SO3 End Mill Selections for Different Projects

Discussion about Tooling and Fixtures. End Mills, Router Bits, Hold Downs, Fixtures, Etc.
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madhatter
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:33 am
Location: WA, USA

SO3 End Mill Selections for Different Projects

Post by madhatter » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:07 pm

Okay, this forum has been very helpful preparing me for my SO3 that I ordered back in December. Below is a list of bits and collets I have purchased. If someone would be kind enough to let me know if I need to buy anything else for the projects I have planned, that would be great. I plan on using my SO3 for:

Making PC Boards from FR4
wood projects - both hardwoods (ebony, ipe, purpleheart, maple, zebrawood, cocobolo. . .) and softwoods (pine, fir, cedar maybe) and bamboo cutting boards to start.
Plastics - Cast/extruded acrylic, HDPE, UHMW (I live next to a TAP Plastics and can get scrap pieces up to ~8"x10" for $1.75/lb I have a bunch of pieces right now that are ~6"x6"x1/2" clear)
Aluminum - up to 1/4" thick. A friend works at a boat builder and has permission to take what he wants from the scrap bins. I have a lot of unknown aluminum scrap up to 1/4" thick

Basically, I want to make EVERYTHING! But I will be starting with practicing on pine, scrap plastics (which are best to work with?), hardboard, whatever.

I already have:

DeWalt DWP611
PreciseBits Dewalt 611 Ultra-Precision Collet Kit (contains 1/8in., 1/4 in. & 3/16 in. UP collets, collet nut, Talon spanner wrench, calibration blank and 118 ml of ColletCare)

Thinking about getting two additional collet nuts for the other collets. Thoughts?

For end mills, this is what I have:

Code: Select all

       1/4" Diameter
-----------------------------			
Qty   Length      End       Flutes
 1	  4"	      Square      2
 1	  4"	      Square      4
 1	  4"	      Ball        2
 1	  4"	      Ball        4
 1	  2"	      Square      2
 1	  2"	      Square      4
 1	  2"	      Ball        2
 1	  2"	      Ball        4

       1/8" Diameter
-----------------------------			
Qty   Length      End       Flutes
 10               Square      2
 09               Ball        2
 10               Square      1

       1/16" Diameter
-----------------------------			
Qty   Length      End       Flutes
 10               Square      2
 10               Square      1

       1/32" Diameter
-----------------------------			
Qty   Length      End       Flutes
 10               Square      2

       30 Degree Taper
-----------------------------			
Qty   Length      End       Flutes
 10               .006        2

    Burr (For Fiberglass)
-----------------------------			
Qty   Length      Dia       Flutes
 10               0.063”    Diamond
So, my questions:

Am I missing anything? I know I don't have ball end mills for the smaller diameters. They are not common from what I have seen online. I am thinking they are not used as much?

Is it worth buying the two extra collet nuts for the other collets?

Would I use a different end mill for the soft woods vs. the hard woods?

Which plastics are easiest to mill? I believe I read that the cast acrylics are better than the extruded. Can I get a confirmation?
The TAP Plastics by my house always has King Starboard (HDPE) in the scrap bin, usually in 1/2" thicknesses. Is this easy to work with? Which bit(s) would I use to make my life easier?

Thanks,
SO3 #0054
DWP611 - SuperPID
Prusa i3 MkII
SolidWorks 2015

WillAdams
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Re: SO3 End Mill Selections for Different Projects

Post by WillAdams » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:14 pm

Spare collet nuts are a huge convenience.

I've done a fair bit w/ HDPE and find it easy to mill and work w/ and reasonably strong / durable (w/in expectations).

Rather than just collect tools, my advice is to instead, plan projects, draw up a list of parts and tools necessary, and then buy and use those, so put down the credit card and pick up a pencil and start drawing / sketching.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

madhatter
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:33 am
Location: WA, USA

Re: SO3 End Mill Selections for Different Projects

Post by madhatter » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:59 pm

. . .so put down the credit card. . .
*Gasp!* :o

Okay, good plan. I do have a few projects I am working on in SolidWorks. I guess I can pay attention to the interior pockets and make them work with the bits I have.
SO3 #0054
DWP611 - SuperPID
Prusa i3 MkII
SolidWorks 2015

Gadgetman!
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Re: SO3 End Mill Selections for Different Projects

Post by Gadgetman! » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:09 pm

The only thing missing in that list of endmills is possibly something LARGE diameter, for skimming the wasteboard.
Or does the SO3 have an aluminium board?
(May be useful for skimming the top of any piece of woo you're working on, anyway)

I don't know the collets and nuts on your spindle, but if it's an ER-type, you really want a nut for each one as they're annoying to remove from the collet.
(Yes, even for the 3/16" one, so that you don't have to nick it from one of the others whenever you need to use that collet. hint; Dremel Trio uses 3/16" shank tools)

How many of those endmills are downcut?
(They make a much nicer cut in soft woods and Plywood)

I don't have all the tools I would like to own, yet...
But I have the rule that whenever I find that a certain tool would be best for the job at hand(any job. CnC, tinkering with my car, electronics, whatever), even if I managed to 'bodge it' somehow, I go and buy the right tool for the job, even if I won't be needing it again in the forseable future.
(So far, I have been surprised several times with how bad I am at predicting the future, and have actually ended up using some of those tools... )

The last one I ordered is a 15meter long boroscope...
(It was the longest I could find on eBay)

I also have a secondary rule, which applies whenever I buy stuff online; always 'pad out' the order to get as close as possible to the 'tax/vat-free' limit as possible. And then I skim through whatever else the same seller has looking for the oddball tool or item.
And a collorary; if the main item costs more than the limit, may as well get my money's worth for the handling fee...
(My CC company loves me... )
Weird guy...
Shapeoko 2014F: 1000mm X/Y, 300W Quiet Cut spindle, Arduino Uno/G-shield and GRBL 0.9i
15x30 drag chains, custom spindle mount, 9mm belts, 8mm endplates, 6mm motor plates.

WillAdams
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Re: SO3 End Mill Selections for Different Projects

Post by WillAdams » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:27 pm

Gadgetman! wrote:The only thing missing in that list of endmills is possibly something LARGE diameter, for skimming the wasteboard.
That would be: http://www.micromark.com/micro-fly-cutter,9738.html

Linked from: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... Fly_Cutter
Or does the SO3 have an aluminium board?
No, MDF AFAIK.

Hoping someone will find something perfect along the lines of: http://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/result/?K ... -15250-500 as used for the SO2: http://www.reddit.com/r/shapeoko/commen ... s2/cnj9ia5 http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 381#p18074
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

madhatter
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:33 am
Location: WA, USA

Re: SO3 End Mill Selections for Different Projects

Post by madhatter » Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:01 am

Gadgetman! wrote:The only thing missing in that list of endmills is possibly something LARGE diameter, for skimming the wasteboard.
Yes, I have been looking at the micro fly cutter posted on here before, but the only reason I have not purchased it yet is I didn't see any spare cutters for it on the site. I am pretty sure I am going to destroy at least one of the cutter insert learning how to sharpen it before I get it right.
Gadgetman! wrote: I don't know the collets and nuts on your spindle, but if it's an ER-type, you really want a nut for each one as they're annoying to remove from the collet.
(Yes, even for the 3/16" one, so that you don't have to nick it from one of the others whenever you need to use that collet. hint; Dremel Trio uses 3/16" shank tools)
I bought the Precise Bits Ultra Precise kit with the 1/4, 3/16 and 1/8 in collets. I do plan on buying the two additional collars shortly.
Gadgetman! wrote:How many of those endmills are downcut?
(They make a much nicer cut in soft woods and Plywood)
Uuuuuh. . . Most likely none of them. I think if I do any projects in soft wood, it will be more of a practice run before making it in hardwood. I am lucky in that I have access to metal - both by a friend who has access to a scrap bin as well as being able to buy scrap by the pound from a metal shop local. I also live near a WoodCraft and can rummage through their "odds and ends" bin for scraps of exotic woods for a decent price to practice, as well as browse their pretty good selection of wood.

Would a straight flute end mill be better on wood than a down-cut?
SO3 #0054
DWP611 - SuperPID
Prusa i3 MkII
SolidWorks 2015

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