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HSS vs carbide inserts

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sean logie29/08/2016 16:15:35
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I'm curious because I know nothing about either , I've a myford ml1 on transit at the moment. I was given a box of piller carbide inserts so I was wondering if I'd be able to put them to use on the ml1. Also what insert holder would I be able to use . I'll get full description of the inserts I was given later on today .
NJH29/08/2016 16:22:36
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2314 forum posts
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Sean

The ML1 is a pretty old lady now and it might be kinder ( and more successful) for you to use HSS - At least until you both know each other better!

Norman

Andrew Johnston29/08/2016 16:31:59
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First it depends upon the insert. There are many obsolete inserts around for which holders are no longer available. Even if the insert isn't obsolete you then need to consider tool holder size. Most modern insert holders start at 16mm and go upwards. Smaller 8mm and 12mm holders are available, but are less common. To make any sort of sensible comment we really need to see a picture of the inserts.

The other issue with inserts is that, with common low carbon steels, they really need to be run fairly fast and hard in terms of feedrates to get a good finish.

In short I agree with Norman, I don't think the ML1 is likely to have the rigidity, spindle speed or horsepower to make use of carbide inserts.

Grind your own HSS tools; despite the myths it is pretty straightforward. All you really need is a bench grinder.

Andrew

stewart wood29/08/2016 16:46:30
33 forum posts

Hi ya. Carbide inserts are ready to use straight from the box and usually they are clamped or held in position with a screw . The original idea was to save on discrepancy in grinding and generally obtain a better finish ,but there were some compromises with the spindle speed if you had mixed tool set up IE HSS drills taps etc and overlapping operations. HSStooling generally works out cheaper because it can be ground by hand and reground many times and in many forms parting off turning and chamfering to name a few Today in most machine shops there will be some CNCs and the carbide inset as come into its own mainly because of repeatability, all you have to do is turn the tip round over etc and the machined sizes e should be as was before the tip started wearing .Hope this helps and have fond with your lathe Stewart

MW29/08/2016 17:51:07
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2050 forum posts
51 photos

Grind whatever shape you like in solid metal, the humble hss square is the first line of defence, no matter what fancies a tip may have, it will always be there for you.

Michael W

Tim Stevens29/08/2016 18:03:08
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1123 forum posts

I wonder - why has no-one offered HSS inserts for us amateurs to use on the carbide holders we bought and then put to one side?

Or if they do, name & address, please.

Cheers, Tim

Andrew Johnston29/08/2016 18:12:50
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5115 forum posts
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Posted by Tim Stevens on 29/08/2016 18:03:08:

I wonder - why has no-one offered HSS inserts for us amateurs to use on the carbide holders we bought and then put to one side?

The business opportunity is all yours to exploit. wink 2

Although I'm afraid I won't be buying as I haven't put any of my insert holders aside yet.

Andrew

Tim Stevens29/08/2016 18:19:19
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1123 forum posts

I think you failed to notice the word 'amateurs', Andrew

Tim

Thor29/08/2016 18:22:43
1158 forum posts
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Hi Tim,

Is this what you were looking for?

Thor

Tim Stevens29/08/2016 18:27:54
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1123 forum posts

Hello Thor

Yes, some of the list you linked may well be just what I need, so is there a UK source? US stuff always comes with a massive postal bill ...

Cheers, Tim

Thor29/08/2016 18:37:52
1158 forum posts
33 photos

Hi Tim,

Sorry, I haven't seen any distributors this side of the Atlantic. Yes, delivery costs across the Atlantic are high, not cheap across the North Sea either.

Thor

Raymond Anderson29/08/2016 18:50:58
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735 forum posts
140 photos

Tim, Re HSS inserts Arno werkzeuge do hss in most of the carbide geometries Here is a box I got at a good discount but are still very spendy Hss Inserts

sean logie29/08/2016 21:35:40
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590 forum posts
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Which hss tool should I go for and will a regular bench grinder suffice ?

Bandersnatch29/08/2016 21:59:33
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1403 forum posts
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Posted by Thor on 29/08/2016 18:37:52:

Yes, delivery costs across the Atlantic are high, not cheap across the North Sea either.

Delivery costs from US to Canada are no better, even if we are just on top of them. I just ordered a casting kit from PM Research in NY State. Their address is about 100 km from a border crossing - which also happens to be the closest border crossing to my home (about the same distance). The kit was $129.00 ; the shipping was $43.65.

(It was taken to NYC first and flown it in from there).

Rik Shaw29/08/2016 22:24:12
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1313 forum posts
352 photos

Most of the stuff I machine can be done quite easily using HSS. The only exception is cast iron castings and my collection of ancient CI sash weights. Here I use/experiment with a variety of carbide inserts purchased cheaply from ebay or boot sales with varying results. Needless to say, one or more types of insert usually get the dirty work done!

Rik

Bandersnatch29/08/2016 22:46:54
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1403 forum posts
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Posted by Rik Shaw on 29/08/2016 22:24:12:

The only exception is cast iron castings and my collection of ancient CI sash weights. Here I use/experiment with a variety of carbide inserts purchased cheaply from ebay or boot sales with varying results.

FWIW, I usually get better results in those cases using the brazed carbide toolbits rather than inserts.

duncan webster29/08/2016 23:04:15
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2345 forum posts
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Posted by Bandersnatch on 29/08/2016 22:46:54:
Posted by Rik Shaw on 29/08/2016 22:24:12:

The only exception is cast iron castings and my collection of ancient CI sash weights. Here I use/experiment with a variety of carbide inserts purchased cheaply from ebay or boot sales with varying results.

FWIW, I usually get better results in those cases using the brazed carbide toolbits rather than inserts.

I agree, brazed carbide takes a lot more abuse than inserts. I managed to machine some Sweet Pea wheels which were full of hard spots, they had defeated all HSS and inserts. However, for an ML1 I'd stick with HSS, if you really can't get to grips with tool grinding make (or buy) a tangential toolholder, then sharpening is simplicity itself. However, tool grinding is not that difficut, none of the angles are that important despite what the books say, and you can use diamond files to put tip radii on if you're not confident to do it on a bench grinder.

Hopper30/08/2016 03:56:41
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3989 forum posts
85 photos

I think an ML1 might be a bit like my 1937 M-type when it comes to carbide inserts. The flat belts will slip under the load of carbide tooling, allowing the spindle to almost stall, tearing the point off the tool. Very frustrating.

Learn to sharpen HSS. You will never be sorry. LH Sparey's book "The Amateur's Lathe" has a very good but simple rundown on how-to. To get started all you need is a basic knife tool. You just put a 15-degree angle on three faces of a tool bit blank and away you go. The angle can be within 5 or even 10 degrees each way of the desired 15 and the tool will still work.. No need for fancy rests and attachments. A standard six-inch bench grinder with standard coarse and fine wheels will do the job perfectly. You might practice first on some bits of scrap square mild steel bar to the get the feel of it.

Take time to sit down and study the subject, and then to practice it in the workshop until you get the hang of it. You will be rewarded many times over for the little bit of time invested.

Jon Gibbs30/08/2016 07:30:13
738 forum posts
Posted by duncan webster on 29/08/2016 23:04:15:
However, for an ML1 I'd stick with HSS, if you really can't get to grips with tool grinding make (or buy) a tangential toolholder, then sharpening is simplicity itself.

+1

I made my own and keep two double ended pieces of toolbit sharpened on the go. So that as soon as the edge gets too dull I can put in another and carry on. It's as close to indexable HSS tips as I'll be going.

Once you're comfortable with grinding what you have I'd recommend cobalt if you're buying new HSS - M35 (5%) or M42 (8%) for preference. Fewer trips to the grinder and it'll cope with tougher material.

HTH

Jon

Russell Eberhardt30/08/2016 07:58:18
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2534 forum posts
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Posted by sean logie on 29/08/2016 21:35:40:

Which hss tool should I go for and will a regular bench grinder suffice ?

Just buy some 1/4 in square HSS blanks and a cheap and cheerful bench grinder. First tool to grind is a right hand knife tool. That will get you started at minimum cost.

Russell

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