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Carbide Tools With Shaper

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Pete301

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#1
Any one use carbide tools with their shaper? I've been playing around for awhile with different types of carbide and tool shapes for both finishing and rough cut tools. I'm getting a great finish with a carbide shear tool, better than with a corresponding HSS shear tool.
On a rough cut type tool I get a finish that would be every bit as good if not better than a corresponding tool in HSS (at the same depth,feed,speed).
I've used c2,c5 , K21 grades of carbide so far and haven't found a clear preference yet.
I'm using both a South Bend 7 and an Atlas 7, mostly with cr1018 steel. Carbide seems to need lots of cutting fluid for a good finish.
What have others learned about carbide? This seems like a little discussed topic for shapers.
Pete
 

stupoty

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#2
I'm not a heavy carbide user but i do like the brazed carbide tools for cast iron.

I also only have a hand shaper, errm. But it is very good at telling you exactly how sharp your tools are :)

Stuart
 

bosephus

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#3
i hadn't even considered using a carbide tool , have you used the tools enough yet to see if chipping will be an issue on heavier cuts .
and in general what are you taking for a roughing and finishing cut as far as depth/feed /speed are concerned
 

francist

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#4
Interesting.

I have often wondered about the same thing -- why no talk in the books about using carbide for shaper tools? I've got quite a few references about tool shapes and uses from various sources of the day, but none talk about anything other than high speed.

So I looked back into a copy of "Machine Shop Practice" by Moltrecht c. 1979. No mention of carbide in the shaper chapters, but in the section on planers, yes. Actually a fair description on nuances to be considered when using cemented carbide to prevent tip failure, etc. One thing that does jump right out at a person are the speeds they recommend: in many cases the fpm is in excess of three times the speed recommended for HSS on the same material! That's getting into some pretty smokin' speeds, maybe too quick to run on a shaper with a comparatively shorter stroke length?

I dunno, just musing on it. When I got my little machine the guy had a carbide cutter in the holder so I assume he was using it, but to what effect I didn't ask at the time. Here's a photo of one of the cutting tables from the Moltrecht book, remember these are for planers and not shapers, but the comparison of speeds is what I found interesting.

-frank

image.jpeg
 

f350ca

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#5
When I surfaced the table on my shaper, I used a brazed carbide cutter. No idea about the grade but it worked great. Was worried wear in a HSS cuter would vary the cut over the width, the carbide stood up great, a dial indicator on the ram shows a flat table now.

Greg
 

Pete301

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#6
So my finishing cuts are about .003 deep, with a feed of .006 and at the slowest rpm speed. This is on both the Atlas and the SB. The stroke is a full 5 1/2". The cut is an multi-interrupted cut. The cutting edge isn't chipping but it does need resharpening ( honing) sooner than a HHS tool would and I have to flood it with cutting fluid. I'm still toying with different roughing tools. Currently I'm using a brazed carbide BR in c2 grade, but I also like a TSA style brazed carbide (but these have a short shank that needs to have a extension welded to it).
The finish itself has a iridescent aspect to it especially on a BR tool at about .008 depth cut
 

bosephus

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#7
wow , i look at the planer speeds at find it quite scary ... three times as fast as hss

i think i like petes speeds better ... slow lol

i have a few c2 grade brazed tools i dont use . i think im going to try one out tomarow .
 

bosephus

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#8
i tried out a a cheapo c5 harbor freight tool on a piece of unknown scrap this afternoon .

i went whole hog and started out with a fairly heavy cut ... @ roughly 50 strokes a minute and a depth of cut of .050 and .010 feed it made very nice tightly curled chips and left a fair surface finish . actually a better surface finish then i have gotten with hss on a roughing cut .
after a few cuts with no chipped carbide i backed it off to try a finish cut .

@ .010 depth with a .004 feed i started to see the same iridescent pattern pete301 got . backing it off to .005 depth of cut and i most defiantly had the same pattern showing up in my work .
it feels smooth to the touch and kinda has a nice look about it .

but ... i think the pattern is chatter . once i switched off the hss thinking and treated the carbide like you would on a lathe .. ie , more speed , feed and depth of cut it the surface finish went right back to how it looks with hss .
at roughly 90 strokes a minute with the .010 doc and .008 feed i got a nice smooth flat surface that is without a doubt the best finish i have gotten so far , but as soon as i slow it down or try for lighter cuts the iridescence comes right back .

at first i was skeptical on it being chatter because it is very smooth to the touch ,... but what else could cause it ?
chatter or not , its something i hope i can replicate again in other materials because it is rather pleasing to the eye and would add a unique touch to any projects that you want to look pretty .
 

The artfull-codger

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#9
Usefull info there boys,thanks I've just come in from the workshop after cutting a couple of lengths of railway line up [the length the theives left me after clearing out all my molding boxes lathe chuck & other stuff] & I was toying with the idea of shaping the tops with carbide as I'm guessing it will be quite tough for hss so I'll give it a go now as I've only used hss before [it's a alba type 1 12" stroke] you either love or hate 'em, I love shapers.
 

Dranreb

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#10
Hi Codger, HSS will cut railway line just fine, I've done on my Alba, see vid below:

 

The artfull-codger

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#11
Hi Dranreb, thanks for the info,I'll stick with hss as I've picked up loads over the years from autojumbles & car boot sales, your video is mesmerising, there used to be a really massive butler hydraulic shaper at college & boy could you take "bonus cuts" with that, as well as my alba I also have a 10"elliot,a favourite with model engineers,the price was right & I couldn't resist it about 30 yrs ago, then you could pick them up for peanuts but they seem to be really sought after now & shooting up in price, I bought an adept hand shaper for about a fiver about 45 yrs ago & sold it a few yrs later for £18.00 when I got the alba & was well pleased with myself, I've now seen them change hands on ebay for up to £2oo.oo !!
Graham.
 

Dranreb

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#12
Yep, shapers used to be free to take away, I blame the steam punk movement for boosting prices beyond retail+ levels as they're the nearest thing to a plug in steam engine there is!

Obviously the rail would have been more secure with less interruption with the vice turned 90deg, but where's the fun in that!

Ooops steam punk philosophy must be rubbing off on me.... :grin:

Cheers

Bernard
 

NortonDommi

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#13
I could put that Alba 1A vid on an endless loop......:chunky:
Anyone got any info on the Alba? I have one and it lives right next to the mill/drill, quicker and a better finish often and the two complement each other beautifully.
- Barry.




 

The artfull-codger

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#14
Hi Norton Dommi, I hav an alba 1a but not got a handbook for it but to br honest there's not much to go wrong with them as long as you keep it lubricated at all the oiling points you either love'em or hate'em [I love 'em] like the name would that be "88" "99" or 650ss? I sold my ss to my younger brother about 40 yrs ago for £80 so I could buy a brand new myford super 7 B lathe about £350 at the time,I still have the lathe & he still has the bike[grrr] doesn't use it & the bikes worth more than the lathe now!
Graham.
 

NortonDommi

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#15
G'Day Artfull-codger,
Yep lots of info on Atlas. Elliot ect was just asking, you never know your luck aye?
Funny thing about shapers like you say, love 'em or not. Personally I would not like to be without one.
The Norton is a '58 Dommi 99 one of the last days production with a mag. Still got the original rims but re-laced with HD stainless & Akront alloys 18" & 17" to run modern rubber. 1 1/2" lower, about 3 1 /2" lower CG.
The old ads said "takes corners like on rails", that was true with original rubber, better now. I used to like to run around hardly makeitsons on corners. Still great on gravel as well.
Parked up for now as I am under an indefinate ban, Back to court next year! :(. Summer here as well so double damn.
Back to biz. I have just re-located a Google scan of 'Shaping & Planing 1915' and are looking at making a mount to generate gears by the generation method. There is a great description in the 1st chapter. The only other reference that I have seen to this is an article by "Base Circle" from a 1960's 'Model Engineer' article which can be found on the N.E.ME.S. site. I'll post as soon as I have time.
Very nice to hear from a fellow Alba owner with good taste in two wheels & you had the best, the 650 SS could run rings around just about anything & didn't top out out at eighty aye?
_ Cheers,
Barry.
 

Kennlindeman

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#16
Everybody has something in the workshop that's just a nice to have and my little Alba 1A is one such machine. I have a pdf copy of the manual if anybody wants a copy
 

NortonDommi

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#17
Hi Kennlinderman,
Yes please, I'd love a copy. How do we arrange?
Two things while I'm here getting back to Pete301's original topic. Yes I've used Carbide & have had some problems with chipping, at it's worst when cleaning up rusty old scrap in which case HSS seems to work better. For now seem to have solved by grinding a very low clearnce angle for the heel. This was on a couple of cheap brazed tip lathe tools,(once in a hurry I even tried an inserted tip tool. Don't!), Now make my own brazed tip tools from discarded solid tips. I bought a large bag of about 5lbs for NZD$20 which will last me a lifetime.
Going to try a couple of uploads which I hope some will find of interest, oldies but goodies.
-Barry.
 

Attachments

Bi11Hudson

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#18
When I first (back in the dark ages) bought the Atlas (S-7), I experimented with several cutters. On the carbide brazed tools, I used brazed tip lathe tooling right out of the box from Harbor Freight. No sharpening, polishing or anything. The steel grade is the biggest unknown there. It could have been anything. Likely something I stole from the (steel) mill where I was working. The finish was good enough to comb my hair with. The carbide tip didn't chip or wear bad, I used it later on a lathe. So, it must not have dulled much, at least on the edge I used. No serious production work, tho.

The frame structure I use for a shop won't support a heavy mill. I must consider weight when buying a machine. I don't use it much, mostly because I am a EE and don't use the machinist tools of any form much. But, when I need it, it's there. With a carbide cutter. Lacking the straight tool holder, I don't much use HSS on the shaper. There isn't anyone close by that does machine work as a hobby, so most of my knowledge comes from books and web sites such as this. The shaper came to me before the Net or eBay were a big thing. Learning was a bear then.
 

The artfull-codger

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#19
G'Day Artfull-codger,
Yep lots of info on Atlas. Elliot ect was just asking, you never know your luck aye?
Funny thing about shapers like you say, love 'em or not. Personally I would not like to be without one.
The Norton is a '58 Dommi 99 one of the last days production with a mag. Still got the original rims but re-laced with HD stainless & Akront alloys 18" & 17" to run modern rubber. 1 1/2" lower, about 3 1 /2" lower CG.
The old ads said "takes corners like on rails", that was true with original rubber, better now. I used to like to run around hardly makeitsons on corners. Still great on gravel as well.
Parked up for now as I am under an indefinate ban, Back to court next year! :(. Summer here as well so double damn.
Back to biz. I have just re-located a Google scan of 'Shaping & Planing 1915' and are looking at making a mount to generate gears by the generation method. There is a great description in the 1st chapter. The only other reference that I have seen to this is an article by "Base Circle" from a 1960's 'Model Engineer' article which can be found on the N.E.ME.S. site. I'll post as soon as I have time.
Very nice to hear from a fellow Alba owner with good taste in two wheels & you had the best, the 650 SS could run rings around just about anything & didn't top out out at eighty aye?
_ Cheers,
Barry.
Hi Barry, sorry about the dalay been soo busy!! yes the good old "featherbed" frame mine was slimline but the older versions were wideline often used to make Tritons,I like the sound of yours, the primaty chaincase [pressed metal]was a let down leaking oil, I had a go on my old bike when my brother brought it up but the clutch was soo stiff & arthritis in the thumbs made it too difficult but I think you can get a diaphram clutch [lighter to pull] instead of the springs.
Regards Graham.
 

benmychree

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#20
Generally speaking, it is recomended to have a tool lifter when using carbide on a shaper or planer to prevent chipping. Personally, I see no need to use carbide either on a shaper or planer. With HSS tools properly ground with minimum clearance angles, one can take off the chips quickly enough, besides, the HSS chips are quite hot enough, they can burn the crap out of you, the carbide chips are bound to be hotter yet.
Years ago, I ran a big planer, 6ft. X 6ft. X 15ft; one of the other apprentices was quite proud at using carbide tools on it and making blue chips; I tried using my own HSS tools 3/4 X 1", ground as I have said and found that I could make the same cuts he made at the same table speeds and feeds with the chips coming off cooler and more freely.
 

projectnut

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#21
You probably won't find much information about using carbide on a shaper. By the time carbide became popular most shapers were heading to the scrap yard or some hobbyists basement. Remember most publications on the subject of cutting tools are geared toward the professional shop. None of the manufacturers are going to spend the time and money to develop guidelines or tooling that they will never sell.

I can't imagine how long a little AMMCO, Atlas, or South Bend shaper would last going the speeds it would take to make using carbide cost effective in a professional shop. On the other side of the coin can you imagine some big old Cincinnati or Rockford dancing across the floor going 3 times it's normal speed trying get the full benefit of what carbide tooling could do.

While it's fun to experiment, and may work in a limited production mode, I don't think you'll see carbide tooling being marketed for industrial shapers any time in the near future. Personally I'll stick with HSS. It's cheap, can be ground to almost any profile, and if I continue to use it my shaper will probably never need to be rebuilt.
 

benmychree

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#22
You probably won't find much information about using carbide on a shaper. By the time carbide became popular most shapers were heading to the scrap yard or some hobbyists basement. Remember most publications on the subject of cutting tools are geared toward the professional shop. None of the manufacturers are going to spend the time and money to develop guidelines or tooling that they will never sell.

I can't imagine how long a little AMMCO, Atlas, or South Bend shaper would last going the speeds it would take to make using carbide cost effective in a professional shop. On the other side of the coin can you imagine some big old Cincinnati or Rockford dancing across the floor going 3 times it's normal speed trying get the full benefit of what carbide tooling could do.

While it's fun to experiment, and may work in a limited production mode, I don't think you'll see carbide tooling being marketed for industrial shapers any time in the near future. Personally I'll stick with HSS. It's cheap, can be ground to almost any profile, and if I continue to use it my shaper will probably never need to be rebuilt.
Likely, the Rockford would have been appropriate for carbide, what with its hydraulic drive, tool lifter, and great mass. My Gould & Eberhardt 20-24 from 1956 had a tool lifter option as well, and a spring affair to hold the clapper box down or limit its travel so that it does not "clap" too loud or hard, causing the vertical slide to creep down. I doubt that carbide would have been used for normal work, but may have had a niche in machining difficult, hard, and abrasive materials.
 

Doubleeboy

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#23
Forget what the HSS police have to say about home shop equipment and carbide. CCMT works fine on flimsy HSM type machines like my 8" Logan. I use this little gem off ebay from China, no chipping, beauty cuts even in gummy 1018, It works at slow speeds and feeds or quicker with about same results. First read about this on the shaper yahoo board.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/301823671883
 

NortonDommi

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#24
Do you have any problems with inserts coming loose? I tried indexable tools TWICE and both times the tips came loose, second time it also had 428 Loctite on the thread. Switched to brazed Carbide and no problems whatsoever.
 

Doubleeboy

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#25
On my little 8" shaper I don't ever run a job long enough to have insert loosening problems. With the ccmt I get a tightly wound spiral chip, that appears to cut very easy in mild steel.
 

benmychree

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#26
I'll chime in again; HSS does just fine on a shaper on all but the hardest materials, and most shapers do not have the power and cutting speed to make advantage of carbide's potential; learn to grind a proper HSS tool instead of relying on inserts, which do not have the proper geometry to cut freely on a shaper, mostly side rake, which makes a huge difference in free cutting and power consumption.
The only time that I have had to use carbide on my 20-24 G&E shaper was to re machine the dovetail slot in the sow block for my 100LB power hammer where the bottom die had been welded in and the casting had (very) hard spots in it; in that instance the carbide was just barely able to cut through it without leaving raised bumps where the welds were. I previously made the example of a guy at the shop where I apprenticed, making a show on our big planer (6ft X 6ft X 15ft) he was using a brazed on carbide tool with 1" square shank and making big blue closely spiraled chips at a fairly high table speed; I came on the machine later with a job with similar requirements for stock removal and used HSS with a rounded nose, minimum end and side clearence and ample side rake and was able to cut at the same speed, perhaps more feed and had chips that flowed off the tool shiny, and then turned blue. I used the basic tool shapes as developed by F.W. Taylor in his epic experiments back in the 1880s; he and his partner Maunsel White discovered the "Taylor - White" process for hardening HSS and in 1897, I think, came out with his book "On The Art of Cutting Metals".
 

core-oil

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#27
I must confess to being a lover of HSS tools, I can get awesome finishes on work coming off my 10" stroke royal shaper, my 6"stroke adept, The same goes for the finishes I can get on my slotting machine6" stroke a powerful machine which can hogg of the metal, on my 20"stroke hand operated planing machine high speed steel is the same results as the first mentioned machines, I would have a constant worry about carbide tooling on a shaper shattering & the resulting possible damage to my machines Guess I am a present day disciple of Taylor & White. a bit old fashioned
 

benmychree

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#28
I must confess to being a lover of HSS tools, I can get awesome finishes on work coming off my 10" stroke royal shaper, my 6"stroke adept, The same goes for the finishes I can get on my slotting machine6" stroke a powerful machine which can hogg of the metal, on my 20"stroke hand operated planing machine high speed steel is the same results as the first mentioned machines, I would have a constant worry about carbide tooling on a shaper shattering & the resulting possible damage to my machines Guess I am a present day disciple of Taylor & White. a bit old fashioned
What kind of slotting machine do you have? Mine is a 6"Pratt & Whitney, and with it I use mostly the old OK brand of forged tools. Call me old fashioned also!!
 

benmychree

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#29
F. W. Taylor conducted experiments in cutting metal for about 20 some years, with no product being produced, only metal being removed in the fastest way possible by tools shaped to the most productive shape run at the most productive speeds and feeds; the Taylor White process of heat treating HSS was discovered by accident, they were using Mushet steel, a super carbon steel at that time; they were preparing a tool for the usual heat treatment by heating it in a forge and it got forgotten or neglected and became white hot, throwing sparks at a white heat; they decided to proceed with the process rather than assume that the tool was ruined by burning it and they discovered after grinding it an putting it to use that it would hold up to speeds about double the normal speeds used before failing; these tools would actually cut at a red heat! They did not discover HSS, but they did discover the two stage high heat treatment that revolutionized cutting tools and industrial productivity. Subsequent to that he came out with a second book about scientific industrial management, titled "Shop Management" He was one of the original efficiency experts that hoped to drive men like machines, giving them very specific tasks with all details specified. Another man who was active at the same period was Frank Gilbreth, a time and motion study man; it has been said that between him and Taylor, the foundation of modern industry rested on their shoulders. Gilbreth was also the father of the "Cheaper by the Dozen" children detailed in a book by that name; he regimented them in efficiency in all their daily lives.
 

core-oil

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#30
What kind of slotting machine do you have? Mine is a 6"Pratt & Whitney, and with it I use mostly the old OK brand of forged tools. Call me old fashioned also!!
Hi Benny,
you are very lucky to have a 6" Pratt & Whitney, That is a very nice machine especially if it is the toolroom slotter, My slotting machine is a british Denham of Halifax 1940 machine war time finish, (only referred to the paintwork, It is a nicely built machine tool It is more conservative in design than the Pratt & Whitney, having flat belt cone pulley drive, However it is strong & useful.

As a small matter A friend of mine in Glasgow had a Pratt & Whitney tool room slotter Number 13 Which he used until his factory died in the early 1980/s I believe it went to Africa .I would imagine pretty early on in the batches of these pattern of toolroom slotters.
 
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