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What's a good surfacing cutter for 100-150$

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HellawellCustoms

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#1
Hello I am new to machining, I got into machining to make folding knives. I am currently in the process of making my first one and just got a mill and have been slowly buying accessories for the mill, I swear I've spent more on the tooling and accessories for the mill than I did for the actual mill itself. Anyways I bought a piece of half inch thick aluminum plate to go on top of my rotary table to act as a fixture/sacrificial waste board. I want to flatten it and as far as I can tell the best way is with a surfacing bit, Not sure if that's what they are actually called. Anyways I have 100-150$ hoping that gets me a decent solution, Would prefer any ebay links or what exactly I should be looking for (certain brands or types) I just need to make an 8"x8" piece of aluminum flat.

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Bob Korves

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#2
A flycutter will do a good job and you can put the larger portion of your money back in your wallet. You can even easily make your own, it is a simple tool. Or, you can buy a big face mill with lots of cutters that take a lot of effort to get them all cutting at the same depth to get a decent finish, then find out you do not have enough power to do more than scratch the work with it (depending on the mill you have, which was not stated.) For the face mill you will need to dig deeper in your wallet than the numbers you gave. For some of them, just the inserts will cost that much.
 

T Bredehoft

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#3
Go with a fly cutter, but first, check to see if the top is flat enough to use. You might be surprised.
 

Cadillac

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#4
I second the flycutter. You being new to machining I would make yourself a flycutter. Take a left hand lathe tool and mount it 2" off center in the fixture you make. Size of machine will kind of dictate size of cutter so elaborate aliitle please.
 

HellawellCustoms

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A flycutter will do a good job and you can put the larger portion of your money back in your wallet. You can even easily make your own, it is a simple tool. Or, you can buy a big face mill with lots of cutters that take a lot of effort to get them all cutting at the same depth to get a decent finish, then find out you do not have enough power to do more than scratch the work with it (depending on the mill you have, which was not stated.) For the face mill you will need to dig deeper in your wallet than the numbers you gave. For some of them, just the inserts will cost that much.
Thank you everyone for the reply's a bit more information. I have a precision matthews pm25 it is just a bench mill. Not looking to make massive passes or anything. Just trying to surface a plate of aluminum. The 0pate itself is already fairly flat a few thousand off but I'm thinking I could get it that much closer by surfacing it. These folders seem to call for some crazy tolerances. I will look into a fly cutter thanks to your information! Sounds like it is all I would need.
 

dlane

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#6
Mic6 aluminum fixture plate on a 8” vertex is what I did , but it was already flat. I prefer face mills over fly cutters ,easyer on the machine
DC7A954A-9004-472F-ACB7-37305B064490.jpeg F776A531-E552-4746-8287-F32E7E569B87.jpeg
 

mikey

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You might also look at the Tormach Superfly. Like the B52, it is essentially a single-insert face mill capable of taking hefty cuts on low horsepower mills. The advantage of the B52 is that it will cut to a shoulder; the Superfly will not. However, for surfacing cuts for squaring a work piece I can tell you that the Superfly is very good for not that much money. Tormach's kit is only a bit more than $100.00 and comes with some inserts.

https://www.tormach.com/store/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=38258
 

Shootymacshootface

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#9
A fly cutter would be my first choice as well. Another good option would be an indexable face mill with all but one cutter removed. Don't forget to tram your mill first.
 

HellawellCustoms

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You might also look at the Tormach Superfly. Like the B52, it is essentially a single-insert face mill capable of taking hefty cuts on low horsepower mills. The advantage of the B52 is that it will cut to a shoulder; the Superfly will not. However, for surfacing cuts for squaring a work piece I can tell you that the Superfly is very good for not that much money. Tormach's kit is only a bit more than $100.00 and comes with some inserts.

https://www.tormach.com/store/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=38258
Does it come with an r8 shank or do I have to buy an adapter?
 

mikey

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Comes with a 3/4" shank that fits either an R8 collet or a TTS collet.
 

Bob Korves

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#12
You install it in a collet, a good option whenever possible.
 

HellawellCustoms

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You install it in a collet, a good option whenever possible.
Looks like they are on backorder. Gonna see how much it is for shipping to Canada. Hopefully not much dont see any listings on Ebay unfortunately
 

francist

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#14
LMS appears to have them in stock.

-frank
 

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