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Slitting saw applications: limited?

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andrew lyner03/06/2020 23:01:37
178 forum posts
2 photos

In my short experience of using a slitting saw I have been annoyed that, with a standard arbor, which fits right in tight with the quill of the mill, you cannot get into an awkward space and the 'nose' of the arbor means you can't get down close to the top of the work vise to take a thin slice off an already thin piece.

This may not matter with steel and aluminium but ablating loads of brass is an expensive and upsetting process. What alternatives do people use to cut without waste?

Experience and good planning are probably the answers.

Edited By andrew lyner on 03/06/2020 23:02:47

Maurice03/06/2020 23:07:25
464 forum posts
50 photos

Perhaps using a between centres arbor in the lathe to do your slitting might enable you to cut as you wish, that cannot be managed on your mill. Just a thought.

Maurice

andrew lyner03/06/2020 23:17:00
178 forum posts
2 photos

I have a mini lathe and a vertical table and I have actually managed to do some cutting that way but it's all very cramped, with the milling table stuck in just one place on the apron and there are so few available spaces for the blade and the workpiece to sit in order to make a useful cut.

I guess I could get a big diameter saw blade on the mill (a Sealey SM2502 Mini) but then the motor is only 350W and I don't think it could manage to cut with a big radius.

I find that it takes a lot of different jobs before I can suss out the best order in which to do things. Perhaps an angle plate could help me. Dang - more expense.

not done it yet03/06/2020 23:25:25
4662 forum posts
16 photos

Will your milling head not rotate 90 degrees? That might help?

andrew lyner03/06/2020 23:29:59
178 forum posts
2 photos

Nah. The column will tilt +-45 degrees but best not to disturb that, so I'm told.

My mill is only a bit bigger than a toy. I think I could do with a reasonable extension to the quill but people will tell me no, I'm sure.

Perhaps I need to make a holder to make it possible to cut small bits on my Clarke bandsaw. That gives a good finish and everything's square. It's just a bit on the big side.

IanT03/06/2020 23:43:46
1536 forum posts
144 photos

I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to do Andrew - but I needed to cut a few dozen pieces of small brass for a modelling job and made a simple cutting table to do it. It is basically just a mild steel square with a hole in the middle.

It mounts on my EW cross-slide instead of the tool post and has a built in 'stop' and clamps to hold the work. I cut shallow shelves of different depths and widths into the edges for different thicknesses/widths of material. There is are also a shallow 'V' on one side (you can turn it over and through 180 degrees - the clamp holes being tapped through). The table can also be angled with care.. The cut is put on with the cross-slide.

I have several horizontal mills which make sawing larger parts fairly straight forward. 

Regards,

IanT

EW sawing tables - setting the length  2.jpg EW sawing tables 003.jpg

 

Edited By IanT on 03/06/2020 23:46:06

Hopper04/06/2020 00:16:39
avatar
4553 forum posts
94 photos

Mark it up and use a hacksaw.

DiogenesII04/06/2020 06:41:49
114 forum posts
46 photos

..or clamp to a small angle plate (imagine something like IanT's table mounted vertically on the mill..). ..or even mill up a piece from the scrapbox to make a holding fixture, if it's something you do often.. ..something like a block with a rebate in it, and a finger clamp..

Edited By DiogenesII on 04/06/2020 06:43:36

JasonB04/06/2020 07:26:28
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Moderator
18151 forum posts
1998 photos
1 articles

Get a stub arbor with a screw on end not the nutted type then you can get the blade down quite close to the top of the mill vice, these are also usually longer than the multi size slitting saw holders.

If you do have a nutted arbor then hold the work towards one side of the vice and you can get the blade down level with the vice jaws

 

Edited By JasonB on 04/06/2020 07:52:49

Lee Rogers04/06/2020 07:50:01
avatar
46 forum posts
Posted by andrew lyner on 03/06/2020 23:17:00:

I have a mini lathe and a vertical table and I have actually managed to do some cutting that way but it's all very cramped, with the milling table stuck in just one place on the apron and there are so few available spaces for the blade and the workpiece to sit in order to make a useful cut.

I guess I could get a big diameter saw blade on the mill (a Sealey SM2502 Mini) but then the motor is only 350W and I don't think it could manage to cut with a big radius.

I find that it takes a lot of different jobs before I can suss out the best order in which to do things. Perhaps an angle plate could help me. Dang - more expense.

Milling slides for lathes are always a compromise . It's often better to cobble together a mounting fixture for the job like IanTs solution. Also make your own arbours, easy ,cheap and the satisfaction of using tools that you made.

Andrew Johnston04/06/2020 07:53:13
avatar
5517 forum posts
648 photos

Depends on the size and shape of material, but I use one the following options:

Hacksaw, with or without a scribed line depending on shape

Bandsaw

Parting tool

For sheet material a power guillotine

For lumps that are too big for the bandsaw a slitting saw in a horizontal mill

Andrew

Geoff Theasby04/06/2020 08:31:28
613 forum posts
17 photos

I have found this problem too. The arbour is already low profile, the next step is a bigger blade. My maximum so far is 60mm cutting aluminium. The next is an angle vice or fixture. This is very accommodating and I have used it several times. Mill off the surplus to make it square.

not done it yet04/06/2020 09:04:11
4662 forum posts
16 photos

For lumps that are too big for the bandsaw a slitting saw in a horizontal mill

I’ll second (or third) that option. As per Andrew J and IanT, but the guillotine is manumatic so the nibbler might come out for thinnish sheet.

The slotted cross slide on the lathe would offer yet another alternative set-up, to avoid the tennis elbow problem with too much ‘acksawing action.🙂

Nicholas Farr04/06/2020 09:19:47
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2278 forum posts
1102 photos

Hi Andrew, you will always be faced with such problems when it comes to cutting small pieces off of small pieces, and you very often have to find a way to deal with it. Slitting saw arbors are what they are and have to be strong enough to give enough friction to hold the saw. I machined a small piece a while ago, which then had to be cut off and was faced with the same problem.

003a.jpg

OK, the threaded holes were part of the end result of two bespoke nuts, but needed to be sawn off the piece in the vice, but this was not long enough to raise up in the vice to allow the slitting saw and arbor to be used, so my solution without trying to hold it in a bench vice and trying to hacksaw it off neatly, is shown below.

005a.jpg

It was sawn halfway through one side and finished on the side shown above and was just cleaned up lightly with an end mill. It was held onto the block with a couple lengths of threaded rod in the holes and just raised in the vice with two small blocks to keep it level and to accommodate the nuts on the threaded rod at the bottom. Always best to plan ahead when doing fiddley jobs like this, like how to hold it and get into cut or mill and can you utilise holes in the part itself, to do subsequent operations, do a dry run if needed as it is frustrating to find you can't finish the way you prefer.

Regards Nick.

andrew lyner04/06/2020 10:58:27
178 forum posts
2 photos

I guess I have suffered from the "get one of those and there will be no more problems" idea. A slitting saw is what it is and mine certainly does some things very well.

I can see that I was right about the 'experience' thing. Using the lathe is one way to go but the standard mini has no T slots so everything (literally) hangs on that funny little tool post fixing. A project to think about!!

Michael Gilligan04/06/2020 14:24:44
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15768 forum posts
689 photos
Posted by andrew lyner on 04/06/2020 10:58:27:

[…]

Using the lathe is one way to go but the standard mini has no T slots so everything (literally) hangs on that funny little tool post fixing. A project to think about!!

.

Whilst you are thinking ... have a look at the kit that Myford used to sell

Not sure if it’s still available ... it was very ‘well thought out’ but under-appreciated [*]

MichaelG.

.

[*] Except perhaps, here:

http://www.myford-lathes.com/accessories36.html

 

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 04/06/2020 14:54:24

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