Multi- Insert Milling Cutters

I have recently acquired a couple of old Face Mills with indexable inserts. I don't have any previous experience of working with this type
of cutter. One is a 125mm 6 insert type, the other is a 3 inch dia. 4 insert type. They are probably obsolete as far as the manufacturers are concerned, but it seems a shame to scrap them if they can be made to work (goes against the grain).
The inserts are marked SECO S25K on the 125mm dia. one. They are for a face milling head manufactured by Walter,
The other head has inserts marked Ste S2F.
The insert marked SECO S25K is a double sided "flat ended" triangular one with no hole about 22mm side and 4mm thick.
The one marked Ste S2F is a triangle about 21mm across with a chip breaker and 5.5mm dia. hole.
There are no other markings at all. Does anyone know what these are and if they are still obtainable, and if not, is there a suitable substitute available?
Whilst I appreciate that there are different inserts for different materials, angle of approach, types of cut (e.g. finishing, roughing), chip breaking etc. how critical is it to get absolutely the correct original insert?
Also are there any specific instructions or tips available on how to align these cutters? I assume that the inserts must be very accurately aligned at the tips to get the best finish.
Thanks
Tony
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Inserts will always be available from someone. Ask your local supplier.

It isn't. Every manufacturer will have their own variants and they tend to perform better and better as time goes by.

Easiest way is to make a flat ended, hardened tip for a dial gauge, mount that under the cutter and tweak each insert until they read the same. -- Dave Baker Puma Race Engines www.pumaracing.co.uk Camp American engineer minces about for high performance specialist (4,4,7)
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tony wrote:

You really want to make friends with a tooling supplier. Like as not the inserts are of a standard size and type, and would be available from any of the major makers. In the chance that they are a proprietary insert, they may be able to suggest alternatives, if the inserts are not available. See if you can aquire the catalogs of a couple of the different makers (Seco, Carbaloy, Sandvik, Iscar, etc.) Aside from being and eye opener to the incredible variety of materials and specialised geometries that are available in inserts, they contain charts or other info that reflect the makers intended range of speeds and feeds as well as the intended material application.
The tooling supplier should be able to put you onto some reasonably priced general purpose inserts based on the info he will want, such as what material you cut the most, and what kind of machine is at your disposal. In the industrial production setting, esp. when strange alloys are at hand, the exact right cutter can be important. In a home shop or even in a onsey twosey environment, there is more leeway to pick a general purpose cutter and not worry too much about it.
If the cutter pocket is clean, and the correct cutters are being used, the cutters should all seat accurately. This is why they are used, so that cutters could be changed out without haveing to reset anything else in the setup. The clamping of the cutters should be accurate by default.
Speeds and feeds are the biggest factor in surface finish. If the correct tips do not line up by default, the holder has something wrong with it, and is so much scrap if it cannot be repaired.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Thanks for your suggestions gentlemen. I will have a chat with our local Cromwell rep when he calls in!
Tony
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