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Mill tooling for a wood project

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Clock work

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#1
I'm going to make a table for my wife for the LR and since the mill came into the shop there's less room for my older woodworking tools like the router table, thickness planar and table saw. I'd like to move as many operations to the mill as I can as they seem trivial there (e.g. mortise/tenon fab and maybe even leg tapers). I'll be building this out of cherry and was curious if there's some tooling known to do low-tearout/nice surface finish work on wood? I'm pretty sure I'll want to go play with the belts and VFD to produce the highest safe spindle speed I can as that was not in the original design envelope of the electrical controller I made. But for tooling, any suggestions? At this point I'm thinking 4-6 flute end mills spinning as fast as I can get them to go. Thanks in advance.

CW
 

Downwindtracker2

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#3
I haven't tried it on my RF-45, but my gunsmith friend used his RF-45 to inlet. Top speed is around 1500.
 

Dave Paine

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#4
I do a lot of woodworking projects, flat (non-turning) and turning.

I also know the issues with fixed shop space and having to make room for new machines.

I have used my metal lathe and milling machine for wood as well as metal projects.

I now feel that routers spin far too fast, much faster than needed to cut / shape the wood.

A recent example. I am using the milling machine to make a trivet. The slots in this side are cut across the grain. I was using 4 flute 5/8in diameter end mill, a recent purchase as in weeks earlier without much use.

The spindle speed was 960 rpm. I noticed the burn marks. I then slowed the spindle down to 560 rpm and did not get any burning.

I have the same experience with cherry, but I am not recalling the project so not able to find any pictures as I write this post.

The tearout on the surface milling across the grain is expected.

Trivet_hickory_burning_from_960rpm_mill_speed_8373.jpg

A different project from last week, happens to also be hickory. This surface was milled flat. I did not get everything cleaned up, some of the rough saw marks from the lumber mill seen on the right.

This is off the milling machine, not sanded. Spindle speed was 1200 rpm.

I used a 3 flute carbide insert end mill from Shars. Working well.

Hickory_base_ready_flatten_top_final_dimension_8467.jpg
 

Clock work

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#5
I do a lot of woodworking projects, flat (non-turning) and turning.

I also know the issues with fixed shop space and having to make room for new machines.

I have used my metal lathe and milling machine for wood as well as metal projects.

I now feel that routers spin far too fast, much faster than needed to cut / shape the wood.

A recent example. I am using the milling machine to make a trivet. The slots in this side are cut across the grain. I was using 4 flute 5/8in diameter end mill, a recent purchase as in weeks earlier without much use.

The spindle speed was 960 rpm. I noticed the burn marks. I then slowed the spindle down to 560 rpm and did not get any burning.

I have the same experience with cherry, but I am not recalling the project so not able to find any pictures as I write this post.

The tearout on the surface milling across the grain is expected.

View attachment 253164

A different project from last week, happens to also be hickory. This surface was milled flat. I did not get everything cleaned up, some of the rough saw marks from the lumber mill seen on the right.

This is off the milling machine, not sanded. Spindle speed was 1200 rpm.

I used a 3 flute carbide insert end mill from Shars. Working well.

View attachment 253165
Thank you for the great examples and advice. Hugely helpful, particularly the idea of going slower to grow quality... the opposite of my instinct. I think perhaps the tear out could be mitigated with a sacrificial piece though that would not be convenient for all orientations I think. Using a face mill to face mill wood... love that:) Thank you!

CW
 

f350ca

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#6
I found two flute cutters seam to work better. More room for the shavings.

Greg
 

Dave Paine

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#7
Happy if this helps. I just remembered the recent cherry example.

Slot created by several passes with a 1in dia square end router bit mounted on a jig at 45 deg. I had the DW 611 router at the slowest speed, likely 10,000 - 12,000 rpm. The end did not burn as much as the side. I had resin build-up which I cleaned off between each pass.

Bowl_cherry_need_to_chisel_off_ears_8093.jpg

I then mounted on the milling machine. A jig was made to hold the rotary table at 45 deg. I used a 1in 2 flute end mill. It is the only 1in dia end mill I have. I had tried hand sanding of the slots to remove the burning. Some removed but not easy.

Cherry_bowl_mounted_on_rotary_table_ready_to_cleanup_darts_8153.jpg

The result of cleaning up the slots on the milling machine. No burning or tearout. I think this was at the 560 rpm spindle speed.

I did not get any resin build up on the end mill. The steel bar was added during the process to keep the bowl from popping out of my wood lathe chuck.

Cherry_bowl_dart_cleanup_completed_albeit_off_centreline_8165.jpg
 

brino

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#8
Excellent thread. My thanks to the OP and for all the great replies!

I am SO GLAD to be part of a forum where "off manual" topics like this are not only tolerated, but encouraged.

Thanks again!
-brino
 

magicniner

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#10
You can get 2 flute carbide down-cutters, you'll probably want air to cool and shift cut material but they do prevent the "furry edges" when slotting wood.
 

Bob Korves

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#12
The tearout on the surface milling across the grain is expected.[/QUOTE}
You can clamp a sacrificial sheet of scrap over the cut to eliminate the tearout on the work.
 

chips&more

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#13
I used to cut wood on my metal working machines. NOT ANY MORE. The saw dust raised havoc on the moving parts of the machines. As for burning the wood. I do not leave the cutter standing still, I always keep it moving. Use a sharp cutter. And I blow shop air directly on the cut being made…Dave
 

Clock work

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#14
I used to cut wood on my metal working machines. NOT ANY MORE. The saw dust raised havoc on the moving parts of the machines. As for burning the wood. I do not leave the cutter standing still, I always keep it moving. Use a sharp cutter. And I blow shop air directly on the cut being made…Dave
Dave... thanks. It's good to hear everyone's experience. What were one or two examples of the moving parts problem and do you think having a vacuum right at the work would reduce the issue? Thanks again.

CW
 

chips&more

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#15
I had a vac, I guess it did OK but some saw dust still stuck to the oiled parts of the machines. My wood shop is now in another room away for my metal machines. And my abrasive machines are in yet another room.
 

Clock work

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I had a vac, I guess it did OK but some saw dust still stuck to the oiled parts of the machines. My wood shop is now in another room away for my metal machines. And my abrasive machines are in yet another room.
Thanks Dave... very clear answer. 3 rooms... HUGE ENVY at my end:)
 

Franko

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#17
I use 1/2" shank carbide router bits in my mill with pretty good results.
I don't do lengthy wood projects on my mill. I clean all the metal chips before cutting wood and cover as much as I can. Then, give it a good vacuuming after the cuts.

This is an access hole I cut in some 3/4" Baltic birch plywood for a keyboard controller stand to access the plugs and switch.
Two 1" starting holes on the drill press with a forstner bit, then cut out between them with a 1/2" straight router bit on the mill after hogging it out with a 7/8" forstner bit.

kb switch hole_1034.JPG
 

Clock work

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#18
I use 1/2" shank carbide router bits in my mill with pretty good results.
I don't do lengthy wood projects on my mill. I clean all the metal chips before cutting wood and cover as much as I can. Then, give it a good vacuuming after the cuts.

This is an access hole I cut in some 3/4" Baltic birch plywood for a keyboard controller stand to access the plugs and switch.
Two 1" starting holes on the drill press with a forstner bit, then cut out between them with a 1/2" straight router bit on the mill after hogging it out with a 7/8" forstner bit.

View attachment 253271
Thank you.. more great input on this.

I'm thinking that since this table is a one-off for my wife that I'll take a swing at it with the mill. I'll need to do some practice mortises on scrap before I attack the legs.

CW
 

Dave Paine

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#19
I use my shop vac while I am machining wood on the mill and always look for any debris on the ways. One hand holding the hose close to the cutter, the other hand operating the handle on the table.
 

coherent

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#20
Is your mill manual or CNC? If you already have a VFD then you should be able to reconfigure your belts and set the vfd to get higher RPMs. With most CNC router work with wood, the spindle speed is in the 10k-12k range and 2 fluted bits work best but you're talking about roughly 100ipm cut speeds. 4 flute bits just seem to create more heat and cause burning issues and lower cut quality. Cut speeds too slow will also cause burning and dull the bits quickly. A spiral downbit will cause the least tear-out on the top edges/surface and cut speeds are slower to allow for chip evacuation. Up-cut bits will clear the chips much better and leave a better finish on the bottom of the cut. Compression bits do both best but can be a bit pricey. If you are running the mill manually (or CNC), make a few practice cuts to find the best RPM and cut speed combo. If you only use the mill for occasionally cutting wood, You can always fabricate a simple router or spindle mount for your mill. Small variable speed routers are fairly inexpensive and with it setup to allow you to quickly attach/remove it, you would have no problem cutting mortise's, tenons, and other tasks etc with good results. If your mill is CNC then an additional high speed spindle/router mount allows lots of possibilities and your only restriction is work size. A manual mill with a router mount will allow precision that is nearly impossible to replicate with a hand router or router table. Wood dust is the only concern, but a good shop vac and a dust shoe with a brush skirt would be a good option.
 

f350ca

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#21
I did wood and metal work in the same shop for years, finally have separate shops. My biggest complaint was dust from grinding and sanding metal getting on the wood and marking it. I don't think wood shavings are particularly abrasive, can't see them causing much of a wear issue, might even hold oil on the machined surfaces and prevent wear.
I don't use the mill a lot for wood but its hard to beat for some operations.
Making a Queen Ann leg for a dresser.
2004_1231Paraska0007.jpg

Making the runners for table wings.

KIMG0364.jpg

I do use the mill a lot for building router templates out of plexiglass when making stairs or hinge recesses. I have brass guides that fit the router bases, they run along the edge of the templates.

Hard to beat the Hardinge for precision wood turning.
IMG_1564.jpg
IMG_1565.jpg

Greg
 

DougD

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#22
I too have used both. The big word/situation is occasional! Certain things do not go well together on a long term basis, oil and unfinished wood for one. The natural acids of some woods and metal as well. Spindle speeds as said can be solved, but the important ingredient is sharpness! For me I do try and keep the options separate as much as possible.
One big positive of combining wood and metalworking is it seems to force me to keep it "cleaner".
 

Clock work

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#23
I use my shop vac while I am machining wood on the mill and always look for any debris on the ways. One hand holding the hose close to the cutter, the other hand operating the handle on the table.
Thank you!
Is your mill manual or CNC? If you already have a VFD then you should be able to reconfigure your belts and set the vfd to get higher RPMs. With most CNC router work with wood, the spindle speed is in the 10k-12k range and 2 fluted bits work best but you're talking about roughly 100ipm cut speeds. 4 flute bits just seem to create more heat and cause burning issues and lower cut quality. Cut speeds too slow will also cause burning and dull the bits quickly. A spiral downbit will cause the least tear-out on the top edges/surface and cut speeds are slower to allow for chip evacuation. Up-cut bits will clear the chips much better and leave a better finish on the bottom of the cut. Compression bits do both best but can be a bit pricey. If you are running the mill manually (or CNC), make a few practice cuts to find the best RPM and cut speed combo. If you only use the mill for occasionally cutting wood, You can always fabricate a simple router or spindle mount for your mill. Small variable speed routers are fairly inexpensive and with it setup to allow you to quickly attach/remove it, you would have no problem cutting mortise's, tenons, and other tasks etc with good results. If your mill is CNC then an additional high speed spindle/router mount allows lots of possibilities and your only restriction is work size. A manual mill with a router mount will allow precision that is nearly impossible to replicate with a hand router or router table. Wood dust is the only concern, but a good shop vac and a dust shoe with a brush skirt would be a good option.
Great info!!!! Thank you very much. (Manual mill BTW).
I did wood and metal work in the same shop for years, finally have separate shops. My biggest complaint was dust from grinding and sanding metal getting on the wood and marking it. I don't think wood shavings are particularly abrasive, can't see them causing much of a wear issue, might even hold oil on the machined surfaces and prevent wear.
I don't use the mill a lot for wood but its hard to beat for some operations.
Making a Queen Ann leg for a dresser.
View attachment 253292

Making the runners for table wings.

View attachment 253293

I do use the mill a lot for building router templates out of plexiglass when making stairs or hinge recesses. I have brass guides that fit the router bases, they run along the edge of the templates.

Hard to beat the Hardinge for precision wood turning.
View attachment 253299
View attachment 253300

Greg
Thanks Greg! Appreciate the good info!
 

Clock work

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#24
Finally getting around to this... integrating all the wonderful advice and wondering one more thing. Is the concept of the rough cut followed by the finishing cut valid and useful for wood too? Sounds like there's a lot of smart guys here so curious about opinions. Thanks.
 

woodchucker

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#25
I do a lot of woodworking projects, flat (non-turning) and turning.

I also know the issues with fixed shop space and having to make room for new machines.

I have used my metal lathe and milling machine for wood as well as metal projects.

I now feel that routers spin far too fast, much faster than needed to cut / shape the wood.

A recent example. I am using the milling machine to make a trivet. The slots in this side are cut across the grain. I was using 4 flute 5/8in diameter end mill, a recent purchase as in weeks earlier without much use.

The spindle speed was 960 rpm. I noticed the burn marks. I then slowed the spindle down to 560 rpm and did not get any burning.

I have the same experience with cherry, but I am not recalling the project so not able to find any pictures as I write this post.

The tearout on the surface milling across the grain is expected.

View attachment 253164

A different project from last week, happens to also be hickory. This surface was milled flat. I did not get everything cleaned up, some of the rough saw marks from the lumber mill seen on the right.

This is off the milling machine, not sanded. Spindle speed was 1200 rpm.

I used a 3 flute carbide insert end mill from Shars. Working well.
The burn marks are from not feeding fast enough.
you should consider a downcut spiral bit or compression bit to reduce the tearout. Yes they are ww bits, but they are made to reduce the issues I see. The biggest reason for burning is usually too slow a feed rate. I have watched so many push slow through a tablesaw too. Heat is created the longer the blade is in the wood. Same with a band saw.
 

KBeitz

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#26
I'm running 1725 rpm on my 2 flute carbide insert on my router plane

 

brino

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#27
I'm running 1725 rpm on my 2 flute carbide insert on my router plane
What a great buzzing sound.
For perspective, what's the size of that slab and cutter?

Thanks
-brino
 

f350ca

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#28
Thats brilliant, rest assured Im stealing your idea at some point.

Greg
 
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