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Thread: Shars 1/2 Indexable End Mill

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Springfield Mo
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    Default Shars 1/2 Indexable End Mill

    Decided to pick on of the titular end mills up after realizing that every time i needed to use my 1/2 hss end mill, the corners were invariably buggered up. Seriously, 304 stainless, never again. That stuff was such a pain in the rear...

    At any rate, torn between grabbing an ebay-special solid carbide end mill or going the indexable route, i chose to go indexable. My rational was that if i bought the solid carbide mill, i was still going to end up chipping a corner, so even though buying one or two of those, i was still coming out about even going with the indexable route. This way, if i chip a corner, i can just flip/replace the insert. So, as far as the tool goes, lets do this pro/con style;

    Pro:
    -Inexpensive, in comparison. I paid $60ish for the end mill and a box of 10 inserts. Compare that to $30ish for a solid carbide end mill and it ends up a better value for me
    -Never have to worry about my end mill being blunt. Plenty of spare inserts now, if it stops cutting i can just flip/replace it
    -Easy to switch inserts based on need. I havent needed to yet, but if i wanted to switch to an insert designed for aluminium or cast iron, i just need the inserts
    -Never have to worry about burning up an end mill cause i ran it too fast

    Con:
    -Things bloody loud. Single-flute design coupled with my mill being about as ridgid as cooked spaghetti leads to a pretty noisy cut
    -Surface finish isnt that great. The aforementioned design leads to a pretty nasty interrupted cut, lots of chatter. Im also not sold on the quality of my inserts, seems like they arent cutting as well as they should. See the photo for an example:

    The bottom of the cut looks better, but any side-cutting is pretty nasty
    -Limited cut height. The insert limits this one to 1/2 cut height, and the shaft of the tool has a taper that ends barely above the insert.

    All in im relatively happy with how well this end mill is working out. The surface finish leaves a lot to be desired, but its not too difficult to use this one for 99% of the stock removal, then come in and clean the cut up with a sharp HSS end mill. Its also probably not the best thing to be using on a mini-mill because of the low rigidity, but theres not much i can do about that, yet. Its not too hard to work inside of the limitations. Id also like to try some inserts made for aluminium, ive heard that the sharper edges cut steel better when used in low rigidity machines, though they dont last as long. Worth a shot at least.

    I should also mention that Shars sells 3 different styles of inserted end mills. The one that i have is part number 404-1860. One of the others takes a TPG insert, which i ruled out, the other does take an APKT insert, but for some reason its the smaller 11T308 size thats less common. The one i got takes a APKT 1003 insert, which i found was much easier to find, and cheaper

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Helsinki, Finland, Europe
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    Default

    Insert endmills in small sizes are just like that.

    For the same money you could have get 5 or 6 pcs tialn coated 12mm solid carbide endmills from ebay if 12mm will cut it (pun intended)

  3. #3
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    Jul 2017
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    Springfield Mo
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MattiJ View Post
    Insert endmills in small sizes are just like that.

    For the same money you could have get 5 or 6 pcs tialn coated 12mm solid carbide endmills from ebay if 12mm will cut it (pun intended)
    Funnily enough, 12mm wont cut it. Ive got a design for a butterly knife that requires a 1/2 semi-circle cut into it, change the radius and the design doesnt work without changing a lot of other stuff!

    Figure though, with the 10 pack of inserts i bought, for the same price as 5 or 6 of those endmills, i got 20

  4. #4
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    Dec 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
    Figure though, with the 10 pack of inserts i bought, for the same price as 5 or 6 of those endmills, i got 20
    You got 20 cutting edges to dull, 4-flutes would have got you 24

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    San Antonio TX, USA
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    definitely try the alu specific inserts. I don't have any experience of inserts on a mill, but on the lathe they cut soooo much more easily and leave a beautiful finish on pretty much anything. I haven't had any issues with longevity, I think I've chipped 2 tips in as many years and I've cut a lot of alu and a decent amount of steel and stainless.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Sydney
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    Quote Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
    The surface finish leaves a lot to be desired, but its not too difficult to use this one for 99% of the stock removal, then come in and clean the cut up with a sharp HSS end mill.
    I think that is what they are best used for. The really expensive ones let you set the height of each insert.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    The ali. specific inserts are great on a solid machine, I think they will chip badly on a chattery one. I would go for steel cutting inserts with a 2 corner radius.

  8. #8
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    May 2015
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    I am also a fan of the aluminium cutting inserts, you can take smaller cuts as they are sharper. I have a 12mm twin flute indexable endmill which takes APKT 11 or APMT11, I don't recall which, and it is probable that 1/2" ones are available in the USA.

  9. #9
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    Springfield Mo
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    Good to hear that others have had good results with the alu specific inserts. I think the most significant issue I'm having is the steel inserts don't cut quite as freely, so it's kinda similar to trying to cut with a half-blunt HSS end mill. Doable on a Rigid machine maybe, but causes a load of chatter on a less rigid machine

  10. #10
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    again, lathe not mill, but I get much less chatter with CCGT alu inserts than CCMT steel/ general purpose inserts. I just can't force the CCMT insert into the work hard and deep enough to get it to cut properly without it stalling the spindle or chattering like crazy. I can do much great depths of cut with the CCGT inserts as the cutting pressure is much lower. Only chipping I've had is when I've overegged it, the spindle stalls and I forget to rotate the spindle backwards to get the tool out of the jam. The CCGT inserts will even forgive cutting off the burr that creates as long as I don't run it straight back into the cut too hard, and that's a nasty interrupted cut.

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