Custom T-slot cutter

I'm slotting, and then enlarging the ID of a 1/2 x 1" x 1/8 wall alum rect
tube with a 1/4" T-slot cutter (about .235 x .563). The nominal ID of this
tube is .25 x .75, and I am enlarging it to about .320 x .760. Any given
roughing or finish "cycle" will require 4 passes -- which add up on 80"
This is being done on a gantry mill, flood coolant pressure is limited, so
chip removal is a bit of an issue.
Would it be prohibitive to have a .320 x .760 custom cutter made? 1/4
T-slot cutters are anywhere from $30 to $100, in HSS or cobalt, staggered
tooth. Haven't seen carbide.
Will a custom cutter cut as well as a stock cutter? Will limited chip
clearance nix this strategy from the gitgo?
Any sources for getting one made?
I won't be doing this forever. When I work out the bugs of the basic
design, I will bite the bullet and have this form extruded from a mill.
But I will proly be doing this for a while, so if it's at all practical and
can make my life less effingly miserable in the meantime, I'd go for it.
Reply to
Existential Angst
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You could ask a tool grinder to quote reducing a larger cutter to your spec, such as this TSC 024 which is 0.328 x 0.781 :
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Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I could proly use that, AS IS!! I'd prefer .760, but I can lose .010 on each side, for now. The .328 is fine, proly wouldn't cost much to trim the diam a hair, if need be. Eventually, I'd like to go carbide, if the extrusion stuff gets delayed, but it sure is good to have options.
But I can try this, just to see if one-pass cutting is viable. And $63 is not out of line at all. You know, I wasn't paying attention to decimal-equivalent dimensions.... Had I realized this, I"da bought one of these a while ago! I figgered I was lucky to have the 1/4" cutter work at all. Good lookin out!
Reply to
Existential Angst
practical and
A good tool grind shop can easily make a 2 flute tool like that out of an expended 1in endmill.
Oftentimes it's more cost-effective to buy solid material than it is to buy hollow extrusion, something to consider since you are having to mill it anyways.
Reply to
Loc-line T fitting, runner hose, feed it into the end of the tube to flush the chips out.
Reply to
Steve Walker
Of course it depends on how many parts you'll have to cut, but I would go for a custom made solid HM cutter. As long as you're not doing full size slotting cuts you can have a larger number of teeth for faster feed. No need for any fancy staggered or helical teeth profile. And since you'll plunge in sideways you just need a few degrees of backward taper on top & bottom to keep the cutter from smearing.
Reply to
J. Nielsen
One thing about staggered teeth, it halves the feedrate.
Reply to

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