbage when it comes to plunging/ramping cuts however. I've had HTC brand plain endmills that are much cheaper than the YG mills that have lasted over 4 times longer than the YG mills in ramping down to rough out a pocket. I've had another job that I was using YG mills to spot a face on an angled surface and kept having the tool break after a few holes only to replace it with a completely worn out MA Ford endmill that ran for the rest of the order. Sure they are a lot cheaper than MA Ford, but I consider the improvement in quality and the reliability to not just explode on me to be worth it.
    Funny, I just ordered a boatload of YG1 alupower for both roughing and finishing aluminum, obviously Im not cutting steel with them but they are the best finishing end mills I have found for aluminum. see this On the hunt - world's best aluminum finishing endmill

    In steels i have found variable flute to be best from Helical and honestly they get alot of flack, but Hanita does very well too. Testing Kennametal Harvi series now, pretty impressive. Its practically impossible to chip an edge with those things.


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