PDA

View Full Version : Starter Set of End Mills



dcrowder
28-01-2016, 08:02 PM
I'm trying to assemble myself my first set of end mills - and the more I look into them the more confused I get. Diamond bits, 2 flutes, 4 flutes, 1mm, 5mm, 10mm, ball nose, v cut... where do I stop????

Can anyone recommend say 12 bits - maybe more maybe less - that would do me for a variety of materials like wood, plastics, aluminium, fibreglass board, PCB etching? I haven't got one specific use for the machine and plan on using it for a variety of projects which would include cutting out panels and carving.

The machine is hobby grade but stronger than an OX or Shapeoko. I'm going to be using a 2.2kw spindle with an ER20 collet.

I'm expecting to be breaking the odd bit due to my rookieness so I don't want to be spending a fortune on the best coatings, materials etc...

Sorry if this has been asked loads - I epect it to be but I couldn't find the info I was after.

Cheers :)

Robin Hewitt
28-01-2016, 08:34 PM
Of course you are going to buy tooling in anticipation of them being useful. There are serious bargains to be had if you are prepared to wait for a slow boat from China. Get a wooden chest to keep them in, cardboard deteriorates after a couple of years. I have a wonderful collection, hundreds of them, I look at them occasionally, a bit like Scrooge delving through his ledgers :beer:

Rye
28-01-2016, 09:43 PM
Maybe I'm not the best person to get advice from being new to CNC, but as someone who has started in the deep-end - and still in the deep-end - I'd buy a few cheap Chinese single and 2 flute up-cut endmills for cutting and pocketing. Yes, they aren't amazingly sharp but they cut MDF, acrylic & aluminium reasonably well(for a while at least); and you aren't going to break the bank when you break them - and you will break them:) When you get a little more to grips, get hold of some better quality bits. I've bought a few from Shop-Apt. Maybe not the best in the world, but they cut through acrylic (and aluminium) far better than the Chinese - and leave a much better finish. Last longer too. Can't say I've had much use for ball-nose just yet, but you'll definitely find V-bits useful. I use those small 30 degree 0.2 mm & 0.1 mm bottom V-bits for engraving acrylic. The big cheap 60 & 90 degree Chinese V-bits that look like something out of rambo are great for large lettering, engraving and grooving too.

Wooden chest... hmm. Next project maybe :))

dcrowder
28-01-2016, 09:47 PM
Thanks for the advice - that's exactly the sort of info I want to hear :)

dcrowder
28-01-2016, 09:49 PM
Of course you are going to buy tooling in anticipation of them being useful. There are serious bargains to be had if you are prepared to wait for a slow boat from China. Get a wooden chest to keep them in, cardboard deteriorates after a couple of years. I have a wonderful collection, hundreds of them, I look at them occasionally, a bit like Scrooge delving through his ledgers :beer:

Looking at them and imagining all the things that they can do lol I can see myself doing it now :welcoming:

dcrowder
28-01-2016, 09:51 PM
What diameter mills are people using for say pocketing, cutting out and carving/profiling?

JAZZCNC
28-01-2016, 10:37 PM
What diameter mills are people using for say pocketing, cutting out and carving/profiling?

How longs a piece of string.? . . . What I'm meaning is it depends on the Job. If for instance you have pocket 100mm square your not going to use 3mm end mill with 50% step over. You'll want something wide to Hog the material out. Then you have material type etc.

The cutters you use will be more Job specific than one size or type fits all.
For learning then just buy a few cheap 2 flute endmills rangeing between 3 - 8mm and you'll do most work. For V-carving then 60 & 90 degree V bits will do most work, diameter isn't so important with V-bits.

When you are more comfortable then you'll buy endmills suited to the job and will soon find that quality endmills are worth the money. You'll also have preference on manufacturer or Range of mills.

dcrowder
28-01-2016, 11:17 PM
Yep I appreciate that a 2mm bit isn't going to be much kop at pocketing but where do you stop on diameter lol! I'm not expecting one size fits all more something along the lines of a basic assortment of bit types that'll get me by for starting out.

As has already been said - I'm going to be snapping bits so I'll be upgrading to posher bits once I know what I'm doing, as always I'm sure you get what you pay for!

Clive S
28-01-2016, 11:52 PM
Yep I appreciate that a 2mm bit isn't going to be much kop at pocketing but where do you stop on diameter lol! I'm not expecting one size fits all more something along the lines of a basic assortment of bit types that'll get me by for starting out.

As has already been said - I'm going to be snapping bits so I'll be upgrading to posher bits once I know what I'm doing, as always I'm sure you get what you pay for!

Personally I would concentrate on building the machine first as by then you would have a lot more experience and know what the machine is cable of.

JAZZCNC
29-01-2016, 01:29 PM
Yep I appreciate that a 2mm bit isn't going to be much kop at pocketing but where do you stop on diameter lol!

Exactly my point. . . It's job dependant.!! Provided you have the spindle power and machine is capable then In practice you'd use the largest size you feel you can get away with.

My comment of "How longs a piece of string" comes from all the variables invloved and Clive saying finish the machine is very relevent.
Machine strength makes huge difference to how cutter performs. Chatter is BIG killer of tooling and even if using cutting parameters that are well within cutters abilty if the machine is weak and resonates causing chatter then you'll like break the cutter.

2 Flute cutter is good general purpose tool for learning. Size will depend on Job and spindle power machine strength etc but just bare in mind small tooling breaks easier than large tooling and is more unforgiving of wrong cutting parameters.

Most common sizes I use are 3mm 4mm 6mm 8mm 10mm 12mm. With 4mm 6mm and 8mm being the most common. The larger ones I never break just wear out. 3mm break often before being worn out. This is often because of change in material while cutting ie: Sticky spot or chips not being cleared good enough. That is how critial cutting parameters and chip clearing can be on small tooling.

dcrowder
29-01-2016, 05:06 PM
More good advice Jazz thanks. I know I'm not going to get the definitive answer - I'm just after a good starting out point.

I know there is an argument for building it first but the last thing I want is to get the machine built, then have to wait for a week or two before bits turn up. When I was a young'un I got a computer for Christmas (286 12mhz - Total beast.. 1 meg of ram!) I opened the box and they'd forgot to put the keyboard in. It was over a week before they opened and all I could do was play a shooting game with the mouse (keyboards were expensive). I don't want to go there again ;)

Clive S
29-01-2016, 05:25 PM
When I was a young'un I got a computer for Christmas (286 12mhz - Total beast.. 1 meg of ram!) I wonder if you still have it as I am looking for a pc with an ISA slot:friendly_wink:

dcrowder
29-01-2016, 05:32 PM
for what reason may I ask? the 286 is long gone and only just ran windows 3.1 when it came out but I can always have a look to see what bits I have :)

dcrowder
29-01-2016, 05:40 PM
would this help? http://arstech.com/install/ecom-prodshow/usb2isar.html

Clive S
29-01-2016, 05:56 PM
for what reason may I ask? the 286 is long gone and only just ran windows 3.1 when it came out but I can always have a look to see what bits I have :)I am looking for a mb 286, 386, 486 anything with a slow ISA slot not cnc related it is to use a bit of dos software to program a few radios with the card plugged in the slot. The pc it was it is now US.

Edit Not sure that would do but thanks.