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View Full Version : TCT Router cutters in a mill running at 4000 RPM



suesi34e
23-02-2014, 08:50 PM
Dear All,

I have TCT cutters designed for my router most run at between 8000 RPM to 24000RPM in a hand held or fixed router. What I would really like to know is ifanyone has successfully used such cutters in a mill to cut wood, my mill runsat 4000 RPM max. Any advice on this area would be very interesting to me.

If I try the cutters and have any luck I will try and post something about it.

Many thanks for any help

All the best

Suesi

EddyCurrent
23-02-2014, 10:08 PM
I get very poor results at those low speeds unless of course they are very large diameter cutters and hence have a high peripheral speed.
At those speeds they also tend to grab the wood and send it flying if you're not careful.

suesi34e
23-02-2014, 10:24 PM
Hi Eddy,

Thank you for the reply and info. I was pleased I had areply on this but it does not sound like a promising prospect using routercutters at a low speed. That is a shame!

All the best

Suesi

m_c
23-02-2014, 11:57 PM
One thing worth mentioning is you really shouldn't machine wood on metalworking machines, especially ones that aren't well sealed.
They really aren't designed to handle the inevitable sawdust which will work it's way in to places it shouldn't, and clog things up.

suesi34e
24-02-2014, 09:01 PM
Hi m_c

Tar very much for letting me know you shouldn't machine wood on a mill. Themanual says that you can machine wood on it but with what you have said I willnot do that the last thing I want is to damage my machine. I will go by whatyou say having read many of your posts. Thanks again you could have saved me alot of trouble.

All the best

Suesi

Jonathan
24-02-2014, 10:38 PM
I once cut plywood a wind turbine blade on my milling machine with a TCT router bit, long before I'd made the CNC router. Due to the potential problems from the dust I taped paper to the machine to stop the dust getting on the slides too much, then cleaned and oiled everything thoroughly afterwards. The chipload can be kept quite high - I used something like 0.2-0.3mm chipload at 2150rpm. I think it was a 1/2" cutter. The milling machine is obviously very strong compared to a router, so you can push it quite fast. Not something I would do remotely regularly though...

EddyCurrent
24-02-2014, 10:44 PM
You could always rig up a dust extractor which is mostly essential for wood, also a bigger cutter will help.

suesi34e
24-02-2014, 10:59 PM
Hi Jonathan,

Thank you for the info, I have thought of a way I could make a false table tocover most area from dust with the aid of extraction in mind. However, it doesnot sound all that successful running the TCT router cutters at a slow speed soI wonder if I am better just sticking with the normal materials for when itcomes to the mill. I do not want to cause issues at this stage as I am not upon CNC matters as it is just learning, well trying too!

I think they are your build logs at the bottom of your msg I look forward tohave a look at them for sure

All the best

Suesi

suesi34e
24-02-2014, 11:06 PM
Hi EddyCurrent,

Thank you for your help I thought about the extraction side of things but whatI am hearing is the cutters will not work all that well at slow speed anyway.It is a shame as I would like to have made a few little bits out of wood!

Many thanks

Suesi

Fivetide
25-02-2014, 12:08 AM
You could always rig up a dust extractor which is mostly essential for wood, also a bigger cutter will help.

I stand there with my vac following the cutter.. no dust so far. Did try to make a boot but failed completely.. MDF's the worst I find, blow you nose and it looks like a miners ear !

suesi34e
25-02-2014, 12:27 AM
Hi Fivetide,

Thank you for your post. Are you machining wood if so at what speed and are you using tct cutters?

Many thanks

Suesi

Fivetide
25-02-2014, 10:11 AM
Hi Suesi, I tend to use whatever settings are recomended in my tool path software. They have far more experience at that sort of thing than me. Im Lucky as my spindle will hit 50k rpm if needed.

11704

EddyCurrent
25-02-2014, 10:25 AM
Hi EddyCurrent,

Thank you for your help I thought about the extraction side of things but whatI am hearing is the cutters will not work all that well at slow speed anyway.It is a shame as I would like to have made a few little bits out of wood!

Many thanks

Suesi


It might be that if you used a hard wood, hard as in 'aluminium like', you may have more success, but even so I'm cutting aluminium on my pin router that's designed for wood but I find it likes a speed of about 8000 to 10000 rpm with a 6mm spiral cutter designed for aluminium.

Janka hardness test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test)
http://workshoppages.com/WS/Misc/Wood-Hardness-Chart.pdf

GEOFFREY
25-02-2014, 03:57 PM
Unless you use a very large diameter cutter you will only "chew" most timber at 4000 rpm.This is where the horses for courses bit comes in. Milling machines are generally very rigid and are designed to cut metals and harder materials, but do not usually have high speed spindles. Routers on the other hand do usually have high speed spindles and are used predominately for softer materials. If you really want to cut timber (I seem to think that your first post referred mainly to cutting metal) I think you will need to become a "dab hand" at using abrasive paper!! Good luck. G.

suesi34e
25-02-2014, 10:51 PM
Hi EddyCurrent,

Thank you for your thoughts, what you say makes sense. I think I will keep myeye out for a nice CNC router for future projects in wood. There seems to besome good spec ones from China to import. I had a look at your router build logamazing what a job you did. I watched the YouTube video too. I glad all thehard work turned out to be so worthwhile. I hope things go well for you.

All the best

Suesi

suesi34e
25-02-2014, 10:58 PM
Thanks Geoffrey,

Thank you for your post. What I am hearing from you guys TCT cutters, slowspeeds and wood are far from an ideal match. I will look out for a good CNCrouter when ready for one!

If you or anyone finds a great starting source for just getting going on a CNCmill it would be very gratefully received a starting guide or pitfalls toavoid!

Many thanks

Suesi

JAZZCNC
25-02-2014, 11:34 PM
If you or anyone finds a great starting source for just getting going on a CNCmill it would be very gratefully received a starting guide or pitfalls toavoid!

Can't beat on the job learning so just get on with using it and you'll pick it up has you go along.! . . . Experience wins every time so get experiencing. .:yahoo:

EddyCurrent
26-02-2014, 08:43 AM
Some good books here
Engineering - Books - DVDs & Books | Axminster.co.uk (http://www.axminster.co.uk/dvds-books/books/engineering)
Video crash course in milling
Crash Course in Milling: Chapter 1 - Basic Machine Anatomy, by Glacern Machine Tools - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U99asuDT97I)

It's best to make sure you know good practice and good habits first, there's nothing worse than someone who is experienced in bad habits.

Neale
26-02-2014, 02:37 PM
If I needed to cut wood and didn't have a high-speed spindle, I would cheerfully use my milling machine. And have done. Yes, you need to clamp the work down firmly, you need to take care with feed speed, etc. No, the finish might not be great, and yes, you do need to cover up slides and screws for protection against dust. Newspaper works well! It's as much of a compromise as using a handheld router to cut aluminium (people on this forum have done this - but you need to be very aware of what you are doing) or using a wood-cutting bandsaw to cut aluminium (I do that all the time, and accept that blade wear might be a bit high). But it can work - might get you out of a hole for the odd job. Just don't make a habit of it!

suesi34e
26-02-2014, 06:56 PM
Hi EddyCurrent,

Many thanks for the links I have watched the YouTube videos they are great and feature some nice kit. I may buy a book or two from Axminster when I next place an order.

Many thanks

Suesi

suesi34e
26-02-2014, 07:02 PM
Hi Neale

Many thanks for your post and thoughts. I think I willlearn on plastic and aluminum first and use wood as a last resort. I see whatyou mean about when machining certain materials some compromises have to bemade.

Many thanks

Suesi