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  • End Mill Holder for a Lathe

    This is my first post and I am new to Mils and Lathes.

    I am a weld/fabricator of Off Road Race trucks and Buggys and I am trying to speed up the job of notching tubing for roll cages. Until now I have been grinding the notch or a hole saw was used.

    I want to find a end mill holder that bolts to the mounting plate of a lathe.
    I tryed to use a 3 jaw chuck to hold the end mill and it held for a little bit but the jaws can not hold the 1.24" shank well enough to notch tubing.

    The Mill/Lathe I have is a Cetral Machinery combo with a 4.25" mounting plate and a 1.560 bore that threads onto the lathe.

    One idea I have if I can't find a premade tool holder is to get some 4.25" bar stock and bore out the center to 1.25", Drill and tap a set screw and drill and tap mounting bolt holes on the back so it would mount to the Lathe mounting plate.

    I would rather buy one already made but I just wanted to hear from people with experience in this area.

    David Wright
    http://www.wrightracing.net
    rookie-wantabe mechinist

  • #2
    Any reason not to hold it in your mill?? You can get end mill holders, even MT3 endmill holders that will accept large shank endmills.

    Otherwise, you could take a short piece of hexagon stock, say 2.25" in diameter and bore your hole for the endmill with a set screw. It would save you some time and hastle making the mounting holes and should be alot cheaper. The hexagon stock could be held in the three jaw and would not slip since it has three flat surfaces for the chuck to grab. Thats the quick and dirty...

    Should be nice and easy; just cut you off a length of the stock, hold it in the chuck, face it, and bore a hole in it. Drill and tap your set screw and your done.

    <edit>
    Note that it won't be super accurate, you have some runout drilling your hole with the three jaw and then that runout is compounded when you take out the adapter and put it back in. It should be fine for notching tubing, but not great for precision stuff.

    and you might wait to here from some of the more expierenced guys to chip in thier wealth of knowledge.
    Last edited by Fasttrack; 03-22-2007, 09:42 PM.

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    • #3
      I would think your idea would work, but I have never done any milling in the lathe. Cool site you have there, I grew up around offroad racing in Parker Az always wanted to get into it, but the kids I had ate into my racing fund.

      Comment


      • #4
        Buy or make a Weldon style EM holder with straight shank. Cut (if soft enough, maybe carbide?) or grind flats on 3 sides at 120*. Now you have a positive lock on the EM, and 3 flats to positively lock in the 3 jaw chuck.

        That or do as suggested, just get an R8 or straight shank Weldon holder to mount it in your mill...
        Russ
        Master Floor Sweeper

        Comment


        • #5
          Use a hex collet block, hex stock, or any variety of ways to put 3 flats on the chucking end of the holder (would have to be 1 1/8" or less if using a collet block). Number one of the flats and one of the jaws so that they are indexed. The resulting runout should be fine for your purpose.
          Location: North Central Texas

          Comment


          • #6
            Another thing thats not been mentioned, if your lathe has a taper in the front of the spindle( a lot of lathes use a morse taper), get or make an endmill holder with the taper needed and drawbar it in to the spindle. You can do this with a home made drawbar or even allthread and large washers on the outboard end.
            James

            Comment


            • #7
              Hex stock

              I'd go with Fasttrack's suggestion and bore a piece of hex stock, if you can find it in a big enough size. Mark which hex goes to the #1 jaw (they should be numbered) and put your setscrew in that face. Then everytime you use it, align the setscrew with #1 jaw and you should be concentric.

              If you don't do that, your original idea of bolting barstock to the faceplate and boring your hole would work fine. If possible, I'd want to dedicate that faceplate to this task so you won't have to break it down and lose the concentricity.

              There's a nice commercial jig to do just what you are shooting for:

              http://www.torchmate.com/tubenoch.html

              Note that it uses hole saws, but the tubing holder is basically a milling attachment grooved to hold tubing.

              By the way, check out their power tailstock feed. May have to make one.
              Last edited by Rex; 03-23-2007, 11:11 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I know I may often sound like a pessimist, but it comes from a personality type that makes me always re-examine the root problem with relation to the end solution, first.

                You can get R-8 end mill holders that will hold a 1.25" end mill. You can buy the cheapies for around $15 and I would be tempted to buy one as the start for anything else you do as it should be nice and concentric.

                On the other hand, I would first look at whether this is a good solution. I would think that milling the end of a tube would be less than ideal and probably not the fastest solution. Tubing notchers that use a hole saw are most common for this sort of thing and should produce better results on thin material (like tubing) than would a 2 or 4 flute end mill. In general, you want several teeth in the work at all times to avoid chatter in cutting. This is the reason you use a finer blade on a band saw for cutting thin stuff, for example. The type of cutter that provides this in this sort of application is a hole saw.

                Were you having problems with using the hole saw? If so, were you using one of the tubing notching fixtures that holds your work well? They are available cheap from Harbor Freight and other sources. You may want to fabricate one, too. I recall that there was an article on making one in either HSM or MW some time back (maybe years?) but it should not be hard to fabricate one on your own.

                Paul
                Paul Carpenter
                Mapleton, IL

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pcarpenter
                  I know I may often sound like a pessimist, but it comes from a personality type that makes me always re-examine the root problem with relation to the end solution, first.

                  You can get R-8 end mill holders that will hold a 1.25" end mill. You can buy the cheapies for around $15 and I would be tempted to buy one as the start for anything else you do as it should be nice and concentric.

                  On the other hand, I would first look at whether this is a good solution. I would think that milling the end of a tube would be less than ideal and probably not the fastest solution. Tubing notchers that use a hole saw are most common for this sort of thing and should produce better results on thin material (like tubing) than would a 2 or 4 flute end mill. In general, you want several teeth in the work at all times to avoid chatter in cutting. This is the reason you use a finer blade on a band saw for cutting thin stuff, for example. The type of cutter that provides this in this sort of application is a hole saw.

                  Were you having problems with using the hole saw? If so, were you using one of the tubing notching fixtures that holds your work well? They are available cheap from Harbor Freight and other sources. You may want to fabricate one, too. I recall that there was an article on making one in either HSM or MW some time back (maybe years?) but it should not be hard to fabricate one on your own.

                  Paul

                  Hey Paul

                  First yes I have been using a Hole saw Fixture for a while. It works OK for 90deg notches, but it is a pain to notch 2"X.120 Dom tubing of length’s longer than 4 Feet. Also with tubing of this size the angle notches are a pain.

                  The best way to go is buy an end mill notcher but the cheapest one is $3400.

                  I just got a deal for a 1.75” end mill, 1.25 shank with 6 flutes and a 1.25 end mill holder. I am going to try it in the 3 jaw chuck.

                  I do not expect it to work without chatter, but we will see.

                  My plan is to bore a 1.25” hole in a 4.25” piece of Bar stock and turn down 2” of that and leave a 4.25” mount I can tap and mount to the spindle. Then I plan on drilling two set screw holes and tap them to hold the end mill.

                  Like I said I hoped someone had a product already made but I may have to make it myself.

                  I have notched some test tubing with the lathe and it only takes 4-5 minutes to do and angle notch where as if I had to cut and grinder it takes a lot longer. And the just stinks and jams when cutting and angle notch with big tubing. With the mill it works great the first time instead of cut fit, grind, fit grind fit.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi,

                    If I understand you correctly, what you want is something like this.




                    That's a pipe notcher. It can be used in a simple hydraulic press to notch the tubing you use.

                    HTH,
                    dalee
                    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dalee100
                      Hi,

                      If I understand you correctly, what you want is something like this.




                      That's a pipe notcher. It can be used in a simple hydraulic press to notch the tubing you use.

                      HTH,
                      dalee
                      That works for tubing that meet at a 90deg but when you get to strange offset joints that will not work.
                      but here is what I would like to buy but can't afford at this point.



                      I have the lathe I just need to hold the end mill correctly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wrightracing.net
                        Hey Paul

                        First yes I have been using a Hole saw Fixture for a while. It works OK for 90deg notches, but it is a pain to notch 2"X.120 Dom tubing of length’s longer than 4 Feet. Also with tubing of this size the angle notches are a pain.

                        The best way to go is buy an end mill notcher but the cheapest one is $3400.

                        I just got a deal for a 1.75” end mill, 1.25 shank with 6 flutes and a 1.25 end mill holder. I am going to try it in the 3 jaw chuck.

                        I do not expect it to work without chatter, but we will see.

                        My plan is to bore a 1.25” hole in a 4.25” piece of Bar stock and turn down 2” of that and leave a 4.25” mount I can tap and mount to the spindle. Then I plan on drilling two set screw holes and tap them to hold the end mill.

                        Like I said I hoped someone had a product already made but I may have to make it myself.

                        I have notched some test tubing with the lathe and it only takes 4-5 minutes to do and angle notch where as if I had to cut and grinder it takes a lot longer. And the just stinks and jams when cutting and angle notch with big tubing. With the mill it works great the first time instead of cut fit, grind, fit grind fit.


                        If thats what your set on, go for it. I still think time wise and setup wise it would be alot faster just to make a little holder out of hexagon stock, or mill three flats on a holder you do have to hold in the three jaw. But if hexagon stock isn't readily available or you just want to give it a go, have fun!! Thats what i think is so cool, most of the time you can dream something up and then actually build it.

                        Sometimes, more often in my case, our skills fall short...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wrightracing.net
                          That works for tubing that meet at a 90deg but when you get to strange offset joints that will not work.
                          but here is what I would like to buy but can't afford at this point.



                          I have the lathe I just need to hold the end mill correctly.
                          That looks like a pretty simple machine to make

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                          • #14
                            My setup works

                            I got it working!!!

                            I had some problems with the vise I had but I got a bigger one and did some fine tuning of the riser.






                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That looks like it would work pretty slick. For the Formula SAE cars we build up at school we often use a holesaw in the mill, but even with the finest tooth blade it manages to tear off teeth especially in .035 wall chrome moly tubing. Other times we use the roughing endmills like you are. I would like to try it in the mill, but the only problem for us is the fact that it would be hard to get compound angles on a conventional lathe.
                              -Rob Comer

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