PDA

View Full Version : Surely this is not beyond the possibility of most reasonably efficient engineers?



Alistair Hosie
11-12-2016, 05:39 PM
PHEW when I saw most of these I couldn't help wonder why so expensive, after all their not platinum? even the tool holders at over a hundred bucks a piece US dollars is
stretching credibility a tad too much. AQs I have said many times on here I am just and always will be a learner however keen and quick (Hopefully ) to p8ick up some good tips along the way. While I balk loudly at these prices I would definitely try to make these myself. It or they are not that complicated. Surely not? Alistair



http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Suburban-Tool-Fly-Cutter-and-3-Bar-Set-for-Bridgeport-Mill-CNC-Mill-Boring-Mill-/221368756062?hash=item338a9b275e:g:LNoAAOxy0zhTOc9 u

dalee100
11-12-2016, 06:52 PM
Hi,

Suburban - There's your problem.................

That style of adjustable fly cutter has been around for ages. There is a reason that design isn't popular. Love the video, you can hear the chirps as it spins. That is the sound of an unhappy insert rubbing. And I can see the chatter marks in the finish.

Dalee

greystone
11-13-2016, 09:45 AM
It is about 10x heavier and more rigid and bigger and 10x better made than most similar, lighter tools.
That accounts for the diff in cost, omho...

Magicniner
11-13-2016, 09:57 AM
PHEW when I saw most of these I couldn't help wonder why so expensive

Well it isn't because they're ("there" in their [or they're? ;-)] form of English) employing anyone literate to pen their ad, one who for instance might know the difference between Your (belonging to You) and You're (contraction of "You Are")

- Nick

Tony Ennis
11-13-2016, 10:13 AM
ok $600. Assume a professional charges $50/hour labor (I have no idea actually YMMV). That means that if the professional makes the tool in 12 hours, he breaks even from a pure cost perspective. But there are opportunity costs; the machine tools needed are out of action while the setups for these tools are in place. This means the job has to be finished to a certain phase before the machines become available for other uses. While one is making this tool, a paying job isn't getting done.

If the tool is purchased instead, $600 is spent. But the necessary job can be completed in short order (that's why we need the tool, after all) and customer satisfaction is delivered sooner. The shop's workflow is not disrupted. Finally, in the USA, the $600 is a business expense and is taxed at a different rate, so it isn't quite as expensive in reality.

For the home shop machinist, the $600 may be outrageous. For the profession shop, the $600 may be outrageous but worth it.

loose nut
11-13-2016, 10:15 AM
Everything Suburban sells is expensive. Usually good stuff though.

David Powell
11-13-2016, 10:38 AM
Everything Suburban sells is expensive. Usually good stuff though.

IF I needed to flycut one plate that needed an 11" long holder at home I would make one for myself. BUT it would not be hardened, made from ' Known" material and the insert would probably just end up being silver soldered to the end of the bar. I would make it " Work " and get the job done. However, it is unlikely that I would ever need the tool again. I expect that the tool offered is of known material, that some of it, at least, is hardened and tempered and perhaps the seats are ground, or at least cnc cut to standard sizes, and that replacement parts are available.It is probably intended for full time commercial use, and likely to outlast the machines it is used in barring a mighty crash, at which time replacement parts would be simply ordered and fitted. Alastair, for me to have that tool in my toolbox it would be akin to having a Rolls to drive me to the postbox, If I were running a limo service then the Rolls would be just what was needed. Best wishes, have fun , work safe, David Powell.

A.K. Boomer
11-13-2016, 10:47 AM
Same concept as my cutter i built except allot more beefier --- .040" depth of cut in steel is pretty good id say,

it's very expensive but like others said most of suburbans stuff is.

the bar slots are not a huge selling point for me - if you watch the second vid they are just sloppy loose when he tips the cutter over you can see the bar drop a great deal - so no "crash preventative" here - if the screws come loose whilst cutting you will still have hell to pay, only thing is might hold the bar from sliding out the end on one of the examples as it has a stop...

The thing is - is these cutters are great to build yourself in the first place, basically all operations are simple and can be done on a manual mill, just make sure you put your set screws on the right side, they did, iv seen a few examples on here where people had them on the load side, not a good idea as load forces can cause an indention where the screw contacts the bar resulting in lost pressures and then loosening...

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r249/AK_Boomer/DSC00200.jpg (http://s146.photobucket.com/user/AK_Boomer/media/DSC00200.jpg.html)

dalee100
11-13-2016, 10:56 AM
It is about 10x heavier and more rigid and bigger and 10x better made than most similar, lighter tools.
That accounts for the diff in cost, omho...

Hi,

And it still works no better. Just listen to it cut in the video, that's one ticked off insert. I'm amazed they didn't blow the edge clean off it before the end of the cut. Insert life will be horribly short.

The cost is totally in the Suburban name and no where else.


Tony Ennis

ok $600. Assume a professional charges $50/hour labor (I have no idea actually YMMV). That means that if the professional makes the tool in 12 hours, he breaks even from a pure cost perspective. But there are opportunity costs; the machine tools needed are out of action while the setups for these tools are in place. This means the job has to be finished to a certain phase before the machines become available for other uses. While one is making this tool, a paying job isn't getting done.


It's not quite that simple. Shops do this kind of work in house a lot. It's a matter of balancing work flow against what and who is available to do any particular job. This is why I need to work so closely with the production manager to run the shop floor. I can fit a lot of odd/off book jobs in very easily. A simple matter of timing. It just takes malice aforethought to do so. And if you need it "right now", then your time and workflow management is crap because you aren't looking ahead.

Few shops are willing to pay that kind of money for a tool that they can make in house for less than a 1/4 of that price. Suburban won't sell many at that price.

Dalee

A.K. Boomer
11-13-2016, 11:20 AM
Hi,

And it still works no better. Just listen to it cut in the video, that's one ticked off insert. I'm amazed they didn't blow the edge clean off it before the end of the cut. Insert life will be horribly short.


Dalee

Actually no pun intended but it's a "cut above" the typical 45 degree cutters,,, keeping your tooling as close to the head as possible reduces chatter, also --- 90 degree's means every bit of tool bar extension is just that - tool bar extension - so less bar is used - again not only keeping the bar as close to the head as possible but keeping it as short as possible too.

the only real reason to use the old style cutters was they basically used HSS and this means you would already have the clearance angle for the HSS flat bar --- but inserts make this all obsolete - and as far as longevity of the insert? just flipped mine about a month ago after something like 5 years of intermittent use - they rule...

Jaakko Fagerlund
11-13-2016, 12:37 PM
And it still works no better. Just listen to it cut in the video, that's one ticked off insert. I'm amazed they didn't blow the edge clean off it before the end of the cut. Insert life will be horribly short.
Wow, one video example of using the tool and you are a f'king expert on the tool you don't have?

Like you said, it didn't break the tool, so what is it that you are arguing?

Mcgyver
11-13-2016, 01:22 PM
Wow, one video example of using the tool and you are a f'king expert on the tool you don't have?

Like you said, it didn't break the tool, so what is it that you are arguing?

Do you happen to be the proud owner of one?

Mark Rand
11-13-2016, 02:01 PM
I can't see any advantage of a fly cutter over a shell mill. Especially as a 5 insert shell mill is 1/5th the cost of this 1 insert fly cutter.

chipmaker4130
11-13-2016, 02:11 PM
Do you happen to be the proud owner of one?

He doesn't need to be to give the tool the benefit of the doubt. The video doesn't sound so bad to me, my old ears only hear entry/exit noises. As for price, there's a lot of steel there and if it is a good alloy (no doubt it is) and heat-treated, a home-shop guy will have serious change wrapped up in material and heat-treat. It is also nicely finished and includes extra screws, something other makers don't do.

J Tiers
11-13-2016, 05:43 PM
All I heard was entry and cutting noises, no real squealing. No close up of the "mirror" finish though, so who knows?


I can't see any advantage of a fly cutter over a shell mill. Especially as a 5 insert shell mill is 1/5th the cost of this 1 insert fly cutter.

Size... Do a wide piece with one sweep, no overlaps.

Stick that long one out, though and there is some serious unbalance. Might affect "dynamic tram" on a turret mill.

dalee100
11-13-2016, 07:45 PM
Wow, one video example of using the tool and you are a f'king expert on the tool you don't have?

Like you said, it didn't break the tool, so what is it that you are arguing?

Hi,

Don't need to own it. Been subjected to such near useless tools in similar setups and situations in the past. I suggest YOU rewatch the video and listen to what the tool is telling the operator. While it didn't break the edge outright, I would bet it's already showing chipping and fractures. That's what you get when you hear the chirping sounds that cutter is making. I do this every day for real money. I know the sounds and the results.

Dalee

J Tiers
11-13-2016, 07:52 PM
Did not sound like the "chirping" to me. Could be the video sound quality plus the speakers in the laptop here. I know the sound you mean, just did not hear that happening.

quasi
11-13-2016, 08:10 PM
20 sold so it cannot be unreasonable. Suburban is high end kit, not hobby stuff.

Mcgyver
11-14-2016, 07:29 AM
He doesn't need to be to give the tool the benefit of the doubt. The video doesn't sound so bad to me, my old ears only hear entry/exit noises. As for price, there's a lot of steel there and if it is a good alloy (no doubt it is) and heat-treated, a home-shop guy will have serious change wrapped up in material and heat-treat. It is also nicely finished and includes extra screws, something other makers don't do.

not the point - it was a pretty passionate defence of the thing which was why asked.

imo its way overpriced. There's not that much material, and no need to heat treat for the home shop guy (imo), heat treating isn't anyway when you're doing 1000's of pounds. I don't know how perfect or wrong you could make a fly cutter and Suburban has always been a good but middle of the road brand. That and buck will get you a cup of coffee I suppose.....I guess all that matters is what the guying buying it thinks.

It does seem like yesterdays tool though; if you've got something heavy enough to run it effectively why aren't you using a face mill?

J Tiers
11-14-2016, 09:33 AM
Aside from the unbalanced weight, a single point tool runs on a smaller machine than a face mill of equal "sweep". And if you think THAT is expensive, check out 12"+ face mills.

It adds wide sweep finishing capability to a shop of modest machine size, at a reasonably low cost as far as businesses might view it. The alternative is to find, buy, and tool up a good sized K&T to get the same once-in-a-while wide sweep surfacing capability.

I have a pretty good idea of which is cheaper to do

Doozer
11-14-2016, 09:46 AM
I think the biggest factor in making a fly cutter run well
is to have a tool with a lot of mass, think flywheel.
This helps minimize spline chatter in the spindle,
which can be so bad, it sounds like banging.

-D

justanengineer
11-14-2016, 12:54 PM
As mentioned, its expensive bc its a well made professional tool and most well-run professional shops dont have the time or resources to piddle away making tools like this. Also, unlike most home shops, shops and professionals alike can write a purchase like this off on their taxes or pass it off to a customer via tooling costs, so to some extent the cost is irrelevent.

Regarding face mills, this set replaces multiples and there are many instances where a fly cutter would be preferable. When I was still in engine development we often specified cut radius in addition to flatness for decking block and head surfaces to get a particular surface finish. A lesser point about fly cutters (mainly bc a face mill with only one cutter becomes a fly cutter), is that unlike a loaded face mill you can produce angle the fly cutter without worry of dragging a rear insert to produce a very flat or even convex cut.

H380
11-14-2016, 12:55 PM
http://www.subtool.com/

Youtube chanel. The owner Don makes videos mostly on grinding and other US company shop tours. Very worth while for all you guys wining about not made in the USA any longer.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrUM7Q29YDCs-zDrc1QRKQQ

Mark Rand
11-14-2016, 09:08 PM
I know that a 9" fly cutter (for example) will cover three times the area of a 3" face mill. However, any tramming error will be three times as much and you're still only cutting with one insert, so maybe twice the time for a given area and a worse flatness.

Fly cutters are nice for surface finish. But that's about it.

Paul Alciatore
11-14-2016, 10:03 PM
I have to chuckle a little to myself, if not outright laugh. After hearing all the complaints here and on other boards about the poor quality of imported (aka Chinese) tools and why you should buy high quality tools, here comes one that is made in the US and that is apparently of higher quality and what do we complain about? The price, of course.

I mean, if you want a better tool, don't you have to pay for it? When you think about it, this is not going to sell in the quantities that a $20 of $30 fly cutter will. So they can't take advantage of economies of scale. They probably have to make them a few at at time and that is more expensive. And wages in the US are a lot higher than in China. Benefits there are probably non existent. More time X higher wages = double higher price. Benefits run it up even more. Add to that the higher quality level which probably means more and better materials and processes, and you can easily have many, many times the price of an imported tool.

OK, that price may be a bit high. If you think so and run a high quality, commercial shop in the US, make some yourself and sell them for less. Aim for a $50 price point. Or $75. See how that works out. Let us know. Until you do that, don't complain about what others who are doing this are charging.

As for a fly cutter with a reasonable price, labor included, and better quality than the imports, I just made my own. They are not that hard to make and you can make one which is a lot more massive than the imports for a reasonable price even if you include your labor cost. And mine have two cutters for balance. If I was selling them in small volume, at a reasonable commercial price, with all the costs of a commercial shop in the US included in it and a reasonable profit, I would probably be around $400 or more. It is not easy to compete with the Chinese if your address is in the US and you can't expect sales in the millions.

Mcgyver
11-14-2016, 10:16 PM
I have to chuckle a little to myself, if not outright laugh. After hearing all the complaints here and on other boards about the poor quality of imported (aka Chinese) tools and why you should buy high quality tools, here comes one that is made in the US and that is apparently of higher quality and what do we complain about? The price, of course.


you are missing the obvious possibility, that it's a very simple tool that is hard to botch and is stupidly priced? I mean we're not talking an indicator mic. Unfair to say because one likes quality stuff, that means you're suppose to suck it buttercup no matter what a developed world manufacture serves up. I can buy a entire ground precision Kurt vise for a lot less than that thing ....this does no compute

Did you really find it so funny you laughed?

pinstripe
11-14-2016, 11:23 PM
I think Mcgyver has a point here. Yes, you do expect to pay more because it's made in the US and probably good quality, and probably sells in lower volume than many other tools. On the other hand, Kurt vices are also made in the US, are good quality, have much more material, and require many more operations. You do get a lot more for your money with a Kurt vice.

The linked set is not the only option. There are cheaper sets, and you can buy the bars by themselves. They are all quite costly though. For a big company, as others have noted, it's not a big deal. And that's why they are priced the way they are. Their customers will pay it because they can pass the cost on to their customers.

One thing that irked me a little when I looked at these some time back is that the inserts they sell are "Globally Sourced". No brand name or country mentioned, so I'm going to assume the worst. Yet at the top of their page it says "PROUDLY MADE IN THE U.S.A. ASK OUR COMPETITION IF THEY CAN SAY THE SAME."

They only supply one carbide insert per bar unless you pay for the $795 or $875 set which includes a box of inserts.

At these prices, and seeing as they are strong on the "Made in USA" marketing, they should have sourced inserts from the US to show that they put their money where their mouth is. The inserts they supply may be good, but if they expect their customers to pay more to keep jobs in the US, then they should do the same.

I do watch their YT videos though. Thinly veiled marketing sometimes, but I still learned a few things from them.

PStechPaul
11-15-2016, 12:39 AM
There is a huge difference in market for milling vises and flycutters. The average machinist probably uses the vise for 90% of his/her milling operations, including flycutting. And although you might be able to make one with similar specs to the Kurt for the $600-$800 list price, you would find it difficult to impossible to do so, and you would need thousands of dollars in machine tools and metrology to meet those specs.

OTOH, the Suburban Tools flycutter set is not that much better than, say, this LMS three-piece set for under $20, for most hobby machinists, and will do about as good a job on their class of machine.

http://littlemachineshop.com/products/images/480/3094.480.jpg

If I needed to flycut something as large as the Suburban set would allow, and/or to that precision and finish, it would not fit my machine, and it would cost much less to have, say, a cylinder head or block machined professionally, where they assume the cost and liability.

I could probably work on this unusual tool to make a capable flycutter or face mill. It's a bit strange as it is, but a long arm could probably be added to the bottom to simulate the capacity of the Suburban. Not for professional use, of course, but as a home shop challenge, certainly:

http://enginuitysystems.com/pix/Milling_tools_0749_800p.jpg

http://enginuitysystems.com/pix/Milling_tools_0750_800p.jpg

J Tiers
11-15-2016, 01:42 AM
Quote portion #1:


I have to chuckle a little to myself, if not outright laugh. After hearing all the complaints here and on other boards about the poor quality of imported (aka Chinese) tools and why you should buy high quality tools, here comes one that is made in the US and that is apparently of higher quality and what do we complain about? The price, of course.

I mean, if you want a better tool, don't you have to pay for it? When you think about it, this is not going to sell in the quantities that a $20 of $30 fly cutter will. So they can't take advantage of economies of scale. They probably have to make them a few at at time and that is more expensive. And wages in the US are a lot higher than in China. Benefits there are probably non existent. More time X higher wages = double higher price. Benefits run it up even more. Add to that the higher quality level which probably means more and better materials and processes, and you can easily have many, many times the price of an imported tool.

Quote portion #2


OK, that price may be a bit high. If you think so and run a high quality, commercial shop in the US, make some yourself and sell them for less. Aim for a $50 price point. Or $75. See how that works out. Let us know. Until you do that, don't complain about what others who are doing this are charging.

As for a fly cutter with a reasonable price, labor included, and better quality than the imports, I just made my own. They are not that hard to make and you can make one which is a lot more massive than the imports for a reasonable price even if you include your labor cost. And mine have two cutters for balance. If I was selling them in small volume, at a reasonable commercial price, with all the costs of a commercial shop in the US included in it and a reasonable profit, I would probably be around $400 or more. It is not easy to compete with the Chinese if your address is in the US and you can't expect sales in the millions.

Did you REALLY mean to write that?

Did you LOOK at what you have written?

So..... In portion 1 you laugh at comments about the cost of the tool, and say that one expects to pay for a quality tool. (Well, there is SOME point to that, although there is room to argue the cost basis for improved quality vs lower quality in a tool that consists of 4 blocks of metal.) And you compare the $600 tool to a $20 fly cutter.

Apparently, there is no limit to the asking price in your opinion... if it is "quality" and made in USA, then one MUST pay what is asked unquestioningly.

Then in portion 2, you admit the cost may be high. And then you demand that everyone shut up until they make and sell the same thing for $50 or $75. Not $100, or $200, or $250, which are still substantially below the Suburban cost. No, you demand $50 selling price for some reason.

Then you go on to say that you, personally, can make one, labor included, that is a reasonable (but unspecified) price, labor included. You further say they are "not that hard to make".

And then you say you would sell them for $400 anyhow. You have not given a cost breakdown, just tossed a price out there. Which is cheaper than Suburban, by the way.

Perhaps you do not see any incongruity in that remarkable set of statements.

Now, if I were making a cost estimate, I believe I would go at it a bit differently. I would first get a time estimate for all the operations. And a material cost. Time would get charged at the overhead-included rate. Materials would be added to get a cost of manufacturing (C.O.M.). Materials includes packaging. Time may be charged differently for different operations, since labor putting things in a box is not going to cost the same per hour as machining.

Then a distributor cost would be created, using the corporate standard profit markup, which includes paying for warehousing, and marketing.. That has been 50% higher than the C.O.M. at previous manufacturing companies, in the consumer product area. From that distributor cost, a retail cost suggestion would be made, probably double the distributor cost, although the tooling business may have different standards for markup.

So, assuming the $400 retail cost suggestion, the distributor cost is $200 in our model. The C.O.M. then must be $133. Now, if $133 is the cost of the materials, the processing, and packaging, then your $400 is a legitimate retail cost. If it costs less than that, then your estimate is high.

If the result is not as desired (usually too high), then one must go back and examine the assumptions, and see if there is a way to reduce the costs, perhaps by running on a different machine, or changing to a different process.

Running the same set of numbers on the tool in question, one gets a C.O.M. of $200. Seems high for the chunks of metal, even if they are plated. The parts do look as if they are forged steel, which would raise the cost, as I do not think they have a forge shop, and would have to run them at a vendor.

A.K. Boomer
11-15-2016, 10:11 AM
Not to pick on P.A. but to clarify in his first example, again your limiting both stability and tooling as far as what your showing with the LMS 3 piece set - HSS cannot compare to carbide inserts - also - a 45 degree cutter head cannot compare to a 90 for both stability and swath, for every 1/2" of radius needed you need to extend your bar 1"


trying to get the same swath out of the cutters your showing you better have bars twice as long, ends up being pretty flimsy in both the bar hanging out from the tool holder and the cutting edge extending depth wise from the spindle bearings...

These types of flycutters are actually becoming obsolete,,, carbide inserts got it covered and there's no need for the bar angle anymore - that was originally intended for HSS clearance and sharpening there-of.

Alistair Hosie
11-21-2016, 05:06 PM
First of all thanks David Powell god bless brother. I see a lot of people have made the same point I was thinking when I typed this post. The point by A K Boomer
The thing is - is these cutters are great to build yourself in the first place, basically all operations are simple and can be done on a manual mill says it all as I see it.

Being a hobbyist myself, (me again lol ) If I ever needed such a Whopper , or is it perhaps more of a Dinosaur in tool terms ? I would enjoy making this myself as said by others if needed . I have no doubt the guy is a very capable machinist, as I don't myself have enough experience to recognize any of the possible design faults mentioned. It looks like an attractive tool pleasing to the eye ,this is surprisingly very important when designing anything for sale these days things have to look almost sexy lol. Also good luck to him if he has customers willing to pay what he is asking then any arguments re the price are irrelevant . I ,as others here also seem to feel , cannot see the justification pricewise. sorry it aint on my Christmas list . Alistair