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Thread: what bits to get?

  1. #1

    what bits to get?

    hey guys i just got a 5x10 7hp CNC

    right now i'm setting up the shop for the new machine. i need to order some bits, what do you guys recommend?

    i want good bits at the best price, but if a bit last 4x longer and cost 4 times as much, thats what i want.

    i'm mainly cutting plywood and melamine frameless cabinet parts

    i know i will need:

    *5mm

    *3/8 end mill? (is 3/8 what all of you guys use for cutting out parts)

    *bit to make 45 and 22.5 miters

    *spoil board bit

    i have a 10 tool changer so any other bits that you guys think i should have, shoot.

    LINKS to bits you use would help greatly.

  2. #2
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    Might add compression bits to the list.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by eugene thomas View Post
    Might add compression bits to the list.
    maybe my lingo is wrong, is a compression not an end mill?

    anyone use the amana coated bits?

    i can't seem to figure out what type of bits for drilling shelf pegs and assembly holes.

    i will be using blind dados with assembly holes. should i cut the dados in one pass with a 3/8 down bit, or use a 1/4 down bit with 2 passes to make a 3/8 dado?

  4. #4
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    Sheet goods production is often done with compression cutters which yes, are "end mills". But they have both up-cut and downcut on the same tool and are designed to be used for full depth cutting in one pass with clean edges on both sides of the sheet stock. Hence, the differentiation in referring to them as compression bits. That's particularly important with the melamine coated stock as well as veneer plywood.

    The upside to the coated bits, such as Amana Spectra, are that they are supposed to last a little longer. The downside is that if you have them sharpened, you loose the coating. I have not tried them since I don't currently do any production work that would pre-maturely wear bits. Most of my bits are from Amana via ToolsToday or from Southeast Tools. Be sure to take advantage of quantity discounts on tools you use the most for your production and always have extras available...breakage happens.

    You can use the down-cut bits for your dados, but be sure you have an effective method for clearing the debris, such as an air stream...you don't want to burn your shop down. Using the smaller cutter with pocketing should help with that and is more accurate...a .375" cutter may not be actually .375" in diameter, even at the beginning and certainly not after sharpening. It's a best practice to measure tooling for exact size and having that in your software to maintain accuracy.

    I'm very fond of my Amana insert spoil board cutter as well as for the insert v-bits. The latter is great for production work, too, as sheet goods tend to be abrasive and being able to quickly refresh the bit with a new edge is economical over time. They are also very nicely balanced.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Jones View Post
    hey guys i just got a 5x10 7hp CNC

    right now i'm setting up the shop for the new machine. i need to order some bits, what do you guys recommend?

    i want good bits at the best price, but if a bit last 4x longer and cost 4 times as much, thats what i want.

    i'm mainly cutting plywood and melamine frameless cabinet parts

    i know i will need:

    *5mm

    *3/8 end mill? (is 3/8 what all of you guys use for cutting out parts)

    *bit to make 45 and 22.5 miters

    *spoil board bit

    i have a 10 tool changer so any other bits that you guys think i should have, shoot.

    LINKS to bits you use would help greatly.

    If your going for the cream of the crop more than likely Vortex should be on your short list, Onsrud as well as others as those are what you'll read most production shops are running. Talking shops that are breaking down units of melamine per day. We have a smattering of brands and alot of Amana just because its convenient and for whatever reason Amana's big thick catalog is always sitting on my desk so it tends to be the one I default to. Their tooling is right there with anything else we use as far as quality and tooling life but we also dont run units of melamine daily so we are not at a place where we bother to accurately track tooling life.

    We have run a few of the spektra coated bits and I honestly cant say I've ever been able to quantify a difference in tool life but again if you going to be running many many sheets you'll be able to see that your getting X number of sheets more with a given piece of tooling. In my opinion your cut strategies and toolpathing will have far more to do with your tool life early on as opposed to any tool or tool coating (provided its a quality tool to begin with). The production shops that I know of that are really working to wring every extra sheet out of a tool have already done the hard work of optimizing their toolpaths and feeds and speeds to take most all of that out of the equation and now are trying different tools to see which runs better with the melamine they run and type of work they do. Your material/brand will also affect your tool life a lot.

    Like Jim mentioned if you plan on regrinds the coating is a waste of time. But if you just plan on recycling dull tools then it may be worth it. I have tooling sharpened so I dont bother with the coatings for the most part. Just got a couple to try.

    With a big table I would recommend the biggest fly cutter you think your spindle will run. If your just doing spoil board surfacing and dont plan on doing a lot of hardwood/solid wood surfacing something in the 3-4" range for sure. Running cab parts your surfacing fairly regularly especially when its humid if you dont have climate control in your shop. A big fly cutter is a major time saver. We run the RC-2259 which is about 3 3/8" or so in diameter. Makes decking off the table fast and does really well for surfacing solids though it may push your spindle in solids. We have a 10HP spindle and with the larger cutter running lower RPM your not getting your full spindle power.

    My advice on the rest of the tooling is to just wait and order exactly what you need, when you need it, and keep the money in the bank. Dont buy tooling on speculation or just to populate your ATC. Most all suppliers are courting production shops so your orders will ship the same day and you can just build your tooling package with tools that will be making you money as opposed to buying tooling you may not use ever or often.

    Melamine cabs, if your doweling/case clamp, typically require a pretty small tooling package.

    Just my $0.02
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Jones View Post
    i can't seem to figure out what type of bits for drilling shelf pegs and assembly holes.

    i will be using blind dados with assembly holes. should i cut the dados in one pass with a 3/8 down bit, or use a 1/4 down bit with 2 passes to make a 3/8 dado?
    All of our construction and shelf boring is done with brad point. A lot of the bigger shops seem to feel they have better luck with the V point but I stick with the brad point because we set our through holes at .070" over depth and it just leaves a tiny peck and a ring in the spoil board from the point and the spurs on the drill. The V we would be into the spoil board a lot more.

    We tend to profile our dados with a smaller bit only because we find easier to adjust for actual tool diameter (they never cut their stated size) and tool wear. You'll just have to figure out what works best for you. Single pass and adjust your tennon for tool wear or profile and adjust the mortise.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    All of our construction and shelf boring is done with brad point. A lot of the bigger shops seem to feel they have better luck with the V point but I stick with the brad point because we set our through holes at .070" over depth and it just leaves a tiny peck and a ring in the spoil board from the point and the spurs on the drill. The V we would be into the spoil board a lot more.

    We tend to profile our dados with a smaller bit only because we find easier to adjust for actual tool diameter (they never cut their stated size) and tool wear. You'll just have to figure out what works best for you. Single pass and adjust your tennon for tool wear or profile and adjust the mortise.
    good info so far.

    i do plan on doing some hardwood surfacing from time to time, would you recommend having a smaller one just for hardwood?
    i don't know why but i cant seem to find brad point cnc bits, do you have any links?
    sharping is one thing i have yet to figure out, when i have got things sharpened they always seem to last half as long and cost alot. who do you use for sharpening?

    i'm not new to the whole CNC game. i ran one for years at the last shop i worked for before going on my own. but the foreman always told us how he wanted it done and his ways always seemed wrong, haha. we always used a 1/2 comp for cuting out parts, and a 5mm down for drill peg holes. needless to say i just got that same CNC for next to nothing! up untill now i always had a local guy cut out my parts so i'm pretty good with tool path stuff. ill probably just buy a few different 3/8 comp and 5mm bits and try to track what last longer and if it is worth the money.

    thanks guys

  8. #8
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    The brad points Mark mentions are likely just normal drill bits...but quality ones, of course. You can use them in CNC with an appropriate collet for the drill size and adjust the speed for that toolpath to be appropriate for drilling.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Jones View Post
    good info so far.

    i do plan on doing some hardwood surfacing from time to time, would you recommend having a smaller one just for hardwood?
    i don't know why but i cant seem to find brad point cnc bits, do you have any links?
    sharping is one thing i have yet to figure out, when i have got things sharpened they always seem to last half as long and cost alot. who do you use for sharpening?

    i'm not new to the whole CNC game. i ran one for years at the last shop i worked for before going on my own. but the foreman always told us how he wanted it done and his ways always seemed wrong, haha. we always used a 1/2 comp for cuting out parts, and a 5mm down for drill peg holes. needless to say i just got that same CNC for next to nothing! up untill now i always had a local guy cut out my parts so i'm pretty good with tool path stuff. ill probably just buy a few different 3/8 comp and 5mm bits and try to track what last longer and if it is worth the money.

    thanks guys
    If the bulk of your work is going to be sheetgoods, with a table that big, I would just get a monster spoil board cutter so you can deck off your spoil board fast (youll probably only be taking 0.010" or 0.015" to cleanup unless your digging way into your spoil board). You can then see if you think you'll need to stepdown for solids. You'll always be able to run the larger flycutter for the solids but you'll of course be limited to pass depth and feed speed. If its infrequent I'd rather have the big cutter and take a few extra passes on the solids. We have a smaller 4Z cutter and it sucks on both solids and the spoilboard. We run that larger cutter regularly at 9K RPM, 0.030 Depth, and 375IPM on solids.

    Brad points we use https://www.amanatool.com/products/b...ring-bits.html

    They are not standard bits, and you will have to pick which works best for length and collette size.

    For sharpening spirals there are several. Vanguard, National Tool, all competitive. Usually around 12-15 bucks for a 2 flute compression. Well worth it when your talking a bit that costs 80-100 bucks and has a recycle value of less than 10 dollars. All of our straight stuff we have a local sharpening shop that comes and picks up blades, shaper cutters, and straight bits.

    If your last employer used a 1/2" compression exclusively without a monster machine he was losing his shirt. There is no way with a 7.5HP spindle you can drive a 1/2" cutter full depth at its optimal load. Your talking feed's of 2000-2500IPM range running 30K RPM and a massive spindle to get to a point where your not burning up your tooling (probably 200 sheets per tool). We can barely come close to a 3/8" two flute and are still way low with 10 HP feeding at 600IPM and we are down in the 15K RPM range.

    Like I say, we dont break down units daily, but your in the same ballpark for nearly any decent quality cutter. It seems other than when something goes really haywire, your talking about getting a few extra sheets per tool one way or the other. Have no idea what your volume will be but unless your talking a couple hundred sheets a week (perhaps a couple tools a week) it would seem hard to quantify.
    Last edited by Mark Bolton; 08-12-2018 at 5:58 PM.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  10. #10
    Brad points we use https://www.amanatool.com/products/b...ring-bits.html

    thank you so much for that!


    If your last employer used a 1/2" compression exclusively without a monster machine he was losing his shirt. There is no way with a 7.5HP spindle you can drive a 1/2" cutter full depth at its optimal load. Your talking feed's of 2000-2500IPM range running 30K RPM and a massive spindle to get to a point where your not burning up your tooling (probably 200 sheets per tool). We can barely come close to a 3/8" two flute and are still way low with 10 HP feeding at 600IPM and we are down in the 15K RPM range.

    haha tell me about it. but i must say, because they really couldn't figure it out i got it from them for a steal! 3k for the CNC and a automatic edge bander. i probably will add a second vacuum pump down the line. it is a 10hp i think

  11. #11
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    Mark, thanks for the clarification on the brad-points.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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