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Face Milling is the process of machining flat level surfaces; slots & grooves are machined using endmills etc. Although nowadays, with the use of CNC machine centres aided with milling software, milling has opened up to 3D profiling and complex moulds required in toolmaking which used to be spark eroded on EDM machines. The geometry of the carbide inserts can be very complex allowing for maximum metal removal at high feed rates. Also leaving high quality finishes which in turn can eliminate days of polishing plastic moulds.facemill005.jpg

Face milling or face machining is used to block out or level off a job using a face milling cutter with indexable carbide inserts. Facemills can range from 50mm, 63mm, 80mm, 100mm, 125mm,160mm, 200mm up to larger custom sizes. The workpiece is usually held in a machine vice, clamped in a fixture or jig, or production milling uses pallets & tombstones with vices or clamping fixtures, which allow many pieces to be under the spindle to save set up time.

The majority of facemilling is done best with 45' approach face cutters. This allows a softer cut leading into the job, lower horsepower, reduced chatter & vibration and longer tool life.



facemill009.jpgThe German's latest technology, Walter's F4033 series facemill (pictured), is one of the most efficient and economical cutters in the world today. SNMX carbide inserts being square and also positive geometry allow the 8 cutting edges & deep cuts.

Generally, face machining in production is levelling off castings. As the castings have improved with technology, only requiring mm's of metal removal, actual machines have become lighter and more economical to purchase and so have facemills become more efficient. The move towards positive rake milling from the bigger carbide companies was present aprox.15 years ago. Milling was always beefy, strong negative rake carbide inserts required to bulldoze away at material with plenty of horsepower needed to push them. Now positive rake geometry allows softer cuts slicing material hence better finishes, less chatter vibration, less load on the lighter machine spindles and clamping.


facemill012.gif"High speed machining" is common amongst toolmaking, which is basically very light passes at huge feed rates, 4M/min is quiet common, but only a 0.5mm depth of cut. This is easy on the machine spindle, with little load leaving great finishes. Obviously tool life is increased dramatically - actually more efficient and faster - rather than deeper cuts with a lot of load; i.e; 10 x 0.5mm passes at a high feed rate is quicker & more economical on tools & machine than 2 x 5mm passes at a slow feed rate. Give this method a try yourself. 


facemill013.jpg90' Facemills are generally saved where a 90' edge or wall is required, Walter's F4042 - 90' facemill (as pictured) has high sheer positive rake for soft cutting. However, usually smaller 50 or 63mm cutters are the most popular. Alternatively, hog out the stock with a 45' facemill cutter, then finish the edge with a 90' endmill. This is often the best approach for the machine and job also. facemill017.jpg


Give Miller's Tooling a call, as there are numerous types of facemills available depending on your usage. Most larger carbide companies tend to have their own unique geometries offering varying advantages.  The facemills also require an arbor (see arbors & adaptors) to suit your machine spindle and drawbar thread.

We also have one piece Taiwan & Chinese facemill cutters at budget prices to suit ISO carbide inserts.

TAEGUTEC Toolholders & Carbide Inserts          Taegutec Logo.jpg

ISCAR Toolholders & Carbide Inserts                 ToolHolders_image012.jpg

SECO Toolholders & Carbide Inserts                 ToolHolders_image016.gif 

SANDVIK COROMANT Toolholders & Carbide Inserts    ToolHolders_image014.gif

TAEGUTEC Toolholders & Carbide Inserts      ToolHolders_image018.gif

VALENITE Toolholders & Carbide Inserts               ToolHolders_image020.gif

WIDIA Toolholders & Carbide Inserts                      ToolHolders_image022.gif

KENNAMETAL Toolholders & Carbide Inserts       ToolHolders_image024.gif

TUNGALOY Toolholders & Carbide Inserts             ToolHolders_image026.gif    

MITSUBISHI Toolholders & Carbide Inserts            ToolHolders_image028.gif

SUMITOMO Toolholders & Carbide Inserts            ToolHolders_image030.gif

KYOCERA Toolholders & Carbide Inserts                 ToolHolders_image032.gif

STELLRAM Toolholders & Carbide Inserts           ToolHolders_image034.gif 

WALTER Toolholders & Carbide Inserts            carbide_inserts_image006.jpg          walterlogo new small.jpg

Conventional Milling versus Climb Milling:
A milling cutter can cut in two directions, sometimes known as climb or conventional.

facemill049.gifConventional Milling:

The depth of the cut starts at zero thickness and increases up to the maximum. The cut is so light at the beginning that the tool does not cut, but slides across the surface of the material, until sufficient pressure is built up and the tooth suddenly bites and begins to cut. This deforms the material (at point A on the diagram, left), work hardening it, and dulling the tool. The sliding and biting behaviour leaves a poor finish on the material.


Conventional milling.

Point A may become work hardened.



facemill051.jpgClimb Milling:

Each tooth engages the material at a definite point and the width of the cut starts at the maximum and decreases to zero. The chips are disposed behind the cutter, leading to easier swarf removal. The tooth does not rub on the material and so tool life may be longer. However, climb milling can apply larger loads to the machine, and so is not recommended for older milling machines, or machines which are not in good condition. This type of milling is used predominantly on mills with a backlash eliminator.


Chip formation during climb milling.




facemill052.jpgSLAB MILL (HSS)

Slab mills are used either by themselves or in gang milling operations on manual horizontal or universal milling machines to machine large broad surfaces quickly. They have been superseded by the use of carbide tipped face mills that are then used in vertical mills or machining centres.



facemill053.jpgSIDE & FACE CUTTERS (HSS)

The side-and-face cutter is designed with cutting teeth on its side as well as its circumference. They are made in varying diameters and widths depending on the application. The teeth on the side allow the cutter to make unbalanced cuts (cutting on one side only) without deflecting the cutter as would happen with a slitting saw or slot cutter (no side teeth).




The image shows a Number 4 cutter from an involute gear cutting set. There are 8 cutters (excluding the rare half sizes) that will cut gears from 12 teeth through to a rack (infinite diameter). The cutter shown has markings that show it is:
• 10 DP (diametrical pitch) cutter;
• that it is No. 4 in the set;
• that it cuts gears from 26 through to 34 teeth;
• it will cut gears with teeth giving the gear a 14.5 degree pressure angle.


facemill055.jpgGEAR HOBBING CUTTER

These cutters are a type of form tool and are used in hobbing machines to generate gears. A cross section of the cutters tooth will generate the required shape on the workpiece, once set to the appropriate conditions (blank size). A hobbing machine is a specialised milling machine for gear cutting.


facemill056.jpgWOODRUFF CUTTER

Woodruff cutters make the seat for woodruff keys. These keys retain pulleys on shafts and are shaped as shown in the image.

(various sizes pictured)



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High speed aluminum machining

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» Exceptional productivity for aluminum and non-ferrous material machining
» Can be applied to rough and finish machining
» Available in various corner radii (XEVT1605: R0.4-R5.0/ XEVT 2206: R0.5-R6.4)
» Secure, stable and unique “V” bottom & unique stopper design 

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