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Cut off a carbide end mill shank

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  • Cut off a carbide end mill shank

    I have a 1/4” carbide end mill that is much too long. I’ve seen YouTube videos of how to cut it off, but with expensive tools. Will a cheap diamond cut off disc work? Has anyone done this? Will a local machine shop do it?
    Thanks,
    Bob

  • #2
    Only thing that will cut is Diamond , cant hurt to try.
    but if you have a tube that it just fits into snug is better just give a hit with a hammer and it will break easily.
    Face shield is required.
    Beaver County Alberta Canada

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    • #3
      Yes a local shop would probably help you out if they have the necessary equipment. You could also probably cut it in half pretty easily with a diamond tile saw blade on an angle grinder or tile saw.

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      • #4
        I know some will disagree, but I have actually done this with ordinary cutoff blades in the angle grinder. I use the cheap ones because it's going to eat them, but it can be done. X2 on wearing a face shield.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
          I know some will disagree, but I have actually done this with ordinary cutoff blades in the angle grinder. I use the cheap ones because it's going to eat them, but it can be done. X2 on wearing a face shield.
          Have done that also.

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          • #6
            Sure, it can probably be done with a couple rocks too, but I sure wouldn't want to do it. As for regular AlO2 cutoff wheels, lots of clean up grinding afterward and will probably burn through a lot of wheels. A diamond tile blade is pretty darn cheap these days at a place like Home Depot, Menards or Lowes...

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            • #7
              Have a vacuum going, you don't want to inhale that dust. Where's that German youtuber?

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              • #8
                Wait , you guys cut it right through? What is wrong with notch it and break it off ?

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                • #9
                  Nothing if you notch it long and want to do a bunch of grinding afterward. Similar to tungsten TIG welding electrodes, the carbide can fracture in unpredictable ways and they can be small enough that the cracks won't be easily seen by your eye alone. Better to avoid the risk if you want the cutting tool to last.

                  All that said, this kind of thing generally falls under the "You do it your way, I'll do it mine" category as far as I'm concerned.

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                  • #10
                    I actually save dull/broken tools to cut the shanks off and use them for a poor man's gauge pins. Carbide tooling is accurate enough for that. Cut with the zip disc and then hone the cut end on a diamond block until it looks OK under a 20x lens.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eKretz View Post
                      Nothing if you notch it long and want to do a bunch of grinding afterward. Similar to tungsten TIG welding electrodes, the carbide can fracture in unpredictable ways and they can be small enough that the cracks won't be easily seen by your eye alone. Better to avoid the risk if you want the cutting tool to last.

                      All that said, this kind of thing generally falls under the "You do it your way, I'll do it mine" category as far as I'm concerned.
                      Tungsten electrodes seem to be lot more prone to cracking in unpredicted ways than tungsten carbide. Possibly because electrode is made by some sort of wire drawing method and the material doesn't have uniform properties to every direction. Sort of like grain in wood.
                      Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                        I know some will disagree, but I have actually done this with ordinary cutoff blades in the angle grinder. I use the cheap ones because it's going to eat them, but it can be done. X2 on wearing a face shield.
                        Stone cutting or "multipurpose" disk on angle grinder should be slightly better than ordinary steel cut-off wheels. Stone wheels often have silicon carbide as a abrasive.

                        For small pins I prefer dremel-type tool and small diamond wheel. Angle grinder feels so brute.
                        Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MattiJ View Post

                          For small pins I prefer dremel-type tool and small diamond wheel. Angle grinder feels so brute.
                          Wish I had a Dremel but sadly, no. It may be a while. When doing delicate jobs with the angle grinder one gets used to burnt and callused finger tips.

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                          • #14
                            Why don't you save it for when you need a deep hole and buy a standard length end mill?
                            The day after you cut it, you're going to need a long one.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MattiJ View Post

                              Tungsten electrodes seem to be lot more prone to cracking in unpredicted ways than tungsten carbide. Possibly because electrode is made by some sort of wire drawing method and the material doesn't have uniform properties to every direction. Sort of like grain in wood.
                              Actually, from what I understand they are both made very similarly... That is to say sintered. The only difference being that the the electrode is much more nearly pure tungsten metal, and the tungsten carbide is a mixture of the carbide and several other binding metals and/or materials which is precision ground after sintering. That's why they can both break unpredictably. However, as already covered, the category has been slated in my book...

                              I should add a third category I suppose: "Run what ya' brung." For those who need it now with what they've got and can't wait...

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