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View Full Version : Any thoughts about tiny and odd sized endmills?



alanganes
02-17-2019, 09:55 AM
A while back I was asked to help someone identify and disposition a bunch of stuff in the home of a widow getting ready to sell her house. The husband had been a master toolmaker at a local company for many years and his collection of stuff reflected that. From looking through it all, he was a guy of many interests and a true old-style tinkerer. I expect he could have been a good friend to most anyone who hangs out on a forum like this.

Anyhow, I helped to sort through a load of tools and such, many were going to her grandson-in-law who had some interest in the stuff but was not very familiar with much of what was there. In the end, I was given bunch of stuff for a less money than I offered which included what may be a lifetime supply of endmills of various sorts. Nice stuff, many of which are carbide. A fair number of specialty items like single flute carbide drills, ball end mills and edge rounding cutters as well.

Now lots of the cutters are regrinds, so are no longer the stated diameter. For much of what I do this is a non-issue so long as I keep that in mind when I use them.

A couple of questions:

In the mix were a fair number of very small endmills, many solid carbide and some HSS. There are some down to 1/64" that I have to look pretty hard at the tell they are actually a milling cutter. I don'y have a high speed spindle in my early '60's era SB mill. Are these things even of any use to me? Short of using a drill type chuck I'm not even sure how I would mount them in the machine.

On a similar note, my mill is not R8, it uses a collet holder that mounts what I've heard called "no. 30 Universal double taper collets" or "Type Z" collets. In any event, I have a bunch of endmills in sizes I do not have collets for. I suppose I could make adapters of some sort. Any suggestions on something that would be fairly quick and easy to make?

mlake01
02-17-2019, 09:59 AM
Purchase or make a high speed sub-spindle for your mill. A pneumatic die grinder works well for the light cuts, although they use quite a bit of air. Electric might be better.


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reggie_obe
02-17-2019, 10:11 AM
Do you have any need for endmills this small? If not Ebay could be the solution. The proceeds however small could purchase something that you can actually use.

Lew Hartswick
02-17-2019, 10:11 AM
Yes a high speed spindle is fairly easy to do and works well.

https://i.postimg.cc/yDmdtc7m/2010-0121-100205-AA.jpg (https://postimg.cc/yDmdtc7m)

https://i.postimg.cc/FfhR4zK2/2010-0122-140521-AA.jpg (https://postimg.cc/FfhR4zK2)

https://i.postimg.cc/KKQYvbk4/2010-0122-140600-AA.jpg (https://postimg.cc/KKQYvbk4)


...lew...

Bob La Londe
02-17-2019, 11:08 AM
I use a lot of stuff down to 1/64 for detailed 3D aluminum molds and steel press and embossing dies. I can't imagine using them manually. They are just to fragile. I have used a slow spindle and just let the machine run all day. They can be very useful for some types of work if you CNC.

Dan Dubeau
02-17-2019, 11:10 AM
That sure looks handy Lew. Is that spindle nose Die cast aluminum? Or painted plastic?. I made a tap for the nose thread of a dremel years ago so I could make an attachment like that for the mill and lathe, but it's still way down the list. Guess I don't need it that much lol.

Alan, you could check any of the standard import houses and pick up an er11 straight shank collet holder, along with a set of collets for little money. The are VERY handy for holding small cutters, and can be had for little money. It would also be a great start for a high speed spindle as most of the hard work is already done. Here's one on ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Collet-Chuck-Holder-Straight-CNC-Milling-Extension-Rod-C12-ER11A-100L-/112441023034

RB211
02-17-2019, 11:35 AM
Those endmills would be perfect for a desktop CNC mill. Let the CAM handle the regrind diameters, and the speeds/feeds of the tiny cutters.

Lew Hartswick
02-17-2019, 12:10 PM
That sure looks handy Lew. Is that spindle nose Die cast aluminum? Or painted plastic?. I made a tap for the nose thread of a dremel years ago so I could make an attachment like that for the mill and lathe, but it's still way down the list. Guess I don't need it that much lol.4 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Collet-Chuck-Holder-Straight-CNC-Milling-Extension-Rod-C12-ER11A-100L-/112441023034)

Yes it's aluminum . That is the "Cadillac" of Dremel-like tools . good bearings . I built that with the idea of using it to sharpen taps and other such things . Haven't used it in several years now.
...lew...

projectnut
02-17-2019, 12:31 PM
A while back I was asked to help someone identify and disposition a bunch of stuff in the home of a widow getting ready to sell her house. The husband had been a master toolmaker at a local company for many years and his collection of stuff reflected that. From looking through it all, he was a guy of many interests and a true old-style tinkerer. I expect he could have been a good friend to most anyone who hangs out on a forum like this.

Anyhow, I helped to sort through a load of tools and such, many were going to her grandson-in-law who had some interest in the stuff but was not very familiar with much of what was there. In the end, I was given bunch of stuff for a less money than I offered which included what may be a lifetime supply of endmills of various sorts. Nice stuff, many of which are carbide. A fair number of specialty items like single flute carbide drills, ball end mills and edge rounding cutters as well.

Now lots of the cutters are regrinds, so are no longer the stated diameter. For much of what I do this is a non-issue so long as I keep that in mind when I use them.

A couple of questions:

In the mix were a fair number of very small endmills, many solid carbide and some HSS. There are some down to 1/64" that I have to look pretty hard at the tell they are actually a milling cutter. I don'y have a high speed spindle in my early '60's era SB mill. Are these things even of any use to me? Short of using a drill type chuck I'm not even sure how I would mount them in the machine.

On a similar note, my mill is not R8, it uses a collet holder that mounts what I've heard called "no. 30 Universal double taper collets" or "Type Z" collets. In any event, I have a bunch of endmills in sizes I do not have collets for. I suppose I could make adapters of some sort. Any suggestions on something that would be fairly quick and easy to make?


Depending on what you intend to use the cutters for I'm not sure you need a high speed spindle. Just last week I was cutting some slots in 304 stainless. I had to turn the spindle speed down to 300 rpm when using cutters down to 1/16". Fortunately the slots only had to be about an inch long.

From what I've read the older South Bend machines are capable of between 1,200 rpm and 1,800 rpm. That's fast enough for sizes at least down to 1/16"

alanganes
02-17-2019, 12:43 PM
That sure looks handy Lew. Is that spindle nose Die cast aluminum? Or painted plastic?. I made a tap for the nose thread of a dremel years ago so I could make an attachment like that for the mill and lathe, but it's still way down the list. Guess I don't need it that much lol.

Alan, you could check any of the standard import houses and pick up an er11 straight shank collet holder, along with a set of collets for little money. The are VERY handy for holding small cutters, and can be had for little money. It would also be a great start for a high speed spindle as most of the hard work is already done. Here's one on ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Collet-Chuck-Holder-Straight-CNC-Milling-Extension-Rod-C12-ER11A-100L-/112441023034


Thank you Dan, that ER11 getup might be just the ticket. Guess I could have done a bit more looking around.

I have no CNC stuff here and go back and forth on whether or not I actually want any. I know how cool and handy it is but I do pretty much everything I was with my old manual stuff sp far. I'm no Luddite, but not sure I'm ready to take that deep dive.

RB, now that you mention the desktop CNC mill, I do know a young guy, a coworker, who is just setting up something like that. I'll probably give him some of them as I think his machine could run them and know he'd appreciate the contribution.

I may just hang on to a handful of the larger of the tiny ones. I could see them being useful for removing broken screws and similar stuff should I find a way to spin them fast enough.
Great ideas guys. Thanks very much.

Paul Alciatore
02-17-2019, 07:34 PM
Or buy a small machine with a high speed spindle like a Unimat, Sherline, Taig, etc.




Purchase or make a high speed sub-spindle for your mill. A pneumatic die grinder works well for the light cuts, although they use quite a bit of air. Electric might be better.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Dan Dubeau
02-17-2019, 08:20 PM
I've used a bunch of smaller cutters at work over the years, and even though I'm limited to 7500rpm in the CNC's they've worked well. Ya I've broke a few, but for the most part they did fine. Runout is a killer on the smaller stuff. You can wind up with one flute doing all the work, and they really don't like that. Nor do they like rubbing, so an appropriate chipload, and A steady feedrate rules the day. The hands down best resource I've found for good info on small cutters is Harvey tool. Their website is the best at figuring out speed and feed for the little guys. I wouldn't really want to try and run them manually, but it all depends on what you were trying to do, and the shape of your part. Nothing is impossible.

alanganes
02-17-2019, 08:25 PM
I took a look at my mill and it turns out I have a top spindle speed of about 3200 RPM and a bit more if I tweak the VFD up some. I rarely do anything very small, so I guess I sort of forgot it would run that fast. So I could probably make some use of the larger of them for particular applications. Thanks again!