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  • mill tooling

    my new to me mill is almost ready all i have to do is wire it up. My question is on a limited budget what tooling is a must to have to use the mill. I have a vice all i have to do is replace the bronze nut and make vice jaws. I have a bigger jacobs chuck that goes from 1/8 to 5/8 so i will need an 3jt to r8 adaptor. How important are collets? cutters? where can i get good deals on good tools?


  • #2
    Collets hold the end mills and other cutters.A set of hold down clamps are nice for holding parts too big for the vise. A set of parrallels would be nice.
    Without cutters all you have is a fancy drill press.


    • #3
      Collets and end mill holders are best bought... too difficult to make for what you can buy 'em for on Ebay or at the local to you discount house.
      Clamp sets are neat, but if money's really tight a few T nuts and a few bolts will do.
      What other machine tools do you have access to, if any? If a lathe is available, a fly cutter is a good one to start with... Low $, but limited application. A few slitting saws can sub in for kaeyway cutters too for small sizes...
      Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit


      • #4
        You will need collets or endmill holders for anything but drilling. Chucks are good for axial loads, but get torn up by side loads. Collets can be found in MT3 or something smaller like an ER-32 with an MT3 adapter.

        If you have the time and materials, you can turn MT3 blanks and drill/bore them to whatever sizes you need as you go. With a slitting saw, you could probably do your own MT3 collets too. Such items probably run in the $8-$20 range each if you are looking to solve a time=money equation.

        CDCO, Enco, Little Machine Shop, and Grizzly can all have decent deals.

        You can also make fly and dovetail cutters, lots of older posts are around for both, but as above, you can probably find them cheaply somewhere too. It is like eating an elephant. One little piece at a time...


        • #5
          The three most common solutions for holding end mills in an R8 spindle:

          1) R8 collets, which fit into the spindle are are held by the drawbar

          2) End mill holders, which use set screws to hold the end mills (where the flats are) and are held by the drawbar.

          3) An ER collet holder (ER 32 is typical for R8). The body of the holder is held by the drawbar and the individual collets are retained by a nut and the holder.

          The best way to save money for starters is to decide which one of these systems you want to get first.

          Assuming you have sufficient clearance under the spindle for the work you do, I'd be inclined to start with option #3. You can buy an import ER32 set with all the most common end mill sizes for around $100 to $130. The main advantage of this is ease of changing tools. The main disadvantage is that it takes extra space and loses some rigidity. The ER32 collets also grip a larger range than R8 collets -- which means you can reasonably buy enough collets to hold drills. The end mill holders typically only come in end mill sizes.

          If you haven't bought your Jacobs to R8 holder yet, I'd also suggest getting something like a Jacobs to 3/4" straight shaft and using it in an ER32 collet.

          The R8 collets (option #1) will give you more clearance and rigidity.

          The end mill holders (option #2) are especially good if you need to hold something larger than 3/4" -- though that may be pushing the capacity of your mill, especially in steel.


          • #6
            Originally posted by dilligaf
            I have a bigger jacobs chuck that goes from 1/8 to 5/8 so i will need an 3jt to r8 adaptor. How important are collets? cutters? where can i get good deals on good tools?
            a few things go into determining holding power, the biggest being surface area. Compare the surface area in contact between that of a drill chuck and an endmill, you definitely need collets (smaller endmills) or endmill holders (larger), you'll likely spin the endmill in drill chuck

            I have a vice
            many do, but you'll want to get a vise for that mill


            • #7
              A hard question to answer without knowing what you would like to make and a ballpark budget.

              At a minimum:
              3/8 inch collet
              Couple of endmills (with 3/8 inch shaft)
              Set of drill bits (fractional and number)
              dial and or test indicators
              parallel bar set
              Fly cutter

              You already have a chuck and vise so that should get you started. Those are the main items I used the first couple of months when starting out. With those few tools you can make many different things and get a feel for what to buy next.

              Enco - sale flyers, and look for free shipping codes.



              • #8
                Jason-- collets are that you don't want to hold an end mill in a Jacobs chuck since the side loads can pop the cutter out with ugly results. Some here will recommend end mill holders rather than collets...I like some of both. I like minimal extension since it's less hard on the bearings. (2x lever=2x force). On the other hand, in a job where you have to jump back and forth between a drill chuck and an end mill, having say an ER collet holder for end mill holding or even end mill holders, makes the end mill closer to the assembled length of the drill chuck and arbor. Otherwise, you will get your exercise running the knee up and down.

                I can make a recommendation on a decent flycutter (not all those cheaply available ones that take triangular inserts are made the same). I bought one from Grizzly that is Korean made and pretty decent.

                I don't have a ton of extra collets, but I am pretty sure I have a duplicate or two in one or two of the common sizes that should get you going. I will see what I can find tonight. I am off tomorrow afternoon and could swing by after dark sometime and drop them off. I got junk I need to get out of your garage anyway. Our local surplus place has some HSS end mills that should get you going...and I believe they are even in a cabinet that isn't buried.

                I have been mostly tuned out here lately and am glad to know you are close to making some chips. Did you get the vise feed nut replaced?
                Paul Carpenter
                Mapleton, IL


                • #9
                  What size is your mill? What type of tooling does it take? (MT2 MT3 or R8 is the 3 most common)

                  Never EVER use your drill chuck for holding endmills. the drill chuck can FALL OFF its arbor causeing VERY nasty surpises, drill chucks are only held in by friction fit, and only stay that way because while drilling you have large down force but 0 side force.

                  Collets, endmill holders, etc use your 'drawbar' to insure theres no way they could ever come loose (without the whole drawbar backing out) and even if they did come loose it still would'nt come out till the drawbar backs out 10~ turns.

                  (Yes you may have a drawbar hole for your drill chuck too, but the dangerious taper is beween your drill chuck adapator and the drill chuck itself.)

                  Personaly I use a set of R8 collets and they work very nicely, don't stick out at all so they are great for smaller mills (if you have an R8 spindle that is) and realativly easy to change. they will not hold all sizes, only fractional sizes in about 1/8" increments, so I still use a drill chuck for drilling from time to time.

                  (Even small endmills usally have a standardise shank, like if you buy a set 1/16 to 1/4" endmills, they might all have a 3/8" shank, or 1/4" shank. a larger set of endmills might come with say a 1/2" endmill and 5/8" endmill with 1/2" shank and the next bigger endmills with 3/4" shank, so you only need a few diffrent sizes really)
                  Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


                  • #10
                    paul no i have not yet got the nut but i have it on order.

                    the tooling is going to be r8

                    thanks for all the replys i have a good idea now


                    • #11
                      Lol, I missed R8 in the original post and somehow arrived at MT3. Same info though, just replace MT3 with R8.

                      Now may also be the time to keep an eye out for deals on rotary tables and/or indexers followed by angle fixtures or tilt tables if you think you'll need them in the future.

                      Any number of wigglers, edge finders, indicators, and scales may make the list too. Again, it is a good time to make a list and hunt for bargains.


                      • #12
                        in this order.

                        1. collets
                        2a vernier calliper
                        3 dial test indicator that you can tram and align mill head and vice before you even start.
                        4.parallels...almost everything you put in the vice has to be on parallels.
                        5.hold down,clamping set t-nuts.
                        6.copper faced or dead blow hammer ...this is needed to wallop the work down into the vice jaws........cause most vices lift the front jaw and the workpiece as you tighten.
                        7.centre drills
                        8.counter sink bits
                        9.set of drills going up in 0.1mm increments or equivalent inch
                        10. taps and dies
                        11. Morse taper/r8 converter and sleeves mt1 mt2 mt3
                        12. fly-cutter

                        then when you've mastered that lot you can move on to the more expensive stuff like rotary tables.

                        all the best.markj


                        • #13
                          I've got a full set of R8 collets in 32nd" increments, really handy for drilling as the R8 drill chuck I have is about 4" long and a real pain to use.

                          Some people throw a cow about using end mills in collets, but you see it all the time in the industry. If collets aren't for end mills, what are they for??