View Full Version : slotting

05-28-2003, 09:17 PM
what is the smallest slot that can be cut in harden steel? need to go to a depth of approx 1/8 inch

David Hafnorske
05-28-2003, 09:38 PM
I'm not speeking from experience, but generaly speeking I'd say as small as the cutter you can find. I don't know of any carbide tipped slot cutters. Perhaps a cut off wheel for a four inch grinder will work. But if you need somthing narrower maybe a cut off wheel for a dremel tool. However you would not get as much speed in a mill. So maybe multiple light cuts will do the trick if you have the time and patience.

05-28-2003, 10:28 PM
If money is not the object, then have someone use a wire EDM for you. The width would be the diameter of the smallest diameter wire they can buy. The EDM doesn't really care how hard the steel is. An added bonus is the heat affected zone is almost nothing.

05-29-2003, 04:30 AM
You can use a laser to make .03micron holes (Orfice).

How much do you want to spend?

John Stevenson
05-29-2003, 06:15 AM
EDM and laser are out as he's specified a depth of 1/8". EDM and laser needs a thru hole.
Spark erosion could be the smallest way to go especially in hard material.

John S.

05-29-2003, 09:35 AM
Wire EDM would work if the slot goes across the entire piece. What we really need here is a better description of the job at hand.

05-29-2003, 06:19 PM
First I would like to thank everyone for the responce. I'm sorry, I should have described the job a little better. I have a round piece of steel that is flat on both sides and 1 1/16 in diameter. A 5/8 hole is centered in the steel. Height is approx. 7/8. What I was needing to do, was on one side of the piece of steel, up close to the center hole (1/16) was to have this narrow slot go completly around the hole, so that a thin piece of aluminum (I'm talking coke can thin-the bottom half of aluminum where it is insereted into the slot could be folded several times to add thickness)could be inserted into the slot and then indented to hold strip in place. Is it possible? Thanks again.

05-30-2003, 01:39 AM
You can buy Carbide endmills down to .005" diameter - but be warned, they are extremely fragile and very light cuts (no more than 1 diameter deep per pass) with very low feed rate, and the highest speed you can muster. An eye dropper can apply cutting lubes, or you could use standard coolant.

EDM would be the other way to do it - most likely easier and cheaper too.

05-31-2003, 09:56 PM
Thrud: Thanks for the input. I will check into the carbide endmill and EDM.

05-31-2003, 10:15 PM
if the groove is circular and on the face of the part why not chuck on it in the lathe and use a Thinbit

05-31-2003, 11:55 PM
Carbide slitting saws are available from stock down to .001" thick.
MSC among others carries them.
Expensive though.

Cheaper is a jewelers saw.
You need a steady hand to make a straight cut though.