Angle milling, side milling, end milling or just cutting gear hobs. You need rigidity, precision and control to mill safely no matter what you are doing. The machine and the quality of your blades and saw arbors matters.
Rigidity in the mill
Vibration is not your friend; it is your enemy. Use a rigid machine. The more rigid the machine the more accurate the cuts. Weight is one indicator of rigidity of the machine. More weight is better. Another factory in rigidity is the amount of contact space between the moving and stationary parts. The more the better. Same for spindle size. A larger spindle is more rigid than a smaller spindle.
Selecting the right cutter
Precision and control are also affected by the cutter. Here are the parts of a cutter:
Pitch. The angular distance between the teeth. It is determined by the number of teeth.
Cutting Edge. The forward-facing edge on the tooth. It is the cutting edge on the tooth that does the cutting. The more teeth on the cutter, the higher feed rates you can use.
Land. The land is the space behind the cutting tooth angle.
Hole Diameter. This is an important part. This is the where the arbor meets the cutter. The size of the arbor must match the size of the hole diameter.
Slitting/Slotting Saw Blades. These blades are very thin versions of a milling cutter. They have the same parts as all cutters. Blades come in various thicknesses. Always use the thickest blade possible to maximize rigidity. Thicker blades perform better than thin blades.
When you set up CNC software for cutting, you enter the number of teeth, the cutter diameter, the blade thickness and the cutter material (HSS or carbide).
Saw arbors for rigidity
Once you have the right machine and the right cutter for precision and control don’t blow it by using the wrong saw arbor. Saw arbors are key to maintaining rigidity. The wrong saw arbor will have your cutter weaving, wobbling, and staggering like a drunken sailor. It ruins work, breaks blades, and is dangerous.
Sierra American Multi-Systems manufactures a full line of saw arbors to give you rigidity, precision and control. They hold your cutter firmly and safely. Every saw arbor has a deep low profile cap, so you get extra support exactly where you want it. There is less slippage too. For even more control, use ultra precision saw arbors.
You will find Sierra American saw arbors sold individually or in sets. If you don’t see Sierra American, ask for it by name.