Face mill recommendations?

macmccaskie

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I have PM833T mill (2 hp) and am starting to look at indexable face mills. I'll use it primarily on mild steel for stock removal and can switch to a fly cutter for finish work if needed. I'm waffling between the 2" to 3" sizes, and leaning toward odd number of flutes. The Glacern FM45-250 has been mentioned several times in the past and wondered if it's still a favored brand on this site or if I need to check out other makes. Thanks all.
 

graham-xrf

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This is a question I also will be lurking on. My little mill drill is typical of many small hobby machine types, and it has half the power of yours. That need not always be so, but I recognize there is a limit on how much to expect from these, both in respect of stiffness and cutting power. Mine may be all I ever need, but I hesitate to shell out good money on a drool face cutter to discover it is just too big.

Not that I want to be forever spending ages going back and forth over a surface with a 12mm end mill cutter, and maybe finish with a fly cutter, but it would be nice to have some perspective about what is the realistic maximum. I will likely play a bit with hiking the power somewhat until I risk breaking something, but my heart still thinks a refurbished Bridgeport (or similar) is where the HM smitten end up!
 

pontiac428

John Newman
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Feed, speed, and depth of cut will determine what you can do. I used to run a 3" 8-fl on my Rong Fu, and it did okay on steel with shallow cuts. Finish wasn't perfect, but was pretty good. I was running my often used 6-fl 2" Kennametal face mill this weekend to square aluminum, no strain on the Lagun at a sorta-random .040 doc at 35 IPM and 800 rpm. Finish is like a mirror. Facing mill is an easy tool to use and gives very good results. I'm convinced they don't take much power when run like an end mill with reasonable cuts. You might want a 2" and a 3" for different sizes of work.
 

macmccaskie

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From what I read the smaller mills do better with 45deg inserts and will work fine for flat surfaces.
 

pacifica

RGL
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Only 2 edges per insert but an apkt style facemill or end mill gives the best surface of anything I have( including flycutter, 2 flute endmills, 4 flute endmills, 6 flute endmills,tpg facemill). They have very advanced cutter geometry with great chipbreakers.
 

machPete99

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I only have one face mill, the 2" Glacern 45 with 4 cutters each having 4 edges.
On my hopped up Rockwell (1 HP) it is enough to get the machine in a sweat with some DOC (say .020) if doing close to full pass.
The finish is generally good with light passes, otherwise can get some slight difference in finish at start and end of cut from the change in pressure.
 

macmccaskie

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Thanks David: Hey, I never thought to check Haas, I always thought they were above my pay grade. Thanks. I already have a 2" with APTK inserts (well it starts with "AP") and it does well. I'm wanting more of a workhorse for just surfacing and stock removal. The 45 deg cutters have 4 edges per piece and "they say" takes less umph! (back to checking on HAAS...)
 

davidpbest

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Thanks David: Hey, I never thought to check Haas, I always thought they were above my pay grade. Thanks. I already have a 2" with APTK inserts (well it starts with "AP") and it does well. I'm wanting more of a workhorse for just surfacing and stock removal. The 45 deg cutters have 4 edges per piece and "they say" takes less umph! (back to checking on HAAS...)
Haas has a variety of face mills that take various insert shapes. Note that many of the Haas tool have proprietary inserts - they may look industry standard, but many are unique to Haas. Have a look here:

 

mattthemuppet2

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stock removal would be better done by a 1/2" cobalt roughing end mill. You can take 100 thou of an inch wide piece of steel in 2 or 3 passes, a facemill would take 4 or 5. I use a 2" 45deg facemill on my Grizzly 6x26 (bit lighter than the 833) with ground inserts for alu. Works great on steel and leaves a beautiful finish, at the expense of tip life. 15 thou DOC full width is comfortable, 20 thou is ok but pushing it a bit. I tried molded inserts but it just chattered and jumped around, leaving a terrible finish. The ground inserts are amazing on alu too. That was the inspiration behind my various chip guards on the mill, so the garage wouldn't get coated in chips!
 
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