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Is it worth having 40 yr old carbide endmills re-sharpened?

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  • Is it worth having 40 yr old carbide endmills re-sharpened?

    Have had some large (3/4") old carbide endmills for 40 yrs, used them only occasionally. I'm wondering if it's worth the $ to have them re-sharpened, or has the quality of carbide improved so much over the years that I'd be better off just scrapping them and buying new stuff?

    I mostly mill aluminum w/ hss,but have used one recently to modify an Armstrong heavy service clamp, probably 1040 steel, 30-ish rc hardness. Was a bit of a slog!

  • #2
    I usually mill aluminum with sharp carbide. If you can feed fast enough and have the power to drive it big endmills can remove a lot of aluminum very fast. I don't know the cost of outside sharpening, but one thing is to ask them to mark the finish size on each mill. It speeds up work as opposed to having to measure them before using. If they send them back in tubes, ask if they will just write it on the tube.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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    • #3
      Hi,

      Just because they are 30 years old doesn't mean they can't cut metal.

      What matters is if you will use them IF you have them sharpened and what it cost to replace them if you do want to use an endmill of that size.
      If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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      • #4
        I should have mentioned that my mill is a Bridgeport J head, not very fast

        And what brought up this question was while cutting that clamp, I couldn't keep the end mill from creeping down out of the collet. Made me wonder if it needed sharpening or just replaced with something superior. Just seemed that there would have to be huge improvements in carbides and grinds over all those years, especially given the cnc explosion.

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        • #5
          Are they solid, or steel shanked with carbide inlays?

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          • #6
            solid carbide

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            • #7
              I have bought resharpened and recoated solid carbide endmills on ebay for a fraction of the new price. It cannot cost much to resharpen them and for my purposes, the exact diameter does not matter. If you keep them for aluminium, they would not need recoating.

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              • #8
                I would have them sharpened because that is almost certain to be cheaper than replacing them. As far as creeping out of the collet, that could be caused by a dull cutter, or by a bad collet. When clamping on carbide shanks, I like to make sure everything is absolutely clean -- no oil or dust or anything of any kind.

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                • #9
                  I would sell them as scrap carbide and get new or new old stock for low prices from eBay, Amazon, and Shars, to name a few. I think that would be a better investment of your money. Last I checked, buyers were paying $12 a pound for scrap, I don't know what the going rate is now.

                  The carbide material (micro grain), coatings, and cutter geometry have improved by leaps and bounds in the last 40 years. You don't need a 20,000 RPM spindle to use carbide cutting tools. I run them daily anywhere from 100 RPM to 3200 RPM, depending on the task at hand.

                  Here are a couple of random examples -

                  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Atrax-3-4-1...MAAOSwq1Zc8VM6

                  https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-4-Dia-x-3...YAAOSw5iNbWjVb
                  Last edited by Toolguy; 03-14-2021, 04:13 PM.
                  Kansas City area

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
                    I would sell them as scrap carbide and get new or new old stock for low prices from eBay, Amazon, and Shars, to name a few. I think that would be a better investment of your money. Last I checked, buyers were paying $12 a pound for scrap, I don't know what the going rate is now.

                    The carbide material (micro grain), coatings, and cutter geometry have improved by leaps and bounds in the last 40 years. You don't need a 20,000 RPM spindle to use carbide cutting tools. I run them daily anywhere from 100 RPM to 3200 RPM, depending on the task at hand.
                    True, the micro grain and etc is much better these days. But last I priced a 3/4" end mill from Niagara it was close to $100.

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                    • #11
                      It's a bit like a wife , doll up the one you got, cheaper than getting a new one.
                      if you shop endmills or wives online, and you end up with less than you expected ..l what can you do ? The exception may be new in wrapper, as yet untried..
                      I had good results the one or two times I got stuff sharpened.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 754 View Post
                        ... The exception may be new in wrapper, as yet untried..
                        I had good results the one or two times I got stuff sharpened.
                        How did the online wives turn out ?

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=Toolguy;n1933766]I would sell them as scrap carbide and get new or new old stock for low prices from eBay, Amazon, and Shars, to name a few. I think that would be a better investment of your money. Last I checked, buyers were paying $12 a pound for scrap, I don't know what the going rate is now.

                          Got over 100 lbs of scrap Carbide at a recent Auction,best price found so far $3.50 cdn. a pound.

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                          • #14
                            dixdance started a topic Is it worth having 40 yr old carbide endmills re-sharpened?

                            I say no. For me at this time. When I cant afford end mills then yes.

                            There have been plenty of you guys that have sent me tool bits. Thank you.. JR
                            My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                            https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post

                              How did the online wives turn out ?
                              You ordered some wives online ? ? ?
                              Do they get along with each other ?
                              Did you get them from the dark web?

                              -D
                              DZER

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