What do those of you with horizontal mills do for swarf? I finally
got the Hardinge TM mill cranked up and cutting, and have found the
swarf much more obnoxious than lathe stuff. I probably need to
increase feeds to make bigger chunks, but a shield might contain some
of the mess, too.
Made an AR-15 style sight wrench, used the mill for the teeth. Cool
to finally get it going. Next project will probably be cutting
keyways in its new x-axis screw.
Don't need to go looking for it -- the mill generates plenty for
me without me asking. :-)
What speed and what size cutters -- on what material? I tend to
use low enough RPMs so the swarf all goes away from me, and run a shop
vac after every pass or two (this for example with a 6" diameter cutter
stack adding up to 1-3/8" wide, in 6061-T6 aluminum.
Normally, at a sane speed for standard milling cutters for
horizontal mill arbors, the chips will be flying away from you (at least
where I stand with a lever feed on a Nichols horizontal mill). Same if
I've switched to the leadscrew. Feeding the work towards me,
Now -- if you're using an end mill in a holder instead of
standard cutters on an arbor, your best bet is to stand there with a
shop vac sucking it up as it is created.
Not familiar with the AR-15 sight wrench, so I don't have a feel
for the amount of swarf which will be created, but I suspect that it is
fairly small compared to what I have been doing mostly.
Of course, in commercial operations, there is usually a coolant
pump, and the coolant carries away the swarf, at least until the screen
to separate the swarf from the coolant gets full. :-)
I need to look at the normal rotation direction again. I may have it
backwards. And measure the speed, although the chips aren't too hot,
so seems reasonable. But the chips are definitely going the wrong
way. I based it on the left handed nut on the end of the arbor, but
sometimes have trouble with that sort of thing, better with analog
I've just done conventional. I'm guessing climb milling for finish is
more of a concern with an end mill. Also, this lead screw is way to
worn to try it. I've got the materials for a new lead screw plus
nuts, just need to pull the old one, measure it again, and get to
Actually tiny for the wrench. I used a 0.062" wide cutter for the
wrench, just 4 prongs about 0.070" wide x .030" thick on 3/8" diameter
drill rod, drilled and bored to leave the .030" ring. Had the stock in
a 5C collet in the Hardinge dividing head, same collet as in the lathe
to do the turning. One of the nice things about this mill, 5C spindle
Test cuts with a 1" wide 3" diameter helical cutter on steel scrap
generated a fair amount.
Thanks, DoN. This mill has a pump, but I suspect it used oil, sump
isn't very large, probably about a gallon. I doubt I'll use it. I
will use the old x-axis feed gearbox, just need the right belt.
I don;'t have a horizontal mill, just vertical, but sometimes use
side milling cutters typical on a horizontal. They DO produce a LOT
of chips quickly! I have made two plexiglas shields that fit around the
table to contain the chips. You have to literally shovel them out after
Oh, no! If a large side mill digs in and pushes the table, it can easily
bend the arbor or cause other disasters. I think the larger the diameter
or the wider the width of the cut, the more dangerous a climb mill pass
can be. Id say ONLY if you have near zero-backlash screws should you
try climb milling on any heavy cut.
If you do aluminum, coolant is great! The main aim is to keep the
workpiece cool. If aluminum heats up even a little, it becomes much
more tricky to cut. Not far at all between oil smoking a little and
the cutter becoming a huge glob of (workpiece) metal. And, of course,
Thanks for the input, Jon. I was trying to say conventional doesn't
seem to recut chips on a horizontal as much as I'd suspect an end mill
in a pocket would. Gunner disagreed. I also said I wouldn't try climb
milling on a bet on this mill, because the leadscrew is way too worn.
As a matter of fact, the acme thread looks like a sharp v on top in
the middle of the screw. Screw and nuts need replacing bad, and will
Oh, MY! Yes, that's pretty bad wear. Also, a lot of differential
wear makes measuring off the screw pretty inaccurate, less a problem
on the X axis of a horizontal, but sometimes you need to stop at a
Yes, I pretty much agree with Gunner, climb really improves surface finish,
especially on Aluminum, and also helps protect the cutting edges.
With conventional, the tooth slides across the just-cut surface until
the pressure increases enough to punch through and start cutting.
With climb, the tooth hits the un-cut edge and immediately plunges
into the cut. This causes less wear. It also cleanly slices any
chips that spun around on the cutter.