Let’s be honest with each other, we all love getting new tools. Getting your hands on a new saw or cutting tool or even an altimeter drives excitement and you instantly find yourself looking for anything that needs to be trimmed, cut, or measured. When you get an end mill that you’ve never used, before you lose yourself in tooling euphoria, do these three things to make your machining experience all that is can be.
Symptoms of tooling glee can often lead to over-aggressive cutting. It’s important to push your new tools to know what they can do, but you’ll most likely break something in the process. You should definitely get things set up, throw some appropriate material into the vise, and start cutting, but be prepared to lose your new end mill, just in case. When you buy a new cutting tool, buy extra.
Cruise the web for chip-load and feeds and speeds recommendations for your chosen tool. Everything can make a difference – number of flutes, type of coating, etc. A lot of valuable info about these kinds of recommendations can be found in the Machinery’s Handbook. You can also use the G-Wizard Calculator by Bob Warfield at CNC Cookbook.
If you have a new tool, you need to add it to your tooling libraries in both CAM and PathPilot. Make sure to properly mount your tool in the proper tool holder and take meticulous measurements – the last thing you want to do use that extra end mill because of a crash. The video below goes over tooling libraries: