Ping Morris: BRAND NEW CNC MACHINE BITS - $1?

Despite their come-on subject line, these thing mail easily ... might be something you're interested in:
http://houston.craigslist.org/tls/249321751.html
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Swingman (in Fa-dnT3VcKztQR_YnZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@giganews.com) said:
| Despite their come-on subject line, these thing mail easily ... | might be something you're interested in: | | http://houston.craigslist.org/tls/249321751.html
Absolutely. End mills work well as spiral upcut router bits.
Thanks! :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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Morris Dovey wrote:

So some of these will fit in a regular 1/2" collet router?
Please excuse the newbie question. I'm not very familiar with CNC stuff.
If so, I might see if my family in Houston can get some for me.
-Nathan
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N Hurst (in snipped-for-privacy@73g2000cwn.googlegroups.com) said:
| Morris Dovey wrote: || Swingman (in Fa-dnT3VcKztQR_YnZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@giganews.com) said: || ||| Despite their come-on subject line, these thing mail easily ... ||| might be something you're interested in: ||| ||| http://houston.craigslist.org/tls/249321751.html || || Absolutely. End mills work well as spiral upcut router bits. || || Thanks! :-) || || -- || Morris Dovey || DeSoto Solar || DeSoto, Iowa USA || http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html | | So some of these will fit in a regular 1/2" collet router? | | Please excuse the newbie question. I'm not very familiar with CNC | stuff. | | If so, I might see if my family in Houston can get some for me.
In general end mill shanks are the same diameter as the cutting edges and (again, in general) are available with two, three, or four "flutes" (cutting edges).
I'm partial to three-flute solid carbide center-cutting (which means that you can make a plunging cut) because the edges will last about 50% longer than a two-flute end mill or router bit, and because if I pause in making a cut, the three-flute bits don't mark the spot with "tooth marks".
When an end mill is sold as a router bit, its price magically goes up.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Ah, so if I called these people and asked for a price on a 1/2" 3 flute center cutting end mill bit, I could then use it on my router?
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N Hurst (in snipped-for-privacy@l12g2000cwl.googlegroups.com) said:
| Ah, so if I called these people and asked for a price on a 1/2" 3 | flute center cutting end mill bit, I could then use it on my router?
Absolutely. If it turns out that they don't have the 3-flute variety, ask for a 2-flute. I know a couple of guys who route with 4-flutes; but I haven't tried that myself - perhaps someone here who _has_ can advise.
If you also have a 1/4" collet, a handful of 1/4 inchers would probably be a good investment. The only other sizes that might be useful are 3/8" (but not all manufacturers make 3/8" collects available for all of their models) and 1/8" (which can be used with commonly-available adapters for 1/4" collets).
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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I emailed him and he was quick to email back with his list of stock - he apparently does have both 1/4" and 1/2" end mills. With shipping ($8 per order to NY), the prices were good, but not quite amazing enough to justify buying bits I don't need right now. $11 for a 1/4" 4-flute, $17 for a 1/2" 4-flute, plus shipping. If I could pick up one of each of these without paying shiping, I probably would, but I've already used up most of my early Christmas money on a mortising machine, so I'll be trying that instead of a router for mortises anyway... Andy
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Andy (in snipped-for-privacy@16g2000cwy.googlegroups.com) said:
|| If you also have a 1/4" collet, a handful of 1/4 inchers would || probably be a good investment. The only other sizes that might be || useful are 3/8" (but not all manufacturers make 3/8" collects || available for all of their models) and 1/8" (which can be used with || commonly-available adapters for 1/4" collets). | | I emailed him and he was quick to email back with his list of stock | - he apparently does have both 1/4" and 1/2" end mills. With | shipping ($8 per order to NY), the prices were good, but not quite | amazing enough to justify buying bits I don't need right now. $11 | for a 1/4" 4-flute, $17 for a 1/2" 4-flute, plus shipping. If I | could pick up one of each of these without paying shiping, I | probably would, but I've already used up most of my early Christmas | money on a mortising machine, so I'll be trying that instead of a | router for mortises anyway...
Andy...
Those aren't bargain prices. :-(
I've found that KBC Tools (www.kbctools.com) in Detroit and MLCS (www.mlcswoodworking.com in PA, who doesn't charge for shipping) are good sources of low-priced high-quality end mills and router bits.
I don't have any association with either, except as a well-satisfied customer of both.
When you have time available, it might well be worth checking out local (metalworking) tool suppliers.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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Morris Dovey wrote:

I too have had good luck with MLCS. I've never heard of KBC though. I'll put them on the list for the next time I need some bits.
Thanks for the advice, Morris. I'll start to monitor eBay and other places for CNC stuff to in my trolling for decent prices. :-)
-Nathan
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Morris Dovey wrote:

True, Morris ... but Greenfield isn't a junk bit, either. As a die-maker, I remember we used to always hope that that is what would come back when we requested a tap. Hard enough to cut, ductile enough to last a while before snapping off deep in a hole. ;-)
There was also a "Made in Yugoslavia" brand of tap that gave us good life.
Nothing quite like the soft 'snick' sound a tap makes when snapping off in a hardened hole in an all-but-complete part.
My stomach just knotted up again. :-(
Bill
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Bill in Detroit (in snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com) said:
| Morris Dovey wrote: | || Andy... || || Those aren't bargain prices. :-( || | | True, Morris ... but Greenfield isn't a junk bit, either. As a | die-maker, I remember we used to always hope that that is what would | come back when we requested a tap. Hard enough to cut, ductile | enough to last a while before snapping off deep in a hole. ;-) | | There was also a "Made in Yugoslavia" brand of tap that gave us | good life. | | Nothing quite like the soft 'snick' sound a tap makes when snapping | off in a hardened hole in an all-but-complete part. | | My stomach just knotted up again. :-(
I'm not qualified to talk about metalworking - and I didn't mean for anyone to have unpleasant recollections. (As proof of the lack of qualification, I can offer that the only time I've ever broken a tap was in aluminum - and that I've never tried to machine anything harder than brass.)
For woodworking purposes, I've found that there are some bargains available from metalworking tool producers/vendors. I'm still scratching my head over the consistant difference in prices between end mills and upcut spiral router bits; and have found some (end mills) that seem to hold up particularly well - but for all I know they may not be wonderful as metalworking tools.
Your experienced input is much appreciated.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Morris, you and I have no dispute. I think that I can see your point now. We were simply looking at the same numbers from different perspectives.
My experience is in the metal working trade and that is the lens which I see through. From that perspective, a very small difference in the metallurgy can yield a very big difference in use. OTOH, from your perspective (and the correct perspective for this group) ANY metal-working tool bit is likely to prove more than a match for the tasks at hand ... cutting wood and some related materials ... all of which are several orders of magnitude softer than most metal I encountered as a die-maker.
Yup ... even the lesser grades of metalworking tools is sufficiently tough for woodworking ... and likely far stronger than tool bits intended solely for woodworking. So, while the Greenfield bits are worth every penny in a tool room, in the wood shop they have to compete on price because ALL of their competition can meet the lower standards of lumber machining.
BTW, what numbers do you use for chip load in your CNC stuff when you calculate feeds and speeds? Or do you simply have 'ballpark' figures to start with and tweak as you go?
Bill
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Bill in Detroit (in snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com) said:
| Morris Dovey wrote: | || || For woodworking purposes, I've found that there are some bargains || available from metalworking tool producers/vendors. I'm still || scratching my head over the consistant difference in prices between || end mills and upcut spiral router bits; and have found some (end || mills) that seem to hold up particularly well - but for all I know || they may not be wonderful as metalworking tools. | | Morris, you and I have no dispute. I think that I can see your point | now. We were simply looking at the same numbers from different | perspectives.
I think you're right; and I have to admit that I'm woefully ignorant about nearly everything in the metalworking arena - including the tooling. Most of what I've learned has been from reading tool catalogs and making inferences about what things are for and how they (probably) work - not a particularly good learning method; but better than absolute total ignorance.
| My experience is in the metal working trade and that is the lens | which I see through. From that perspective, a very small difference | in the metallurgy can yield a very big difference in use. OTOH, | from your perspective (and the correct perspective for this group) | ANY metal-working tool bit is likely to prove more than a match for | the tasks at hand ... cutting wood and some related materials ... | all of which are several orders of magnitude softer than most metal | I encountered as a die-maker.
There are times when I've envied your kind of experience. There've been times when I've wanted to make a machine (or even just an improved machine /part/) and been frustrated because I couldn't make it from anything I had the tools (or the experience) to work. I've promised myself that before the end of 2007 I'll get a mini milling machine and add stepper motors so that I can try making at least some of the smaller parts. Famous last words: "How difficult can it be?" <g>
| Yup ... even the lesser grades of metalworking tools is sufficiently | tough for woodworking ... and likely far stronger than tool bits | intended solely for woodworking. So, while the Greenfield bits are | worth every penny in a tool room, in the wood shop they have to | compete on price because ALL of their competition can meet the | lower standards of lumber machining.
Yes, I've seen that the metalworking tools do tend to be tougher. I'm a bit slower to accept the "lower standards" part, though. Metalworkers and woodworkers, in spite of a sizable body of common methods and tooling, are actually working to solve very different problems arising from working on materials with _very_ different properties.
| BTW, what numbers do you use for chip load in your CNC stuff when | you calculate feeds and speeds? Or do you simply have 'ballpark' | figures to start with and tweak as you go?
My maximum feed speed is limited by the slow PC (a 200MHz PII) that drives my CNC routers to just over 90"/min, so that's become the starting parameter for most of what I do. I do a WAG at an appropriate spindle speed (usually somewhere between 14K and 20K RPM) based on size of bit, number of flutes, how much of a dent my thumbnail can make in scrap, and how much sleep I got the night before...
I nearly always do a bit of test cutting on scrap; and make adjustments (usually just to spindle speed) by listening to the cut with the DC turned off. My spindle is nearly silent so what I hear is the sound of the cutting - and when the parameters are right the sound seems smoother ("happier", in my personal shop jargon.) I also look at the chips that are being produced to make sure they're large enough to carry away the heat.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Morris Dovey wrote:

My reference point for 'lower standards' is just based on the number of decimal places in the print tolerances. It goes no further.
I do not intend to imply sloppy workmanship in either case. Both trades require an intimate understanding of the materials in order to get the best results from the available tools. I've cut titanium to never, never tolerances (millionths). I probably spent about 6 months of 10 hour days too focused to smile or stop for lunch. At the end of those six months there probably wasn't anybody on the planet who knew more about getting the last drop of performance from a P&W Horizon IV. WIth 100% inspection of all dims on all parts, I had one failure in 10,000 parts. No problem, we had made an extra 100.
Now I wrestle with getting a wiping varnish finish right without buffing. I can come close (close enough to buff & bluff) ... but I'm not there yet.
I'll get it, though.
Morris ... I know some folks come here from a machinist background and figure they have some sort of bragging rights. And they do.
In a machine shop.
But not in a wood shop.
SOME of what I learned as a machinist transfers. In fact, I think I might have a leg up on some when it comes to machine setup. (Work setup is a different animal.) I know how to draw things. I know how to measure angles and points on an angle. I still have a 12" and 6" caliper and can set a sine bar to set an angle. From time to time, these skills and tools come in useful (actually I get a lot of use from the calipers).
But I'm not an accomplished woodworker yet.
Yet.
Bill
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| Morris Dovey wrote: | | > Yes, I've seen that the metalworking tools do tend to be tougher. I'm | > a bit slower to accept the "lower standards" part, though. | > Metalworkers and woodworkers, in spite of a sizable body of common | > methods and tooling, are actually working to solve very different | > problems arising from working on materials with _very_ different | > properties. | | My reference point for 'lower standards' is just based on the number of | decimal places in the print tolerances. It goes no further.
Yuppers (I understood.) The "number of decimal places" consideration in woodworking depends a lot on the work being done. For some kinds of work, it goes away almost completely; and for other kinds of work, it's still very much there (although tolerances beyond ten-thousandths seem to be meaningless because of wood's "mushiness").
Originally, I'd thought that three decimal places were overkill - but as I began exploring some of the joints (that seem to be) only possible with CNC equipment, I discovered the need for a fourth decimal place and ended up building a machine that'd deliver it. Designing and building that machine (mostly from wood) was one of the most interesting learning experiences I've ever had.
| I do not intend to imply sloppy workmanship in either case. Both trades | require an intimate understanding of the materials in order to get the | best results from the available tools. I've cut titanium to never, never | tolerances (millionths). I probably spent about 6 months of 10 hour days | too focused to smile or stop for lunch. At the end of those six months | there probably wasn't anybody on the planet who knew more about getting | the last drop of performance from a P&W Horizon IV. WIth 100% inspection | of all dims on all parts, I had one failure in 10,000 parts. No problem, | we had made an extra 100.
A good brag! I can recognize that even though I can't even begin to imagine what it'd take to achieve that kind of accuracy. I've worked on projects involving those kinds of tolerances, but the tools were electron beam and optics; and involved only a single surface. I'm impressed just to hear that those kinds of results are possible with mechanical systems.
| Now I wrestle with getting a wiping varnish finish right without | buffing. I can come close (close enough to buff & bluff) ... but I'm not | there yet. | | I'll get it, though.
Of course - AFAICT it's a matter of practice and experience. Producing a fine finish isn't one of my skills. Most of what I make is either left unfinished or covered with Latex, so it hasn't been much of an issue for me. None of which keeps me from admiring beautiful work when I see it.
| Morris ... I know some folks come here from a machinist background and | figure they have some sort of bragging rights. And they do. | | In a machine shop. | | But not in a wood shop.
Too quick. Anyone, who produces anything that's useful or beautiful gets bragging rights as far as I'm concerned - and I silently award major bonus points for original creative efforts and clearly superior traditional work. Everyone seems to have a slightly different perspective on what's "good", which keeps things interesting. I suppose that's just another way of saying: "Everybody's an art critic." My personal joke (on myself) is that as an artist, I'm a passable engineer...
| SOME of what I learned as a machinist transfers. In fact, I think I | might have a leg up on some when it comes to machine setup. (Work setup | is a different animal.) I know how to draw things. I know how to measure | angles and points on an angle. I still have a 12" and 6" caliper and can | set a sine bar to set an angle. From time to time, these skills and | tools come in useful (actually I get a lot of use from the calipers). | | But I'm not an accomplished woodworker yet.
I suspect that a lot transfers. As for being an "accomplished" woodworker, I've discovered that no matter how far one travels, the horizon stays out of reach. I've done things beyond what I ever dreamt I could - but I doubt that I'll ever be able to think of myself as an "accomplished" woodworker.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/collectors.html
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Morris Dovey wrote:

I'm waiting for the day when Planman takes a look at my work, whistles to himself, steps back to take another look and then turns to me to ask:
"How much?"
Now THAT'S 'accomplished! :-)))))))
Bill
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"Morris Dovey" wrote in message

I use a four flute 3/8 end mill for most mortise cutting with my Multi-Router (PC 690 motor) ... they work well and last a long time.
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Strangely enough they work batter and last longer than carbide bits straight bits.
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I'm not really conversant on this, just thought, if you are not gonna plunger when routing, you need not ask for center cutter, yes?
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bent (in 1166236331 snipped-for-privacy@sp6iad.superfeed.net) said:
| I'm not really conversant on this, just thought, if you are not | gonna | plunger when routing, you need not ask for center cutter, yes?
You're right. If the bit enters the work from the side, then the cutting edges on the end of the bit aren't used. In fact, a non-center-cutting bit can usually be ramped down into soft materials like wood.
Having said that, I haven't found a cost penalty for center-cutting mills and so I choose those that provide the greatest flexibility of use.
It's probably worth mentioning that most of my cutting operations involve plunge-type bit entry - even for non-stopped cross grain dados because doing so results in very much less tear-out at the edges of the workpiece - and, in fact, I normally begin cutting such a dado by making a full-depth plunge at the end where the cut will end, to minimize tear-out at the end of the cut that actually produces the dado.
That's probably more answer than you wanted. :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/StirlingProject.html
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