Cheep Face Mills / Indexable End Mills?

Today I had a hot job that needed to get done but we didn't have the correct size (3" x 2.5" aluminum) stock on hand, so I had to use what was available (3.5" x 3.5") and saw cut as much off as possible and finish it with a face mill.

Problem is that the shop only has a 1.5" dia. face mill so I had to make twice the number of passes to finish the job and while this wasn't really a big deal, it was an added annoyance.

The other problem is that getting the boss to buy any tooling is like pulling teeth, so I figured I'd buy my own larger dia. face mill (with the boss springing for the inserts) but I don't want to spend an arm and a leg on one ($50 would be cool).

So does anybody know where I can get an El-Cheepo 3" dia. R8 shank face mill / indexable end mill?

By the way, what's the preferred term for this tool? I've always called 'em "face mills" but I see the same tool being labeled as an "indexable end mill" by some vendors. This is the type of tool I'm talking about;

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And ya, I know a fly cutter would have had a large enough dia. to have cleaned up the surface of the part in one pass but I wouldn't have been able to take off as much material in one pass with it and.... I just hate those things.

Reply to
Hari Seldon
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Do you suppose the boss won't buy the proper tooling because he knows that you will?

If you finish a job twice as fast with the proper tooling, who gets to keep the extra money earned?

Do the best job you can with the tooling you're given. If the boss won't spring for the proper equipment, that's his problem.

BTW, I'm not a disgruntled employee, I'm a shop owner.

Oh, one more thing.... I'm sorry I don't actually know the answer to your question.

Reply to
Dave Lyon

Ain't gonna happen for less that about two hundred plus, new. And make sure to check if that includes an R-8 shank.

Or follow Ebay for "face mill", like this one, which uses a very common type insert.

Reply to
Brian Lawson

As the well documented flycutter coward amongst us, I'm surprise that it has not been suggested. Flycutters can be inexpensive, and would probably do a fine job. Dave makes a good point: consider making the boss pay for it. See Enco for inexpensive import flycutters and square tool bits.

BTW, don't take my word for anything re flycutters: I've never used one, though that will change next week.


Reply to
Bill Schwab

To put this in perspective, the company I work for is a fairly young company and only has around 30 employees in total, with the machine shop dept. having all of 4 guys.

I suspect two things are responsible for the penny-pinching when it comes to tooling and such; the boss (plant manager) is a white collar management type of guy and while he's cool to work for, he's not a former machinist and thus kinda freaks out when he sees the prices of needed stuff;

"You mean $2.50 only buys us _one_ of these tiny little face mill inserts?"

The other thing is that the "old timer" in the machine shop brought a lot of gear with him when they formed the dept. around 10 years ago (instead of sending the work outside) and so the company didn't have to buy much of the stuff it normally would have.

There's no I in team....

I don't have a problem buying my own tooling if the price is reasonable and it's something I'll have for many years (like a face mill) and can take with me if I move on to a different employer. But I ain't buying "consumables" like inserts, end mills, drills and such.

And it's been my experience that since smaller family owned type companies have more interaction between management and the employees, they actually appreciate an employee that does a good job and this is factored in when one needs some time off or something and when it comes time to share the wealth or kick someone to the curb.

With big companies on the other hand, you're just a number and whether you do a good job or not (unless you're a total screw-up) nobody notices and even if they do notice, it won't get you anything.

Yes, but I'm still the one who has to get the job done and I'm the one who is _directly_ affected by the lack of proper tooling (or at least tooling that makes the job go smoother).

Reply to
Hari Seldon

One of the other guys in the dept. has a fly cutter and I do use it occasionally but I prefer taking more material off with fewer passes.

It's a personal experiance thing, the last place I worked for had a bunch of differant size face mills so we never needed to use a fly cutter. I just don't like them.

Reply to
Hari Seldon

The Penn Tool link I provided shows a 3" R8 face mill for $140 which while still too rich for my blood, isn't that expensive.

Good idea, why didn't I think of that?

Reply to
Hari Seldon

You want to get in touch with your E's. Experience. Different. Not all words are spelled the way you mispronounce them.

Reply to
Dave Baker

You actually took time out of your day to reply with a spelling flame?

Reply to
Hari Seldon

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