1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. PLEASE: Read the FORUM RULES BEFORE registering!

    Dismiss Notice

Lathe Cutting Tools

Discussion in 'A BEGINNER'S FORUM (Learn How To Machine Here!)' started by TXShelbyman, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. TXShelbyman

    TXShelbyman United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City:
    Nederland
    State:
    Texas

    -Return to Top-

    What do most of you guys use on your lathe. Do you use tooling with inserts or do you grind your own tools? I've been out of machining for about 40 years and I know things have changed. I am trying to get back in the swing of it. Thanks!

    Jeb Watts

    Rong Fu mill clone
    11" Sheldon lathe
    6" Atlas lathe
    Horizontal Atlas mill
     
    gregc likes this.
  2. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,571
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Honolulu
    State:
    Hawaii

    -Return to Top-

    Welcome to HM, Jeb!

    I use both HSS and inserted carbide on my 11" lathe; 90% of the time I use HSS. On older, slower lathes, I think HSS is a good choice but there are many who disagree. For your little Atlas, though, I would only use HSS because it lacks the rigidity, speed and power carbide requires.
     
    Ulma Doctor likes this.
  3. T Bredehoft

    T Bredehoft Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    1,328
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    City:
    St. Louisville
    State:
    Ohio

    -Return to Top-

    Hig Speed Steel, (HSS) is the way to learn cutting on a lathe. Inserted Carbide tooling is for professionals who must make time pay for the tooling. Its great if you have lots of the same work, lots of horsepower, and little time.
    Learn to use HSS, you may never go to carbide, but if you do you will have the experience to know what you want when you need it.
     
    Ulma Doctor and mikey like this.
  4. BGHansen

    BGHansen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    1,370
    Trophy Points:
    93
    City:
    Charlotte
    State:
    Michigan

    -Return to Top-

    I use carbide inserts 99% of the time. I have one QCTP tool holder with HSS mounted in case I'm doing an interrupted cut. Also have a couple of very small diameter HSS boring bars with and without a 60 deg. point for threading or boring. Just getting lazy in my old age as my bench grinders would require a 30 foot walk from the lathes to touch up a tool bit.

    Like others above have mentioned, start with HSS and learn to grind/stone proper tool bits. Then try some inserts. The Arthur R. Warner company sells HSS inserts that may give you the best of both worlds. Here's their web site and a snippy of their HSS inserts which should drop into the appropriate tool holder. You can stone/grind these for resuse. I don't have any of their products (yet), but have never read a negative comment about them.

    The triangular "T" series are a good ones to get as there are many sources for the 5-piece carbide insert ('3' size) 1/2" or 5/8" shank sets of tool bits out there for under $40. Shars, CDCOtools, etc. That'll let you swap between HSS and carbide inserts to decide which way you want to go. Or like most of us on the forum, buy both because too many options is always an option . . .

    I buy my carbide inserts primarily off eBay. Generally they can be found for about $1 each. If you go the carbide insert route, do a search on eBay for the bit size/style you're after and dozens of matches will show up. Had very good luck with the seller "zimi-hk" and others.

    Bruce

    http://www.arwarnerco.com/

    upload_2017-6-16_7-42-56.png
     
    Ulma Doctor and darkzero like this.
  5. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    151
    Trophy Points:
    43
    City:
    Dansville
    State:
    New York

    -Return to Top-

    I use HSS almost exclusively. The only time I use carbide is on a burnt edge or maybe a weld repair. My lathe is a 15" SB 1930's vintage so it uses slower speeds. For me, the type of tooling I would use would depend on a few things: the material, the OD, the rigidity of the machine, the set-up, etc. etc.. Also, in a lot of cases, HSS requires less HP from a machine (because of positive rake and better cutting). It's easy to tweak the grind on a tool for whatever you are doing and not so much for carbide...

    Bottom line, it doesn't make much difference as long as you get the results you want/need and have the money to pay for it! ;)

    Have fun re-discovering you hobby!
    Ted
     
    mikey, brino, Ulma Doctor and 2 others like this.
  6. cascao

    cascao Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    419
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Belo Horizonte, MG Brasil
    City:
    Belo Horizonte
    State:
    Outside US / Canada

    -Return to Top-

    I use most brazed carbide tip on steel and for aluminium HSS.
     
    mikey, Ulma Doctor and 4gsr like this.
  7. Buffalo20

    Buffalo20 United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    278
    Trophy Points:
    63
    City:
    Camden
    State:
    New York

    -Return to Top-

    I use carbide inserts about 95% of the time and with extreme rough or interrupted cuts, the last 5%, I use bonded carbide tool bits. The inserts I use range from about $1 each to about $25 each, their type is based on the material and type of cut. I buy the bonded carbide tool bits, by the box, usually at about $.25-$.50 each, which to me, makes them throw aways. I use them to get down to the point, where I can switch to insert tools, without ruining inserts.

    I started out using HSS in my grandfather's shop and continued to use them, when I got machines of my own, I got angry, when in the middle of a cut, I had to regrind the tool, and having to reset to get the tool back to the original cutting position, inserts are much easier. I think the last time I rummaged through the HSS selection, was about 8-10 years ago, when I needed a piece of 1/4 in HSS stock, for one of the friends. I haven't used HSS in the last 15+ years.

    The types and grades of carbide inserts available today, is unbelievable, compared to what was available 30-40 years ago. Inserts like the CCMT series, has changed the machining world, for about 15-20 of the local (home shop) maching guys I deal with on a regular basis.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
    ELHEAD, darkzero and wrmiller like this.
  8. wrmiller

    wrmiller Chief Tinkerer H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    1,011
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Hereford
    State:
    Arizona

    -Return to Top-

    I only use carbide inserts on my 1340, and they work very well for me. Same on my previous SB1001 lathe.

    But according to a friend I do tend to turn at higher speeds than some folks do. Maybe that is why it works for me?
     
    mikey, Ulma Doctor and darkzero like this.
  9. RJSakowski

    RJSakowski H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,605
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Barneveld
    State:
    Wisconsin

    -Return to Top-

    I use brazed carbide or HSS tools. The primary reason is that I can dress/regrind tools which provides for very economical operation.
     
    mikey and Ulma Doctor like this.
  10. Splat

    Splat Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    114
    Trophy Points:
    63
    City:
    here and there...
    State:
    New Jersey

    -Return to Top-

    I've been using 1/4" HSS bits with a Diamond Tool holder, which is a tangential type holder. I love it. Tool bits are easily found, cheap, and last seemingly forever. I was going to go with carbide inserts but couldn't justify the cost in a home shop. Also considered AR Warner's HSS inserts but I don't like the fact that they're the only place that has them so you're locked into them. Check out a tangential holder. Amazing results.
     
    mikey and darkzero like this.
  11. Buffalo20

    Buffalo20 United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    278
    Trophy Points:
    63
    City:
    Camden
    State:
    New York

    -Return to Top-

    I have no doubt that Splat's success with the tangential style tool, has been excellent, but my venture down that path, was a gut wrenching disaster. About 6-8 years ago I bought a tangential tool, from a supplier, the tool came from Australia, first it took almost 4 months to get it, and my results went down hill from there. Cut quality was terrible, the tip needed constant sharpening, just extremely frustrating to deal with. They replace the tool twice, with absolutely no change in operation, they sent me, different and per-ground tool bits, still crap poor results. I tried many different speeds and feeds, 3 different brands of HSS tool bits and different cutting heights, no matter what I did, it looked like I used a hacksaw or blunt wood chisel, as a cutting tool.

    I tried it on all of my lathes, a Atlas 12 x 54, a South Bend (both long gone) and my current 14 x 40 Jet, also tried it on a few of my friend's lathes, they got similar results to mine. I have a friend with a TOS lathe, who I believe, still has the tool in his shop, he tried it and said it was crap. Then again, 2 friends, I have in Texas and Georgia, have them and love them. I have and neither did the supplier, have any idea of what was wrong.
     
  12. Splat

    Splat Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    114
    Trophy Points:
    63
    City:
    here and there...
    State:
    New Jersey

    -Return to Top-

    Jack, was that the Diamond version from Eccentric Engineering? I know they have changed the tool around a little but I believe it had to do with the angle of tool presentation. That sucks you had bad luck. I love mine.
     
  13. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,571
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Honolulu
    State:
    Hawaii

    -Return to Top-

    Odd. In all the comments I've seen about the Diamond tool holder sold by Baycom and the one from Eccentric Engineering, I've never seen a negative impression. It would be interesting to figure out why your experience was the exception.
     
  14. Flyrod

    Flyrod United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Miami
    State:
    Florida

    -Return to Top-

    It is interesting to read that several people shy away from hss b/c of having to grind/re-grind

    if hss is better for your application, can't you have the best of both worlds by using inserts that are made of hss and not carbide? - according to this clip:



    they can be resharpened, come in every varity (like carbide inserts), are a lot cheaper, and have the benefits of hss as a material (where hss's pros are a benefit) and yet have the convenience of a quick turn of a screw and having a new perfectly ground edge and the luxury of not having to hand grind?

    are there many out there that use inserts but made of hss rather than carbide?

    is there some downside to hss inserts that make them undesirable?

    thanks
     
  15. Ulma Doctor

    Ulma Doctor Infinitely Curious Active Member

    Likes Received:
    3,042
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Ethereal Plane
    City:
    Tracy
    State:
    California

    -Return to Top-

    i vacillate between carbide insert tooling and hss, dependent on the job requirements or material.
    insert tooling is very convenient and quick to use, but sometimes inserts break at the WRONG TIME :mad: and can foul the work
    i'd offer the suggestion of getting Inserts (both Carbide and HSS) and HSS blanks, so that you may make the comparison for yourself.
    If you are turning some tougher materials, i'd also suggest 8%Cobalt HSS blanks , they are really useful.
    HSS is generally very inexpensive can easily sharpen hundreds of times by hand on a bench grinder with common aluminum oxide wheels.
    Carbide is generally more expensive will need Green Stone or a Diamond wheel to sharpen, then hone to best effectiveness. (an AlO3 wheel can sharpen carbide but it tears the wheel up due to the application force necessary to grind)
     
    4gsr, mikey, ch2co and 1 other person like this.
  16. Flyrod

    Flyrod United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Miami
    State:
    Florida

    -Return to Top-

    thanks Mike - i am new it at this so forgive me if i am being slow

    i thought the breaking issue was with carbide (and ceramic?) only and NOT HSS inserts, such that all of the convenience of an insert can be had w/o breakage and without being as expensive and being able to to sharpen the HSS insert? is that not correct?

    even with all of that, it may be that you are saying (as many other threads have) that certain spots just require you to grind something special and you need an hss blank or blanks...this i get

    but is the reason people are avoiding inserts (for those that are) b/c of the breakage and cost issue primarily? - if so, it seems that hss inserts should solve that...probably i am missing something

    thanks!
     
    Ulma Doctor likes this.
  17. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,571
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Honolulu
    State:
    Hawaii

    -Return to Top-

    The inserted HSS tools from AR Warner are very nice, for the reasons you cited. However, they have the geometry of an inserted tool and therefore cut like an inserted tool and this is where I think a well-ground HSS tool has a significant advantage. I own the ARW set and rarely ever use them because my HSS tools easily outperform them, just as they outperform carbide on my lathe for most jobs.

    The problem with HSS tooling is that the geometry matters and you sort of need to understand how things work. Lots of guys try grinding HSS tools but they don't really have an appreciation for the geometry. When they try it, they find the tools don't cut much better than an inserted or brazed carbide tool so they come to prefer those carbide tools; I don't blame them, either. The downside to this is that many hobby shop carbide users have smaller, less powerful lathes that also lack the rigidity and speed to use carbide well and this limits what the lathe is really capable of.

    So, IMHO, if you just want to use your lathe then sharpened brazed carbide tools are a good starting point. If you wish to use inserted tip tools then I would go with an SCLCR/L tool holder that uses CCMT or CCGT inserts that work better than the old geometry that the ARW tools use. If your lathe is small and not really rigid or powerful then you are far better off learning to grind a good HSS tool, and the smaller and slower the lathe, the more important HSS tooling becomes.
     
    brino and Ulma Doctor like this.
  18. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    151
    Trophy Points:
    43
    City:
    Dansville
    State:
    New York

    -Return to Top-

    One thing I didn't mention in my previous post is that I just plain enjoy grinding my own tool bits! My shop is a hobby shop and grinding my own cutting tools is part of my enjoyment. I get satisfaction from being able to sharpen bits, drill bits, etc.. Even after all these years I'm still trying to improve my skill. Grinding, then finishing off with a fine hone to get that really nice surface finish! Grinding threading tools and other geometries offer an even bigger challenge.

    So, use whatever you enjoy using and have fun! :)

    Ted
     
    brino, mikey and Ulma Doctor like this.
  19. Flyrod

    Flyrod United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Miami
    State:
    Florida

    -Return to Top-

    Mike thanks

    i think i get it now - yes hss may not break like carbide and may be cheaper, but they come in a set, limited variety of cuts and so any insert set (carbide or hss) is more limited than hss blanks that you can grind any way you want

    ++++++++++++

    as to whether i can use inserts if i wanted to, I have a Logan 11" lathe

    my guess is that is in between "small and not really rigid or powerful" and a powerful, rigid beast

    with that in mind, is there enough power and rigidity there to effectively use inserts?

    thanks
     
  20. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,571
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Honolulu
    State:
    Hawaii

    -Return to Top-

    This is a difficult question to answer accurately because there are many factors involved. You have to understand that a inserted carbide tool also has geometry that is optimized for cutting conditions (speed, feed and depth of cut) most older lathes cannot meet. This is not to say the insert will not cut; it just won't cut as intended. On a short, rigid, high speed CNC lathe, they work extremely well. On a old, less rigid and slow lathe, they will still cut but they won't work as well. It's tempting to just leave it there because it is true ... sort of.

    There is a lot you need to know about inserts before choosing and using inserts. There are literally thousands of them to choose from and each is optimized for a particular material and each has its own cutting conditions. All of them assume your machine can handle these cutting conditions, especially the required speed. The vast majority of inserts require speeds beyond what most older lathes can achieve, and the smaller the work and softer the material the faster the required speeds are. In addition, most inserts have chip breakers that require a certain depth of cut to work effectively. Add in the effect of the nose radius, which has a required depth of cut and feed rate to both rough and finish and the picture gets complicated. And we haven't even considered rake angles yet.

    Add to this the fact that choosing an inserted carbide tool is not just about which tool you choose. It is also very much about how you use that tool. You need to understand the minimum depths of cut you can take and how the nose radius impacts on the cutting forces you deal with in every cut. Only then do you gain an appreciation for deflection and how this affects accuracy. If you doubt that deflection, nose radius, feed and speed have an impact, try taking 0.0005" off the diameter and see how accurate your cut is. And this applies whether your insert is carbide or HSS.

    I am not saying you shouldn't use carbide or a HSS insert. I am saying that there is more to it than you think and you need to learn more before choosing if this is the route you go. Personally, I contacted Seco and asked questions before choosing the SCLCR tool and inserts I use, and I use them when I can meet the cutting conditions those tools require. That is, mostly largish pieces of harder steels. Otherwise, I use HSS tools that will cut well at the speeds and feeds my lathe can easily meet.

    And if you think this is all complicated, wait until you try to figure out how to bore an accurate hole using inserted carbide boring bars. ;)

    EDIT: I should add that your lathe was intended to use HSS tooling. It is rigid enough, has enough power and can run at the right speeds for HSS. The only problem with this is that you have to learn to grind a HSS tool. Luckily, this is not hard to do and will allow your lathe to work as it should.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
    Sandia, .LMS., Ulma Doctor and 3 others like this.
  21. Flyrod

    Flyrod United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Miami
    State:
    Florida

    -Return to Top-

    Thanks Mike - much appreciated
     
  22. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,571
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Honolulu
    State:
    Hawaii

    -Return to Top-

    From your lengthy response, I presume I either discouraged you or confused you, or both. I didn't intend either one. I, too, have an 11" lathe but it is tight, has a 2HP motor, runs at a max speed of 2200 rpm and is very rigid for its size. Your Logan is a good lathe and it will work well for you with the right tool.

    Don't be discouraged. Try some brazed carbide tools. Sharpen them, put a small nose radius on them and you will be surprised how well they work. They can run fast or slow, although faster is better. I really like brazed carbide tools from Micro 100 but many guys use tools from China with good results. This will allow you to learn to use your lathe and maybe even devote some time to learning about grinding HSS tools.

    If you are simply curious and have the money, I can tell you that a 3/8" SCLCR tool holder that takes 22.51 or 22.52 CCMT and CCGT inserts will work on your lathe. You will not get the speed you need for them to work as well as they can but they will work for you, at least enough for you to form your own impression of them.

    Good luck, and remember that there are many other opinions out there. I may be totally wrong!
     
    wrmiller and Ulma Doctor like this.
  23. Flyrod

    Flyrod United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Miami
    State:
    Florida

    -Return to Top-

    On the contrary, you convinced me to go hss blanks and learn to grind - as you say: (i) that is what the lathe was designed to do; (ii) the lathe cannot take full advantage of inserts

    So I'll give that a try - I think i will buy a few tools already ground and learn grinding by touching them up

    you have been very helpful - thanks Mike
     
    brino, wrmiller, Ulma Doctor and 2 others like this.
  24. TXShelbyman

    TXShelbyman United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City:
    Nederland
    State:
    Texas

    -Return to Top-

    Thanks for all the input guys! I have a ton of HSS blanks. I have been watching videos on grinding tools so I will probably go that route for a while. I will need to get a machinist protractor to I can get all my angles correct. I have always just eyeballed the angles, and getting mixed results. I think that grinding my own tooling will give me more satisfaction knowing I ground it correctly myself. (or ground it wrong) I guess it is all part of the learning process. Later I will probably try an insert. Thanks again.
     
    Technical Ted and mikey like this.
  25. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,571
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Honolulu
    State:
    Hawaii

    -Return to Top-

    Flyrod, TXShelbyman, I wrote a thread on grinding HSS tools here: http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/how-to-grind-a-hss-turning-tool.52581/

    If you can grind a flat spot on the end of a square piece of HSS three times in a row then you can grind a lathe tool. Its not quite on the level of walking and chewing gum at the same time but its close. Actually, grinding the tool is not the trick; picking the right angles to use for each flat is the trick. Read the articles I linked to at the end of the original post and it will give you some direction.

    If you have questions, post to that thread I linked to above and I or someone else will try to answer them.

    Mikey
     
    4gsr, wrmiller, Ulma Doctor and 2 others like this.
  26. Flyrod

    Flyrod United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Miami
    State:
    Florida

    -Return to Top-

    thank you
     
    mikey likes this.
  27. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    151
    Trophy Points:
    43
    City:
    Dansville
    State:
    New York

    -Return to Top-

    My suggestion for anyone wanting to learn how to sharpen HSS tool bits is simple: Just jump in with both feet and start doing it! :)

    Try different grinds until you get the tool to cut/perform the way you want. If it doesn't work, just do some more experimenting. You've got nothing to lose and a lot to gain. There definitely is a feeling of satisfaction grinding your own bits and drills. Before you know it, anyone can get to the point where you will just start eye balling things and it will become quicker and quicker to touch bits up.

    Another thing to play with is where your tool is on center. I like to run mine just a little bit above center (except for threading, tapers, etc. where the bit needs to be right on center), but YMMV and you'll have to experiment with your individual tool and lathe.

    Have fun!
    Ted
     
    brino and mikey like this.
  28. Buffalo20

    Buffalo20 United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    278
    Trophy Points:
    63
    City:
    Camden
    State:
    New York

    -Return to Top-

    Its good to read everyones opinion, on a topic, read their responses, then let it soak in, even if your experience has been totally different. One of the reason I joined the site, was to view how other people do a certain job or procedure, to see if it differs from your way and then determine if your way or theirs is better. Whether you agree or don't agree, with their post, to me its still viable information, it might not work for you now, but might spark an idea, at a later time.
     
    mikey, wrmiller and Technical Ted like this.
  29. Cavediver

    Cavediver United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Buford
    State:
    Georgia

    -Return to Top-

    There are a ton of great tips in that thread. For me, one of the best takeaways was the use of wood push blocks. This tip helped me take my 10 facet sides down to one or two, giving me a more consistent grind and sharper edges, and it makes honing much easier.
     
    brino, mikey and francist like this.
  30. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,571
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Honolulu
    State:
    Hawaii

    -Return to Top-

    Ted, glad you enjoy grinding tools. If you would like to share how they look, post some pics, either here or in my thread I linked to. Many of us enjoy seeing what other guys are doing and then hearing how those tools work for them.
     
    Technical Ted likes this.

Share This Page