Recommend a general purpose indexable mill - actual experience only please
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  1. #1
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    Default Recommend a general purpose indexable mill - actual experience only please

    Have been using Ingersoll HiPos mills for a number of years now, and overall have been very pleased with them. Have sizes .375" - .750", and absolutely love the fact that I can run 600 SFM in most materials with a .010"-.020" PER TOOTH feedrate. The problem is that we have been growing into larger and larger work and also more abusive materials. ( A lot of D2 lately ) So, I need to step up the insert size to accommodate, which means new mills bodies and inserts. ( blew up the .750" on a D2 job yesterday )( Ugly. Very ugly )

    So, what do you use or have you used for the .500" - 1.0" range of mills? I am getting ready to pull the trigger on a few in the 1.50" & 2.00" sizes, but will refrain from saying what brand and model for now, in effort not to skew the results because if there is something that I like better in the smaller sizes I would also look at the larger sizes in effort to keep things the same.

    Thanks for the input.

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    Sandvik R390 series. They are excellent.

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    We use the Sandvik R390 for our general purpose tooling. Personally I think their stainless grades are a little poor but for something I can toss an insert into and go from aluminium, to G10, to 4140 the tool is pretty good.

    Definitely not as free cutting as some other indexables but if you have a rigid machine they're dependable.
    They have a new model out where they ditched the R off of R390, I'm not sure what the difference is between them.

    If you were looking for an aluminum (and titanium) tool I'd suggest a Mitsubishi AXD4000.

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    Has anyone had any experience with the Walter F4042 mills? I wonder how they might compare to these Sandvik R390 mills. Also, have you guys used the 390s in D2 or other tool steels? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    Has anyone had any experience with the Walter F4042 mills? I wonder how they might compare to these Sandvik R390 mills. Also, have you guys used the 390s in D2 or other tool steels? Thanks.
    Yes, it's a good cutter too. But IME while many come close, nothing else on the market is quite as a good as the R390.

    I have a production part that I run, material is forged 34CrNiMo6 Q&T to about 320HBn. One feature is a big slot that starts wide, narrows to about 28mm wide then gets wide again. I use a 25mm R390 with three size 11 inserts, grade 4330, through tool coolant. 10mm DOC, full slotting, 240m/min, .12mm/t

    That is a proven baseline, where the inserts last a fairly dependable number of parts before replacement and blown up tools are rare.

    EVERY competitor tool that I've tried over the years has required a reduction of cutting data to avoid unpredictable failures. In most cases with the tool rep standing by my side telling me their tool will blow the 390 out of the water.

    I have never used the R390 in tool steels specifically, but I've used it in practically everything else from delrin and aluminium to stellite and HSS.

    One thing that jumped out at me in your first post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    a .010"-.020" PER TOOTH feedrate. ... ( blew up the .750" on a D2 job yesterday )
    I don't know what specific cutting data you were using, but that chipload is way too high for any small insert in any kind of steel, unless you are cutting only on the corner radius of the insert.

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    Gregor, I saw that tooth load and though ''oh ah?'' but as I've no knowledge of such things, kept stum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    Have been using Ingersoll HiPos mills for a number of years now, and overall have been very pleased with them. Have sizes .375" - .750", and absolutely love the fact that I can run 600 SFM in most materials with a .010"-.020" PER TOOTH feedrate. The problem is that we have been growing into larger and larger work and also more abusive materials. ( A lot of D2 lately ) So, I need to step up the insert size to accommodate, which means new mills bodies and inserts. ( blew up the .750" on a D2 job yesterday )( Ugly. Very ugly )

    So, what do you use or have you used for the .500" - 1.0" range of mills? I am getting ready to pull the trigger on a few in the 1.50" & 2.00" sizes, but will refrain from saying what brand and model for now, in effort not to skew the results because if there is something that I like better in the smaller sizes I would also look at the larger sizes in effort to keep things the same.

    Thanks for the input.
    .
    1) many materials are abrasive and tool life is shorter than 1018 steel
    .
    2) some metal have hard spots or slag and if bigger in size can cause random sudden tool failure literally in seconds. smaller hard spots might not cause total immediate failure but shorten tool life considerably
    .
    3) larger size inserts can take more ipt feed without corners breaking off but larger size inserts their is fewer that fit on the cutter. often when side cutting larger size inserts are picked big enough to not leave so short a distance from corners a line where inserts overlap
    .
    4) usually inserts smaller in steel max out at .008 ipt and harder steels it is less or corners break off. big inserts often can take .015 ipt in soften materials and as material is harder the max ipt is reduced. corners breaking off tells you what max is
    .
    5) quite normal for the longer the tool holder and more stick out of tool holder to have to reduce sfpm cause of vibration you can easily run one job at
    600 sfpm and .012 ipt at high depth and width of cut and another at
    400 sfpm and .006 ipt and much lower depth and width of cut

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    I'm switching to the Sandvic myself. We were using Kyocera for the "standard, go to cutter" but said and done, they are shit for so many reasons. We have Walter as well for a specific job and it is nice too. Just Pricey. Worth it, but pricey.

    Based on the feeds and speeds you listed, sounds like you are using your tool like a feed mill. Shallow depths, high feeds? Why not look into an actual feed mill? Tungalloy has a nice "mini" that will work well for you. Kyocera has a very similar one as well. Kyocera will work to try then as you use them more you'll see the reason they're cheaper but still good to try. We use feed mills like a "go to" cutter now like we all used to use the standard 90 degree cutters we are discussing. Feedmills work "safely" in a wide window of parameters. We do "lights out" in 304l.

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    Tungalloy has finishing end mills that leave a shiny finish
    .
    we dont use for roughing. they will take a higher ipt but the edges will quickly wear and not leave a shiny surface. usually better to have separate roughers and finishers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shinyhorzhead.jpg   shinymilling.jpg  

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    I'm not a fan of any APKT type insert, but they can ramp, so that's a nice feature.

    For a 2", I have a Seco Square 6. I love that thing. With a 50 taper and 20 horses, you can bury it .25 deep and run 800+ SFM and .02/tooth in mild steel. Inserts life is great and 6 edges per insert. They also have stainless and aluminum specific inserts. Highly recommended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I'm not a fan of any APKT type insert, but they can ramp, so that's a nice feature.

    For a 2", I have a Seco Square 6. I love that thing. With a 50 taper and 20 horses, you can bury it .25 deep and run 800+ SFM and .02/tooth in mild steel. Inserts life is great and 6 edges per insert. They also have stainless and aluminum specific inserts. Highly recommended.
    .
    there are rougher inserts and there are finisher inserts. rarely will any type be good at doing both

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I'm not a fan of any APKT type insert, but they can ramp, so that's a nice feature.

    For a 2", I have a Seco Square 6. I love that thing. With a 50 taper and 20 horses, you can bury it .25 deep and run 800+ SFM and .02/tooth in mild steel. Inserts life is great and 6 edges per insert. They also have stainless and aluminum specific inserts. Highly recommended.
    We have a 2" square 6 but I am not a fan of negative tools (the inserts create the positive geometry) the pointy leading edges seem to be the common failure point on those inserts for us. If you do not use them in an interrupted cut they work pretty well though and you can definitely chew through material with it. Seco's technical data is a little more helpful too in my experience as well.

    Another option is the Seco Turbo 12, like the r390 but I like that the bodies come hard nickle plated rather than the black oxide on the sandvik tooling. Our primary is still the R390 though.


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