pic: A new End Mill from McMaster



Our main McMaster order got in a little while ago so they are being put to use and it’s a massive change from the destroyed end mills from last year. Some of the best are a 3/4th with 3 inch long flutes as well as a 1 inch with 1.5 inches of flutes. They make trimming the frame to size so much easier. And yes, that is 1*1 with 1/8th stock, it cuts like butter.

Next time you buy some new end mills, go for something without the TiN coating.

TiN is not a good coating for non ferrous metals. You’d do much better with TiCN. Absolutely avoid TiAlN or AlTiN for aluminum.

You should try some 3 flute carbide variable helix ZrN coated end mills. You can get them pretty cheap, and they cut like a dream on Al.

All but 3 end mills we ordered had the TiCN coating, but some were not available, that is why we have two of the kind as shown in the picture with a TiN coating, and one smaller end mill as well that was a weird size.

From what (rather small) amount of experience I have TiN coated endmills cut better then uncoated on plastics, aluminum, steel, stainless steel, and wood. This makes it worth the $1-3 that the coating adds to the cost, so when TiCN is not available I find it an acceptable alternative. We also do need steel parts from time to time, so we need to keep at least a few low-helix, TiN coated endmills.

I’ll be on the look out for those, any suggest for where to get them? I generally try and stay with 2 flute because they are always centercutting and they are hard for people to clog.

Try www.lakeshorecarbide.com

I ordered some of their 3 flute variable helix end mills for aluminum for use on a CNC mill, and they rock. They clear chips just as well as 2 flutes, but cut soooo smoothly, and leave perfectly formed chips and a great surface finish.

They’re ~$35 for a 1/2" end mill which may be expensive depending on what kind of tooling youve been purchasing, but they’re a great deal for us, since the previous 1/2" end mills I’ve been purchasing were ~$45 for 2 flute TiN coated carbide.

It’s cheaper then what we were buying last year, more expensive compared to most of what we bought this year.

Just wondering, what exactly is a ‘variable helix’? On their site the end mills look to have a very consistent helix to them, I can’t see such a subtle change to make any real difference.

Sorry, I made a typo. They’re high helix, variable flute*. The variable flute really makes these things rock. Since they don’t all meet in the center, it totally eliminates all resonance and harmonics. I’ve fed in excess of 200 inches per minute on our mill, and it just purrs. Same thing with extended length endmills. even side milling a 2" long part, with a 2.25" long endmill, there’s no chatter whatsoever.

That same 1/2" end mill that’s $35 from lakeshore is like $70-90 from Niagara, Hanita, SGS, etc.

I was going to comment about our huge McMaster order of end mills, but then I realized that YOU ARE FROM MY TEAM.

Also the minions will still manage to clog them :slight_smile:

Not if they recieve proper training before gaining access to the bridgeport which classes will begin after the season by Lawrence who manages to manually machine parts better than our cnc mill. Not only are the parts better but they are done faster and he wastes less of our material. However i use the term cnc mill lightly and when i mean i mean lowest of the light. Our so called CNC mill is actually a micro mill and it fails to cut he simplest bolt hole patterns. Maybe one of these days i will post a picture to let the whole first robotics world what not to buy in terms of cnc mills because this thing is awful.

BTW lawrence i was kidding about the classes eventhough it’s probaly a good idea.

Well…I don’t know if it’s the Mini Mill’s fault as much as it is that we don’t have the proper software…

Also apparently it’s not even supposed to be used for aluminum in the first place.

But yes, Lawry is an awesome miller :slight_smile: