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Best All Around Face Miil for Bridgeport Step Pulley 1hp?

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Janderso

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#1
I read recently the Bridgeport is not sturdy enough to run a 3” face mill.
I purchased a 3” face mill 45 degree with the round inserts on EBay for a good price. Used with no holder. I was hoping to conjure up a mounting system for this face mill but I wanted to verify what I think may be internet bs?
What is a great overall face mill for my 1970 step pulley?
I will cut primarily mild steel and aluminum.
Best size if you can only afford one?
What degree ?
What inserts?
Thank you,
Jeff
 

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benmychree

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#2
I would be looking for a 1-1/2 or 2" diameter face mill with integral R8 shank, using 3/8 IC triangular positive rake inserts; a BP does not have the power or rigidity to run the face mill that your pictures show. When I had a BP style machine (it was a Induma, made in Italy) I used facemills with 90 degree oriented inserts, so that I could mill (relatively) square shoulders. If you want an especially nice finish, remove all the inserts except one, then you have a flycutter!
 
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darkzero

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#3
2.5" is about the max recommended for R8 taper. You can use bigger but you can't hog, just light milling/facing but IMO a fly cutter will give you a better finish for just facing. For 1 HP, 2" is a good size. 45° with positive inserts is best as it is more free cutting but you won't be able to mill to a shoulder. I'd stay away from any facemills that use negative geometry inserts unless you have rigidity & power. Shell facemills like the one you posted that use a separate arbor have more stick out from the spindle so generally it will reduce rigidity.

I have a RF45 style mill/drill & my largest FM is a Glacern 2.5" 45° with integral shank. It works pretty good but I mostly use a 2" Dorian Recycle Cutter FM. It's called a recycle cutter cause it uses the unused edges of CCMT/CCGT inserts. I use CCGT inserts a lot for turning so the inserts are basically "free" to use in that 2" FM.

I also have 1" FM that uses APKT inserts. These inserts are also common so they won't break the bank & can mill to a shoulder. But the 1" is not actually a facemill, it's really just an indexable endmill.

My rule of thumb for purchasing any indexable tool, is base it on what type of inserts it uses rather than how much the tool cost. Often people will buy a used indexable tool cause the price is right but many times the inserts that it uses might be very expensive or obsolete & hard to find.
 

Janderso

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#4
Ok, great information!!
I have less than $30 invested in this lesson :)
I’ll work on finding a more appropriate face mill.
I need to dial in my fly cutter HSS grinding skills. I have had good success with my fly cutters.
Thanks guys
 

darkzero

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#5
Well not a total loss for that shell mill since it already has inserts on it. You could purchase a used or inexpensive China shell arbor & try it out. You never know, it might work ok for some applications. Round inserts are nice cause they "infinite" edges. When the cutting edge is worn, rotate the insert ever so slight to get a fresh edge. Might be good for just surfacing. Round inserts usually leave a nice finish because of the large "nose" radius.
 

Bob Korves

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#6
Ok, great information!!
I have less than $30 invested in this lesson :)
I’ll work on finding a more appropriate face mill.
I need to dial in my fly cutter HSS grinding skills. I have had good success with my fly cutters.
Thanks guys
Jeff, you can also take out three of your six inserts and it will only require half as much power. The cut will not be as finely finished, so use that for roughing and then add the other three inserts for a light finish cut.
 

Tinkertoy1941

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#7
I would agree with Darkzero.
I use a similar cutter on my Bridgeport with good success.
I use the cutter with common sense. Light cuts, light feed and have used it for years!
The Hobby Machinist way of life is using what you have and make it work to your best advantage!!
Using the cutter this way your inserts will last a long time.
Makes the $30.00 investment look real good!!!!!!!!!!
 

kd4gij

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#8
I agree with others. Determine what size arbor you need and get one and try it. Feed it my hand and you will get a feel for feed and depth of gut you can safely get out of it. Where I used to work they used a 4" face mill on bp machines all the time on aluminum.


Or box it up and send it to me. I will use it. :laughing:
 

pacifica

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#9
Ok, great information!!
I have less than $30 invested in this lesson :)
I’ll work on finding a more appropriate face mill.
I need to dial in my fly cutter HSS grinding skills. I have had good success with my fly cutters.
Thanks guys
Have you considered trying it with a very light cut on 3" wide aluminum?
Short shank of 3/4", be sure workpiece is held tight. Lots of cutting fluid.Proper feed and speed.
 

mksj

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#10
The face mill you have should be OK for your Bridgeport, seems to have some forward axial rake. It looks like it might take a 1" arbor, but you would need to measure it. I just purchased a Sowa 1.5" R8 shell mill arbor and it is very well made and reasonably priced.

I have a Bridgeport style 3 Hp mill, I use different size face mills depending on the material and type of cut. I routinely run a Sandvik RA245 2.5" face mill for aluminum, and just purchased an Iscar (F45KT-D4.00-1.50-R06) 4" to do surfacing on aluminum, I use the 2" F45KT model on steel with different inserts. Never had an issue taking a 0.100" DOC in aluminum or 0.050" in steel even with my previous bench mill (also 3 Hp), and the finish is almost mirror smooth with the RA245. Some of the newer inserts and the different rake angles reduce the Hp requirement and also give very nice surface finishes. The face mill size limitation may be more an issue if you are Hp limited, but a lot of the newer face mills and inserts take a lot less Hp. Best size I would say is a 2.5" unless you have the Hp and rigidity to swing bigger.

I prefer to have a separate shank and head, I can use the same shank on different heads and the head is replaceable if damaged:concerned:. If buying new, I would look at the Glacern FM45 face mill series and the Shar's 45 degree face mills for surfacing, for step milling I use a smaller Iscar APKT insert shell mill. Most of my face mills I purchased years ago when a lot of shops were closing and liquidating stock, so about 10 cents on the dollar of a new one.
https://www.glacern.com/fm45
http://www.shars.com/3-45-degree-face-mill-seht-insert-1

Inserts are specific to the material, so you would need to choose the inserts based on the head used and the design/insert parameters. If facing aluminum then you need sharp ground edge inserts which will give a very clean cut. They will not hold up well for steel, mixed metals, or heavier/interrupted cutting. The inserts for steel are very different and coated, they could be used on aluminum but the finish suffers.

Sandvik RA245 five insert 2.5"
20180122_163407.jpg 20180122_163347.jpg
Iscar F45KT 2.5" and HM90 F90AP D2.00 with APKT inserts for shouldering, both setup for use with steel
20180122_163605.jpg
Surface finish with the RA245 with inserts for aluminum.
20180514_101908.jpg
 

Janderso

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#11
I agree with others. Determine what size arbor you need and get one and try it. Feed it my hand and you will get a feel for feed and depth of gut you can safely get out of it. Where I used to work they used a 4" face mill on bp machines all the time on aluminum.


Or box it up and send it to me. I will use it. :laughing:
Ha ha,
I need an R8 arbor for it. If I recall it has a 3/4 arbor size.
I have nothing to lose, I will try light cuts once I get her tooled up.
 
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