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Why so many tool holders?

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  • Why so many tool holders?

    What do y'all put in the tool holders you have AND how many do you have? Right now I've got 15 holders for my lathe and many are empty. What am I missing? BTW this doesn't include knurling or parting tool holders. I need ideas on how to populate the holders. Thanks.

  • #2
    How about a few holders with HSS tool bits for aluminum and brass, a few for carbide indexable tools for steel and cast iron,
    a few with with aforementioned dedicated boring bars, a couple with radius forming bits and chamfering bits.

    With only 5 tool holders I wish I had more.


    • #3
      Specialty holders for 3mm HSS parting blade, boring bar and knurler.

      Generic 1/2" BXA holders for:
      1mm Nikcole Systems carbide insert grooving tool
      80 degree carbide insert holder
      two Wimberly holders
      HSS threading bit
      One or two random HSS shapes (like 45 degree edges for chamfering)
      two or three brazed carbide tools (once I could sharpen them)

      I have six or eight BXA holders but I still end up moving them around. I only need two more.... really...


      • #4
        If i had that many holders, and money for the tools, id want to have 2 each for ccmt and dcmt insert turning tools, one of each style for aluminium specific inserts and one for steel, a parting tool, some form of chamfer tool, a facing tool (something like an SCSCR, for insert commonality, a couple holders for zero-rake HSS tools. Thats what, 10? Personally i get on with like, 3 tools on the lathe, so filling 15 holders would be a challenge for me. Nice luxury to have though

        Edit - Forgot a threading tool, also be good to have


        • #5
          How many square, how many round ?


          • #6
            Mine are filled with the tools I use most often. It just happened that way - as I needed another tool it went in an empty holder. It got to a point that I didn't feel like getting more holders. I have about 10 or so now.

            Now when I need to use a different tool, it gets swapped out with he tool that I think I'm least likely to need for a while.


            • #7
              If you have a DRO or a NC lathe you can store the tool parameters for each tool holder.

              OD tool for general turning and facing
              Parting tool
              Grooving internal
              Grooving external
              Threading internal
              Threading external
              Different sizes of boring tools
              Low angle turning tool for close to a center work
              Profile tools
              Tap holders if the machine supports rigid tapping
              Face grooving
              Back turning
              Gang tooling

              Before you know it you have a dozen internal tools set.

              Gang tool for a polycarbonate part

              A 4 TPI Ext. Acme thread tool and a 1/8" wide full radius Ext. grooving tool for the same part

              You get the picture I am sure, the machine these tools are used on only has a 24 tool library but there are only 10 holders available. This is very annoying because I have to break down tool set ups daily, this is slow. Told my employer he needs to buy another dozen or so holders but he appears to be deaf (-:


              • #8
                What is in the toolholders has all to do with the job you are running at the moment.


                • #9
                  Well, I have a few....... at least half I built myself. Some rarely see action. So it would be easy to get by with less. It’s a little like having too many collets, I have a few that I’ll never use. It’s a disease, I guess. Click image for larger version

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                  I cut it off twice; it's still too short
                  Oregon, USA


                  • #10
                    Can't say as I've ever heard of someone needing ideas to fill tool holders. Just let the empties sit until you need something that isn't already loaded. Now if you're short on tools, that's a whole 'nuther matter.
                    It's all mind over matter.
                    If you don't mind, it don't matter.


                    • #11
                      I suspect convenience/efficiency is a driving force. Even though I'm a hack home wannabee machinist I really like not having to recenter a tool. Having almost every possible tool already mounted and centered in a holder is really quite convenient. After reading the replies I can see where having all the HSS and carbide tools in dedicated holders is convenient. A threading tool is a must as well. So RH, LH, chamfer, threading and so on will likely eat up many holders and afford a lot time saving convenience. For me the next tool will be a carbide threading holder/insert. I've got my parting tool dialed in but it seems like this is always a temporary thing. That for another topic I suppose.


                      • #12
                        The answer to the question is: You want enough tool holders that you always have available the optimum tool ready to use for the operation that you are about to do.

                        Lathe tools fall into several categories. An incomplete list would include facing, turning, boring, threading, grooving, profiling and drilling. Within those categories you generally have left and right hand tools or inside / outside tools. Within those categories you generally have roughing and finishing. Within those you have lower relief for hard metals and higher relief for softer metals, Some of those will be zero rake, some will be negative or positive. If using carbide, you will want some that are tough for interrupted cuts and some that are hard for longer life.

                        As you can see, you can have a LOT of tools by the time you've been using a lathe for a few dozen projects.

                        I have about 15 tool holders for my small lathe. 3 are boring bar, 2 are parting blade, 2 are threading. The rest are left and right hand tools, with a couple for cutting to a shoulder and the rest general purpose roughing and finishing. In my drawer(s) I have a dozen or so specialized small and large boring bars. There are a dozen or so different inserts that can be swapped onto an existing tool. I have only one profiling bit, but I have a small handful of HSS blank bits for use as needed.

                        I standardized on triangular inserts (such as TCMT) when I first bough the lathe. Cheap, relatively rugged and easily obtained. With the right tool the triangular inserts can be used for all the above uses.

                        Last edited by danlb; 07-06-2020, 10:02 PM.
                        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                        Location: SF East Bay.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by challenger View Post
                          What do y'all put in the tool holders you have AND how many do you have? Right now I've got 15 holders for my lathe and many are empty. What am I missing? BTW this doesn't include knurling or parting tool holders. I need ideas on how to populate the holders. Thanks.
                          I have 18 axa holders and it isn’t enough. Specialty ones are for a shear tool, indicator holder, wire tensioner for spring winding and cut Knurling tools.


                          • #14
                            I have about 85 of them loaded up. CCMT, TPG, TNMG, WNMG, CNMG VNMG, in lefts rights, in various sizes, some odd balls, that looked good, but ended up being drawer ballast. There are boring bar holders, threading cut and grooving, some I use maybe 1-2 times a year, other I use daily, others were severe mistakes, didn’t work as planned, but may be usable some day.


                            • #15
                              One set of holders for the HSS
                              One set of holders for the CCMT/DCMT (roughing)
                              One set of holders for the CCGT/DCGT (finishing)
                              25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA