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Micro100 boring bar, which coating? If any.

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bfk

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#1
So, I'm in the market for small high quality boring bar(s). Looking at the Micro100 site I see their bars come in a wide variety of coatings. I mostly work with aluminum, but a little steel now and then, maybe even brass on occasion. Which flavor should I choose? I saw a real deal on the TiN coated version, but don't want to get it if it's not good for my use.
I throw myself upon the assembled wisdom of the forum in search of an answer. (If there is one.)

Brian
 

4GSR

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#2
Go for the TiN coatings. BUT be careful, TiN does not do too good cutting aluminum. They have a coating just for aluminum. Don't know if its good for steel or not.
 

EmilioG

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#3
Solid carbide, un coated bright, is what I'm thinking of buying. You can use it on ferrous and non ferrous metals and are less expensive than TiCn or TiAln. TraversToolCo has them. I've never had a problem using TIN coated drills with aluminum. Guhring sells TIN coated drills for Aluminum.
But, TIN is no longer a favored coating, TiAin, TICN and Zcarb are the coatings that I see being used more and more. Bright un coated is good enough for most aluminum alloys., IMHO.
 
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mikey

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#4
I prefer the uncoated Micro 100 solid carbide bars; they tend to be cheaper. Coatings on an end mill that is moving at high speeds extend edge life and reduce the incidence of a BUE but on a boring bar I feel it is superfluous. Of course, if you can get a smoking deal on a Tin-coated Micro 100 bar then jump on it. You will find that boring bars don't have a big problem with a built up edge so the specialized coatings for aluminum are an unnecessary expense, in my opinion.

You are going to LOVE these little carbide bars, bfk!
 

bfk

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#5
Mikey, it was the "smoking deal on a TiN coated bar" that made me ask. Bought it last night on Amazon for $14.92. This morning it's back up to $70. No idea why it was cheap yesterday, but I don't really care. When it shows up on Monday I'll give it as good an examination as I can, but being Amazon I can always return it.

Brian
 

Z2V

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#6
Now Brian, why didn’t you mention this “smoking deal” last night? I’d have jumped on one also!
 

bfk

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#7
Now Brian, why didn’t you mention this “smoking deal” last night? I’d have jumped on one also!
Sorry, Jeff. When I saw it last night it said there were only two left, and I had just gotten burned on something that sold out while I was thinking about it.
There are so many variations of size etc, but looking just now the prices range from $25 to $80, I think Amazon sets some of their prices using a magic 8 ball.

Brian
 

Z2V

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#8
I just looked and got a long 1/2” for $80 off at $20.
Thanks
 

EmilioG

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#9
I don't know about those Amazon prices, but Micro100's Excel price list, has most of their boring bars in the $20-$30 range, and that's list., for solid carbide. I would check with other distributors. SunCoastTools has the Micro100 tin boring bars in the $27 range. These Micro100 BB's should not cost $80. Amazon has a bad habit of showing the wrong photo. I would cross reference the part # with Micro100's website numbers if buying from Amazon. I'm sure there's a smokin' deal somewhere. :)
 
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Timwalker

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#10
Most likely was one of the special priced deals when there is only 1 or 2 left of an item sold by amazon. Sometimes you can get pretty awesome % discounts, but be sure to check around for comparable prices (not always as good as it first looks, but sometimes!). By the way, if there are 2, and you buy 1, the price shoots up again. So consider getting both of you can use it.

In fact, Micro 100 products sold by amazon seem to be on a bit of a purge or something. Search "micro 100", select industrial category, and select discount of 70% plus. I just got myself a few nice prices, including a apkt style endmill for $28 (lists around $150, amazon original price much higher at $180).
 

EmilioG

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#11
Amazon prices by some sellers are inflated to look like you're getting a big discount., sometimes.
Also, be sure you're buying the correct type of boring bar. The models that start with BB, are used w/o a holder. Others use a Micro100 tool holder. QBT.
 

mikey

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#12
Mikey, it was the "smoking deal on a TiN coated bar" that made me ask. Bought it last night on Amazon for $14.92. This morning it's back up to $70. No idea why it was cheap yesterday, but I don't really care. When it shows up on Monday I'll give it as good an examination as I can, but being Amazon I can always return it.

Brian
That is a fair price, Brian, and that bar will work fine. Micro 100 uses a proprietary formulation for their carbide bars that is tougher than most. I've dropped several of my bars on a concrete floor with no sign of damage but that is not the case for most carbide tooling - drop a carbide end mill and it can crack into pieces. Their bars are easily sharpened on a diamond stone so their useful life in a hobby shop is quite good. Of course, your coating will be gone after you sharpen it but that won't impair it's function.

Personally, I think Micro 100 makes the finest small diameter boring bars you can buy. You still have to pay attention to your extension limits but those bars will go every bit of the 10:1 extension ratio and hold their accuracy. You may also want to look at their small internal thread relief and threading bars; these are just as accurate and will allow you to internally thread that special project where you need a small threaded hole with a high accuracy class. My smallest inserted carbide bar is 3/16" so anything I have to thread under 1/4" is done with a Micro 100 bar. Just really superb tooling, in my opinion.
 

EmilioG

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#13
Just purchased the Micro100 BB that I needed for $7.53, Amazon Prime, Add-On Item.
Price went up to $35 after purchase.
We shall see. Sold and Ships from Amazon.com Free two day shipping. 3/16" shank, bright.
 

DoogieB

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#14
Thanks for that hint on Micro 100 tooling on Amazon! Like Mikey said, Micro 100 stuff is top shelf and I was able to get a really good deal on some nice tooling. The little boring bar I have now has been really usefully on a few occasions.
 

EmilioG

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#15
Mikey; How are you using the Micro100 bars on your lathe? I'll have to use the lathe at work for now, until I can buy one.
I am completely green on boring on a lathe.
 

chips&more

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#16
I’m a hobby machinist, NO production. So, the word “coating” to me is just another way of saying you are going to pay more money for nothing meaningful. Do you really want a tiny Carbide boring bar? Would HSS do? Your machine and YOU need the proper finesse to handle tiny Carbide boring bars or you will just end up with broken bars. You did not say how tiny? I work with boring 0.025” holes all the time and I break them even with a good machine and finesse…Dave
 

mikey

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#17
I have sleeves that fit my boring bar holder for my QCTP and they hold the small shanks of these bars very solidly. I suggest you use them with zero radial rake; that means the flat on top of the cutting head should parallel the ground. I also suggest you align the bar in line with the spindle axis.

Stick out or extension on a solid bar like this is not like that of an inserted tip bar; your extension is dictated by the length of the shank (between the cutting edge and the round part that is held in the tool holder) so it cannot be varied. When buying solid bars, keep this extension thing in mind. A carbide bar can go about 10 times its diameter and hold its accuracy. For example, a 1/8" diameter shank can go 0.125" X 10 = 1.25" deep, which is considerable in view of the size of the bar. In most cases, Micro 100 bars will take this into account and a 1/8" bar will usually allow this depth of bore; the shank will be around 1.5" long and the part that is held in the holder will be about 1" long or so. Of course, this varies with the size of the bar but you get the idea.

In use, remember that a carbide bar does not like slamming into the bottom of a bore. As tough as a Micro 100 bar is, it won't tolerate bottoming for long. Therefore, I suggest you always use a carriage stop with these bars when boring a blind/flat bottomed bore.

Coolant is optional but I almost always use it because it alters the chip (tends to produce coiled chips that eject easily from the bore) favorably, while also enhancing finishes and reduces the incidence of a built up edge.

Speeds are calculated as usual. Feeds are adjusted to produce coiled chips, not strings; this feed rate will be faster than you think. Depths of cut varies based on the diameter of your bar; smaller bars require smaller cuts. For a 1/8" diameter shank, I would keep my cuts at 0.010" max for roughing and you can dial in your finishing cuts based on how the tool likes to cut for you. For example, say you dial in a 0.004" finishing cut and it produces a 0.0075" change in ID, then you can rough until you are 0.0075" away from final size and dial in that 0.004" cut and you should come in on size. So, you need to know how your bar likes to cut for both roughing and finishing cuts so you can close into your finishing cut.

There is a lot to this boring stuff. Fortunately, using a solid bar is easier than using an inserted bar and I'm sure you'll sort it out quickly.
 

SSage

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#18
My Micro 100 bars came from Dan's Discount Tool's. Prices have been good when I compared online. My last one with a 5/16" shank was $33 to my door and most places wanted $42 to $47 for the same model. The prices include shipping, I've ordered twice so far and they ship fast. https://www.dansdiscounttools.com/?s=micro+100&post_type=product
 

Wreck™Wreck

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#19
Do you run hundreds of parts per day? If not the coating will gain you little if nothing at all.

I often use Accupro uncoated solid bars for bores smaller then 1/2" diameter X 1/2" depth, one may bore thousands of parts without issue, solid carbide tooling is very fragile however, I have broken several just banging them on the next tool holder in line. Excellent tools overall.
https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tn...archterm=accupro+boring+bars&navid=4287923968
 

EmilioG

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#20
I have sleeves that fit my boring bar holder for my QCTP and they hold the small shanks of these bars very solidly. I suggest you use them with zero radial rake; that means the flat on top of the cutting head should parallel the ground. I also suggest you align the bar in line with the spindle axis.
There is a lot to this boring stuff. Fortunately, using a solid bar is easier than using an inserted bar and I'm sure you'll sort it out quickly.
Thanks. That's a lot of information to digest. May I ask about these sleeves? Are they the Micro100 BB holders or something else?
Could you post an image? This sounds a bit more complicated than I thought. Do have a part # for the Micro100 bars you are using?
 

mikey

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#21
No, just reduction sleeves that fit into the standard boring tool holders. I don't have pics of the ones that fit my Aloris 4D but these fit my tool holder on my Sherline:

IMG_0825.jpg

These sleeves hold 3/16" and 1/4" bars and are made of mild steel. They have a slot on one side and a shallow expansion slot on the opposite side to allow compression without cracking. The bore of the sleeve is reamed to a fine finish. Each sleeve is just slipped into a standard boring bar holder and when the screws are tightened, they close the sleeve on the bar and hold it solidly. I have similar sleeves that fit the Aloris 4D that accept 3/16", 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" bars. Easy and cheap to make but work really well. I would make them instead of buying a special holder, Emilio. Most of the tiny Micro 100 bars have 3/16" or 1/4" shanks.

I do not have my Micro 100 boring bars to take pics of - Bonehead has them and is using them for a project he has. He took every tiny bar I had and has had them for several months. I forgot to record which ones he took and I hope I get them all back - big bucks! That sucker also has my Wilton precision screwless vise, too. Thanks for reminding me to think of him; I better go get my tools before he assumes they are on permanent loan.

Just buy the bars you need. Essentially, you will choose a bar that will fit into your starter hole and still clear chips. The maker will tell you what that minimum bore is. Then just be sure the shank is long enough to get to the bottom of your bore.
 

Z2V

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#22
Can I assume that the only difference between using a right hand boring tool and a left hand boring tool would be the rotation of the work ? In random searches on the popular sites the left hand boring tools seem to be greatly discounted over the right hand tools.
 

mikey

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#23
Yup, LH boring bars are used with the lathe in reverse but is otherwise functionally the same. Oh, you do have to set your depth of cut away from you instead of toward you. It is often easier to see the work with a LH bar but if you're looking in the hole instead of paying attention to your feed, you might crash!
 

Z2V

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#24
Looks like I can get tooled up as a left handed boring guy much cheaper than I can as a righty. My lathe does not have a threaded chuck so right or left should not matter.
 

mikey

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#25
If you buy inserted carbide LH bars, the inserts may be harder to find. Just a thought.
 

Z2V

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#26
Oh, the inserts are hand specific also? It still might be worth the thought considering the amount of boring I will do.
A 10 pac of inserts will probably last me several years.
 

mikey

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#27
I may be wrong but last time I looked at a LH bar it used a specific insert.
 

EmilioG

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#28
Thanks Mikey. Those holders look great.
Remember, there are 3 things one should not loan out that never come back;
1. Tools
2. Books
3. audio recordings
I think #3 has been supplanted by money, since records, vinyl, tape, etc.., are not used too much anymore. :)

How did you cut that slot in the tool holder? Slotting saw?
 

mikey

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#29
Thanks Mikey. Those holders look great.
Remember, there are 3 things one should not loan out that never come back;
1. Tools
2. Books
3. audio recordings
I think #3 has been supplanted by money, since records, vinyl, tape, etc.., are not used too much anymore. :)

How did you cut that slot in the tool holder? Slotting saw?
Yeah, you're right. I should not loan things out but when Bonehead comes to me with those sad puppy dog eyes, he knows he can get anything he wants from me. Its okay; I've gotten decades of loyal friendship and support in return.

Yep, slitting saw for the slot. I clamped two sleeves in the vise with the axis of the sleeve in line with the vise axis, one on either side and of identical length and supported by parallels. Easy, peasy. When you make yours, be sure to use a good reamer and lots of cutting fluid to get the best finish you can inside the bore.
 

Robert LaLonde

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#30
If you do mostly aluminum I would stick with a bright finish. No coatings. Zrn and Diamond may work better in aluminum, but uncoated works very well and then you don't have to worry about issues with other metals. Tin and many other coatings tend to chip weld with aluminum worse. If you really need to shave minutes or even seconds then you might consider some for aluminum and some for steels.
 
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