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Old 03-11-2019, 08:39 PM
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Default Insert tooling suggestions

To go along with Randells thread about insert tooling for a lathe, this request goes out to Kieth, Jack, Ron, Terry, and anyone else that would like to chime in.

What types of insert tools do you use the most? Type of holders, etc.

How many different holders would one need to cover most of your turning needs. And how many different types of inserts.

The more I learn and read, it seems like there is no one insert that will cover everything, so if one was going to be turning steel, bronze bushing material, aluminum, cast iron in a semi production shop, how many different tool holders and inserts would I need to have most of my bases covered?

Can you post some pictures of your most used tool holders and inserts?

Right now at work, my main lathe is a Summit 20”x 84” lathe, with spindle speeds of 11 rpm to 1500. It was new in 2016 I think.

I have been doing some adjustments and maintenance on it. Had to tighten up the cross slide and compound gibs, and I seem to be getting better finishes. I had to adjust the clutch up in order to get it to spin up past 700 rpms, but now it will. But hearing it past the 710 rpm setting does make my butt pucker a little. Usually I will just spin it faster than 500 rpms just to polish parts with Emory cloth.

I work in a hydraulic repair machine shop. 90% of my work is making/ repairing parts of hydraulic cylinders. We will tear down and make custom one off parts to rebuild hydraulic cylinders, and sometimes the complete cylinder, depending on the replacement cost by the OEM, sometimes we can be competitive in this, sometimes not.

The machinists that were there before me, I don’t think they really understood the inserts and used them to there best advantage.

The shop Forman might not question me too much if I wanted to go all insert, but he also has said that he wants us to use the same inserts so he does not have to order special ones for each machinist ( there are 2 of us now)
So I know if I go up and say I need ten different holders and these twenty different inserts, he might balk a little bit.

Right now I have one bar that holds triangle inserts (3/8” IC iirc), threading inserts that will do 8-48 TPI, and two sizes of boring bars that use the same triangle inserts the od bar uses.

My lathe has a Fagor DRO in it, 2 axis. The boss just ordered me a new cross slide endcoder for it, since the old was was nonfunctional for last couple years, so old machinist never learned to take advantage of it. I am still getting used to it, and am starting to see where if I went to mostly insert tooling, it would help me since I could have the tools programmed into the DRO already, as long as I did not have to adjust the tool stickout a lot.

I do still need to check a few more things, I am skeptical about how well they leveled the lathe when they set it up several years ago. I usually get about .001-.002 taper in about 3”, and I know this lathe is capable of better than that. But, I am still figuring out the little quirks of this lathe, and some of that might be not using the proper speeds and feeds required of the tooling I am using.

I do have a coolant pump that I can flood the toolbit with, and am learning would rather keep the speeds down so I am not throwing chips and coolant all over. I am starting to think that is why the old machinist would always turn the work so slow and feed also.

Long winded, but figure some extra info might help with your suggestions.




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  #2  
Old 03-12-2019, 12:38 AM
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Thanks, Brian. I'll try to keep up with the insert thing as much as I can not sure how much of it will thread around my hardened brain though but seems to make more sense to people when the right questions are asked or someone who know the right questions... you could have used the thread I started on inserts would not of bothered me none... I think it would benefit us both. although all I have right now is a southbound heavy10 and so far I gather insert is not the right tooling for a small slow lathe like mine... and you have more of a lathe so answers will most likely be different I imagine.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2019, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalWolf View Post
Thanks, Brian. I'll try to keep up with the insert thing as much as I can not sure how much of it will thread around my hardened brain though but seems to make more sense to people when the right questions are asked or someone who know the right questions... you could have used the thread I started on inserts would not of bothered me none... I think it would benefit us both. although all I have right now is a southbound heavy10 and so far I gather insert is not the right tooling for a small slow lathe like mine... and you have more of a lathe so answers will most likely be different I imagine.

Randell,

That is the reason I started this thread. I want to be as effective as I can, and learn from the collective knowledge here, so I don’t have to learn the hard costly way. The lathe I use at work is totally in a different class than the one you have. But, I also have an 11” swing south bend at home, so I need to know what tooling to get for that one too, so I will be paying attention to your thread to.

Right now, I am somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place. I am the fresh thinking man in our shop, trying to make changes for the better, but I don’t actually control the purse strings. I have to sell the money man, and I want to make sure I am making the right decisions when it comes to spend the money. Both my bosses have done a lot of machining in the past, they both worked there way up in the company from the ground up, but they were taught by old old school machinists that never seen an insert in their life. I remember watching their mentor when I was growing up, when I would be with my dad going around collecting scrap. So I guess I started my machining bug when I was under 10 years of age.

And one moment they are for change, if it is worthwhile. But then the next they are backpedaling saying don’t break it if isn’t broke. “We have done it this way for years.”

Both my boss’s are very good to work for, especially compared to my old place. But they are human too, and we all have our ups and downs daily.


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Old 03-12-2019, 08:47 AM
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I will get you some information, but like I said 90% of my
machining is done with a CCMT 2(1.5)x insert.

I am running a Romi Lathe (1989 model) Tormax 13-5,
It has a 13 inch swing and 5 Hp 3 phase motor. Weighs
in about 2500 pounds.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:16 AM
racer-john racer-john is offline
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Wink Insert tooling suggestions

To check if your lathe is level, put a known level lengthwise on the ways, then put it on crosswise. If both are ok, then centre drill a lenghth of cold rolled shafting of 12 inch length, measure both ends and record the values. Chuck the piece between centres, turn 5 thou off the entire length measure again. Both ends and the middle the same value? No, which end is bigger? The end at the drive end, or the end at the tailstock? If at the tail' move tail' way from you and recut and move the tail' until all the values coincide.
HTH.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racer-john View Post
To check if your lathe is level, put a known level lengthwise on the ways, then put it on crosswise. If both are ok, then centre drill a lenghth of cold rolled shafting of 12 inch length, measure both ends and record the values. Chuck the piece between centres, turn 5 thou off the entire length measure again. Both ends and the middle the same value? No, which end is bigger? The end at the drive end, or the end at the tailstock? If at the tail' move tail' way from you and recut and move the tail' until all the values coincide.
HTH.
Close, but you missed a step. Level the machine up, preferably with a good machinists level--an ordinary carpenter's level is no where near accurate enough. Then perform the two-collar test as you describe but without the use of the tailstock. A piece of 1-1/2" diam. stock sticking out 8"-9" is adequate--I usually use a piece of aluminum and make the cuts with a super-sharp coated insert to eliminate any deflection.

If the taper is larger at the tailstock end then you must raise the front RH corner of the lathe with the jacking screw--raise the rear RH corner if the taper is smaller at the tailstock end. Once the bed of the machine is true to the centerline of the headstock then you can adjust the tailstock. If you only adjust the tailstock you will still cut a taper on anything you machine without it and the tailstock will only be true at the point where you adjusted it...
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
I will get you some information, but like I said 90% of my
machining is done with a CCMT 2(1.5)x insert.

I am running a Romi Lathe (1989 model) Tormax 13-5,
It has a 13 inch swing and 5 Hp 3 phase motor. Weighs
in about 2500 pounds.
With a lathe of that weight and horsepower you should be able to use just about any insert out there. if you've got the mass and the HP you should be able to run most of the negative rake inserts without a problem. Nothing wrong with running only CCMT and CNMG style inserts--it does simplify things--but your lathe should certainly be capable of using a much wider range of tooling...
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:31 AM
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Today I was machining bronze bushings. I was getting a nice finish, but I was getting about .0003-5” taper in 1 inch. The material was 1 3/4” od by 1-1/2” I’d finished size, and I only had to take roughly .030 off the rough oversized stock. And I only had the end sticking out from the chuck 1-1/2” inches.

I found the shops machinist levels, so I am going to start with that first. We have two, but I think one might need to be calibrated. I will check with both of them.

The proper way to verify the levels are true is to set it on a level ( or what you believe is level) and note the bubble position, and then turn the level 180 degrees and check the bubble again. Both ways should have the bubble in exact same position. Right?

Of course, using two levels is like having two watches. You never really know which one is correct.


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Old 03-12-2019, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toprecycler View Post
Today I was machining bronze bushings. I was getting a nice finish, but I was getting about .0003-5” taper in 1 inch. The material was 1 3/4” od by 1-1/2” I’d finished size, and I only had to take roughly .030 off the rough oversized stock. And I only had the end sticking out from the chuck 1-1/2” inches.

I found the shops machinist levels, so I am going to start with that first. We have two, but I think one might need to be calibrated. I will check with both of them.

The proper way to verify the levels are true is to set it on a level ( or what you believe is level) and note the bubble position, and then turn the level 180 degrees and check the bubble again. Both ways should have the bubble in exact same position. Right?

Of course, using two levels is like having two watches. You never really know which one is correct.


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Whether it’s a level surface or not isn’t critical, you can shim one end til it is level. Keep the shims on the surface and turn the level end for end.


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Old 03-12-2019, 12:57 PM
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I have only a couple of comments First remember that the objective of aligning a lathe is to get the ways straight and in perfect alignment with the head stock. Level is not a requirement it just makes the job easier. Think about lathes mounted in the machine shop of a ship.

Inserts and tooling are a second area where you can go nuts in either direction.
When you look at the chart for inserts you will realize that you can get about the same results from several different shaped inserts in terms of metal removal and finish. What is not as obvious is that some shapes allow you to have more than one useful edge on each insert. for example a T (triangle ) can have six cutting edges on one insert while a v ( a flattened rhombic ) maxes out at four but can create features that may be impossible with other insert shapes.
If you need a profile that is available from the insert tooling chart for a one off job you can but an insert and a tool use it once and put it in the drawer or you can grind it from HSS use it then put it in the drawer.

HSS comes in different grades and was used for every machining operation before insert tooling existed. you stock the toughest blanks because they will handle all materials you will be machining.


Each of these inserts requires the correct holder to use so it can become a how deep is your wallet situation.
If you are running a lathe in a job shop making the same feature often then selecting the best insert and holder makes sense.

OTOH if every job is a one off it makes more sense to limit the number of inserts and holders to the basic high use ones.

Ready Kieth here it comes.

For those occasional jobs where you need a cutter shape you can not get with your on hand inserts or perhaps any inserts in the chart grab a HSS blank and grind your own.
There is no magic and after the first few you will know which edges and angles are critical and which are not.

Insert tooling edges last much longer than HSS and because of the way they are made and insert changeability makes life much better for all machinists but if your hand ground HSS cutter is used 1% of the time it will also last a long time between trips to the grinder.

The home or hobbie machinist starting out needs only four tools for outside turning LH RH and facing tooling and a parting tool.
For inside turning he needs a boring bar.
It makes a lot of sense to select the insert shape that matches these requirements and purchase your holders to use the same insert.

The power and stiffness of your lathe will determine the minimum shank size of your tooling which in turn will set the insert size.


As you grow into lathe use you will find "treasures" in the form of tooling and inserts at yard sales or on e-pay.

only you can decide how useful they are to you and what you will pay for them. Do not buy tooling that takes different inserts to do a job you already have tooling for unless it comes with a lot of inserts and is cheap.

Example I have a couple of insert tooling boring bars 1 1/4 flat to flat X 14 inches long that came in a box of tooling that was available cheap.

These are kennametel tooling. They had to come from a commercial shop probably in Johnny Cash's lunch bucket. I might find a job for them someday but I am not holding my breath.
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