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best end mill for slotting in 18 gauge galvanized steel 2, 3, or 4 flute?

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  • best end mill for slotting in 18 gauge galvanized steel 2, 3, or 4 flute?

    Here's what I'm trying to slot. http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1&ddkey=Search It comes with some 11/64" holes drilled in it. I want to extend those holes to about a 1/2 inch slot with a 11/64" ball nose end mill.

    I know that its preferred to use cobalt end mills on steel but would carbide work fine on 18 gauge galvanized steel? Should I choose 2, 3, or 4 flutes?

  • #2
    Are you going to use a Vertical Mill?
    What RPM range do you have available.?
    Why are you wanting to use a Ball end mill.
    HSS should work fine at suitable RPM and feed.
    The galvanized stuff is not that healthy if I recall to machine.

    Dave

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    • #3
      4 flutes - strong tie clamped over a piece of wood to prevent it from flexing too much, extend the endmill .100" past the metal, and if you have it flood coolant to extend you tool life. Biggest problems being the vibration and flex when you are plunging through the metal. After that it should be easy cutting.

      I just finished slotting a bunch of 16 ga stainless steel in the cnc

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DFMiller
        Are you going to use a Vertical Mill?
        What RPM range do you have available.?
        Why are you wanting to use a Ball end mill.
        HSS should work fine at suitable RPM and feed.
        The galvanized stuff is not that healthy if I recall to machine.

        Dave
        I don't have a mill. I was going to try to extend the holes into slots with an electric hand drill with the a23 angle held firmly in place with a strong clamp. Yes I know that's not the preferred method for slotting with end mills, but I don't have a mill. Would the 11/64" square end end mill fit fine into the 11/64" holes? That's the reason I wanted ball end, cause i wasn't sure if the square end would fit into a round hole. Even if it didn't I guess it wouldn't matter if the end mill is center cutting. Does square end have any advantages over ball end?

        My electric drill has a rpm range of 0-2250 rpm. So I should go with HSS 11/64" square end end mill? Should I choose 2, 3, or 4 flutes, and what coating should I choose?

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        • #5
          tin snips and a file

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          • #6
            hand drill is going to be dangerous and give you bad results.
            How many of these do you have to do?

            Open up the first hole to 1/2", drill a second hole as close as you can and
            use a file.

            18 gauge isn't so bad, put it in a good vice, a file will cut it quickly.
            And no fumes!

            I bet you could get a sheetmetal nibbler from HF for less than the cost of
            a good endmill.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by knucklehead
              hand drill is going to be dangerous and give you bad results.
              How many of these do you have to do?

              Open up the first hole to 1/2", drill a second hole as close as you can and
              use a file.

              18 gauge isn't so bad, put it in a good vice, a file will cut it quickly.
              And no fumes!

              I bet you could get a sheetmetal nibbler from HF for less than the cost of
              a good endmill.
              I have about 16 A23 angles i have to do. I'm trying to slot 3 holes on each one. Should I get this nibbler? http://www.harborfreight.com/16-gaug...ler-96661.html

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              • #8
                Do the slots have to be precise? Not that they would be with a hand held drill.
                Why not use a small zip wheel using a die grinder or even a Dremel.
                Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                Location: British Columbia

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Willy
                  Do the slots have to be precise? Not that they would be with a hand held drill.
                  Why not use a small zip wheel using a die grinder or even a Dremel.
                  No the slots don't have to be perfect.

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                  • #10
                    Should I just drill a 11/64" hole as close as possible to the hole then grind off whats left in between with a grinder?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jimmy482
                      No the slots don't have to be perfect.
                      ..Then you aren't going to be using a hand-held endmill (bad idea) in anycase.

                      If you need perfection, send them out or find someone with a mill.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jimmy482
                        Should I just drill a 11/64" hole as close as possible to the hole then grind off whats left in between with a grinder?
                        Yes. That would be the easiest way to go.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think a Dremel or other hand held grinder or drill and file is the best method.
                          I would not use a had drill and a end mill. !
                          Material like that even difficult with a mill. Holding the material is difficult. Best results are as stated earlier is a block of wood and some clamps.


                          A rat tail file is how I would probably do it with the equipment at hand. Would probably drill a hole at both ends of slot. A small handheld nibbler would also most likely work.

                          Dave

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                          • #14
                            By the way Jimmy, welcome to the circus.

                            Stick around, I think you'll like it here.
                            Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                            Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                            Location: British Columbia

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Chain saw files (used for sharpening the cutting chain) come in various different sizes including 11/64 and are quite cheap. These have parallel sides unlike a rat tail file which has tapered sides. I'd drill the end of the slot with an 11/64 drill bit and then use an 11/64 chainsaw file with a bit of elbow grease to make the slot. Mark out the center of the new hole and use a prick punch to give yourself a divot to center the drill bit in..helps immensely to prevent it from walking. Use a good quality sharp drill bit too.
                              Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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