When you started machining you used an end mill and were terrified of fly cutters. Those days are long gone. But, do you get the most out of the tools you use? Maybe it’s time to grab your slitting saw arbor and load your slitting saw and look at some jobs differently.
Just Cut it Off
Not your finger or other body part. We’re talking about cutting a part off and finishing it by hand. No, a hand finish isn’t the same as you get with a fly cutter, but it is an alternative. If you’ve got a 3 axis mill, just use your slitting saw to cut the piece off. Once it’s removed you can finish the underside by hand. Now if you are machining a very thin part or working on a piece that is particularly hard to hold, this is the answer. Just cut it off and finish it by hand. You’ll actually end up saving time hand finishing the piece. Seems counter intuitive, but if you ruin the part trying to machine finish it you’ve got to start over. That’s no good. Wastes time, money, and material. Cut out that waste.
Get Some Relief
Sometime your part needs a little relief. No, it doesn’t need to take a break, it needs a relief slot to prevent a break.
Relief slots allow a part just enough give so it can clamp around tightly without destroying the integrity of the part.
The slitting saw is the perfect tool for cutting a relief slot. With your blade held firmly in place by the slitting saw arbor, you can make that slot in just one or two passes. A slitting saw arbor with a deep cap and low profile will get you as close as you need to be.
Selecting a Slitting Saw and Slitting Saw Arbor
Because slitting saws are thin and run fast, they get hot quick. Pick a blade made from carbide if your budget allows. While steel is less expensive, it won’t last like carbide.
No matter the blade, be sure to run with lots of fluid. Let’s say it again, slitting saws run hot. Flood coolant will let you cut long and cut fast.
Picking the slitting saw arbor is easy. Just get one made by Sierra American Multi-Systems. They have the deep, low profile caps you need to get your blade close. The “Vibra Core” design absorbs vibration and reduced vibration means reduced runout.
Made in American for American machinists. Be sure to ask for Sierra American by name the next time you buy a slitting saw arbor. And start looking that the slitting saw differently. It’s one of the most valuable and underused tools in your box.