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Using an end mill in a drill chuck??

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  • #16
    To my way of thinking, the use of a drill chuck is perfectly acceptable if it is the best way to get what you need to do done.

    I've done it, and I'll do it again if I need to. I do NOT care what sort of idiot others may think I am, and I do not agree that it is a "marker" for foolishness.

    Are there problems? Sure, there can be. So take that into account, just as you would with any technique that is unconventional, and may have some downsides. but, if it gets what you need to do, done without problems, then go for it and pay no attention to the folks who "just know" it will be a problem.

    Most of them have had it so ingrained not to do it, that they have never tried it, and so instead of actual experience, they are parroting what they heard from others. I have nothing against "learning from the mistakes of others", and do not suggest that everyone needs to make every mistake in order to learn. But some things are just not as bad as rumor suggests they are.

    Oddly, I have NEVER had any of the problems suggested by those who dump on using a drill chuck with an end mill.

    I HAVE had end mills climb out of collets and ruin parts. I have had taper mounts come out when sideways forces were applied. But I have not had an end mill do anything bad while in a drill chuck.

    Maybe that is because the drill chucks I have used in the mills, while they are on taper mounts, are all held in by drawbars. That means any problems will be specifically with the chuck, and not the taper mount.

    I say, use a chuck if you need to. Use an end mill holder if you can. If you have to use collets, OK, use collets, but watch out.
    CNC machines only go through the motions.

    Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
    Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
    Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
    I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
    Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

    Comment


    • #17
      Thanks for the replies. I thought it was bad practice at best, potentially unsafe, and a pretty good indication of not knowing or caring about how to use the machine properly. But then I read what J Tiers posted.

      I wasn't in a position to interfere or offer assistance. I don't feel comfortable going into more details here, so let's leave it at that.
      Last edited by winchman; 07-31-2017, 12:00 AM.
      Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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      • #18
        What would I say? Maybe that person just doesn't know any better and needs a few lessons in operating a mill. It's kind of hard to give a
        decent assessment of the individual with the information given.

        I would hardly consider winchman to be a troll. If anything, oldtiffie seems to meet the qualifications in that department.
        Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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        • #19
          There's another factor too: All drill chucks are not created equal! A quality precision chuck, keyless or keyed will far outperform a standard one.
          Southwest Utah

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          • #20
            As a matter of habit and practice I never try to separate chucks from tapers if any sort of abuse at all is or has been used.

            As a matter of habit and practice I never try "heavier" methods to separate a drill or end mill chuck from the morse or similar taper that connects them.

            Its often not worth the effort or risk involved so I leave the chuck and taper "as is" and either buy a new chuck and taper - as assembled by the maker/s and "ditch/bin" the offending parts - its not (too)expensive to replace it/them that way.

            Good quality German keyless chucks (or morse tapers) in tail-stock quills and drill quills.

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            • #21
              At least two aknowlegged machinists of note think it's OK to abuse a machine so why not? Suffice to say, if you've never tried it before and you "Get away" with it fine but if the first time you try and it goes spheroids up the cost may be the job/cutter/machine or worse still personal injury. Weigh it up, your choice.

              Regards Ian.
              You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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              • #22
                I use endmills held in the drill chuck most of the time if I'm working aluminum.--Sometimes when using small endmills in steel. For larger endmills in steel, I do use a proper endmill holder. I've never had a problem with it, other than having heaps of scorn placed on me by other "real" machinists who have seen me posting pictures showing an endmill in my chuck.
                Brian Rupnow
                Design engineer
                Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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                • #23
                  I am guilty, but I mostly do 6061 Al
                  On the South Bend 9A there is a big screw on Jacobs that I use with the milling attachment.
                  https://app.box.com/s/8la5ijqc166eequ0lg6a393qjwd0myji

                  On the drill, I occasionally do a bit of end milling by hand with up to 4mm end mills to make vintage camera parts from 6061.
                  https://app.box.com/s/eudh2q4yvz2j60l4tbx19607rbecewqv
                  About 5 years ago, I set the drill chuck on its taper using the corn-cob and vodka method and it has never loosened.

                  I did read that using a 4 flute end mill in a chuck with 3 contact points can lead to vibration because
                  the 4 flutes do not all have the same rigidity.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Circlip View Post
                    At least two aknowlegged machinists of note think it's OK to abuse a machine so why not? Suffice to say, if you've never tried it before and you "Get away" with it fine but if the first time you try and it goes spheroids up the cost may be the job/cutter/machine or worse still personal injury. Weigh it up, your choice.

                    Regards Ian.
                    What is all this about "abusing a machine"?

                    How do you get from using an end mill in a chuck to "abusing a machine"?
                    CNC machines only go through the motions.

                    Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                    Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                    Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                    I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                    Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Im the king of short cuts so im sure at one time or another I threw a little 1/8" endmill in the drill chuck to do some plastic or maybe even aluminum if it was not too extensive,

                      must have pulled it off and been uneventful or I would have remembered it.

                      I will share a story that's bound to make everyone feel better, bought a horror frieght mini drill press and had the bright idea I was going to make a mill out of it, bought a X and Y bolt on dove tail attachment with integral vise - very advanced I thought (ooops getting a little low on tool room now lol)
                      bought a two flute carbide cutter at Ace - I think it was for a router bit for wood --- VERY aggressive looking thing lol

                      Ok - im ready to do some "Machining" wow - can't believe this - Im going to be a machinist lol

                      fire that sucka up in high gear (step pulley machine u know)

                      have a chunk of aluminum clamped up - lets see what this class 5 galaxy starship can do,

                      I don't even think I was babying the handles - thought carbide always wins, going to show that aluminum just how the cow ate the cabbage - resistance is futile - you will be assimilated, machine is rattling around - all kinds of loose sounding parts - then

                      what's the saying? it all happened so fast?

                      CRASH --- entire chuck goes flying off past my arm and is on the floor spinning like a top -

                      Im hit - am I hit? yes im hit, I think im hit, yeah just some shrapnel must be all the aluminum i was hogging off before something bad happened - then the chuck with bit comes to a rest and is totally missing one of the carbide teeth, the other tooth is not looking all that great, damn that thing alone cost me 35 bucks,

                      I still have it - I look at it once in awhile, it kinda shakes me up and keeps me in check...

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                        What is all this about "abusing a machine"?

                        How do you get from using an end mill in a chuck to "abusing a machine"?

                        JT - if it's a chuck just hanging by a taper then it can result in machine abuse very quickly when it fly's out and goes dancing across the table,,,

                        They don't call em "Dummy marks" for nothing....

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          AK, HOW did you get the chuck to fly out past you?

                          Normally, (and I AM speaking from long-ago experience) the chuck loosens, and falls down, cutter coming to rest on the partially cut surface, or chuck catching on the edge of the work. For it to fall all the way out, seems as if the spindle would have to bend and fling it, because the taper in a drill press (usually MT2) is pretty long.

                          You must have had some real action going on...... Maybe it didn't fall far enough for the tang to come out of the slot, so it kept spinning?

                          Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                          JT - if it's a chuck just hanging by a taper then it can result in machine abuse very quickly when it fly's out and goes dancing across the table,,,

                          They don't call em "Dummy marks" for nothing....
                          Of course...

                          But two things....

                          1) we are talking about the act of using the EM in a chuck, NOT about how the chuck may, or may not, be mounted. Anything about the mount is ASSUMING that the chuck is on a friction mounted taper. But if in a mill, that is by no means a known thing, most mill tooling is drawbar retained.

                          2) In my case, at least, I specifically mentioned that the chuck is on a taper mount THAT USES A DRAWBAR, so there is no nonsense about it flying out somewhere. It's also screw-mount, not a Jacobs Taper mount, so nothing doing there either.
                          CNC machines only go through the motions.

                          Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                          Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                          Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                          I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                          Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I think we have all done it at one point or another. It's not advised for many reasons.

                            My micro mill came with a drill chuck that was threaded onto a mt3 arbor that was secured with draw bar. No coming loose there! But the runout was TERRIBLE. I checked against a bit of drill rod properly tightened in the chuck and found it was .004 TIR right at the chuck. Then I indicated the shank of 1/4 inch 4 flute end mill. The TIR was about the same.

                            Depending on the orientation of the of the end mill, you end up cutting with 1 or two flutes.

                            Someone on this board was fond of saying that every .0001 of runout decreased the life of the endmill by X%. I don't recall the value of X.

                            Dan
                            At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                            Location: SF East Bay.

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                            • #29
                              Drill chucks were not designed for sideways load and no amount of discussion can change that fact. Can you mill with one? Obviously many people have done so without incident but others have experienced somewhat different results. I bet someone is going to say they have never had a drill bit get loose in a drill chuck either.

                              You pays your money and you takes your chances...

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                                AK, HOW did you get the chuck to fly out past you?

                                Normally, (and I AM speaking from long-ago experience) the chuck loosens, and falls down, cutter coming to rest on the partially cut surface, or chuck catching on the edge of the work. For it to fall all the way out, seems as if the spindle would have to bend and fling it, because the taper in a drill press (usually MT2) is pretty long.
                                You appear to be thinking of good quality chucks with an integrated arbor.

                                It's a pretty good bet that his mill drill did not come with a top of the line drill chuck. Many drill press chucks use a short taper such as a J33. Even with a draw bar securing the arbor, the chuck can come off the lower taper.

                                Dan
                                At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                                Location: SF East Bay.

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