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  • looking to buy first insert tooling kit

    Looking to buy my first set of lathe insert tooling. I went out to fleabay for a quick check and found there are several offerings. Can anyone give a recommendation as to a brand or supplier. Ive read that like most things there are good and bad brands.

    Im not a production shop so I cant just go out and buy a set of valenite holders and insert. The cost just doesnt justify it for my use. I however would like to get a good middle of the road set as I move into the insert world.

    lathe is a 12" 1.5 hp so im guessing a positive rake insert is needed. Would like to get a full set all in one shot which would cut LH, RH, Part, Thread internal and external if possible.

    Any suggestions

    thanks

  • #2
    The main suggestion I have is to NEVER buy those kits with 5 or 6 holders which all use the same triangular insert. They are imported CRAP, and you use the Rh turning one 95% of the time, a chamfering one perhaps 4% of the time, and a LH turning one maybe 1% of the time. The others collect dust or hold down papers.

    How often would you need a LH turning tool? Get an SCLCR or SWLCR holder for RH turning. Get a Top Notch style holder to start for grooving and external threading. Add an insert parting tool at some point.

    Good tooling is something you buy ONCE and have no regrets.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by PixMan View Post
      The main suggestion I have is to NEVER buy those kits with 5 or 6 holders which all use the same triangular insert. They are imported CRAP, and you use the Rh turning one 95% of the time, a chamfering one perhaps 4% of the time, and a LH turning one maybe 1% of the time. The others collect dust or hold down papers.

      How often would you need a LH turning tool? Get an SCLCR or SWLCR holder for RH turning. Get a Top Notch style holder to start for grooving and external threading. Add an insert parting tool at some point.

      Good tooling is something you buy ONCE and have no regrets.
      good points....

      Comment


      • #4
        Look at the Toolmex brand of (better quality) import holders offered in starter kits by Latheinserts.com and you'll be in a much better place than an eBay buy. Good tools at a fair price.

        I don't know what size shanks you need though, you haven't said. Do you have a Quick Change Tool Post on the machine? If so, what size?

        If you want the best in a thread tool, look at their Vardex lay-down threading tools. Amazing quality threads those things can make with full profile inserts that you can't get with Top Notch (easily.)
        Last edited by PixMan; 04-20-2015, 08:31 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Axkiker View Post
          Looking to buy my first set of lathe insert tooling. I went out to fleabay for a quick check and found there are several offerings. Can anyone give a recommendation as to a brand or supplier. Ive read that like most things there are good and bad brands.

          Im not a production shop so I cant just go out and buy a set of valenite holders and insert. The cost just doesnt justify it for my use. I however would like to get a good middle of the road set as I move into the insert world.

          lathe is a 12" 1.5 hp so im guessing a positive rake insert is needed. Would like to get a full set all in one shot which would cut LH, RH, Part, Thread internal and external if possible.

          Any suggestions

          thanks
          I agree don't buy the kits. I would just buy the most common tool holder first then buy as needed what I needed at the time. This way you don't tie up so much cash on seldom used tooling.

          Personally I don't understand why everyone thinks you need positive rake tooling on on the home shop lathes. I use standard negative rake tooling that is used on larger lathes modified to fit my 9x20 lathe. It works as well as the positive rake inserts and the insert cost is the same plus you get to use all the edges of the insert. I have several tool holders modified with dovetails and height adjusters to allow me to fit them directly to my A size quick change holder. In fact I have modified and sent to some friends these tool holders just to get and unbiased opinion.

          You can only cut what your lathe HP allows so either positive or negative rake will work.

          Comment


          • #6
            The main reason that the screw-down positive rake tooling is better suited to low HP machines is that of depth of cut capability and top form geometry (chipbreakers.) Most negative rake inserts are capable of relatively deep cuts, in relation to the size of the insert. A key to seeing that difference is found in the nomenclature. The North American market uses ANSI specification CNMG432 or in positive rake, a CCMT32.51. The ISO designation of the exact same inserts would be CNMG120408 and CCMT09T304. Those first two numeric characters given in the ISO version are the length of the insert's long edge, representing the theoretical deepest cut it could take.

            While none could ever take a cut like that, the length serves as an indicator of the application intent of the insert: heavier cutting. A smaller I.C. (inscribed circle size) insert would tend to have smaller depth of cut capability and commensurately tighter chipbreakers for better chip control at lighter depths of cut and lower feed rates than most negative rake inserts.

            Of course there are negative rake inserts with tight chipbreakers, meant for finish cuts. A finish cut on a 20HP, 6000rpm CNC lathe might be .030" (0,8mm) per side, and that same cut might be a roughing pass on a 1.5HP, 1000rpm max 7x12 manual lathe. Yes, a small lathe can use negative rake tooling but the holders tend to be much larger to hold the larger inserts. When your AXA QCTP is limited to 1/2" tools, the easier to find screw-down holders and inserts just seem to make more sense.

            HTH

            Comment


            • #7
              I bought one of those Chicom import kits. You know the one. It was about $35.

              They work wonderfully and I could not be happier with the product. The only thing I would do differently is to buy name-brand inserts. I bought about a dozen no-name inserts. They work well and have lasted a long time, but I always wonder if name-brands would have been sharper, better, faster.

              I don't think my kit included an internal threading tool.

              Comment


              • #8
                Pix Man you are correct in theory. Yes it is trouble to do what I have done to make the CNMG 432 holders work on my lathe. Not counting the other 3 tool holders I have worked up. The main reason why I did it is cost per corner of the inserts, plus I get obsolete and surplus inserts from the day job so that keeps my insert cost down. I have had 0 problems with using these tools, I do have some positive rake tooling in the 1/2 shank size and it works well. I will post some pictures of my holders in a couple of days when I get home and have some time to get in the shop, to let everyone see what I am using.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PixMan View Post
                  Look at the Toolmex brand of (better quality) import holders offered in starter kits by Latheinserts.com and you'll be in a much better place than an eBay buy. Good tools at a fair price.

                  I don't know what size shanks you need though, you haven't said. Do you have a Quick Change Tool Post on the machine? If so, what size?

                  If you want the best in a thread tool, look at their Vardex lay-down threading tools. Amazing quality threads those things can make with full profile inserts that you can't get with Top Notch (easily.)
                  Thanks for the link, I just ordered one of those lay-down threading tools. I've had to stop partway through threading heat treated stainless pistol barrels to resharpen HSS tools; I'm hoping this will eliminate that problem.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Yondering View Post
                    Thanks for the link, I just ordered one of those lay-down threading tools. I've had to stop partway through threading heat treated stainless pistol barrels to resharpen HSS tools; I'm hoping this will eliminate that problem.
                    You'll be fine. If you tell me what pitch threads you are making I can suggest a good full profile insert for 400 series stainless in a grade that will hold up in that material. Then you'd not only make complete threads, but really pretty and smooth ones at that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PixMan View Post
                      You'll be fine. If you tell me what pitch threads you are making I can suggest a good full profile insert for 400 series stainless in a grade that will hold up in that material. Then you'd not only make complete threads, but really pretty and smooth ones at that.
                      These are usually 28 pitch, sometimes 24. Mostly 1/2-28 or 5/8-24, sometimes 9/16 in either pitch.

                      I ordered the Carmex MXC inserts they sell with that tool, but a full profile insert would be interesting. I typically run at 250rpm for threading, so surface speeds on those small diameters is relatively low.

                      I actually get pretty smooth threads with HSS, it just wears the tip down too fast in that heat treated 416 stainless.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'd love to know what kind of inserts you are suggesting Pixman.
                        Thanks for all the great info here guys

                        Bernie


                        Bernie

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Vardex grade VTX (TiAlN coated) or Carmex BMA (also TiAlN coated) for ferritic/martensitic stainless steels.

                          Be aware that although Vardex ER/IR/EL/IL inserts are interchangeable with Carmex, Iscar, Kennametal, Seco and a host of others, Vardex does use a different nomenclature.

                          Their version of a 16ER-28UN insert for full profile external threads would be designated a 3ER-28UN.

                          For threading on manual machines at relatively low cutting speeds, the TiN-coated grades in tougher substrates would be:

                          Carmex BXC
                          Vardex's tougher substrate is that VTX grade, they use a harder grade for "general purpose" TiN coated one, grade VKX.
                          Last edited by PixMan; 04-22-2015, 05:11 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PixMan View Post
                            The main suggestion I have is to NEVER buy those kits with 5 or 6 holders which all use the same triangular insert. They are imported CRAP, and you use the Rh turning one 95% of the time, a chamfering one perhaps 4% of the time, and a LH turning one maybe 1% of the time. The others collect dust or hold down papers.

                            How often would you need a LH turning tool? Get an SCLCR or SWLCR holder for RH turning. Get a Top Notch style holder to start for grooving and external threading. Add an insert parting tool at some point.

                            Good tooling is something you buy ONCE and have no regrets.
                            I don't know why, But my triangular LH turning tool is the only tool in my entire toolbox that faces mild steel off with a decent finish.

                            I have tried and tried tons of other insert tools, but none of them give me as nice of a surface finish as that one. And getting a good finish on mild steel is black magic in and of itself so I don't really ask questions I just use it. Also takes the whole pip off quite nicely. I basically ONLY use it for facing, for fear of damaging the insert, and I never want to change its height/etc. Plus as you said, not much you really do with a LH tool besides facing.
                            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Did I make the wrong choice with the Carmex MXC inserts? The only choices were MXC and BMA.

                              Comment

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