Frequently Asked Questions on Cutting Tools
Posted by Karen Koenig | Posted: 03/28/2014 2:31PM
Industry experts answer woodworkers' frequently asked questions regarding cutting tool usage.
Q: How do I know if my tooling is balanced?
A: The absence of a drill mark does not automatically indicate that a tool is not balanced, and the presence of a drill mark should not be proof of balancing either. The only way for customers to know a tool is balanced is to request and store balancing certificates whenever a tool is manufactured or re-conditioned. Submitted by Ron Migedt, Riverside Tool
Q: What is chipload and why is it important?
A: Chipload is a term for the thickness of the chip produced in the machining process per edge, per revolution. It is determined by the rotational spindle speed, the speed that the tool is moving through the material and the number of cutting edges of the tool. Chipload is an important factor in tool life because as it increases, it carries more heat away from the cutting tool. The formula for determining chipload is: chipload= feed rate/(rpm x #cutting edges). Submitted by Scott Feimster, LMT Onsrud
Q: What is a compression spiral?
A: A compression spiral is a spiral with an upcut on the bottom and a downcut on the top. This effectively pulls the material together and gives a clean edge on the top and bottom of the workpiece. Submitted by Chuck Hicks, Southeast Tool Inc.
Q: How will the cost of the tool affect my bottom line?
A: Unfortunately it’s too common that tooling purchase decisions are made in the spotlight of the tooling budget with little consideration as to how it affects the other budgets that make up the bottom line. You should take into consideration how the tooling decision affects throughput, scrap/rework, edge quality and maintenance costs. Submitted by Garry Davies, Surrey Precision Tools
Q: How can I get more tool life after sharpening?
A: This question requires a two step approach. First, request a re-manufacturing of your tool when it is submitted to service. This requests an OD grind and re-fluting grind process be performed. The OD grind from most service centers provides a sharper, stronger cutting edge while re-fluting removes more of the chips and wear points with minimal affect to the diameter. Next, reduce the runtime of your tooling so as not to produce as much wear. Because wear occurs at an exponential rate, reducing your runtime by a small amount can pay significant dividends. Submitted by Frank Horvath, FS Tool Corp.
Q: How do I determine if I should use carbide-tipped, insert, or diamond tooling?
About the Author
Karen M. KoenigKaren M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory (RedBookOnline.com). She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at email@example.com or Google+.