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3/8 dia x .150 T slot cutter

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  • 3/8 dia x .150 T slot cutter

    Need to cut T slot in 6061 with above dim. .375 cutter dia. x .150 height. I have a Rockler keyhole cutter that works fine, but it is ~ .180 height. I have not been able to find anything on eBay or the usual online suppliers. Thanks

  • #2
    Hi and Welcome Aboard ! ! !

    T slots are usually larger and sized for specific screws. So you likely found the bigger ones that start off at 1/4" slot in the outer surface with fairly broad and deep T's.

    When I've wanted a smaller size of T slot I've made do with Woodruff keyseat cutters used as the T slot cutters. The trick is that they don't cut the center slot so that has to be done with a regular 2 flute end mill first and then the wider root slot cut with the Woodruff cutter.

    But because you'd be cheating a bit you won't be able to find the .150 height exactly. Looking at McMaster-Carr's listing for Woodruff keyseat cutters I can only see 1/8T x 3/8D. If you need the whole .150 instead of .125 it would mean making an extra pass.

    I did find some metric Woodruff cutters but the 4mm face width you'd want to get a .158" are quite a bit larger in diameter at 13.5mm or 0.53 inch.

    If you specifically need exactly that size you're likely looking at having to make a custom cutter out of drill rod, harden, temper and sharpen it yourself.

    Hope that helps you out.

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    • #3
      Have it re-ground to the desired thickness.

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      • #4
        Or re-grind it yourself. To get the best quality job you'd need to find a diamond wheel though.

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        • #5
          Going to be tough to relieve the teeth, doing it with no tool grindng equipment.

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          • #6
            Make one using a lathe for the tooth form and mill to remove top half. Heat treat, lap to final size.

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            • #7
              If you are talking about reducing the "width" of a Woodruff key cutter, you will be grinding on the outer face only. AND that face does not need any relief because you will not be making a plunge cut with it. But if you can I would suggest making it a bit concave to reduce the friction. But this is a general reduction, not creating any relief on the sides of the teeth. The original relief on the actual cutting edges, on the OD of the cutter, should be the only relief that is necessary and it is already there.

              I only have one Woodruff cutter and it does not have any relief on the two sides of the teeth.



              Originally posted by 754 View Post
              Going to be tough to relieve the teeth, doing it with no tool grindng equipment.
              Paul A.

              Make it fit.
              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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              • #8
                I believe the Rockler key slot cutter has only 2 flutes. Grinding the clearance off-hand should be no big deal.

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                • #9
                  The trick is that they don't cut the center slot so that has to be done with a regular 2 flute end mill first
                  Neither do T slot cutters. OP, have have you looked through the available woodruff cutter sizes? As BC suggests, it can work. I've done oddball keyways with them a few times, just do multiple passes to get what you need
                  .

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                  • #10
                    Dremel 199 cutter I "think" will do...any box store will have them.....if only a slot or a few might work fine.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                      Neither do T slot cutters. OP, have have you looked through the available woodruff cutter sizes? As BC suggests, it can work. I've done oddball keyways with them a few times, just do multiple passes to get what you need
                      All my Woodruff cutters have 1/2" shanks. Have you tried putting one down a 3/8" slot? I haven't and science would say it wouldn't work.

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                      • #12
                        I was thinking the tougher problem to solve is the height of the cutter. they all, or the smaller ones, have reduced diameter sections near the cutter which may be enough, we don't know all the T slot dimensions. I don't know that it would work, but if T slots cutters for sure won't it gives something else to look at as it solves the height problem.

                        I'd just grind down a section of the shank with pin grinder but obviously but not everyone will have the tackle, but imo its lot more doable plan of attack than re-tool grinding the cutter thickness.

                        Of course how one comes at stuff depends on many things, like can the part be redesigned, whats its function, what equipment is available etc. With basic home shop stuff (assuming no tool grinder or surface grinder), I would say the best advise is 1) redesign, or 2) make a cutter. the later should be everyone's escape hatch when special tooling or machines aren't available, easy, gets the job done and greatly expands ones capabilities
                        .

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                          ...I was thinking the tougher problem to solve is the height of the cutter. they all, or the
                          smaller ones, have reduced diameter sections near the cutter which may be enough...
                          Woodruff cutters and T-slot cutters are made differently. If you look you will see that a true T-slot cutter has a
                          much longer reduced shank section to allow the tool to reach deeper into a part. A Woodruff cutter can be used
                          to cut slots as well but but won't work in all situations since the reduced shank section is usually much shorter.
                          They are normally used for cutting external keyways and don't need the extra relief on the shank. In either case,
                          though, you must first cut a groove with an endmill or slot drill before cutting the actual tee section...
                          Keith
                          __________________________
                          Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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                          • #14
                            Every T-slot I've seen or used has been for the purpose of clamping something to a table. As long as the t-bolt/t-nut fits reasonably well, does it matter if the slot is a few thou (or perhaps a fair bit more) larger? This is not a Space shuttle.
                            "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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                            • #15
                              Thank you one and all for suggestions on this topic. My problem was while searching for a cutter was referring to what I wanted as a T slot cutter. From woodworking, I believe this to imply a cutter that cuts along the shank, as well as the disc part of the tool. Anyway, what you suggested as a woodruff keyway cutter was what I needed. Had to order from India via eBay, but go the job done. Thanks again.

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