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Indexable Face mill advice needed

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  • Indexable Face mill advice needed

    I bought a grizzly G2861 - Fly Cutter that uses triangular TPG?? inserts to use on my PM45 mill. I was very unhappy with the results, felt like I was hammering the spindle to death. I need to make very light finishing cuts for the best possible finish on steel. What would be a good choice from among the many choices available from Enco or Shars. Is there a site that discusses the different holders and inserts. I would like to use the widest possible cut to avoid overlap lines, what is possible with my mill. Thanks..

  • #2
    I am not familiar with your milling machine but I do have a similar version of the cutter you have. I would say it more bashes the material off compared to cutting it. The advantage to it is cost and it's ability to knock material off without busting the cutters like during an interrupted cut on crappy material. I have been happy with the mills I have got from Glacern machine, yes they advertise here, I am not involved. They are a pretty good bang for your buck (my opinion). The AP style of insert comes up with a pretty good finish and actually cuts metal but are not cheap to run especially compared to what you have.


    • #3
      I would say yes you were hammering.
      I would try an APKT style or SEAN/SEKN style mill. The biggest this is you are going to have to pay for the inserts. If you are going to balk at paying for the insert design then hammer away.
      There are many makers of both of the inserts and some generic makers. Shop around.
      You do not say what you are cutting but steels use one grade of insert, aluminums and other non-ferrous metal use another. Aluminum inserts have a ground edge and normally not coated. Do not use the aluminum inserts on steel. The sharp cutting edge is destoyed in seconds. The steel inserts can be used for roughing in aluminum if that is all you have but surface finish suffers tremendously. The other bad thing is the aluminum will gall onto the insert edge (different cutting force) and end up smearing.
      There was a discussion here a while ago about this

      The SEAN/SEKN are the stand up square inserts where you are cutting on the corner of the square.

      Either style one is at least a decade and and a half of 'newer' technology than the triangle milling cutters. Performance will be night and day against the triangle mills.

      I would say 1.5" (maybe) would be a target size. I don't know how the machine will handle larger mills as I do not have a RF45 mill.


      • #4
        I have a similar situation with a big R8 facemill about 5" diameter cutting 6061. It has about 6 triangular inserts about .5" on a side, and titanium (?) coated.
        It is used in a very old Asian mill-drill

        We only cut 6061, low precision, but need a decent surface finish. We are getting some scalloping on some parts. and we're trying to figure out what the best cutter is for it.
        Last edited by Rex; 04-15-2011, 02:49 PM.


        • #5
          Face milling

          What works best for me is the square insert with the point down so the cutting edge is coming into the work at a 45 degree angle. A 2 or 2-1/2 inch face mill is about right for a Bridgeport or R8 spindle machine. There are inserts that have the corners squared off to act as a wiper to eliminate the ridges between teeth as the cutter is advanced across the workpiece.
          Kansas City area


          • #6
            Originally posted by Toolguy
            What works best for me is the square insert with the point down so the cutting edge is coming into the work at a 45 degree angle. A 2 or 2-1/2 inch face mill is about right for a Bridgeport or R8 spindle machine.
            I don't disagree, but this shop has been doing the same work on the same machines, cutting these parts in a single pass of that big cutter, with a spritz of WD40 for cutting fluid.
            It's only recently the scalloping has showed up on some pieces. I think it's the wrong inserts, plus they are dull.


            • #7
              Face milling

              I was speaking in general terms for those looking for their first face mill. I also have a 5" facemill with an R8 shank I've used several times. I like that one partly because it's heavy and has a good flywheel effect.
              Kansas City area


              • #8
                I have a few face mills. The smallest is a 1-1/4" Iscar F45 that takes 3 SEEN42 (ISO SEEN 1203) style inserts. Then I have a pair of Widia 45؛ lead face mills which take the thicker SEHN/SEEN43 (ISO SEHN 1204) inserts. A 2" takes 4 inserts, the 3" cutter takes 6.

                The largest-diameter one is a ط 4" 6-insert 43؛ lead Walter F2280 that I picked up from Ebay for $57!

                These cutters are used on a lowly 1HP Bridgeport. They can't be buried @ full depth in Inconel 718 of course, but they work remarkably well in lesser strength materials at lighter depths-of-cut. I just put some nice aluminum-specific inserts in teh big one, as I intend to use that one of clean-up passes on wide aluminum blocks.

                I agree that most TPG insert milling cutters really hammer the spindles of machines. They can be used successfully though, as long as you don't go too far beyond the radius with your depth of cut, and keep the speed up. Watch that you've selected a MILLING grade of carbide, and you should be OK.


                • #9
                  Re surface finish on alum, I still like the AP-- style insert and I use a small paint brush to coat it with A-9 cutting oil. Steel I use lots of coolant. I am also using a cold gun (on Alum) for cooling and blowing the chips away to avoid cutting them, most of the time I get a good finish the odd time a chip gums things up. I have tried most other methods and that's what I have settled on for the time being


                  • #10
                    Come to think of it, I put the new inserts for aluminum in that 4" cutter but haven't tried them yet. Something to do for tomorrow!

                    I'll get pix to show how it does.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the replies, I think I'll order the following mills from Shars


                      This first one is 2" and uses APKT inserts. The second one is 1.5" and uses SEAN. Is this a good choice, what would be your choice of inserts for steel.

                      Pixman you seem to have experience with quite a few face mills, would you recommend larger mills.


                      • #12
                        Contact me off-list.

                        BTW, I'd tend to go smaller with the 90؛ shoulder mill (APKT inserts) and larger with the 45؛ true face mill.
                        Last edited by PixMan; 04-17-2011, 08:07 PM.