Milling Machine Advice again

Received wisdom to date:

  1. Belt drives produce a better finish than geared head machines
  2. Belt drives better for novices, accidents tend to leave both operator and machine in recoverable state
  3. Stick with HSS cutters for hobby use, they are capable of being re-sharpened cheaply and tend to be sharper than equivalent carbide cutters which don't sustain quite an edge.
  4. Milling chuck is essential, needs to be retained on drawbar and collets should positively lock on cutter eg threaded shanks
  5. For hobby use stick with slot drills as they perform reasonably well as end-mills so no need to buy both.

Are these points reasonably true?



Reply to
Loading thread data ...

I tend to use some HSS & some carbide (whatever I've got lying around if I'm honest). If looked after a quality carbide cutter (NOT the crap that they peddle on many stands at the ME exhibitions) should last almost indefinately for hobby use -and if cutting cast iron they will go through hard spots effortlessly. But quality carbide cutters do tend to cost £15 -£30 each, which is a bit steep for hobby use -but not as expensive as buying a cutter grinder to keep sharpening HSS cutters. For removing large amounts of material I'd definately advise a tipped cutter, and replacement tips are only a few pounds.


No. An ER type collet chuck will hold any cutter very well, and as the collets have a 1mm range they cover metric and imperial (12-13mm will grip

1/2", etc.). Far more convenient to use, and cutters don't pull out if correctly tightened in.

Depends if you want to plunge with the cutter or not, most end mills are not centre cutting -so slot drills are probably more versatile.

Just my thoughts



Reply to
Kevin Steele

Personaly i would go for Disposable end mills (mini mills or FC3 cutters) from somewhere like RS or J&L good range of sizes up to 12.7mm 3 flutes, centre cutting, and versitile... only draw back is they have relativly short flutes, but they are much more robust than standard slot drill because of it, and will last longer

Reply to
Tim Bird

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.