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View Full Version : Using the 5C endmill sharpener on a surface grinder?



Doc Nickel
11-19-2009, 05:03 AM
I picked up one of the ubiquitous 5C "endmill sharpeners" (such as this Enco (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPDFF?PMPAGE=500&PARTPG=INLMK3&PMITEM=287-6842) example) that's designed to use on a surface grinder.

Has anyone used one of these, or better yet, does anyone know of a writeup or better instructions for it's use?

Now, the concept is pretty straightforward and I understand the basic theory. But I figured it couldn't hurt to see if somebody has a few pointers for using it, or things to watch out for. Due dilligence and all that. :D

And yes, I know it only does ends.

The instruction book is a laughably classic example of Engrish, and isn't even long enough to be called a brief summary. It's basically- in almost as many words- put block on magnet, place collet in holder, stick cutter in collet, tighten with supplied tool, grind cutter. A full one-ninth of the instructions involve telling you to coat the thing with "rust proof oil" when not in use.

Doc.

alanganes
11-19-2009, 06:47 AM
This uses that fixture, but in a bit different way than you would on a grinder.
I've had this bookmarked from quite a while back, might shed a bit of light:

http://pico-systems.com/sharpen.html

Disclaimer:
I've never used one of those fixtures, so the above may be worthless to you.
-Al

Doc Nickel
11-19-2009, 08:10 AM
Actually it is kind of useful, thank you. It also lights off the equally useful idea that hadn't yet occurred to me, fitting the fixture (or possibly just the collet collar portion) to one of the other grinders.

I might have to give that one a bit more thought.

Doc.

DICKEYBIRD
11-19-2009, 08:25 AM
...fitting the fixture (or possibly just the collet collar portion) to one of the other grinders.Dunno if you saw my feeble attempt at doing that Doc? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=28945&highlight=5c+endmill+fixture

It works fine but I never came up with a way to comfortably & consistently gash the sharpened endmills and then other projects beckoned...so it just sits there waiting for more time & gumption.

Doc Nickel
11-19-2009, 03:12 PM
That's a nice setup DB, and you reminded me of yet another project I've been meaning to tackle- I have an import X/Y table that's barely functional, and either needs to be scraped or ground so it moves properly.

Anyway, I wonder if something similar couldn't be fitted to my Van Dorn valve grinder...

But I'm still wondering if anyone has any hands-on experience with using this fixture in a normal surface grinder. Every import tool supplier out there carries one of the bloody things, so somebody's gotta be using 'em. C'mon, fess up! :D

Doc.

Walter
11-19-2009, 05:50 PM
Doc,

I use one of em for doing our 2 flute end mills. There a really simple pain in the butt =) (My T&C grinder isn't operaional yet so...) As far as instructions... sorta hard to explain clearly, but just chuck up a 2 flute cutter and set it up on your SG, look at the way it was originally ground and play a bit, it'll click very fast for you.

It's just one of those things I "just do" and don't much think about the process. Hardest part is getting the cutter properly indexed to begin with. Most of the time I eyeball it and that's more than good enough.

Mcgyver
11-19-2009, 06:34 PM
And yes, I know it only does ends.

I've never really understood the point of them - are they only for guys who dull the bottoms because they're plunging so many flat bottomed holes?

....or are they grinding 1/2 - 1" :eek: off the bottom so there's new a sharp periphery available?

Doc Nickel
11-19-2009, 06:48 PM
It's my impression it's more of a cheap, "better than nothing" fix. Yeah, all it does is the end, but it buys a little fresh life for a not-all-that-dull mill, and it's cheap and simple.

That said, I tend to do a lot of roughing in aluminum with the endmill oriented flycutter style. Meaning it really is just the points doing the cutting.

I now have a drawerful of dull cutters, and maybe half of them have just lost a point. The flutes might still be reasonably sharp- and I do still use them for side milling- but without the tips, they're not as useful.

I know this attachment won't take the place of a full T&C sharpener, but for $45 and shipping, it was worth it if it can just save half a dozen of my "only mildly dull" cutters.

Doc.

DR
11-19-2009, 07:10 PM
I studied one of those fixtures at the Grizzly showroom. I could not figure out how it worked.

None of the staff could either. Apparently, the floor model had missing parts plus a part from something else. So the staff guys went in the back room to find a complete one.

We all read and reread the instructions trying to figure out what all the detents were for and how they jived with the cryptic instructions.

I have an end-only sharpening fixture for my T&C grinder. Sometimes it is handy to just do the very end on an end mill. But, only up to certain point (you can't take very much off).

Scishopguy
11-20-2009, 03:32 PM
I've never really understood the point of them - are they only for guys who dull the bottoms because they're plunging so many flat bottomed holes?

....or are they grinding 1/2 - 1" :eek: off the bottom so there's new a sharp periphery available?

Yes, they only do ends, but stop and think what part of an end mill gets dull first. The corners!!! They usually get shiney or flake off. If you sharpen them at that point in their life it only takes a few minutes to "touch up" by taking 20 or so thou off the bottom and the same off the secondary angles. I had the use of the predecessor to that fixture, also from Enco about 20 years earlier, that used brass bushings instead of 5C collets. It worked flawlessly. I sharpened every end mill in the shop with a shank less than 7/8" diameter. I even modified the index plate so that it would do 3 and 6 flute mills by adding a detent for those. I wish I had that fixture now. I am planning on buying one of the 5C blocks, hoping that they are as good as the old ones.

Mcgyver
11-20-2009, 07:50 PM
Jim, that makes sense, might be 3/4" doc dulling all 3/4, but its the corner than breaks down first and affects the finish - hadn't thought of it that way.