Fly cutters are a tool that should be in any machinist’s shop. It doesn’t matter if you machine manually or take advantage of CNC machining, fly cutters are specialized cutting tools with many applications.
You should use a fly cutter if you need:
- Shallow cuts
- Broad cuts
- Removal of small amounts of metal quickly
You can use your end mill to remove large areas and then use a fly cutter to get the smooth finish you want. That’s because a fly cutter outperforms a face mill when you need fewer passes and a smoother finish. When it comes to finishing, nothing beats a fly cutter.
Here are a couple of ways to use fly cutters that show the versatility of the tool.
Leveling the Bed
CNC routers require a tabletop that must be absolutely smooth and absolutely level to perform properly. Even if you level the legs, the bed or top of the table may still have dips and bumps that will ruin the performance of your router. That means you must resurface the bed at least several times a year. The best way to do this is with a fly cutter.
Since this is a large area, you want to use a large fly cutter. The FC-25 is a 2 ½” diameter fly cutter made by Sierra American. This cutter will allow you to clear a large area quickly and smoothly. When you setup, allow for a 40% overlap and just skim the surface to remove 1/16” at the first pass. That may be all you need to get the smooth, level surface your router demands.
Automotive Machining with Fly Cutters
Cylinder head skimming can save a head. As long as the head isn’t cracked and can hold pressure, the face can be refinished with a flycutter by removing 0.0002” of the surface to return it to a smooth and flat state. If you use a face mill, you may get crossover lines that may be almost impossible to see but will surely affect performance.
Exhaust and intake manifolds may need to be cleaned up due to corrosion or erosion, or the angle changed slightly to better align with an aftermarket intake manifold. The deck surface on the block may need to be resurfaced. Whatever the reason is for resurfacing these parts, you want to do it quickly, efficiently and correctly. That means you want to do it with a fly cutter and not a face mill.
The Best Fly Cutters for the Best Results
For the best result you need to use the best fly cutter. You need to use a fly cutter by Sierra American Multi-Systems. For over 20 years, Sierra American has been manufacturing fly cutters, CNC tool trays, and saw arbors right here in the USA. Fly cutters made by Sierra American are:
- Heat-treated for long tool life
- balanced to operate at higher RPMs
- Manufactured for stability
Each fly cutter is backed by a full 5 year warranty. Don’t settle for inferior fly cutters that give inferior results. Ask for Sierra American by name. If your supplier doesn’t sell Sierra American, ask them to order it for you. Don’t settle for second best, only get the best; get Sierra American.